Virginia Castle Doctrine & Constitutional Carry Reports

Virginia Flag
Virginia Castle Doctrine & Constitutional Carry Reports

Virginia –-( VA Gun Owners: The good news is that Castle Doctrine passed the Senate but Constitutional Carry is being killed by its bill sponsor Mark Cole.

Castle Doctrine moves to the House.

The Senate vote is below.

YEAS–Black, Blevins, Carrico, Garrett, Hanger, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Norment, Northam, Obenshain, Petersen, Puckett, Reeves, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Stosch, Stuart, Vogel, Wagner, Watkins–23.

NAYS–Barker, Colgan, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Herring, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McEachin, Miller, J.C., Miller, Y.B., Puller, Saslaw–17.

Constitutional Carry was going to be carried by some freshman delegates who got elected with my support but they got talked out of it by Republican Party Boss William Howell. He convinced them to let one of his trusted chairmen, Mark Cole, run the bill. Now where is HB 139? No where! Not even assigned to a committee for a vote. Why because Howell can’t trust the Democrats to kill the bills he wants killed. That’s right!

HB 1052 allowing carry at airport baggage claims and ticket counters passed out of the kill committee 3-2.

Because an anti-gun Democrat was tired of Republican Party Boss Howell’s game of sending a bill he wants killed to a tiny sub-committee of 5 to be killed by 2 pro-gun delegates and 3 anti-gun delegates. Three cheers for the smart Democrat.

That is funny enough in and of itself but what is really hysterical and a story for the  – Political Museum of 2nd Amendment Absurdities – is Republican Party Boss lap dog Mark Cole’s explanation to VGOC members as to why he sponsored a bill he planned to kill by doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – – nothing except insure that a new delegate did not run the bill and get a recoded vote.

Below is Cole’s explanation with my interpretation in italics and parentheses.


From: Mark Cole [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2012 11:31 AM
To: Ron Browne
Subject: Re: HB 139 Constitutional Carry.

Thank you for contacting me regarding HB 139. First let me say that no gun group (you and all the other members of VGOC who contacted me don’t count) or organization has contacted me with a request to discharge the committee considering HB 139. Unfortunately, I do not expect HB 139 to get a hearing this session (Because I intend to do nothing). It has a negative fiscal impact on state revenues, and since the budget is tight, even if it were to pass the Militia and Police Committee it would be sent to Appropriations where it would die due to lack of (Actually it won’t require funds but might lose some revenue and obviously taxes are more important than constitutional rights.)

Also, some legislators who are normally pro-gun, and whose votes we need for passage, are not sure HB 139 is a good idea. (They like being able to access your name in a government data base to use at election time to get your vote or raise money talking about how pro-gun they are). Sometimes ideas need to simmer a while before people eventually come around. It took nearly a decade (Which involved much pressure to discharge and multiple mailings into Senator Hanger’s District exposing him for actually killing the bill several times to protect anti-gun Republicans from voting on the record) to get enough people to come around to repeal the restaurant ban. (Please try to forget that we had to wait to get a Democrat Senate Majority so that Hanger could no longer protect his anti-gun Republicans thus giving him an opportunity to run the bill and clean his skirts) The same for repealing one-gun-a-month, but we are on the verge of passing it.

If we had pushed too hard like some lobbyists had demanded back then, all it would have done was harden the opposition (Please don’t get mad at me for trying to blame gun owners for wanting their gun rights restored) and we would not have gotten them passed at all. (Please believe me when I say that all of us down here vote for what’s right not what makes our party bosses happy by keeping them in office by keeping controversial votes off the record. And please don’t talk to those lobbyists who threatened Senator Hanger’s job and motivated him to run the bill to clean his skirts.)

In Proverbs 25:15 the Bible offers us some good advice on what it takes to sway people on issues like this, patience and gentle persuasion. (Please don’t notice that this is in reference to kings who cannot be voted out of office even though patience and a soft tongue actually do break the political backbones of politicians when they think their job is on the line. The judge in Luke 18 is instructive but please don’t read that. And please don’t walk softly and carry a big stick when you approach me. It scares me.) It will probably take several years to get HB 139 passed IF we approach it correctly. If not, then it will never pass. (Which is really my plan and please don’t ask me why I ran the bill. It would embarrass me.)

I am pleased to report that 3 of my 4 gun bills are moving forward in the House this year (HB 22, HB 25, and HB 26). (I love to sponsor minor bills that are not controversial.) As I mentioned before, the House has passed a repeal of one gun a month and two years ago we were successful in repealing e restaurant ban. 2nd Amendment rights are moving forward in the Commonwealth!

I guarantee you that NONE of that would have happened had pro-gun legislators bowed to pressure from some gun lobbyists to make futile attempts to discharge committees (Please believe this because it will help me continue to sponsor legislation that I have no intention of even getting a hearing on. It is critical that I continue to teach gun owners what my party boss wants them to do. Remember I represent the party boss not gun owners. And please don’t ask me why in the world I sponsor bills that don’t even get a committee hearing, it will make me look foolish.) and add non-germane floor amendments to other bills. (And of course please don’t remind me that what is germane is what the Speaker rules to be germane.) Not every gun lobbyist knows how to get legislation through. In fact, some do more harm than good. (Because they won’t play by the rules we use to screw them.)

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Mark L. Cole
Delegate, 88th District
Spotsylvania, Stafford, Fredericksburg, and Fauquier

ACTION ITEM: Email Mark Cole at [email protected] the following:

Dear Mr. Cole,

Please don’t ever run Constitutional Carry again. We need someone who will use the rules to get recorded votes. We will never get controversial legislation passed if we never get votes on the record for use at election time. We hate losing but we would rather lose with a recorded vote than lose by sitting around waiting for ideas to “simmer”.

For Liberty,
Mike McHugh
President, VGOC

About Virginia Gun Owners Coalition

Virginia Gun Owners Coalition is Virginia’s only no-compromise, non-partisan gun lobby patterned after Gun Owners of America on Capitol Hill. VGOC is a non-profit tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(4) of the IRS code. Because we lobby politicians to protect and defend the 2nd Amendment, contributions are not tax deductible for IRS purposes. Visit: