Cam & Stephen Gutowski On VA Bills

First off, let me say I’m sorry for the slow blogging the last few days. We always joke about the SHOT Show crud. However, there is a new thing – the pre-SHOT Show crud and I’ve got it. I’m guessing the vectors were my granddaughters who passed me the stuff going around their day care and pre-school. If there is a good thing about it, I’ll probably be immune to any bugs out of SHOT!

Now on to the important stuff. Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms and Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon discuss the gun control bills that have been introduced into the Virginia General Assembly by anti-gun Democrats.

It ain’t pretty. The so-called compromise bills are just a prelude to future confiscation. The other bills include outlawing suppressors and a standard capacity mag ban without any grandfathering. Another bill would ban all non-lead ammunition and make it a felony to possess even a single round of a non-lead based ammo. I wonder if they got permission from the environmentalists for that one.

I’ll let Cam and Stephen tell the rest of the story.

A Gun Law That Makes Sense

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) you may remember called a special session of the Virginia General Assembly after the murders in the municipal building in Virginia Beach. His intent is to have a number of gun control bills passed ranging from universal background checks to red flag laws. As I wrote then, none of his proposals would have changed a thing in Virginia Beach.

Delegate David Yancy (R-Newport News) has an idea for a law that might impact the criminal misuse of firearms. While it wouldn’t have changed things in Virginia Beach, it might have an impact on armed crime in Virginia. Many criminals obtain their firearms through the criminal black market where stolen firearms are bought and sold.

Yancy has proposed a bill that is similar to the Federal Rule 35 procedure. He says:

And one tool they (law enforcement) told him that wish they had is one federal law enforcement agencies have used for seven decades. It is the power to ask judges to cut convicts’ sentences if, once in prison, if those offenders give police the information needed to bring drug-smugglers, gun-runners and other organized criminals to justice.

“I think this could help,” Yancey said, adding that in his experience, most gun crime in Newport News and many other communities involves stolen weapons.

“You’ll see someone crashing a car into a pawnshop and clean out all the guns, then those guns end up on the street,” he said.

The Virginia Pilot story goes on to note:

The average time federal offenders serve after a Rule 35 sentence reduction is just under seven years, according to a recent U.S. Sentencing Commission study. On average, Rule 35 results in a 39% reduction in the length of a sentence, the federal agency found.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia grants the most Rule 35 sentence reductions, or some 1,645 out of a national total of 10,811 between 2009 and 2014, the study found.

Though such a rule wouldn’t have prevented a gunman from killing a dozen people in a Virginia Beach municipal building last month, Yancey said it would be a way of addressing gun violence that doesn’t infringe anyone’s Second Amendment rights. The right to bear arms doesn’t include the right to steal guns or possess a stolen weapon, he noted.

It’s also in line with legislation enacted last year that allows judges to reduce sentences for offenders who provide a lot of help to an investigation or prosecution of drug dealing.

Yancey’s proposal would allow a judge to revise a sentence after the offender has already started serving it.

His concern with stolen weapons led him last year to introduce a bill that would have set a series of mandatory minimum sentences for stealing guns with the intention of selling them, receiving or selling stolen firearms, or using stolen guns in a crime. The bill died in committee.

Providing incentives to criminals to turn in their source makes sense. His bill introduced last year to add to sentences for the theft of firearms with the intent to sell them also makes sense. Both might have a great impact on crime by drying up the supply of stolen firearms than anything Northam or the gun control industry has ever proposed.

Northam Doesn’t Want To Let A Crisis Go To Waste

When Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) isn’t trying to figure out if it was actually him in the picture wearing the Klan hood, he is pushing gun control. Now he is taking a page from the Rahm Emanuel playbook and calling a special legislative session of the Virginia General Assembly to push for more gun control after the murders in Virginia Beach.

From the Roanoke Times:

Northam was joined by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring, all Democrats, at a news conference with other Democratic leaders to challenge the Republicans who control the General Assembly and have repeatedly stifled efforts to consider any form of gun control.

“It’s time for decisive action,” Northam said. “Let Virginia show the nation that we can respond to tragedy with decisive action.”

Most gun-control bills have failed in previous sessions of the legislature, including those that would broaden the ability of local governments to limit firearms in public buildings, mandate universal background checks, limit purchases to one handgun per month and allow authorities to seize the weapons of a person found to be a threat to themselves or others. The bills have usually been killed in committee and not progressed to the full legislature for a vote.

