NRA Stabs Virginia Gun Owner's in the Back

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Oct 19, 2003
Arlington, VA
Here's how the latest NRA back-stab went down:

1. Local gun owner's in Virginia rightfully challenged the lawfullness of unelected MWAA (Metro. Wash. Airports Authority) bureaucrats ignoring State law on concealed carry in non-secure areas of Dulles and Reagan National Airports (both located in Virginia),

2. Unelected bureaucrats at MWAA arrogantly claim to be above the Laws of the State of Virginia, despite contrary opinion offered by the Virginia State Atty. General, and provisions of the Virginia Constitution,

3. Unelected bureaucrats at MWAA begin to enforce their unlawfull regulations prohibiting concealed carry in non-secure areas of Dulles Airport and Reagan National, both located in VA and fully controlled by VA law,

4. NRA decides that it would be a good idea to help abolish concealed carry at ALL Virginia airports under Virginia law so that there would be no conflict between the carry situation at the MWAA airports and other VA airports, in order to prevent VA CCW permit holders from becoming "confused," despite the fact that VA CCW holders have been dealing with a patchwork of local laws for a long while.

NRA did little or nothing to help get shall-issue concealed carry in VA, and now have actively helped to limit it. Once it's lost Virginians will likely NEVER recover concealed carry at airports. Thanks NRA!

I want a refund on my NRA dues. Backstabbing wastes of oxygen.

Here's the VCDL e-mail on the subject:

I was going to delay responding to the new NRA/SB660 email until my
update on Friday. However, because of the sheer volume of people
cc'ing me what the NRA has said, I felt that it was better to reply
now. (The NRA email is at the end of this message in case you didn't
get one.)

The NRA is now in the mode of diverting attention from its position
on SB660 by blaming the victim for the crime. They even admit to
standing by while the crime was being committed.

As our vice-president said about the NRA email to our executive
members earlier today, "Well everyone, this is the reason that SB 660
is needed. It's all VCDL's fault. We're the bad guys. The NRA is

When the NRA, or anyone else, stands neutral on a bill, that is a
signal to the legislators to do as they wish - pass it, kill it -
doesn't matter. I could understand the NRA standing neutral on
something like photo-red bills. But NEUTRAL on a gun-control bill?
They didn't raise a finger to at least have permit holders exempted,

I had to laugh at the hypocrisy - the NRA now says that redressing
your grievances in front of a government body (as VCDL did with MWAA)
is "harassing" them. Sheesh.

Ladies and gentlemen, the NRA wanted to ignore MWAA's bad gun
regulations and hope that no one got arrested or prosecuted. But as
long as a law is on the books it can be enforced at any time and YOU
could find yourself in handcuffs with little recourse. VCDL prefers
not to stick its head in the sand. If there is a bad law, you push
to get it fixed and you educate your members so that they are aware
of the law and don't get trapped. You don't just sit on your hands.

SB660 does improve MWAA controlled airports (Reagan and Dulles) from
their existing regulations because you will be able to have a gun in
your car. As you read the NRA's response it is clear that Reagan and
Dulles are the only two airports that the NRA is interested in,
perhaps because those are the airports that the NRA uses. However,
SB660 does NOT improve the other airports, like Charlottesville,
Richmond and Norfolk, where permit holders can carry in the terminals
under current law and are going to lose that ability thanks to SB660.
Right now having a round of ammunition or even a BB in your pocket in
a non-MWAA terminal is not a crime, but under SB660 you can get
inadvertently trapped. I guess the rest of us who don't fly out of
Reagan or Dulles can just eat cake.

The NRA is saying that they want laws to be uniform, even if those
"uniform" laws uniformly disarm us. Thanks, but no thanks.

Our disagreement with MWAA was not an exercise in "harrasment," but a
necessary response to a monster Authority created by Virginia and the
District of Columbia. The bureaucrats that run this Authority
threatened thousands of people who travel into and through their
facilities with jail time for being in possession of a firearm or
ammunition. We take these situations seriously, not withstanding the
lack of vigorous enforcement of these regulations. Our criticism
ultimately brought an attempted legislative solution in the form of
SB660. At this stage we do not know all the players in this
controversy, but the plain language of this bill was unacceptable to
us. We could not defeat this bill, but we were able to get some
amendments to SB660 to soften the more Draconian provisions of this

While we did not win round one of this controversy, we were able to
convince some of our legislators in Richmond that there is a problem,
and in the near future, they are going to have to deal with an entity
that thinks it can create for itself laws which are more suitable for
New Jersey than Virginia. We will be there for that fight as well. We
hope the NRA and others will be there with us.


Thank you for contacting NRA-ILA. SB 660 is a bill that deals with
possession of firearms inside airport terminals. The origins of this
bill lie in the current regulations of the Metropolitan Washington
Airport Authority (MWAA), which administers Washington Dulles and
Reagan National Airport, the two major airports in Virginia. Since
1994, MWAA regulations have prohibited the possession of firearms by
non-ticketed passengers on all airport property, including the
terminal, parking lots, rental car areas, and in the case of
Washington Dulles, certain areas of Route 28. This little known
regulation had gone unenforced until the Virginia Citizens Defense
League (VCDL) began harassing the airport authority about MWAA's
policy. Given VCDL's questions, MWAA determined that if it did not
enforce the regulations it might lose its authority to implement and
enforce other regulations.

