Friday, October 10, 2014

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 10/10/14

Not yet a VCDL member? Join VCDL at:
VCDL's meeting schedule:
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:

This update compiled by EM Brandy Polinowski

1. Volunteers still needed for Virginia Beach gun show THIS weekend
2. Help needed for VCDL booth at Rivanna Rifle and Pistol Club Fun Day & Swap Meeting
3. Senator Warner's response on gun rights
4. Virginia Attorney General: Tannerite legal in Virginia
5. Tip on dealing with the Petersburg Circuit Court Clerk's office
6. VCDL membership meeting in Annandale on Thursday, October 23
7. Surprise! Dr. Lott says Bloomberg's statistics are wrong
8. [WA] Bloomberg worried? Pours ANOTHER million dollars into a ballot initiative for universal background checks in Washington State [VIDEO]
9. [DC] Attorney Alan Gura moves to block implementation of DC's flawed new concealed carry law
10. Tidewater Libertarian Party rejects proposal to punish gun owners who don't report a theft quickly enough
11. Another politician blaming a murder on the gun
12. Will VA honor a gun rights restoration from another state?
13. VA gun sales have peaked from 2013's record-setting year
14. Emily Gets Her Gun audio book
15. 'No' Sheriff in town: Some lawmen refuse to enforce federal gun laws [VIDEO]
16. Another troubled mayor faces new charges
17. [NC] Homeowner shoots bad guy [VIDEO]
18. [UT] New laws: Teachers do not have to disclose if they are carrying

1. Volunteers still needed for Virginia Beach gun show THIS weekend

The Virginia Beach Gun Show coordinator, Gary F. Moeller, is still in urgent need of help for this weekend's gun show:

The Va. Beach gun show this Saturday and Sunday still needs volunteers for:

Saturday morning (9 am to 1 pm) – need two;

Saturday afternoon (1 pm to 5 pm) – need three;

And Sunday afternoon (1 pm to 4 pm) – need two.

This is the last call for volunteers! We could REALLY use your help! Contact Gary Moeller at ASAP! Thanks!

2. Help needed for VCDL booth at Rivanna Rifle and Pistol Club Fun Day & Swap Meeting

The Rivanna Rifle & Pistol Club (RRPC) in the Charlottesville area is holding a Family Fun Day & Swap Meet for members and their guests on Saturday, October 25, from 9 am to 4 pm. We need volunteers to help at the VCDL booth at the event. If you can help, contact EM Brandy Polanowski at:

Location: Rivanna Rifle & Pistol Club
1570 Old Lynchburg Road
Charlottesville, VA

Directions: From Interstate 64, take exit 120 SOUTH and travel 4 miles to range on right

3. Senator Warner's response on gun rights

Here's the form letter some of you have gotten recently from Senator Mark Warner. Warner is hot on background checks and wants to expand them - not good. He also has not returned our survey (and neither has Ed Gillespie. Robert Sarvis has returned his survey):

Dear xxxx,

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on legislative efforts to reduce gun violence in the United States.

On September 16, 2013, twelve innocent men and women lost their lives at the Washington, DC Navy Yard at the hands of a gunman who, reports show, had a history of violent tendencies and serious mental illness. This shooting was one of the latest in a string of recent gun-related tragedies that continue to shock our communities. In the aftermath of this recent shooting and tragedies such as those in Newtown, Connecticut and at Virginia Tech, we need to take meaningful steps that will help us best avoid these kinds of mass shootings in the future. The status quo is not acceptable.

I own firearms and am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. However, I also recognize that, like with many of our constitutional rights, our Second Amendment rights are not without limits. During the spring of 2013, the Senate considered the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 (S. 649) in an effort to address issues contributing to gun violence. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) attempted to amend this bill with a reasonable, bipartisan proposal to strengthen background checks. The Manchin-Toomey amendment would have closed the gun show loophole and prohibited the commercial sale of guns to those who are seriously mentally ill or have a criminal record while also upholding Second Amendment rights. I voted in favor of the Manchin-Toomey proposal but, unfortunately, the amendment received only 54 votes in support when it needed 60 votes for passage. Furthermore, its failure, which occurred one day after the sixth anniversary of the Virginia Tech tragedy, essentially halted consideration of the underlying gun safety bill, which included my bipartisan CAMPUS Safety Act.

There was also significant debate over proposals to ban certain types of weapons and magazines. I voted against those bans because, after talking to numerous experts, I believe the most effective action we can take to reduce gun-related violence and keep guns out of the hands of those prohibited by law from possessing them is to pass a strong background check law. This proposal is strongly supported by the American people and I believe that the Senate should continue to work to pass effective measures that will help to keep our children and communities safe and to improve our mental health system so we can provide help to those with dangerous mental illnesses before it is too late.

I appreciate you contacting me. I will keep your opinion in mind should the Senate address this issue or other relevant legislation. For further information or to sign up for my newsletter please visit my website at .

United States Senator

And from - Warner voted for restrictions on gun rights for vets is "mostly true" :

4. Virginia Attorney General: Tannerite legal in Virginia

Tannerite is legal in Virginia for use in exploding targets, as confirmed by Attorney General Mark Herring (the Sheriff of Hanover needs to take note of that ruling). However, being a good neighbor and not over doing it is always a good idea. A recent Tannerite shoot caused some Chesterfield residents to bring the issue up to their Board of Supervisors members.


Here is a link to the Attorney General's opinion on Tannerite:

5. Tip on dealing with the Petersburg Circuit Court Clerk's office

A military member on active duty recently applied to get a CHP in Petersburg and was denied because the Court claimed that active duty military papers did not qualify as training for a CHP! Of course the law (§ 18.2-308.02.B.5) clearly states otherwise.