Northam said he wants the General Assembly to debate and vote on the bills.

“These are common sense pieces of legislation we have introduced them year after year,” he said. “They have never received a fair hearing. … I want these pieces of common sense gun safety legislation to get to the floor and let these individuals elected by you, the people, to come to the floor and cast their vote.”

Gun control activists are also calling for a ban on “high capacity magazines” (sic). Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City County) said in an interview that “none of the failed legislation met standards for merits, practical application, and efficacy.” That said, Norment might be open to restricting magazines to 10 rounds.

Specifically, Norment said he expects the General Assembly to tackle large-capacity or extended magazines.

“An extended magazine is optical, but does it change the outcome, I’m not sure, but it’s something the citizens like this would say at least it’s an incremental effort to do something,” Norment said. “At least that is an issue that it’s very easy to resolve.”

Norment did vote against a similar ban earlier this year in committee. Those pushing for a mag ban ought to view Joe Huffman’s video on reload times made after Gabby Giffords was shot in Tucson.

As to Northam’s proposals, let’s examine whether they would have done anything to have stopped the murders in Virginia Beach.

Limiting firearms in municipal buildings? The killer was a municipal employee of Virginia Beach and had access to secured sections of the municipal building. He would have also known how to avoid any metal detection devices.

Universal background checks? The guy passed background checks on both of his firearms.

Limit purchases to one handgun per month?  He bought one handgun in 2016 and the other in 2018.

Red flag law? The killer had no history of violent actions, interacted normally with another employee in a bathroom before starting his killing spree, had no disciplinary problems at work, and had received a satisfactory evaluation on his last performance evaluation at work.

Finally, with regard to President Trump and his “I don’t like them” attitude towards suppressors, the killer purchased his suppressor legally. That means he bought a highly regulated product, paid a $200 tax, had to submit fingerprints and pictures, and go through a BATFE background check while waiting probably 6-9 months before taking possession of his suppressor.

Virginia gun owners have a fight on their hands if they don’t want to become the New Jersey of the South. When the Republican Majority Leader is waffling on standard capacity magazines, it is time to start to put the pressure on.

An Example Of Everytown’s Campaign Against McAuliffe’s Compromise

Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors is royally PO’ed that a governor that they thought they owned lock, stock, and barrel has now come to an agreement with pro-gun legislators and forces. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) is, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, the focus of a social media campaign by Everytown in an effort to stop his agreement to reinstate and expand concealed carry reciprocity.

Gun rights activists and supporters in Virginia need to keep up the pressure on both McAuliffe and their legislators to reinstate existing reciprocity agreements as well as to expand to universal reciprocity recognition.

An Update On Virginia Reciprocity From VCDL

Grass Roots North Carolina received the following from Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League regarding the negotiations between Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) and gun rights supporters to restore concealed carry reciprocity.

BREAKING NEWS:  *** February 1 cutoff date for dropping recognition of 25 states has been extended to March 1


you’ve undoubtedly
heard from the media, there is a package deal in the works between
Governor McAuliffe and the Republicans in the General Assembly dealing
with 1)
concealed handgun permit (CHP) reciprocity, 2) voluntary background
checks at gunshows, and 3) those subject to a permanent domestic
protection order.

many CHP holders, CHP
reciprocity is a HUGE deal, especially if they travel out-of-state
regularly and want to be able to carry discretely.  For example, there
is no
solution to carrying in South Carolina if we don’t have an agreement
between our two states.

There is a
lot of misinformation from the media and elsewhere and a lot of people
coming to the wrong conclusions about what the deal does and doesn’t do.
 Rumors are flying that gun owners only get back the reciprocity
that was taken away by Herring and the State Police – that is FALSE.  We
have gained important ground!

STILL IN THE WORKS.  Things could still go south as the key bills that
make up the deal work their way through the legislature and onto the
WILL.  If it fails, we may not be able to fix the reciprocity situation
for another two-long-years.

VCDL has been privy to the deal for several days, as was a
national group.  VCDL monitored progress of this potentially
advancement of our liberty from its genesis, and provided counsel and
discussion points during its evolution.

The final product was given the nod by VCDL, however we will be watching like a hawk for
any changes that negatively affect gun owners.


There are three components that make up the deal, each component represented by matching bills in the House and in the

#1 – Reciprocity details –
gun owners gain ground!