The NRA has no position on SB 660, and NRA does not support a
prohibition on concealed carry. NRA is, however, in favor of
protecting law-abiding gun owners from a patchwork of local laws and
regulations. NRA believes that uniform laws for all airports in the
Commonwealth of Virginia will prevent gun owners from violating the
law by committing an act which is legal at other airports in the


The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA), is a wholly
independent jurisdictional authority. MWAA cannot be altered or
influenced by its grantors (Virginia, the District of Columbia and the
federal government) without their consent, and is tasked with
operating and maintaining Reagan and Dulles airports.

Since January 1, 1994, MWAA has prohibited all "Dangerous Weapons"
from its property with express exception for air travelers in
conformity with federal law. As an independent authority created prior
to the Virginia firearm preemption law, state law has no impact on
MWAA property, but does control all other airports in Virginia. From
January 1, 1994 to the fall of 2003 there had never been a systematic
effort to enforce this rule. In the summer of 2003, VCDL began to
aggressively explore the legal status of gun possession at various
airports throughout Virginia, which caused several airport
administrations (MWAA included) to review their rules and regulations.
Following this action by VCDL, MWAA chose to begin blanket enforcement
of its policies on property under its control.

SB 660 Myth vs. Fact

SB 660 was introduced at the behest of airport administrators across
the state in direct response to VCDL's aggressive questioning of their
authority. The proposed law is less restrictive than that which has
controlled Reagan and Dulles since 1994. The bill, if passed, would
restrict any prohibition to the terminal, and makes an exception for
passengers checking baggage. The law would specifically allows
ticketed passengers to carry firearms, ammunition and other prohibited
weapons in accordance with FAA regulations. Unloaded, cased guns not
carried for air transit, have been illegal for a decade on any part of
Reagan and Dulles property.

NRA had no part in the original bill. The bill was created at the
behest of airport administrations in direct response to VCDL's
inquiries. NRA is neutral on the bill and NRA has done nothing to push
this legislation. NRA did, however, suggest several amendments to the
bill to address serious concerns about passengers traveling with
checked firearms and ammunition. All NRA supported amendments were
approved. We have pointed out problems with the legislation, as well
as any benefits to its passage-namely the consistency of airport
regulations from one site to another. In addition, NRA has worked with
legislators in an effort to get MWAA to change its regulations

VCDL has made a number of claims regarding SB 660, including the

* No carry in terminal non-sterile areas, not even with a permit

* No ammunition in checked luggage or anywhere on or about your person

* No other weapons - no hunting knives or any other weapon in checked

luggage or on your person

* Airports non-sterile areas where you can carry now will be

off-limits with this state-wide ban

* "Air carrier airport terminal" is not defined and could be

stretched to be almost anything

* A single bullet in your pocket when you enter the terminal to great

a guest could get you jail time

The reality is there is no concealed or open carry in any part of the
two major airports in Virginia and there hasn't been for a decade.
Ammunition is not restricted under the bill after an amendment was
adopted at NRA's behest. There is no change on weapons in checked
luggage (firearms and knives are not restricted under the bill after
an amendment was adopted at NRA's request). Despite claims to the
contrary, there is no part of the state's two major airports where you
can carry concealed or otherwise. The term "Air carrier airport
terminal" is the terminal building and all secure areas beyond it
only. It is an accepted term in common usage within the industry and
is legally defined as such without a statute.


The key issues here have been law for ten years. Under the current
regulations, it is entirely possible that a gun owner could be
arrested at an airport in Virginia for engaging in an activity that is
lawful at another airport in Virginia. Under SB 660, the prohibition
on firearms and other weapons is limited to the terminal and will not
include parking areas, rental car lots, or sections of Route 28. The
law will specifically allows ticketed passengers to carry firearms,
ammunition and other prohibited weapons in accordance with FAA
regulations. Again, NRA does not support further restrictions on
concealed carry and NRA is neutral on this bill.


So under SB660, Virginians will have the more restrictive MWAA regulations instituted as LAW statewide, Why can't the thick-headed wastes of gravity at NRA understand this point? We Virginians LOSE under SB660.

I am so damn sorry that I ever joined the NRA.
SB660 is not a done deal yet--we have to keep the pressure on, even with the active opposition of the N:barf: R:barf: A:barf: The House of Delegates hasn't agreed, although they're up to their eyeballs with budget/tax fights right now.


TFL Survivor

This just in from VCDL?Phil VanCleave:

"I just learned that moments ago Delegate Lingamfelter put an
amendment on SB660 that allows permit holders to pickup or drop off a
passenger in the terminal! And the bill with that amendment has
PASSED the House! I have not seen the actual wording but I will
share it with you when I get it. VCDL Director Jim Kadison is there
and reported this information verbally, which I confirmed by calling
Delegate Lingamfelter's office."

And you know what's great? Lingamfelter is not only my Delegate, but an old friend. I was just a tad direct with my message to him, like "Have you lost your freakin' mind down there in Richmond?"
:D :D :D

TFL Survivor
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