Virginia Gun Owners Should Worry About Governor Northam’s Gun Control Package

Earlier today, Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA)  announced his intention to promote a “reasonable” package of legislation aimed at “preventing gun violence” and “improving “the safety of Virginia’s citizens and communities” during the upcoming General Assembly session in Richmond, VA. Session will commence on January 9th.

“We lose too many Virginians each year to senseless gun violence, and it is time we take meaningful steps to protect the health and safety of our citizens,” said Governor Northam. “I look forward to opening a dialogue with the General Assembly on this legislative package of reasonable gun violence reforms, which appropriately balances Second Amendment Rights with public safety.”

The provisions included in this package are the following:

  • Establishing an Extreme Risk Protective Order
  • Reinstating the  previously enacted One Handgun a Month law;
  • Prohibiting individuals subject to final protective orders from possessing firearms under red flag laws;
  • Banning so-called “assault firearms”—largely semi-automatic in nature
  • Preventing children from accessing firearms
  • Requiring individuals to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement more quickly
  • Banning magazines exceeding 10 rounds

 

Virginia gun owners should contact their state lawmakers and attend Lobby Day on January 21st, 2019, to lobby their delegates and state senators to vote down this legislation.

Two Country Music Stars Endorse Universal Background Checks

Dierks Bentley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line have jumped on board’s Toms’ #EndGunViolence campaign.

Is Nashville becoming too much like Hollywood? It seems to be the case with a slew of major country singers and alleged country singers embracing gun control. In this instance, unlike Erick Church blaming the NRA for the Las Vegas shooting, singers Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line and Dierks Bentley have endorsed Toms’ #EndGunViolenceTogether campaign. It’s being put on by Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes.

The former posted two posts on his Instagram urging fellow country singers to jump on board this campaign. Not surprisingly, he turned off comments for both posts.

From Billboard:

On Nov. 29, Hubbard delivered an impassioned endorsement of the TOMS CEO’s new initiative. In a solemn video, he referred to the staggering statistics regarding the 307 mass shootings that took place over the last 311 days in the United States and said that he believes that “we can all come together and all agree that something has to change” by contacting congress and demanding stricter gun laws.

That statistic is highly suspect, as gun control groups label all shootings – with four or more people shot – as mass shootings.

Here’s Bentley’s more general call for action, without explaining why he supports it:

Last month, the “woke” shoe company donated $5 million to support gun control affiliated groups. Here’s what the campaign entails, with respect to promoting universal background checks (UBC):

The Toms funds will go to organizations working to end gun violence in the U.S. by addressing issues such as urban crime, domestic violence, mental health and suicide. Campaign partners include: Moms Demand Action, The Black and Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium, March for Our Lives and Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence.

The aforementioned “gun safety” groups aren’t for gun rights nor offer remedies for true gun safety measures. They are outfits to elect and support pro-gun control members of Congress.

For supposed gun owners, Hubbard and Bentley need to read up on universal background checks.

John Lott explained in New York Times why this policy does nothing to deter crime:

The background check measures before Congress aim to improve enforcement of existing law and increase such reporting by imposing financial penalties on government officials whose agencies fail to provide required information. That’s a good goal, but any proposal should also fix another major problem with the background check system: false positives that stop law-abiding people from getting weapons that they might need to protect themselves and their families.

The background check system confuses the names of law-abiding individuals with those of criminals, resulting in thousands of “false positives” every year. Relying on phonetically similar names along with birth dates just doesn’t allow for much accuracy.

Even more people would face such problems if background checks were made “universal,” meaning to include the private sale or transfer of firearms, which are exempt from checks in most states. Many people consider this a common-sense policy, but there would be a cost: Background checks involve fees that drive up the price of guns in private sales and make it harder for poor people to defend themselves.

Donald J. Mihalek, executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, argued in a CNN column that fixing the NICS system to make it more robust would be more effective than universal background checks:

The system should be as robust and include the types of identifying, warning, cross checking and criminal and mental history information as the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC). NCIC is the repository of all local and state information related to arrests, criminal history, criminal activity like stolen cars and permits law enforcement to input danger, warning or safety notifications.