Virginia will honor the carry permits from ALL states!  This is
considerably better than current law and something VCDL has been trying
to get
for at least seven years now.  

Because Virginia will honor all other states, Virginia CHPs will be
recognized by all the states we have lost AND we will gain some new
 New Hampshire, Georgia, and Colorado!

The State Police and the Attorney General will have NO say in the new
law.  If another state requires a formal
agreement to honor Virginia CHPs, the new law requires the Attorney
General to enter into any such agreement.  If he fails to do this, item
below, does not go into effect.

One other change on the reciprocity law:  If your Virginia CHP is
revoked for cause, you won’t be able to carry on a non-resident permit
from another state.  Not a deal breaker.

 Just because we are honoring all other states, doesn’t mean we can
carry in all those states.  Someone
from New York will be able to carry here, but we won’t be able to carry
in New York unless New York is willing to enter into a reciprocal
agreement with Virginia, for example. 

As more and more states start honoring out-of-state permits, the prospects of our permit being honored by even more states
down the road is bright!

#2 –
Voluntary gun show background checks

Background checks for a private sale are COMPLETELY voluntary.

* The State Police shall be at every gun show in Virginia, by law.  (Some gun owners were thinking this was some kind of
a trick – that if the State Police don’t show up, the gun show would be cancelled.  This should put that worry to rest.)

The gun show promoter shall notify the State Police of
the location and times of the gun show at least 30 days in advance,
shall provide a free location for the police to set up, and shall have
letting attendees know of the voluntary background checks at the State
Police booth.  (I checked with one of Virginia’s largest gun show
promoters on this to see if any of it was objectionable and was told,

* The State Police may charge a reasonable fee.  (If they charge more than you want to pay, you can
just walk away and do the transaction without the background check.)

NO information on the make, model, or serial number of the gun being
sold will be provided to the State Police – i.e. no
federal Form 4473!  The purchaser will have to fill out the Virginia
form, which asks a few questions and has the buyer’s name, address, and
signature.  (If you don’t want to fill out that form, you can just walk
away and do the transaction without the background

There is a carrot: if a
background check is run, the seller receives some special legal
protections that are currently not available for private sales.  If a
check is not run, you don’t have any more or any less legal protections
than under current law.

Yes, down
the road inevitably there will be some bills introduced that attempt to
the background check mandatory.  We get bills on mandatory background
checks for private sales every year.  We will have to fight and defeat
those bills in the future, just as we fight and defeat similar bills

For those gun owners who
would feel safer selling a gun to someone who has had a background
check, this
provides a new option in addition to the current option of either asking
if the person has a CHP or going through the more laborious and
route of letting an FFL do the transfer.  It also has no effect on
private sales conducted anywhere outside of gun shows, where this
option is not provided.

#3 –
Persons subject to a PERMANENT domestic violence protection order cannot possess firearms until the order expires

* The ONLY permanent protection order this restriction applies to is one for domestic
violence and NOTHING else.

The subject of the protection order must have had his day in court along
with any legal counsel.  Temporary protection orders do NOT affect
possession of firearms.

If the judge, after hearing the defense, decides to issue a permanent
protection order anyhow, the subject of the protection order will lose
his gun
rights for the duration of the order (MAXIMUM of two years), and
automatically get those gun rights back when the permanent protection
order expires.
 Note:  a new permanent protection order could potentially be issued
when the perament protection order expires if the judge thinks a danger
still exists.

The subject of the
permanent protection order will have 24 hours to turn his guns over to a
person of his choice, as long as that person can legally possess

The above is basically
federal law already, and state law already prohibits a person with such a
permanent protection order from purchasing  or transporting a


* VCDL will be monitoring the deal’s
progress, watching for changes that negatively affect gun owners. 

* If a negative issue arises and is not fixed quickly, I will advise all of you immediately via an Urgent Legislative Action

* I will also be providing
links to the three bills described above as soon as the final language is available online.  That way you can read them for

* For now just standby on
this, as I keep you advised of the progress of the deal.

* If you don’t have any absolutely urgent questions, please hold on to them for now as it would be easy to overwhelm me
with emails (I’m already getting over 200 a day as is).

 We interviewed Phil for The Polite Society Podcast yesterday evening. I will put up a link to that interview as soon as it is published. However, in the meantime, Phil said that an appropriations bill had been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly that would restore reciprocity to the way it was before Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) went full-Bloomberg. Given it is an appropriations bill, Gov. McAuliffe must either approve it in full or veto the entire bill. There is no line-item veto on appropriations bills.

