(Anti-gun drivel) NRA hit bull’s-eye with Va. lawmakers


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Desertdog
August 9, 2004, 06:14 PM
NRA hit bull’s-eye with Va. lawmakers
http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=74045&ran=43797

The Virginian-Pilot


Northern Virginians can be forgiven for thinking that Virginia’s tourism slogan needs an update.

“Virginia Is For GUN Lovers” looks more and more like the appropriate theme. Lately, members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League have been turning up at restaurants and shopping centers wearing guns strapped to their hips.

Nothing in Virginia law prevents such public displays, even in establishments where alcohol is served, so long as the tavern owners don’t overtly object. But according to news accounts, it’s been an unsettling sight for some of the clientele.

No kidding.

Maybe law-abiding gun-owners feel safer when they’re packing heat. But fellow diners have no idea whether they’re seated next to Wyatt Earp or Billy the Kid.

Then last weekend, Fairfax County witnessed its first major gun show in decades. Since the 1940s, the populous county has had a local ordinance requiring a three-day wait for gun purchases. That pretty much put an end to gun shows, which are typically two-day affairs.

Thanks to Virginia’s gun-friendly General Assembly, however, the waiting period is kaput. Last winter, lawmakers overturned a grandfather clause that protected the Fairfax law and some others. The result was a weekend gun show described by The Washington Post as “a thousand tables covered with enough guns to arm a militia.”

The locals won’t be reassured to know that many of those guns were probably sold without background checks. The 2004 General Assembly defeated a bill closing the so-called “gun-show loophole” in a Virginia law that requires police checks on most gun purchasers.

While that worthy bill was failing, more than a dozen proposals loosening Virginia’s handle on firearm sales enjoyed a different fate. In its August magazine, the National Rifle Association boasted of “an extraordinary legislative session in Virginia.” Gov. Mark Warner, who cultivates his distinction as an NRA-tolerant Democrat, even merited a picture. Fortunately, the gun news from the 2004 session wasn’t all bleak. Gun-control advocates almost got a bill closing the gun-show background-check-loophole through the Senate — though it surely would have been drawn-and-quartered in the House.

Virginia Beach Sen. Ken Stolle led a successful effort to keep guns out of airports. And one of the NRA’s favorites — allowing patrons to carry concealed weapons in restaurants that sell alcohol — got nowhere.

That mixed bag illustrates how divided Virginia remains over gun issues.

Unfortunately, the stronger hand still appears to rest with the House Committee on Militia and Police. Even a bill prohibiting individuals convicted of stalking or sexual battery from owning a gun failed 13-8 in that stronghold.

One advantage of the growing gun-rights activism in Northern Virginia is that it may open eyes to the extent of the NRA’s influence in Virginia.

Without vigilance, the next target could be Virginia’s much-heralded, one-gun-a-month purchase limit. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, pictured next to Warner in the NRA magazine “American Rifleman,” recently signed into law repeal of the nation’s first such purchase limit.

Virginia’s law, enacted in reaction to gun-running from Virginia to New York and other northeastern states in the early 1990s, passed close on the heels of South Carolina’s.

Fairfax County residents are getting a firsthand taste of the NRA’s success in repealing old gun-control laws.

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Standing Wolf
August 9, 2004, 09:49 PM
One advantage of the growing gun-rights activism in Northern Virginia is that it may open eyes to the extent of the NRA’s influence in Virginia.

One sincerely hopes more people will join the NRA!

Incidentally, guns don't have rights. Only people have rights.

countertop
August 10, 2004, 01:03 AM
I bought my Marlin 336 with a background check at the gun show. In fact, I only saw 2 tables selling "modern" firearms that weren't requiring background checks - but I couldn't reach an acceptable price with them so I didn't buy from them.

Judging from their prices and selection - I would guess that they didn't sell too many guns.

Not sure if the guys selling $20k Winchesters and Henry's wanted background checks - though at those prices, their purchasers ar emore likely to be supporting Waffles and Grits than Bush and Company

ojibweindian
August 10, 2004, 09:21 AM
Hehehehe

All I can say to the author is tough ****.

:D

Flyboy
August 10, 2004, 02:41 PM
enough guns to arm a militia.

Well, I should certainly hope so!

JPL
August 10, 2004, 02:56 PM
I really wish I had been able to get to that show.

From what Mike Irwin has told me it was something to behold.

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