I told the gun owner to print out the code section that says being active duty military does indeed fulfill the training requirement and to take it with him to his ore tenus hearing. I also suggested he talk directly to the Clerk and not her underlings. (As you might recall VCDL filed a Writ of Mandamus against the Clerk last year because she wasn't issuing permits within the required time frame. She then relented and we've had no problems since.)

Sure enough. He talked directly to the clerk, MENTIONED BEING IN TOUCH WITH VCDL, and everything was cleared up in a few minutes and he got his permit.

Generally it is a good idea to speak directly to the Clerk if you are having problems getting your CHP issued in a timely manner. It certainly won't hurt to mention being a VCDL member. If that fails, call VCDL for help.

6. VCDL membership meeting in Annandale on Thursday, October 23

VCDL will have its regular monthly meeting in Annandale on Thursday,
October 23, at the Mason District Government Center.

U.S. Senate candidate Robert Sarvis (Libertarian) will speak at the meeting. There is an open invitation to Ed Gillespie and Mark Warner to do the same.

Fellowship starts at 7:30 PM and the meeting is called to order at 8:00 PM.

The meeting is open to the public, so bring along some friends and family!


7. Surprise! Dr. Lott says Bloomberg's statistics are wrong

Dr. John Lott takes Bloomberg to task for faulty data on mass shootings.


8. [WA] Bloomberg worried? Pours ANOTHER million dollars into a ballot initiative for universal background checks in Washington State [VIDEO]

There is a major battle going on in Washington State over a ballot initiative that would create a "universal background check" law (universal registration is more accurate). So far somewhere around 8 MILLION dollars has been given by gun grabbers, like Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft's Bill Gates. Bloomberg just added another million, which makes me think he is running a little scared. The pro-gun side only has a little over one million dollars to fight off the challenge.

More on the battle and an NRA video:

9. [DC] Attorney Alan Gura moves to block implementation of DC's flawed new concealed carry law

Saying that DC's horrible new concealed handgun law doesn't even come close to what the judge ordered the City to do in regards to CHPs, Alan Gura is moving to block the law.

Go get 'em, Alan!!


10. Tidewater Libertarian Party rejects proposal to punish gun owners who don't report a theft quickly enough

On Saturday, October 4th, the Tidewater Libertarian Party rejected a proposal to punish gun owners who don't report a stolen gun quickly enough. The request for the General Assembly to pass such a law was made by Virginia Beach City Councilman Jim Wood.

I got to address the group at the meeting after the Virginia Beach Chief of Police and Jim Wood finished speaking in favor of the idea.

There were quite a few VCDL members at the meeting.


11. Another politician blaming a murder on the gun

Member David Custer emailed me this:



Answers sought after Staunton man's killing
by Laura Peters
August 18, 2014

STAUNTON – The killing of a 21-year-old Staunton man has left many in the area searching for answers and raising questions about the reasons for an uptick in violent crime.

Coleman Denzel Neeley was shot dead early Saturday morning after a party in Fort Defiance.

A Staunton man, Michael Terrell Williams, 20, has been charged with first-degree murder in the case, according to Augusta County Sheriff's Office.

Williams and two other men were stopped hours after the shooting in a car in Staunton by sheriff's deputies and city police. Marquis Andrew Johnson, 19, and Philip Joseph Sabo, 19, both of Staunton, were charged with accessory-after-the-fact to first-degree murder.

Waynesboro police spokesman Sgt. Brian Edwards said chance of serious mishaps with guns is even greater when alcohol is involved.

"Whenever we see crowds, guns and alcohol, it pretty much ends with someone getting hit," he said. [PVC: So, all we need to do is to get rid of either alcohol or crowds.]

Although it is unknown if alcohol was a factor in Saturday's incident in Fort Defiance, Edwards told The News Leader that a man fired a gun in the air Sunday after getting into an argument with his brother.

"I don't know if the situation in Fort Defiance was alcohol-fueled violence, but the one that we had today is we had a drunk guy with a gun trying to scare some people away with shotguns," Edwards said.

William Lewis Jackson, 67, of Waynesboro was charged with two misdemeanors Sunday. Edwards said that fortunately Jackson did not injure himself or anyone at the scene.

"Definitely when you combine alcohol with reckless handling of a firearm there's likelihood of causalities," he said. "It seems to me like a very bad recipe for death."

Alcohol can be a huge factor in gun-related incidents, Edwards said, like the incident earlier in August when a 24-year-old Illinois man apparently shot himself to death Aug. 5 at a Verona motel during a Russian Roulette-type of game.

Waynesboro saw a killing this past winter when Boyd W. Wiseman, 54, allegedly shot and killed his F.R. Drake Co. co-worker Jeffrey S. Earhart, of Staunton. Wiseman, of Waynesboro, was charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the Feb. 27 slaying of Earhart, 38.

Guns aren't the only things used in recent violent crimes committed in the area. On May 8, 26-year-old Julian Parrott was allegedly stabbed to death in Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park by a 16-year-old.

But Staunton City Councilman Ophie Kier said that with the current gun laws there's not much society and the community can do to end such violence.

"This is the nature of our society because of people wanting to carry guns," he said. "It's because of their rights that another life has been lost." [PVC: Yep - it's the gun's fault Ophie. And here I had always thought of guns as inanimate objects with no mind or will of their own!]

The only thing to do is to get rid of the guns, he said.

During the press conference Saturday, Augusta County investigator Michael Roane reassured the public that all suspects in the Fort Defiance shooting had been arrested.

Though, there is still extensive evidence to examine and many people to interview, Roane said.