If NICS doesn’t have that same type of robust information, it may never be able to do what Americans demand — block prohibited people from legally obtaining firearms. Until it is, we may continue to see people who should be prohibited from owning a weapon turn a tool of protection into a tool of terror.

Also, when universal background type laws are implemented, they don’t work to deter crime—just look at Colorado and Washington State.

Hubbard and Bentley will likely alienate their fan base, especially with the former not having real country bonafides to speak for. Learn from Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood: don’t get political.

Brooklyn Borough President: Off-Duty Cops Should Carry Guns in Places of Worship

Eric L. Adams, a Democrat and former NYPD captain, encouraged off duty cops to carry guns in places of worship.

 

Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn, NY borough president and a retired captain of the New York Police Department, says he will start carrying his handgun in places of worship now following the tragic anti-Semitic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.

 

“From now on,” said Adams, “I will bring my handgun every time I enter a church or synagogue.”

 

The Borough president is also quoted as saying the following during the press conference:

 

“I used to carry my gun all the time when I went to church,” the retired cop-turned-pol said at a press conference Sunday, according to video posted to social media. “If we have police officers standing in front of churches, then we can’t say it’s wrong for a police officer who’s off duty to be inside churches with a gun.

 

“If they’re leaving those firearms home, I now say to them: Stop leaving your firearm home. Do as I do. Bring your firearm to church.”

 

Adams’ message was intended for off-duty cops. Whether or not this call would extend to other law-abiding gun owners in New York City remains to be seen. NYC is one of the hardest places for law-abiding gun owners to obtain concealed handgun permits.

 

It should be noted that the Brooklyn borough president is a registered Democrat. He made these remarks in New York City’s Midwood neighborhood, which is home to the city’s highest concentrations of Orthodox Jews.

 

New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a conservative Democrat and Orthodox Jew, says he’ll also register for a gun permit as well:

This is a good step, especially in gun control ridden New York City. I hope Mr. Adams’ message extends to other police departments across the country—especially those in deep blue pockets where legal gun ownership and concealed carry laws are highly discouraged.

VA Attorney General Again Shows Anti-Gun Bias Calling Armed Teachers “Unlawful”

AG Herring stopped our CHP reciprocity agreements with 25 states in 2015, so this move doesn’t come as a surprise.

 

It’s “unlawful” for a Virginia school district, Lee County, to voluntarily allow teachers to arm themselves in the classroom, writes our Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) in a new official advisory opinion that was requested by Shannon Dion, Director of the Commonwealth’s Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The reasoning? There’s overwhelming support against this by teachers. Plus, Virginia’s top lawyer suggests concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders aren’t equipped to deter bad guys with guns like law enforcement is.

 

Herring’s office released this statement in a news release (bold, Italics for emphasis):

 

“Our kids deserve a safe, secure learning environment when they come to school, and adding guns and armed, unqualified personnel to our classrooms is incompatible with that goal,” said Attorney General Herring. “The law already provides several options for employing armed security personnel with full law enforcement training, but the law doesn’t allow for the arming of unqualified personnel, and for good reasonThe introduction of unqualified personnel with guns raises the likelihood of a tragic accident, or potentially catastrophic confusion during an emergency. That’s why the overwhelming majority of teachers—those who know the school environment best—oppose arming teachers. For five years in a row the General Assembly rejected specific proposals to arm teachers, so there’s really no ambiguity. I hope all of us who care about the safety and success of our students—school boards, teachers, parents, legislators, law enforcement, and more—can continue working together to make our schools safe and welcoming places for our young people to learn.”

 

AG Herring’s reasoning couldn’t be more tone deaf. CHP holders are unqualified and dangerous? Then our state’s top lawyer must not be familiar with Virginia gun laws and those who work in law enforcement—especially those law enforcement members who support the CHP process here.