Needless to say, the gun prohibitionists are having a hissy fit over the compromise between McAuliffe and gun rights supporters. A few days ago the Washington Post reported this:

“Governor McAuliffe should reconsider this dangerous gift to the gun lobby,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, which in the fall poured more than $2 million into two state Senate races at McAuliffe’s request.

Late last night the Post reported that Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors has now started a social media campaign against McAuliffe.

On Wednesday, Everytown launched a social media campaign against McAuliffe, who last week stunned gun-safety advocates by announcing that he had struck a gun deal with Republican legislators and the National Rifle Association. It shows side-by-side photos of McAuliffe and the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre.

“What do VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe and NRA head Wayne LaPierre have in common?” one version reads. “Both Gov McAuliffe and NRA Head Wayne LaPierre support allowing dangerous people to carry hidden loaded weapons in Virginia.”

While clearly a lower-budget affair than last fall’s TV blitz, Everytown’s social media campaign against McAuliffe was a stunner, given how closely he worked with gun-safety groups since his 2013 campaign for governor. He narrowly won the race while bragging about his “F” rating from the NRA.

If I were a Virginia politician, I’d look at what Everytown is doing and realize just how fickle they are in their support. Alternatively, you could say that they just want their bought and paid for politicians to stay bought.

A Picture To Start Your Day Off Right

Michael Bloomberg spent a pile of cash in Virginia to help Democrats try to take over the State Senate.

He failed.

Posted by Miguel on Facebook

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the composition of the Virginia State Senate will remain at 21 Republicans and 19 Democrats. If the Democrats had won just one seat then Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) could vote to break ties. The real battle was for two open seats – the 10th in the Richmond area and 29th in the Manassas area – which were held by the Republicans and Democrats respectively. Voters in both districts voted for the status quo ante bellum.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), no friend of gun owners, is term-limited to only one term. With Republicans holding both houses of the Virginia General Assembly, any plans he has for more gun control go nowhere.

Below is an example of the ad that Bloomberg’s Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors ran in the Virginia 10th Senate District against Republican Glen Sturtevant. He ran a similar ad in the Virginia 29th Senate District against Republican Hal Parrish. In that case, he had more success.

Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned had a number of posts regarding Bloomberg’s efforts, Andy Parker’s unstable behavior, and the Virginia elections. He recognized the impact of these elections before most in the gun blogging community.

On a related note, Mr. and Mrs. Gabby Giffords dropped a pile on the race between Sen. Dick Black (R-Loudon-Prince William) and pediatrician Jill McCabe. Final results show Black winning majorities in both Loudon and Prince William counties.

H/T Miguel

Hey, JayG! Did You See This?

For those that haven’t heard, well-known gun blogger JayG of MArooned is leaving the Volksrepublik of Massachusetts for the Commonwealth of Virginia to take a job there. Jay is leaving one commonwealth where gun rights have long been under attack for one that is currently in the good column.

However, if gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D) has his way, Virginia will become the next Colorado. And by this, I mean the pre-recall Colorado with magazine bans and universal background checks. McAuliffe wants to one-up Hickenlooper by also implementing a one-gun-a-month purchase restriction. Like Hickenlooper, he appears to be in Bloomberg’s pocket.

From McAuliffe’s campaign website:

Support common sense gun control measures
As Governor, Terry will support mainstream and majority supported gun control measures like universal background checks, limiting the size of magazines, and a return to the 1-gun-per-month rule. These measures respect Virginians’ right to bear arms while reducing gun violence.

 According to a poll published on Monday in the Washington Post, McAuliffe is leading Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) by 47 to 39 percent among likely voters. Cuccinelli has been a good supporter of gun rights and this has been recognized by the gun prohibitionists.

JayG better hurry up down to the Old Dominion as I think his vote may well be needed.

As to McAuliffe, I think the Virginia’s state motto applies – sic semper tyrannis.

Virginia Goes Private

This past week Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) signed a bill that would make information about concealed handgun permit holders in Virginia private. The new law forbids clerks of court from disclosing the name and other information concerning concealed handgun permit holders except to law enforcement.

Earlier legislation had forbidden the release of this information by the Virginia State Police. However, most concealed handgun permit information resides with the commonwealth Circuit Courts. That law was in response to the publishing of the names of concealed handgun permit holders by the Roanoke Times back in 2007.