12. Will VA honor a gun rights restoration from another state?


Will Virginia honor a gun rights restoration from another state?
by John Pierce
August 21, 2014

This is not a question that many people think to ask … but if they have had their right to possess firearms restored by another state prior to moving to (or visiting) Virginia then they absolutely should.

Because the answer … unfortunately … is a resounding "no!"

The entire body of law governing gun rights restoration is a minefield for the unwary but this issue is a particularly insidious trap.

In the case of Farnsworth v. Commonwealth, 599 S.E.2d 482 (Va. Ct. App. 2004), the court held that anyone who has been convicted of a felony, "under the laws of the Commonwealth, or any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States or any territory thereof" has only two options for having their rights restored as far as Virginia is concerned.

The first is to have one's right to possess firearms restored by the governor and the second is to petition the Circuit Court in the jurisdiction where one resides "for a permit to possess or carry a firearm."

Since a restoration by another state does not satisfy either of these requirements, it is not recognized by Virginia.

The court's analysis is based upon the clear text of § 18.2-308.2 of the Code of Virginia which states that:

A. It shall be unlawful for (i) any person who has been convicted of a felony; … whether such conviction or adjudication occurred under the laws of the Commonwealth, or any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States or any territory thereof, to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any firearm or ammunition for a firearm …

B. The prohibitions of subsection A shall not apply to … (iii) any person who has been pardoned or whose political disabilities have been removed pursuant to Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia provided the Governor, in the document granting the pardon or removing the person's political disabilities, may expressly place conditions upon the reinstatement of the person's right to ship, transport, possess or receive firearms.

C. Any person prohibited from possessing, transporting or carrying a firearm … under subsection A, may petition the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which he resides for a permit to possess or carry a firearm …

Who needs to be aware of this issue?

1) Anyone who has had his or her right to possess firearms restored in another state and who has subsequently moved to Virginia.

2) Anyone who has had his or her right to possess firearms restored in another state who is visiting and will be in possession of firearm while in Virginia. This includes hunters and those engaged in the shooting sports.

What should I do if I fall into one of these categories?

If you fall into the first category then you should petition the court in the jurisdiction where you reside for your right to possess and transport firearms to be restored. If you are in possession of any firearms or ammunition you should immediately transfer them to a trusted family member or friend until such time as your right to possess them has been restored by your local circuit court.

If you fall into the second category then you are unfortunately out of luck. Virginia only allows you to petition for a restoration of rights in the jurisdiction where you reside. If you reside outside of Virginia then you cannot have your right to possess firearms in Virginia restored. I will be writing more about this issue in my next article.

Wait … doesn't federal law govern in this area?

No. While 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20) exempts those who have "been pardoned or [have] had civil rights restored" from federal prosecution, it does not require states to recognize each other's rights-restoration processes.

A final note

While I may only speak to Virginia law, it is very likely that there are other states with similar issues. If you have had your right to possess firearms restored in Virginia and are planning to move out of state … do not automatically assume that your restoration will be recognized.

Seek the counsel of an attorney licensed to practice law in the state to which you are planning to move to make sure that you will not be walking into a similar trap.

13. VA gun sales have peaked from 2013's record-setting year


Virginia gun sales have peaked from 2013's record-setting year
23% drop year-to-date may be misleading, as 2013 is seen as anomaly
by Mark Bowes, Richmond Times-Dispatch
August 16, 2014

The frenetic sales of firearms in Virginia that set a record in 2013 — fueled in part by "panic buying" out of fear of new government restrictions — appear to have peaked.

After three consecutive years of steep sales growth statewide, transactions have fallen 23 percent during the first seven months of 2014 compared with the same period last year, according to Virginia State Police figures of mandatory criminal-background checks of gun buyers.

Gun transactions have fallen every month from Jan. 1 through the end of July compared with the same period in 2013. Cumulatively, the numbers dropped from 286,480 transactions for January through July last year to 219,491 for this year.

Firearm sales at 45 gun shows across Virginia also declined during the first seven months of 2014, from 24,870 transactions in 2013 to 20,492 this year, a drop of 21 percent. Gun show transactions represented 9.3 percent of the state's total transactions through federally licensed firearms dealers.

"Don't forget that 2013 was one of the most remarkable years in the industry," Robert Marcus, owner of Bob's Gun Shop in Norfolk, said of this year's declining trend. "We're not comparing any of our numbers with 2013 because it's such an aberration of the norm."

Marcus said he's surprised the drop in sales so far this year isn't steeper than 23 percent.

"You can't sell to the sky, as I've often been told. The business will continue to grow, but not at the same pace that we've enjoyed recently," he added.

While transactions have apparently peaked, a local criminologist said it may be premature to say they are in decline.

"While firearm transactions seem to be declining, it's important to recognize that 2014 is still on pace to be the second-highest year for firearm transactions in Virginia, outpacing 2012 by nearly 5 percent," said Thomas R. Baker, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University's L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs who specializes in criminology theory and has an interest in gun-related issues.

The number of firearm transactions through the first seven months of 2012 totaled 209,591, compared with this year's 219,491.

Baker said there are several possible reasons why gun sales appear to be on the decline from 2013's record numbers, and he believes those reasons are also why there was such a historic jump in sales in December 2012, which saw 75,120 transactions that month alone.

"There is a clear and distinct pattern of increasing firearm transactions in Virginia following high-profile events of firearm violence," said Baker, who frequently analyzes gun data for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "The historic number of transactions that took place in December 2012 through July 2013 likely represents Virginia's reaction to the events of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the political rhetoric about gun control that accompanied it."

Virginia gun dealers have previously cited President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012 and the fears of increased gun restrictions after the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., as the driving forces behind the leap in gun sales for several months beginning in December 2012.