 

“Our kids deserve a safe, secure learning environment when they come to school, and adding guns and armed, unqualified personnel to our classrooms is incompatible with that goal,” said Attorney General Herring. “The law already provides several options for employing armed security personnel with full law enforcement training, but the law doesn’t allow for the arming of unqualified personnel, and for good reasonThe introduction of unqualified personnel with guns raises the likelihood of a tragic accident, or potentially catastrophic confusion during an emergency. That’s why the overwhelming majority of teachers—those who know the school environment best—oppose arming teachers. For five years in a row the General Assembly rejected specific proposals to arm teachers, so there’s really no ambiguity. I hope all of us who care about the safety and success of our students—school boards, teachers, parents, legislators, law enforcement, and more—can continue working together to make our schools safe and welcoming places for our young people to learn.”

 

AG Herring’s reasoning couldn’t be more tone deaf. CHP holders are unqualified and dangerous? Then our state’s top lawyer must not be familiar with Virginia gun laws and those who work in law enforcement—especially those law enforcement members who support the CHP process here.

 

The document suggests it’s unlawful for CHP holders, particularly those who are law-abiding, to carry on campus. Moreover, the official authority opinion says Virginia law permits school resource officers (SRO) and certain security officers to possess firearms, but that clause doesn’t extend to teachers and administrators. The official authority opinion concluded with this:

 

“Virginia law expressly limits who may possess firearms on school grounds for safety purposes, and the General Assembly declined to enact bills presented every year from 2013 through 2017 to extend this authority to school teachers and administrators. The General Assembly has provided ways for schools to employ security personnel deemed to have met stringent training requirements who may possess firearms on school grounds in the execution of their duties as school safety personnel; however, these security personnel do not include armed SCOPs. For the reasons set forth above, I conclude that the Department of Criminal Justice Services cannot lawfully issue a temporary or valid registration for armed SCOPs with jurisdiction over public school grounds.”

 

Herring’s official authority opinion will do little to bolster school safety measures.

 

Lee County School Board Superintendent Brian Austin appeared on NPR earlier this month to discuss why his district board unanimously voted 5-0 to allow teachers and administrators the ability to conceal carry in the classroom by voluntary means. The vote took place back in July.

 

Austin said his county cannot afford placing security resource officers (SRO) that individually cost $600,000 into their 11 schools, saying “This was a very budget-driven decision because we have determined that it would cost almost $600,000 to put a school resource officer in every one of our 11 schools. And if we had $600,000 at this point, it would go towards roof repairs and replacement as opposed to school safety – even though school safety is our number-one priority in schools.”

 

Austin added that 37 individuals — teachers and staffers — had expressed interest to voluntarily conceal carry on campus should the opportunity be afforded. The vetting process, he added, would entail interested applicants going through “two backgrounds of checks – a drug screen as well as a psychological evaluation” or the equivalent vetting process conducted for law enforcement here in Virginia. How did AG Herring gloss over this? Perhaps he knows this, but is so driven by his agenda to acknowledge this.

 

Lee County is located in Virginia’s southwestern most part of the state, bordering Tennessee. It’s an agricultural, rural area that has overwhelmingly voted Republican since 2000. In fact, the county overwhelmingly voted for President Trump 80.3% to Clinton’s 19.7% in 2016. This is a gun toting county.

 

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s anti-gun agenda, particularly his animus towards CHP holders, is no secret. In December 2015, his office issued a statement saying they conducted an extensive audit of Virginia’s CHP reciprocity agreements, which found that 25 of 30 states had “insufficient” and “weak” regulations with respect to firearms. Shortly after, I penned this Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed pointing out the flaws of this edict, which would have had deleterious effects on gun rights and business relations with states. After much outcry from everyday citizens and gun rights groups, then-Governor Terry McAuliffe brokered a deal with Republican lawmakers that restored CHP reciprocity and added three more states. It was a momentary victory.

 

Concealed handgun permits (CHP) holders are law-abiding and just as equipped as law enforcement to help deter crime. The scapegoating of these folks is not a good look for AG Herring, who should instead target actual lawbreakers and not go after those who wish to protect kids in the classroom.

