By John Crump
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- In the run up to the 2015 general elections in Virginia Democrats ran heavily on gun control.
Their plan was to take over the Virginia legislature and enact tough new gun control laws in the Commonwealth.
Their plan hedged on winning enough seats in Northern Virginia, because Northern Virginia is more left leaning than other parts of the state. The campaigns were partially financed by such organizations as Any Town USA and other Michael Bloomberg anti-gun groups.
Virginia has been a traditionally gun friendly state. On election night it proved it still was firmly behind the second amendment even in the left leaning north. The Democrats and gun grabbers were dealt a serious blow to their plan. They were soundly defeated in part due to their anti-gun stance.
Virginians breathed a sigh of relief because they figured their gun rights were safe from the over reaching grab of the government.
Then San Bernardino happened. Terry Mcauliffe, Governor of Virginia, took plays out of two of his heroes books. First he took Rahm Emanuel’s advice and “never let a tragedy go waste”, and second he took Obama’s advice and used his pen to declare an emergency order. The order banned firearms from all state buildings and property.
Just like Obama has been known to bypass congress when things don’t go his way, Mcauliffe bypassed the state legislature.
There was no threat against any politician or state building. There was no reason for an emergency order. This was Mcauliffe exploiting the terrorist attack in San Bernardino in order to push his political ideology. Mcauliffe's explanation is that Virginians want “common sense” gun laws, but the previous election showed that Virginians do not support more gun laws by voting down the anti-gun candidates.
There was a small outcry, but most people accepted it and moved on. There were a few that felt this was Mcauliffe testing the waters to see what he could get away with. Since this didn’t affect most Virginians, the people didn’t care. News articles ran and said it was not a big deal. This seemed to give the administration the go ahead to go on the offensive against guns, even if it was going against the will of the people.
Then two days before Christmas Mark Herring, the Attorney General of Virginia, announced that Virginia would terminate reciprocity agreements for concealed handguns with 25 states. He did this under the guise of keeping people safe. His argument is that these 25 states do not have tough enough gun laws on concealed handgun permits. This would make sense if that was actually true (hint: It isn’t), and if Virginia wasn’t an open carry state.
A person can walk down the street with a handgun on their waist without having any type of permit. All the concealed handgun permit does is let you cover up your firearm. By not recognizing those 25 states permits the Attorney General did not prevent people from those states from carrying weapons in Virginia. Those people still could be armed in Virginia. Plus, in my research, I could not find one instance of any of those people committing a crime.
Criminals do not follow the law. People with permits went through a criminal background check and therefore are not criminals and follow the laws.
Let's compare Virginia’s requirements to one of the states that is no longer recognized. Virginia requires a class (it can be online), be 21, and go through a background check to receive your concealed handgun permit. That is it. You bring your certificate and your money to the court house and wait. In a few days to a few weeks your permit will arrive and you will be able to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia and many other states.
Now for comparison let’s look at Alaska requirements. Alaska is one of the states losing reciprocity with Virginia. You must have completed a class within the last 12 months, go through a background check, be fingerprinted, and submit photos. Even though there is every indication that Alaska’s concealed carry laws are stronger than Virginia's, Mark Herring considers them to be weaker. It is not only Alaska, almost every one of the 25 states have equal or stronger gun laws than Virginia.
So, what is the gun banners' end game? Well, it is three fold.
The first is to stop people who are big into the second amendment from coming to the state. It is to make the environment so toxic to those 6.3 to 7.3 million Americans that they will go elsewhere. This will cost Virginia money. If only 1% of the people do not come to Virginia because as of February 1st, 2015 that would be mean Virginia will lose about $30 million in tourist money. Cutting reciprocity is not only bad for our civil rights, but is bad for Virginia’s economy, but it is good for Herrings and Mcauliffe’s future in the Democratic party because they can say they stood up to “The Big Bad Wolf” (NRA).
The second reason is to get other states to drop reciprocity with Virginia. This will not only prevent people from other states from carrying concealed in Virginia, but will prevent Virginians to carry concealed in other states. Tennessee has already stated that if Virginia stops recognizing it’s concealed handgun permit that it will not recognize Virginia’s CHP. This will be the first of many states playing right into Herring's hand. The only option for Virginians is that they would have to get a Florida or Utah CHP which will cost about $120 in filing fees. Plus, this does not include the needed classes.
The third reason is the most scary. The gun grabbers are testing the waters. They are seeing how far they push the citizens before the citizens revolt.
This is just the start of the gun grabbing movement. There will be more emergency orders. There will be more reinterpretation of the laws. Each time it will be reported as “not a big deal.” Magazine capacity, not a big deal . Assault weapons ban, not a big deal. Background checks for ammunition, not a big deal. Total confiscation and gun ban, not a big deal. Loss of the Second Amendment, not a big deal.
All hope is not lost though. There are things that can be done, but we require your help. We can’t do this alone. The first and easiest thing to do is sign the petition on Change.org to reinstate reciprocity. We have no doubt Herring and Mcauliffe will not reinstate reciprocity, but it does let them know the people are waking up. If you are in Virginia you can also sign the recall petition for Herring on Google Docs. We need 505,000 signatures. All links are found below
After that the next step will be to join a group and get active. The NRA is a must, but there are other groups that are fighting for your rights. The Virginia Citizens Defense League is very vocal and active. Modern American Shooting & Firearms and various 3% groups are out there fighting for your rights. The 3% United Patriots of Virginia is working overtime fighting against an over-reaching government. Joining a group and getting involved will send a message to politicians that you are off the bench and in the game. The time for waiting on the side-lines is over.
We can win this fight, but we need your help.
- Change.org Petition : https://goo.gl/r6Ri83
- Petition to recall Mark Herring (Virginia Residents Only) : https://goo.gl/DTjXEE
- MASF : https://goo.gl/xMj3t7
- 3% United Patriots : http://www.3percent.org/
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and The Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.