"No other highly publicized events of firearm violence have permeated the mainstream since, and the calls for gun control have subsided," Baker said. "Given that this is a major year for congressional elections, it comes as little surprise that we are hearing less rhetoric about gun control, and so Virginians are also less motivated to purchase firearms."

However, Baker said, Virginians are still purchasing guns at a high rate.

"Instead of concluding that firearm transactions reached their peak in 2013 and are now in decline, I think it's probably more likely that firearm transactions in 2013 were an aberrational spike in a trend of increasing firearm transactions in Virginia," he said. "Of course, we won't know this until we see the data for future transactions."

The percentage increase in Virginia gun transactions has grown steadily — in some cases dramatically — every year since Obama has been in office except for 2010, records show. The annual number grew 7.2 percent in 2009, dipped to 3.7 percent in 2010, and then climbed in the double digits over the next three years — 16 percent in 2011, 35 percent in 2012 and 11 percent last year.

Exact sales of firearms in Virginia are neither reported nor recorded, but the background check records provide a rough estimate of the number of firearms sold. There is not a one-to-one correlation between background checks and the number of guns sold because some customers buy multiple firearms.

Also, about 1 percent of the background checks in Virginia typically result in people being denied permission to buy a weapon. The background check figures also do not reflect activity between private parties, such family members or collectors at gun shows.

Ed Coleman, general manager of Colonial Shooting Academy in Richmond and Virginia Beach, said sales at the Richmond store have declined a little less than the statewide average of 23 percent. The company's new Virginia Beach store opened in May, so there are no comparable numbers for that location.

But "we've definitely seen (a decline) in Richmond, and I think there's a number of factors," he said. "The main one is that in December 2012 and the first six months of 2013, people were in sort of a panic mode buying guns. So everybody's sales spiked."

"And now that the panic's over with, you're seeing a decline," he added.

Coleman believes the fear of further gun restrictions through state and federal legislation has "settled down some."

"When Newtown happened, everybody hit the panic button, and Congress was talking about changing gun laws and all this stuff," he added.

Now, Coleman said, when other highly publicized shootings occur, including those at schools, "nobody even stops and listens to it. They hardly bring it up. So I guess it's a matter of people getting a little more accustomed or a little more aware of it."

Gun sales this year are "getting back to kind of a normal need-and-replacement market," he said.

Bernie Conaster, owner of Virginia Arms Co. in Manassas, agreed that 2013's volume of sales could be considered an aberration.

"I think everybody in the industry would tell you that we all knew in 2013 that those numbers wouldn't last forever," Conaster said.

He said many customers who had put off buying a particular firearm they had intended to eventually purchase "moved it up their priority list because there was significant anticipation of gun laws changing, either nationwide or in several states. A lot of people, I think, were trying to get something while they thought they still could get it, if it would be potentially affected by legislation in the future."

"2013 was clearly one for the record books, where sales were artificially high," he added. "So I would say that (in 2014), we're probably back closer to 2011-2012 type volume."

14. Emily Gets Her Gun audio book

Emily Gets Her Gun is now available at the Alexandria Library as an Audio Book.

15. 'No' Sheriff in town: Some lawmen refuse to enforce federal gun laws [VIDEO]

Member Billy Huckleberry emailed me this:


Thank God these people are looking after and protecting our constitutional rights.


'No' Sheriff in Town: Some Lawmen Refuse to Enforce Federal Gun Laws
by Marlena Chertock, Emilie Eaton, Jacy Marmaduke and Sydney Stavinoha

With more states passing stronger gun control laws, rural sheriffs across the country are taking their role as defenders of the Constitution to a new level by protesting such restrictions and, in some cases, refusing to enforce the laws.

Sheriff Mike Lewis considers himself the last man standing for the people of Wicomico County, Maryland.

"State police and highway patrol get their orders from the governor," the sheriff said. "I get my orders from the citizens in this county."

Lewis and other like-minded sheriffs have been joined by groups like Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, both of which encourage law enforcement officers to take a stand against gun control laws.

The role of a sheriff

While the position of sheriff is not found in the U.S. Constitution, it is listed in state constitutions. Nearly all of America's 3,080 sheriffs are elected to their positions, whereas state and city police officials are appointed.

Lewis and other sheriffs, and their supporters, say that puts them in the best position to stand up to gun laws they consider unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms.

"The role of a sheriff is to be the interposer between the law and the citizen," said Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer, an Anne Arundel County Republican. "He should stand between the government and citizen in every issue pertaining to the law."

When Lewis was president of the Maryland Sheriffs' Association, he testified with other sheriffs against the state's Firearms Safety Act (FSA) before it was enacted in 2013. One of the strictest gun laws in the nation, the act requires gun applicants to supply fingerprints and complete training to obtain a handgun license online. It bans 45 types of firearms, limits magazines to 10 rounds and outlaws gun ownership for people who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.

After Lewis opposed the bill, he said he was inundated with emails, handwritten letters, phone calls and visits from people thanking him for standing up for gun rights.

"I knew this was a local issue, but I also knew it had serious ramifications on the U.S. Constitution, specifically for our Second Amendment right," said Lewis, one of 24 sheriffs in the state. "It ignited fire among sheriffs throughout the state. Those in the rural areas all felt the way I did."

In New York, the state sheriff's association has publicly decried portions of the SAFE Act, state legislation that broadened the definition of a banned assault weapon, outlawed magazines holding more than 10 rounds and created harsher punishments for anyone who kills a first-responder in the line of duty.

