Virginia Shooting Sports Association Election Edition
Virginia – -(Ammoland.com)- Tomorrow Americans will once again go to the voting booth to choose our elected representatives.
There are many issues to consider this year but VSSA urges all gun owners and sportsmen to put our firearms freedom and sporting heritage at the top of the list of your issue considerations. Below you will find a Gun Owners' Voter Guide.
The information provided is a combination of the NRA Political Preference Chart and in those cases where VSSA has worked with candidates, a recap of what those candidates have done for gun owners at the state level.
VSSA is a state association and generally does not issue endorsements in federal elections. However, we do want to keep you informed to help you make decisions that affect your right to keep and bear arms.
The information below is compiled for that purpose. VSSA did not consider third party candidates. Remember, polls open at 6:00 am and close at 7:00 PM. You can find you polling place here.
Gun Owners Guide to 2010 Congressional Election
1st Congressional District
- Rob Wittman (R) – Incumbent, NRA-PVF Rating – A
- Krystal Ball (D) NRA-PVF Rating – C
Rob Wittman has been a good friend of gun owners beginning with his time in the Virginia General Assembly. He has been a reliable friend in congress as well. Congressman Wittman is also a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. Rob Wittman is the clear choice in this race and deserves the vote of gun owners and sportsmen.
2nd Congressional District
- Scott Rigell (R) NRA-PVF Rating – AQ
- Glenn Nye (D) -Incumbent – NRA-PVF Rating – A
Scott Rigell is a businessman and first time candidate. He responded to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and earned an AQ rating based on his responses. Congressman Glenn Nye is seeking a second term. In his first term he has had only a few opportunities to vote on firearm related bills or amendments and voted for the rights of gun owners. Nye also signed a letter with 60 some fellow Democrats telling Attorney General Eric Holder not to try to reinstate the so-called “Assault Weapons” ban. Nye also signed the congressional amicus brief supporting Otis McDonald in McDonald vs. Chicago
. He is also a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus
3rd Congressional District
- Chuck Smith (R) – NRA-PVF Rating – AQ
- Robert “Bobby” Scott – (D) Incumbent – NRA-PVF Rating – D+
This district is one of the most gerrymandered in the Commonwealth and Scott rarely gets less than 65% of the vote Scott has never been a friend to gun owners, even back in his days as a member of the Virginia General Assembly. Chuck Smith has been a political activist in the district for a number of years and faces an uphill battle but he has run a spirited campaign and in year where pundits are looking as a near tidal wave that may change the party in majority control of the House of Representatives Smith's supporters believe this could be Scott's first real challenge. Smith has expressed support for the individual right to keep and bear arms and received an “AQ” rating based on the responses on his candidate questionnaire. Based on his stated positions and the NRA-PVF rating, Chuck Smith is the clear choice in the 3rd District and gun owners and sportsmen in the third should vote for Chuck Smith on November 2nd.
4th Congressional District
- Randy Forbes (R) Incumbent – NRA-PVF Rating “A”
- Wynne LeGrow (D) NRA-PVF Rating “?”
The 4th is another district where gun owners and sportsmen have a true champion of the rights of gun owners and sportsmen. Congressman Randy Forbes has been a friend of gun owners all the way back to his days in the House of Delegates and the State Senate. Forbes voted to reform Virginia's concealed carry law from “may issue” to “shall issue.” He has cast numerous other votes supporting our rights. Forbes also signed the congressional amicus briefs supporting Richard “Dick” Heller in Heller vs. D.C. and Otis McDonald in McDonald vs. Chicago. Forbes's opponent however is a big question mark. He even failed to return the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire which typically demonstrates indifference or outright hostility to the right to keep and bear arms. Randy Forbes is the clear choice for gun owners and sportsmen in the 4th District.
5th Congressional District
- Robert Hurt (R) – NRA-PVF Rating “A”
- Tom Perriello (D) Incumbent – NRA-PVF Rating “A”
This is one of the most watched races in the country. In 2008, Perriello defeated incumbent Virgil Goode by 727 votes while John McCain was winning the district handily. This year, two NRA-PVF “A” rated candidates are vying to represent the district. Like 2nd District Congressman Glenn Nye, Perriello has had few chances to vote with gun owners but when he had the opportunity, he supported our rights. He also signed the “assault weapons” ban letter to Holder and signed the congressional amicus brief supporting Otis McDonald in McDonald vs. Chicago.
State Senator Robert Hurt as an impressive record in the General Assembly. As a member of the House of Delegates Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee, he voted 100% with gun owners. He voted to expand reciprocal concealed handgun permit (CHP) agreements with other states, voted for full preemption of firearms laws which invalidated all remaining local gun control ordinances, voted for the first partial roll back of handgun rationing which allows CHP holders to purchase more than one handgun a month, and he voted for VSSA's signature bill, HB2282 in 2005 which made it harder for localities to close gun ranges due to noise complaints. There is no question that Senator Hurt has been a good friend to gun owners.