Did YETI Coolers Ditch NRA Foundation Over Politics?

It was revealed in an email blast on Friday that YETI dropped its legacy vendor program with the NRA Foundation.

YETI Coolers isn’t dealing with NRA Foundation anymore.

The Austin, TX-based cooler company — known for its catchy marketing and clever “Built for the Wild” slogan— is at risk of alienating its base, including sportsmen and women, over this new move especially if it’s rooted in politics.

An email blast from Marion P. Hammer was crossposted to the NRA-ILA’s blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The NRA Foundation saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor, and refused to say why. They will only say they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation. That certainly isn’t sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed. They have declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities. These activities enable them to appreciate America and enjoy our natural resources with wholesome and healthy
outdoor recreational and educational programs.

Here’s how people responded on Twitter to this move:

Chris Loesch@ChrisLoesch

Hi @YETICoolers – you should reverse this terrible decision. Do you not understand who your base is? Will never buy or use any of your products again and we had a bunch. https://www.nraila.org/articles/20180421/florida-alert-yeti-drops-nra-foundation 

NRA-ILA | Florida Alert: YETI Drops NRA Foundation

For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country. Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do…

nraila.org

Ryan Saavedra

@RealSaavedra

.@YETICoolers Drops NRA Foundation https://www.nraila.org/articles/20180421/florida-alert-yeti-drops-nra-foundation 

NRA-ILA | Florida Alert: YETI Drops NRA Foundation

For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country. Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do…

nraila.org

1,585 people are talking about this

Gabriella Hoffman

@Gabby_Hoffman

If true that YETI isn’t doing business with NRA Foundation anymore, they are about to lose much of their sportsmen clientele. That’s bad optics. What gives?!

102 people are talking about this

NRA Foundation, which sponsors educational efforts for hunting and firearms safety in schools and non-profits across the country, has pumped by $369 million back into these efforts since 1990. The website says this funding supports programs like “youth education, law enforcement training, hunter education, conservation, firearms and marksmanship training and safety.”

Moreover, YETI products are a huge staple at Friends of the NRA banquets and at other banquets hosted by similar conservation non-profits. Most of us have YETI products—like their 20-ounce tumblers or their coolers. If YETI Coolers ditched NRA Foundation over gun rights, they will have to answer to their base and may suffer immensely.

Is this move rooted in politics? Did they stop their legacy vendor program with other hunting non-profits affiliated with the NRA? Did they cease the legacy vendor program with other hunting conservation groups too? Was it a business decision to channel their efforts elsewhere? That question still looms.

Sportsmen are YETI Coolers’ primary clientele. If it’s rooted in politics, they will see much of their customer base go to competition like ORCA Coolers, RTIC Coolers, Bison Coolers, Cabela’s, or similar companies. Let’s hope they clarify on this matter and reconsider this decision, if the case.

‘Outsiders on the Inside’ | Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas’ 1st Congressional District

Our fourth guest for “Outsiders on the Inside” is Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas’ First Congressional District. Although he has served in the House of Representatives for over a decade, Rep. Gohmert has proven to be a foe of the establishment. We discussed the Las Vegas shooting/pushes for gun control, the SAVES Act, and what’s challenging about being an outsider here in the nation’s capital.

Below is a teaser:

Below is the full clip:

Facebook Version:

YouTube Version:

Steve Scalise Shoots Back Response to Gun Control, Affirms Support for Gun Rights

After surviving an assassination attempt on his life in June here in Alexandria, Virginia, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) told Chuck Todd of “Meet the Press” over the weekend he still opposes more gun control measures now more than ever in wake of the Las Vegas massacre.

Below is the full interview:

“Our Founding Fathers believed strongly in gun rights for citizens,” said Scalise.

“Don’t try to put new laws in place that don’t fix these problems,” he said.”They only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to own a gun.”