A handful of the state's 62 sheriffs have vowed not to enforce the high-capacity magazine and assault-weapon bans. One of the most vocal is Sheriff Tony Desmond of Schoharie County, population 32,000. He believes his refusal to enforce the SAFE Act won him re-election in 2013.

"If you have an (assault) weapon, which under the SAFE Act is considered illegal, I don't look at it as being illegal just because someone said it was," he said.

Colorado made national headlines when 55 of its 62 sheriffs attempted to sign on as plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several 2013 gun control bills in the state. The most-controversial measures banned magazines of more than 15 rounds and established background checks for private gun sales.

A federal judge said the sheriffs couldn't sue as elected officials, so Weld County Sheriff John Cooke and eight other sheriffs sued as private citizens. Cooke was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, which a federal district judge threw out in June. He and other plaintiffs are preparing an appeal.

"It's not (the judge's) job to tell me what I can and can't enforce," Cooke said. "I'm still the one that has to say where do I put my priorities and resources? And it's not going to be there."

Lewis, who is running for re-election in Maryland this year, said sheriffs have a responsibility to push against what he sees as the federal government's continual encroachment on citizens' lives and rights.

"I made a vow and a commitment that as long as I'm the sheriff of this county I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my law-abiding citizens of the right to bear arms," he said. "If they attempt to do that it will be an all-out civil war. Because I will stand toe-to-toe with my people."

But Maryland Sen. Brian Frosh, a sponsor of the Firearms Safety Act and a gun-control advocate from suburban Montgomery County, said Lewis' understanding of a sheriff's role is flawed.

"If you are a sheriff in Maryland you must take an oath to uphold the law and the Constitution," said Frosh, now the Democratic nominee for Maryland attorney general. "… It's not up to a sheriff to decide what's constitutional and what isn't. That's what our courts are for."

Frosh also noted that sheriffs are generally not lawyers or judges, which means they often are following their convictions instead of the Constitution.

"We had lots of people come in (to testify against the bill) and without any basis say, 'This violates the Second Amendment,'" Frosh said. "They can cite the Second Amendment, but they couldn't explain why this violates it. And the simple fact is it does not. There is a provision of our Constitution that gives people rights with respect to firearms, but it's not as expansive as many of these people think."

Sheriffs do have the power to nullify, or ignore, a law if it is unconstitutional, Maryland Delegate Dwyer said. He said James Madison referred to nullification as the rightful remedy for the Constitution.

"The sheriffs coming to testify on the bill understood the issue enough and were brave enough to come to Annapolis and make the bold stand that on their watch, in their county, they would not enforce these laws even if they passed," said Dwyer. "That is the true role and responsibility of what the sheriff is."

Oath Keepers and CSPOA

If former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack had it his way, there wouldn't be a single gun control law in the U.S.

"I studied what the Founding Fathers meant about the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, and the conclusion is inescapable," said Mack, the founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). "There's no way around it. Gun control in America is against the law."

Mack's conviction is central to the ideology of CSPOA, which he founded in 2011 to "unite all public servants and sheriffs, to keep their word to uphold, defend, protect, preserve and obey" the Constitution, according to the association's website.

CSPOA grabbed media attention in February with a growing list of sheriffs — 484 as of late July -- professing opposition to federal gun control.

Mack and CSPOA also have ties to Oath Keepers, an organization founded in 2009 with a similar goal to unite veterans, law enforcement officers and first-responders who pledge to "defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

The website of the Oath Keepers, which has active chapters in 48 states and the District of Columbia, and an estimated membership of 40,000, features a declaration of "orders we will not obey," including those to disarm Americans, impose martial law on a state and blockade cities.

Some sheriffs perceive Oath Keepers and CSPOA as too radical to associate with. Desmond, of Schoharie County, New York, is known around his state for openly not enforcing provisions of the SAFE Act that he considers unconstitutional. Still, he's not a member of either organization.

"I don't want to get involved with somebody that may be a bit more proactive when it comes to the SAFE Act," Desmond said. "I want to have the image that I protect gun owners, but I'm not fanatical about it."

Mack is familiar with that sentiment. He suspects it's hindered the growth of CSPOA.

"This is such a new idea for so many sheriffs that it's hard for them to swallow it," Mack said. "They've fallen into the brainwashing and the mainstream ideas that you just have to go after the drug dealers and the DUIs and serve court papers — and that the federal government is the supreme law of the land."

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights nonprofit that classifies and combats hate and extremist groups, included both CSPOA and Oath Keepers on its list of 1,096 anti-government "patriot" groups active in 2013. Both groups have faced criticism for their alleged connections to accused criminals, including individuals charged with possessing a live napalm bomb and a suspect in the shooting and killing of two Las Vegas police officers and a bystander in June.

Representatives from the law center did not return phone calls and emails requesting comment.

Franklin Shook, an Oath Keepers board member who goes by the pseudonym "Elias Alias," said the organization doesn't promote violence, but rather a message of peaceful noncompliance.

"What Oath Keepers is saying is ... when you get an order to go to somebody's house and collect one of these guns, just stand down," Shook said. "Say peacefully, 'I refuse to carry out an unlawful order,' and we, the organization, will do everything in our power to keep public pressure on your side to keep you from getting in trouble for standing down. That makes Oath Keepers extremely dangerous to the system."

Self-proclaimed constitutional sheriffs hope that courts will overturn gun control measures in their states — but they recognize that may not happen. Lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of gun control legislation in Maryland, New York and Colorado have been, for the most part, unsuccessful.

"My hope is that the governor will look at it now that it's been a year plus and say, 'We've had some provisions that have failed. Let's sit down and look at this and have a meaningful conversation,'" said Otsego County, New York, Sheriff Richard Devlin, who enforces the SAFE Act but doesn't make it a priority. "I personally don't see that happening, but I'd like to see that happen."