After the NRA-PVF endorsed Perriello, VSSA heard from a number of gun owners who were not happy with the endorsement. NRA-PVF has what is commonly referred to as an “incumbent friendly” endorsement policy when the incumbent has been good on our issue. NRA has gone to great lengths this year to explain their endorsement policy. Besides the explanation on the NRA-ILA web site, Chris Cox, Executive Director of the NRA-ILA, sat down for an interview with National Review's Jim Geraghty. Cox said at that time that NRA is a single issue organization. He continued: “there are a lot of other issues that voters have to address, particularly in a year like this; they're looking at fiscal issues, they're looking at the health-care issue. We encourage our members to put it in the forefront of their decision-making, and that's proven to be a very effective, a very fair, and credible way for NRA to be positioned to help the rights of our members.”
6th Congressional District
- Robert “Bob” Goodlatte (R) Incumbent – NRA-PVF Rating “A”
Congressman Goodlatte has been a friend to gun owners his entire time in office. He is a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. Congressman Goodlatte has no major party opposition this year. Goodlate deserves the support of gun owners and sportsmen in the 6th District. Goodlatte is endorsed by the NRA-PVF.
7th Congressional District
- Eric Cantor (R) Incumbent – NRA-PVF Rating “A”
- Rick Waugh (D) – NRA-PVF Rating “?”
Eric Cantor has been a true champion of gun owners all the way back to his days in the Virginia House of Delegates. He voted for concealed handgun permit reform in 1995 as well as many other numerous pro-rights bills. In Congress, he has continued his support of gun owners. He is a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus and he signed the congressional amicus briefs supporting repeal of the D.C. and Chicago gun bans before the U.S. Supreme Court. During the Heller case, Cantor sponsored a web site called Support the Second, urging gun owners to sign an online petition supporting the individual right to keep and bear arms.
Rick Waugh is another question mark. He failed to return the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire. After the U.S. Supreme Court decision in McDonald vs. Chicago, Waugh posted a statement on his web site supporting the decision that sounded more like talking points from the Brady Campaign than support for ruling. Eric Cantor has been a longtime supporter of the rights of gun owners and sportsmen and deserves our vote on November 2nd. Cantor is endorsed by the NRA-PVF.
8th Congressional Distirct.
- Patrick Murray (R) – NRA-PVF Rating “B-“
- Jim Moran (D) Incumbent – NRA-PVF Rating “F”
Jim Moran is no friend to gun owners as his “F” rating attests. Patrick Murray has not held office and received a “B-” rating on his NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire. Even though Murray does not have a perfect score on his questionnaire, a “B-” rating trumps an “F” rating so gun owners in the 8th District should support Patrick Murray.
9th Congressional District
- Morgan Griffith (R) NRA-PVF Rating “A”
- Rick Boucher (D) Incumbent – NRA-PVF Rating “A+”
This is another race where gun owners cannot go wrong with either candidate. Rick Boucher has been a good friend of gun owners in his long congressional career. He opposed the Clinton gun ban as one of his signature votes supporting gun owners. Most recently, he signed the letter Attorney General Eric Holder not to try to reinstate the so-called “Assault Weapons” ban. Boucher also signed the congressional amicus brief supporting Otis McDonald in McDonald vs. Chicago. Boucher is endorsed by the NRA-PVF.
Delegate Morgan Griffith has also created an impressive record protecting the rights of gun owners as a member of the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee in the Virginia General Assembly. Delegate Griffith has been a go-to legislator when VSSA is working to pass good legislation and kill bad legislation. Griffith has voted for bills that expand the rights of CHP holders, including the most recent repeal of the “Restaurant Ban” which allows people to carry concealed in restaurants like Applebees and Olive Garden that serve alcohol in addition to food. Griffith voted for full preemption as well as for VSSA's range protection legislation. Voters in the 9th District have two candidates that understand the rights of gun owners.
10th Congressional District
- Frank Wolf (R) Incumbent – NRA-PVF Rating “B+”
- Jeffery Barnett (D) NRA-PVF Rating “?”
Frank Wolf has been endorsed by the NRA-PVF. While he does not have a perfect rating on our issue, his opponent did not even feel it was important to return his candidate questionnaire. Wolf has stood with us more than he has voted against us. He is a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. Gun owners in the 10th District should vote for Frank Wolf on November 2nd.
11th Congressional District
- Keith Fimian (R) NRA-PVF Rating – “AQ”
- Gerald “Gerry” Connolly – NRA-PVF Rating “F”
Voters in the 11th Congressional District know well that Gerry Connolly is no friend to gun owners. Keith Fimian has committed to support the rights of law abiding gun owners. Last week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg inserted himself into the race when a Bloomberg front group began running ads against Fimian wanting to know why “he does not take a stand to close the ‘gun show loophole.'” Gun owners have a clear choice in this race and that choice is Keith Fimian. Fimian is endorsed by the NRA-PVF.
The Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA) was originally founded as the Virginia State Rifle and Revolver Association in 1938. VSSA is the official state association of the National Rifle Association. VSSA is also closely affiliated with the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), Virginia Outdoor Sports Information Network (VOSIN), National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Virginia Gun Collectors Association, and the Virginia Wildlife Federation (VWF). Visit: www.myvssa.org