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Archive for February, 2009

David Codrea has a good National Gun Rights Examiner column on this subject that delves into whether the Obama Justice Department is really going to bat for the Bush Administration rule change on carrying firearms in National Parks.

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NRA-ILA Grassroots Minute

NRA-ILA is really making use of the “New Media” to communicate their message.  One of the new features added not long ago to their weekly Grassroots Alert was a video feature known as the Grassroots Minute.

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More on Gun Sales

A co-worker attended the Nation’s Gun Show in Dulles this past weekend.  He said it was packed like most all of the shows held since mid fall last year.  The networks and news outlets continue to carry this story.

This from CBS “Weekend Journal” on January 27th.

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The Virginia General Assembly had a light load of gun bills introduced this year compared to the last couple of years but there are some good bills moving through the legislature.  There is also one bad bill still lingering that I hope will die in the House.  Let’s talk about the good bills first.

HB 1655, Delegate Carrico’s bill requiring a court to award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and court costs to anyone that prevails in an action challenging an ordinance that violates the Commonwealth’s pre-emption statute.  Passed House 82 – 16 and is now in the full Senate.  It should be noted the bill was amended in the State Senate and removed the requirement that reasonable attorney fees be awarded, changing it to the ability (may) to award attorney fees to the winner.

HB 1851, Delegate Lingamfelter’s bill exempting active duty military from handgun rationing (one gun-a-month). Passed House 83 – 13  and is on the docket in Senate Courts today.

HB 2144, Delegate Nutter’s bill to codify the AG’s opinion that prohibits the State Police from disseminating CHP holder information. (The information would still be available from individual circuit courts).  Passed House 98-0 and on the docket in Senate Courts today.

HB 2528, Delegate Cole’s bill that would require localities that operate compensated confiscation schemes (gun buy backs) to sell the guns they take in to an FFL.  Passed House 64 – 33 and reported from Senate Local Government yesterday on an 8-7 vote.  It will be on the floor today for Second Reading and likely final vote Thursday.

SB 1035, Senator Hanger’s bill repealing the ban on carrying concealed handguns in restaurants that serve alcohol. Passed Senate 24-16 but Senator Marsh noted in the vote that he voted yes but intended to vote no, so there are actually only 23 affirmative votes – leaving it four short of a veto proof margin should Governor Kaine veto it as he did last year.  The bill is now awaiting action in the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee.

SB 1513, Senator Smiths’ bill requiring a court to award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and court costs to anyone that prevails in an action challenging an ordinance that violates the Commonwealth’s pre-emption statute.  Passed Senate 30 – 10 and is awaiting action in House Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee.

 The bad news is that Senator Watkins’ SB 1166 – the gun purchase tax increase bill – passed the Senate.   This bill increases the tax paid by gun owners for background checks from $2 to $5.  The bill has been assigned to the House Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee.  Gun owners are urged to contact members of the Committee and urge them to oppose SB 1166.

The Virginia Shooting Sports Association has up-to-date information on their blog and often has vote information posted shortly after the vote.

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Governor Kaine demonstrated again yesterday demonstrated that he will say anything to promote his agenda.  Take this for instance:

There isn’t any reason why someone who is dangerously mentally ill or a felon should be able to get a gun under any circumstances and I continue to be surprised that people feel like that is OK.

That was Governor Kaine talking to reporters just before the vote yesterday on SB1257 – Senator Marsh’s “Gun Show Loophole” bill.

I don’t know a single gun owner who thinks it it “ok” for felons or mentally ill individuals to get their hands on firearms.  We simply don’t think the government should be involved in transfers of privately owned firearms when the vast majority of those sales are between family and friends.  When you look at the number of firearm sales that occur at a gun show, private sales make up a small percentage of the total sales.  And no less than three federal studies have shown that gun shows are not a source of firearms for criminals.

If keeping felons and mentally ill people from getting firearms was the goal of Kaine and others pushing this legislation, then voluntary checks and providing an FFL at the show to conduct those checks (since only FFLs have access to the State Police for running such checks) should be sufficient.  But both Kaine and some of the families of Virginia Tech shooting victims said yesterday that they were not interested in such amendments.  So, something else is their real goal and that something is ending all private sales.  You have to believe shutting down gun shows is also an ultimate goal because every bill that has been introduced goes well beyond simply requiring background checks.  They all require some form creating a registration list of everyone that walks into a gun show.

So, the next time you hear Tim Kaine say he can’t understand why someone thinks it is okay for felons and mentally ill people to buy firearms, ask yourself why Kaine had not interest in at least getting voluntary checks at gun shows for private sales.

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I had the opportunity to talk with Cam Edwards last night about SB1257 and how it lived for another day.

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Gun owners will recall that during the transition, Barack Obama’s employment questionnaire included the infamous question #59 that asked prospective employees about whether they or their family ever owned guns.  Maybe he should have been more concerned with the issue of whether his team had paid their taxes.

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