16. Another troubled MAIG mayor faces new charges

Yawn. Yet another member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns is in trouble with the law.


Another troubled mayor against illegal guns faces new charges
by Dave Workman, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner
August 18, 2014

The Washington Free Beacon reported today that Monticello, N.Y. Mayor Gordon Jenkins is in trouble with the law again, this time accused of bribery, making him something of a repeat embarrassment for anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Jenkins, a Democrat, has been in trouble before. He was arrested last year for allegedly driving while intoxicated. In 2010, he was arrested for allegedly selling "knockoff" copies of merchandise. He pleaded guilty to that charge.

Contrast this with the indictment last Friday of gun-toting, coyote-shooting Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, who indicated he would never vote for Perry, today said the indictment is what happens in "totalitarian societies," according to Newsmax. Perry has vowed to fight the indictment for abuse of power, insisting he acted within the law when he vetoed funds for the office of a prosecutor who was arrested for drunken driving.

Perry's case may be pure politics, Texas-style, while the arrest of Jenkins looks more like the mayor either has a pattern of bad luck, or bad decisions. Jenkins was arrested last week, the Free Beacon reported, as was Monticello Building Inspector James Snowden.

Jenkins is not the only member of Bloomberg's mayoral gun control group to run afoul of the law. Several mayors have gotten into trouble, and some have even been sentenced to prison. The list includes former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, both Democrats.

Meanwhile, Republican Perry has gotten plenty of traction for what may be another run at the White House in 2016, by showing leadership along the border with Mexico while the Obama administration has, at best, demonstrated ineptitude. Perry has been photographed riding on river patrol boats on the Rio Grande. Frustrated at the federal response to an invasion of illegal aliens, Perry took action.

There is much irony in these developments. Bloomberg, who has been spending small fortunes in attempts to unseat pro-gun politicians – he blew $150,000 in an unsuccessful attempt to beat pro-gun Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke last week – and protect two anti-gun Colorado state senators who were recalled last year, seems to have had bad luck with recruiting mayors to join his group.

Jenkins, like all other criminal suspects, should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Democrats salivating over Perry's problem in Texas should remember that.

17. [NC] Homeowner shoots bad guy [VIDEO]


This Guy Thought He Was Getting Away With An Easy Heist, But It Quickly Became His Worst Nightmare
Wayne County Sheriff's Office deputies indicate that...
by B. Christopher Agee
August 8, 2014

According to a report by WTVD, a woman in Goldsboro, N.C. was prepared to protect herself and her property when faced with an unwelcome early morning intruder this week.

Wayne County Sheriff's Office deputies indicate that Paige Ham became suspicious when she heard a noise that appeared to come from the back yard of her residence at about 4:30 Thursday morning. After instructing her roommate to call the police, she grabbed her gun and went outside to investigate.

Reports show she noticed that a lock that had been on the door of a storage building was missing. At that point, authorities said that a man ran out of the shed directly toward Ham.

She opened fire, according to deputies, and hit 28-year-old Christopher Todd Brogden. A WRAL report indicates that Ham fired once, hitting the suspect in the chest.

Brogden was transported to a Greenville hospital, where he was listed in stable condition as of Thursday evening. After he recuperated, authorities will officially charge him with burglary.

As for Ham, the 28-year-old will not face any charges related to the shooting.

While anti-gun activists claim that citizens are safer without constitutionally protected access to firearms, stories like this one seem to indicate that it is primarily criminals – not their victims – who benefit when law-abiding Americans are not armed.

Responses to the WTVD article overwhelmingly support Ham's decisive action against the intruder.

"Well if that don't teach Brodgen not to steal I don't know WHAT will," one commenter wrote. "Good job Paige!!!!!!"

Although Ham initiated a call to local authorities, without a gun, she and her roommate would have been at the mercy of deputies who could have been miles away from the home.

Instead, she was prepared to neutralize the threat and was able to do just that.

Owning a deadly weapon is an incredibly serious responsibility, but one our founding fathers felt was important enough to include in our Bill of Rights. Ham, now safe and secure in her home, is a perfect example of why Second Amendment supporters adamantly defend that right.

18. [UT] New laws: Teachers do not have to disclose if they are carrying

Utah so understands the importance of CHP holders being able to carry in schools. Teachers can carry, too. Now a clarification that says teacher do not have to disclose if they are legally carrying at school.

Meanwhile in Virginia we are still in the stone age when it comes to allowing CHP holders and teachers to carry in schools. Basically we are daring another sociopath, or ISIS, to turn one of our schools into a slaughterhouse.

Member George Overstreet emailed me this:



New laws: Teachers do not have to disclose guns
by Kate Murphy, News21
August 19, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — "Stop. Drop your weapon. Don't shoot."

Kasey Hansen yelled as she pointed her loaded handgun at a target's chest at a shooting range outside Salt Lake City.

"I want to protect my students," said Hansen, a special needs teacher in Utah. "I'm going to stand in front of a bullet for any student that is in my protection, and so I want another option to defend us."

Hansen carries her pink handgun, Lucy, with her every day to each of the 14 schools in which she teaches. The 26-year-old teacher works with elementary, middle and high school students with hearing impairments in the Granite School District.

She is one of an unknown number of armed teachers across the country. In 28 states, adults who legally own guns will be allowed to carry them in public schools this fall, from kindergarten classrooms to high school hallways. Seven of those states specifically cite teachers and other school staff as being allowed to carry guns in their schools.