SB 1335 was introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg). The bill was given two thumbs up by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Obenshain’s original bill was more narrowly focused. It would have shielded from disclosure personal information about permit holders who were under the protective orders generally granted to people threatened with domestic violence.

The bill easily cleared the Senate. It was then overhauled by a House of Delegates subcommittee, which broadened it to include all concealed-handgun permit holders. Obenshain expressed support for that change, which upset advocates for gun control and open government.

One of the things that spurred this legislation was the publication of the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in New York by the Journal News.

It is my hope that North Carolina legislators will now follow suit in this session of the General Assembly. The bills there appear to have good support and with Republican control of both houses are likely to pass.

Immoral To Repeal One Gun A Month In Virginia?

Not so says the Rev. Kenn Blanchard in response to Jim Winkler who called it immoral for Gov. Bob McDonnell to have signed the repeal of Virginia’s One Handgun A Month law. Winker is the general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church and chair of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence. Faiths United is a project of the Brady Campaign.

Winkler says of Gov. McDonnell,

But our governor put the agenda of a lobby ahead of the people he was elected to represent. He put the gun lobby’s agenda ahead of protecting the residents of his state from the life-altering and life-ending horror of gun violence. Innocent lives will be lost as a result. It is not only shameful that the governor did this, it is immoral.

Pastor Kenn rightly says the repealed Virginia law was “worthless” and that it is “ethical for us to protect ourselves, it is ethical for us to protect our families, congregations, and country.” He goes on to say that using the word immoral is just wrong. I couldn’t agree more.

The Stupid Is Strong In This One

We expect politicians to say stupid things. It is just the normal course of events. However, there are times when the stupid things they say just need to be pointed out.

Case in point is a Virginia legislator by the name of Joe Morrissey. Mr. Morrissey is a Democrat and represents the 74th District. This district is compromised of parts of Richmond, Henrico County, Hopewell, Charles City County, and Prince Georges County. According to his campaign biography, Delegate Morrissey is a graduate of U.Va., Georgetown Law, and Trinity College, Dublin where he obtained a Masters of Laws. In addition, he served for four years as a Commonwealth’s Attorney in Richmond. My point here is that he is a very well educated person and has front-line experience with criminal law as a Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Delegate Morrissey opposed the repeal of Virginia’s one handgun a month restriction which just passed the House of Delegates in a 66-32 vote. He made the following statement just before that vote:

“If this bill is passed, an individual can go into any gun store and buy an unlimited number of guns,” warned Del. Joseph D, Morrissey, D-Henrico moments before the vote.

“Let’s be clear what’s going to happen,” Morrissey added. “Some crack addict is going to be given half a gram of coke, he is going to be given a Virginia driver’s license…and he will go into a place and he will buy nine or 10 Glocks or 357s or whatever.…and we will return to the days where we are the gun capitol of the South.”

There are so many things wrong with this statement that I don’t even know where to begin.

I guess I will start with ATF Form 4473 where each false answer is considered an individual felony. Question 11.a asks whether the person is the actual buyer of the firearm. Then you have Question 11.e which asks if the individual is an unlawful user or addicted to a “controlled substance” which crack cocaine obviously would be.

After filling out the Form 4473, said straw-purchasing crack addict who has just committed two Federal felonies must have this purchase submitted to the FBI for the NICS check. This is assuming the dealer in question hasn’t already either refused the sale or called the cops. I would think a fake driver’s license from Virginia is going to come up as a red flag in the NICS database and the sale denied.

Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, multiple handgun purchases (more than one from the same dealer in any five business day period) are reported to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. A copy of Form 3310-4 is sent both to the National Tracing Center and to local law enforcement by the end of the same business day.

Finally, Richmond has been the location of a special cooperative project between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the Richmond PD, ATF, the FBI, and the Virginia State Police called Project Exile. The goal of this program was to use the stiffer Federal law to prosecute criminals, felons, and drug uses in possession of a firearm. It has since been supplanted by a statewide state-run program called Virginia Exile. I find it hard to believe that any attorney in Virginia is not somewhat aware of this program and this is especially true of an anti-gun politician.

As I wrote earlier, politicians say stupid things but in this case it was really stupid. About the only people who are taken in by such rhetoric are the gun prohibitionists and other true believers.