Scalise was gravely wounded back in June after James Hodgkinson, 66, shot up an Alexandria, Virginia, park where Scalise and other Republican members of Congress were practicing for the upcoming Congressional Baseball Game charity match in Washington, D.C. If it weren’t for Scalise’s security detail, more congressmen and senators would have either been severely injured or worse–dead.

It’s only reasonable for Scalise to affirm his Second Amendment views despite this traumatic injury. He understands that good guys with guns helped saved his life and countless other lives on June 14, 2017, by repelling and shooting his attacker — a bad guy with a gun — dead.

Las Vegas-Style Shootings Are Impossible To Prevent

A day after the Las Vegas massacre, pundits and political activists are out in force. Gun control activists are pushing their agenda while others are arguing for a hidden conspiracy. The one thing that most people have missed about the shooting is how easy it was to carry out and how difficult it would be to prevent similar attacks.

Stephen Paddock presents a problem for both sides of the gun debate. He purchased his guns legally in spite of waiting periods and background checks, but even stricter gun laws won’t prevent killers from getting weapons. Guns, both legal and illegal, are plentiful in the United States and relatively easy to obtain. Stephen Paddock had no criminal record and there was no reason to prevent him from legally purchasing a gun. The same cannot be said of the gangbangers of Chicago who, despite criminal records, also seem to have no trouble finding guns.

Paddock avoided security by avoiding the concert venue which likely had metal detectors and building a sniper’s nest in his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay casino across the street. Paddock likely smuggled his arsenal into the building in suitcases or golf bags. A frequent traveler myself, I have never seen a single hotel with metal detectors or luggage screening of any sort. Why would they? It isn’t illegal to have a legally owned gun in your hotel room (subject to state and local laws).

From the right, the traditional answer of more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits would not have made a difference in Las Vegas. Paddock was shooting with a high-powered rifle from across the street on the 32nd floor of a high-rise hotel. Pistols in the hands of concert-goers would have been useless.

From the left, no gun control laws under consideration would have prevented the massacre. Paddock passed background checks because he had no criminal record or history of mental illness. His large arsenal was accumulated over months or years at stores in several different states so waiting periods would not have made a difference. Gun-free zones just move the violence to other areas.

In fact, no law other than a total ban of guns in private hands would have prevented the shooting. The number of illegal guns used in crimes indicates that even a ban would not go far enough. Since thousands of guns that are already in private hands, confiscation would be required to prevent those guns from falling into the wrong hands. Such a policy is not only unconstitutional, it is politically impossible and unworkable from a practical standpoint, requiring the diversion of thousands of law enforcement officers from their current duties to tracking down and seizing guns from law-abiding citizens.

A total gun ban would not even necessarily have prevented Paddock from killing scores of people. In 2016, a man driving a stolen truck killed 85 people in Nice, France. In 1995, Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people in Oklahoma City with a truck bomb.

Lone gunmen with no prior criminal history are notoriously difficult to defend against. I was working in the northern Virginia area in 2002 as the DC Sniper murders were taking place. The sniper, John Muhammad concealed himself in the trunk of Chevrolet Caprice and eventually killed 17 people and wounded 10. The entire Washington area was petrified. People were afraid to go outside for even long enough to pump gas.

Afterward, I thought that the strategy would be an easy one for Islamic terrorists or others to adopt. If Al Qaeda or Islamic State sent a few hundred followers across the country with locally purchased guns to shoot up shopping malls, concerts, movie theaters, parks and restaurants at random, the United States would be paralyzed in short order. Such attacks are impossible to prevent in a free society. The killer will ultimately be killed himself, but if suicide or martyrdom is the shooter’s ultimate goal, death is not a deterrent.

New laws and rules could make it more difficult for the Stephen Paddocks of the world to go on murderous rampages. The question is how many rights we are willing to surrender and how many inconveniences we are willing to endure. Do we, as a nation, want to scrap the Second Amendment and undergo TSA screenings every time we check into a hotel? For most of us, the answer is no.

The fundamental problem with mass killings is the existence of evil and the depravity of the human heart. Evil cannot be legislated out of existence no matter how hard we try. We just have to deal with the evil-doers as best we can.