A News21 examination of open-records laws in those states found that teachers or staff who choose to carry a firearm into their classrooms are not required to tell principals, other teachers or parents. Only five of those states have completely open access to concealed-carry permit information through public records requests. Some state's laws seal off those records, and others are silent on the issue.

In states where it is legal, parents may have no idea their child's teacher carries a gun into the classroom every day.

School administrations can gather the information, but they don't have to disclose it to anyone. From the office of the superintendent to a secretary's desk, there is no file that contains the information.

After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 in Newtown, Conn., the threat of an attack by an armed gunman in elementary and high schools prompted five states to give school administrators the authority to arm their teachers. In 2013, legislation was introduced in at least 33 states related to arming teachers or school staff, but of the more than 80 bills introduced, only Alabama, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas enacted laws related to public schools, according to a report by the Council of State Governments.

Connecticut law, which previously let school officials allow people other than police to carry in schools, was revised after Newtown, so only officers can carry guns on school grounds. Georgia passed a guns-in-schools bill this year. The other 22 of the 28 states allowing guns in schools had versions of such laws in place.

In some cases, school districts and boards can designate faculty to get specific training to carry. A few states, including Hawaii and New Hampshire, don't set policy in state law. In Utah and Rhode Island, anyone with a concealed-carry weapons permit can bring a firearm onto public school grounds.

Schools in some states, including Colorado and Arkansas, get around the law by employing teachers, administrators and other staff members as security officers, so they can be armed in the school. Most states allow guns in schools for approved programs and events sanctioned by the school.

In Utah, guns are commonplace in public. More than a half-million people hold a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Residents with a permit can legally carry almost anywhere in public, from elementary schools to restaurants and bars to municipal parks. Families pack rifles alongside sleeping bags in their camping gear, shooting ranges are popular date spots and Duck Hunt is more than just a video game.

The Utah law that allows anyone with a concealed-carry permit, including teachers, to carry on school property has been in place for more than a decade. A provision that would have restricted possession on school property was taken out of the bill when it passed.

Hansen got her concealed-carry permit a week or two after Sandy Hook and participated in a free training course offered to teachers. She then bought her pink-plated Cobra 380 handgun and started carrying it in her classrooms about seven months ago.

"I never really thought about it before Sandy Hook," said Hansen, who was teaching when she heard about the attack. "It just killed me. It's something personal when you mess with students or children, teachers take it very personally, and it's as if you were messing with one of our own."

Hansen has been a teacher for four years. She found her calling while taking an introduction to special education class at Brigham Young University-Idaho.

"We had to go out into the community and volunteer with special-needs people," Hansen said. "It was just that that made me fall in love with the special-ed kids, and I knew that's where I was meant to be."

Hansen grew up in Salt Lake City in a state with some of the loosest gun laws in the nation, but she wasn't raised in a gun-toting family. Teaching at multiple schools a day, Hansen drives around the school district in her white Mazda personalized with eyelashes on the headlights. She works one-on-one with each of her students on language skills, vocabulary and reading comprehension, among other subjects. All of Hansen's students have hearing aids or a cochlear implant, which could make an emergency situation particularly chaotic.

"It just kind of hit home that I'm a teacher, and I'm responsible for the students for x amount of hours a day, so I have to protect them," Hansen said. "I wouldn't ever leave my kids. I would 100% protect them."

Handling a gun and having the composure to fire it in the event of a shooter entering a school isn't part of the curriculum taught to education majors, nor are those responsibilities outlined in a teacher's handbook.

"I think every teacher should carry," Hansen said. "We are the first line of defense. Someone is going to call the cops, and they are going to be informed, but how long is it going to take for them to get to the school? And in that time, how many students are going to be affected by the gunman roaming the halls?"

"I'm not the best shot, but I can hit a target," Hansen said. She goes to the shooting range every couple of months to practice.

In the 10 years since teachers have been allowed to carry guns in Utah, no fatal K-12 school shootings have occurred. Some say schools aren't falling victim to attacks because of their unique, additional security measures. Others say guns in classrooms present more risk than potential for reward.

"I don't deny the fact that a gun could be used to protect students," Steven Gunn said, "but a gun in school is far more likely to lead to the harm of an innocent individual than to the protection of innocent people."

Gunn, a member of the board of directors of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, is a Holladay city councilman whose office in City Hall used to be in an old school building. Working there and going home every night to a wife who teaches at a junior high school give Gunn a sense of angst.

"A teacher could begin returning fire to a person who is attacking the school and in the process kill children," Gunn said. "It's just a very unhealthy, unsafe situation, and teachers, unless they receive special training, simply wouldn't know how to handle a crisis situation."

Gunn is concerned about the message armed teachers send.

"It creates the impression on the part of the student that he is in an unsafe environment and that it is necessary for people to protect him with firearms in his school," Gunn said. "They should have the feeling that where they are studying and where they are with other children is a safe environment. And by carrying a gun, a teacher gives the wrong impression that it is not."

Ten miles north of Holladay, Ted Hallisey stepped out of his forest-green Ford pickup at the south end of the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City. The volunteer physical education teacher walked up the stairs, thumbs tucked into the pockets of his blue jeans.

A cowboy head-to-toe in black Ariat boots, a black Stetson hat and a gold-plated 1999 Days of 47 Rodeo belt-buckle, Hallisey was a stark contrast to the building's white marble steps and pillars made of Utah granite. For Hallisey, it was important to address the school gun rights issue at the most official place where rights are supposed to be honored and discussed.

"Everybody is focused on individual rights. 'It's my right to carry a firearm.' But what about everybody else's right to be in a safe gun-free environment, especially in schools?" Hallisey asked. "How does that work where they say now your rights don't matter anymore?"

As a teacher and kid's health advocate, Hallisey says there is too much risk in arming a teacher or staff member.

"The likelihood of having to pull that weapon in an attack is pretty slim," Hallisey said. "The opportunity for them to have an accident carrying the weapon is a lot more pronounced and a lot more likely. I don't want that teacher to have an accident with their firearm while my student is in their class."

Hallisey was raised in the Western lifestyle in a rural area where guns were part of the family. His cowboy background combined with his educational experience tell him kids are best kept safe by avoiding the people who would do them harm.

"I don't see arming their teacher with making them feel more safe. It gives them this fear that every day I go to school, there could be an attack," Hallisey said. "We kind of want to put that out of their mind and just have the preparation instead of the reaction."

Down the street from the Capitol, stay-at-home mom April Jolley reloads Nerf guns for her sons in their eighth-floor apartment overlooking the Mormon temple in the heart of the city. Jolley, whose three young boys will attend Ensign Elementary School in Salt Lake City, said she would feel safe knowing her kid's teacher had a gun.

"I think, as teachers, you need to realize that your role is not only to teach them, but you really are like a parent to them," Jolley said, "You're protecting them from what could be there."

For Jolley, the fear of who could come in and attack outweighs the fear of a teacher using a gun in a situation where it wasn't necessary. A teacher having a gun in a classroom makes her feel safer as long as that teacher has training and knows how to properly use it, she said.

"I think it's better that they gave teachers one, as long as it's secured in a place that the kids can't get to it," Jolley said. "I don't think it would be a danger. If anything, it'd keep them more protected. They could take it out and protect their own students in the class."

For Jolley, whose oldest son will enter kindergarten in the fall, the fear of a school shooting is as prevalent as the fear of her kids being kidnapped.

"When they leave for school, I pray every morning that they're safe because you don't know what's going to happen every day," Jolley said. "And I am fearful, but it's not something I try to think about every day, because to me, it's by chance, it's not something you could prevent one way or the other."

Jolley said her kids see guns as more of a novelty, and they know that if they see one, they're not to touch it because they don't know whether it's loaded.

Schools make efforts to put more stringent security measures in place, including trained law enforcement officers, strict hall access rules, automatic locks on closed doors throughout the school day and additional emergency drills.

The National Parent Teacher Association has been active in the conversation about guns in schools and gun violence prevention. Although the PTA supports citizens' rights to bear arms, the organization wants restrictions in place to reduce violence and incidents that involve firearms. In its position statement on gun safety and violence prevention, which was adopted in 1999, the National PTA said the most effective day-to-day school climate is one that is gun-free.

In 2013, national education organizations responded to the tragedy in Newtown.

"As a result of the tragedy and proposals, National PTA amended its position statement to add that the association defers to local collaborative decision making to allow for the presence of armed law enforcement only," Heidi May, the National PTA media relations manager, said in an e-mail. "The preference of the association, however, is for schools to be gun-free."

Groups of teachers from around the country have weighed in. The National Education Association teacher union is composed of 3 million educators and considers itself the voice of professionals across the country. An NEA poll of 800 members in January 2013 found that educators opposed arming school employees. Only 22% of NEA members polled favored firearms training for teachers and other school employees and letting them carry firearms in schools; 61% strongly opposed the proposal.

Members of the Association of American Educators, the country's largest national, non-union professional teacher association expressed mixed feelings on safety and gun issues. The results of a poll conducted in February found 61% of those responding supported a proposed Arkansas policy that would allow educators access to a locked, concealed firearm after a training course.

"While we have not endorsed the policy in Arkansas, I think it's particularly telling to see that teachers are willing to consider these policies," said Alexandra Freeze, senior director of communication and advocacy at the AAE, in an e-mail. "While this might not be appropriate for a school in inner-city Detroit, a school miles away from first responders might find it a fit."

Despite the majority of members supporting firearms in schools under those circumstances, only 26% of surveyed teachers would consider bringing a firearm to school if permitted to do so.

Laws are passing in an attempt to reduce the recurrence and magnitude of deadly shootings in K-12 schools. Three-and-a-half years into this decade, more people have died in K-12 school shootings than the total in any other decade over the past 50 years. Since 2010, 60 children and faculty members were shot and killed in elementary, middle and high schools. There have been more school shootings — 24 since 2010 — than there were in the previous decade.

Teachers and other faculty aren't hired based on their reaction to a crisis situation or whether they've had adequate training to carry a firearm into their classroom. In most schools, teachers aren't packing a handgun with their lesson plans, and those that do keep it quiet.

"Nobody knows that I carry a gun in the school system," Hansen said. "I just don't tell people. It's safer that the students don't overhear or find out that I have a gun. They don't need to know, so parents, teachers and faculty don't need to know either."

Concealed-carry protocol provides that the gun is hidden from view, so no one should be able to determine whether a person is carrying.

"I keep it on me," Hansen said. "But of course, as females we like to wear skinny jeans, so I have to plan accordingly, and I have to wear clothing that will fit it."

While at school, Hansen keeps her handgun concealed in the small of her back or in the zippered compartment of the rhinestone-embellished pink purse she bought at a gun show. The purse matches her gun, Lucy.

"I based it on Despicable Me 2, on the spy who Gru falls in love with," Hansen said. "She's a secret agent spy, and she likes to carry her lipstick Taser or her weapons with her and uses them on the bad guys, so I named my gun Lucy after her."

Hansen says she sees herself as Lucy in a way. She protects herself and her students against any "bad guy" who might try to harm them. Her handgun has become more than a device to use against an attacker.

"My gun has become a part of me," Hansen said. "I named it, I take it shooting at the shooting range, and I always carry with me. It's just another accessory."

VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

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