Virginia and Rhode Island Still Frisky on Gun Control Despite Rally

Pro Gun Rally Virginia

A man walks in the crowd during a pro-gun rally, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Thousands of pro-gun supporters are expected at the rally to oppose gun control legislation like universal background checks that are being pushed by the newly elected Democratic legislature. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

This is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal and legislative news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights. For a deeper dive into the topics discussed here, check out this week in gun rights at FPC

Second Amendment rally-goers protected from appropriate attire

Turnout for Lobby Day in Virginia was massive with thousands of gun owners from several states traveling to Richmond, Virginia to show opposition to the state legislature’s slew of new gun control laws, and support for the natural rights of Virginians.

The event was virtually issue-free, and protestors even picked up their own trash at the end. Out of the thousands of people present, only one was arrested; a 21-year-old female who was charged with a felony for violating a law dating back to the Civil Rights era which forbids people from wearing a mask in public for the purpose of concealing one’s identity.

As for why the young woman was wearing the mask, temperatures that day ranged from 25 to 36 degrees, with winds averaging about 12 miles per hour. Scores of individuals were wearing masks, including law enforcement.

Guns Save Life photo by Dale Lock.

Reports indicate the woman who was charged was asked to remove the mask and did not, but again, scores of people, and law enforcement, were wearing similar cold weather gear. The law was intended to de-mask klansmen and includes a clear exception for situations where wearing a mask is “deemed necessary for the physical safety of the wearer or other persons.”

We aren’t completely aware of all of the circumstances, but wouldn’t be terribly surprised were this a case of state actors perverting the law to give force to their own whims or fragile egos.

Demonstrators stand outside a security zone before a pro gun rally, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Virginia House Democrats shoot down pro-gun legislation, Senate passes first round

Despite the aforementioned protest, the Virginia House Democrats defeated two proposed bills, HB 1470 and 1471, which would have permitted individuals to carry firearms in a house of worship as well as to carry without a permit if otherwise eligible to obtain a concealed carry permit. Both bills were voted down along party lines with the exception of one Republican who voted against permitless carry.

Not only have Virginia Democrats left Virginians of faith vulnerable to assault, but they are also on track to enact legislation to drive up the cost of gun ownership in Virginia.

The first two pieces of legislation to pass the Senate (on purely partisan lines) are bills 70 and 35. SB 70 mandates universal background checks for “any sort of firearm transfer, sale or not,” while SB 35 enables localities to place still more restrictions on firearms possession. The third bill, SB 69, limits the number of handguns people are permitted to buy per month, “with exceptions being entities like law enforcement.”

There are a number of problems with these bills. SB 70, for instance, harms the poor by increasing both the burden and direct cost of firearms transfers. Even if the exchange is a gift from a family member to another, the individual receiving the firearm will have to find the time and money to travel to a dealer and bear the attendant fee.

SB 35 sows the seed for local governments to trod upon constitutional rights with no oversight, making a minefield of intrastate travel for gun owners. Finally, SB 69 arbitrarily limits regular Virginians while exempting “special people” like law enforcement, despite no evidence that law enforcement are any “safer” than ordinary people.

These bills won’t reduce crime or make anybody safer, but they will negatively impact regular citizens. Particularly those in vulnerable communities.

rhode island gun control blue card

Bigstock

Rhode Island pushing for destruction of safety training cards

Obtaining a firearm in New England is an oft laborious process, and Rhode Island is no exception. Prior to buying a blaster in The Ocean State, applicants must participate in a firearms training course, completion of which earns what is commonly known as a “Blue Card.”

Under current law, the department managing these records is required to destroy applications within 30 days of submission. Unsurprisingly under the pretext of public safety, the state’s various police forces are complaining that this makes it difficult to track firearms owners.

Well shucks. It’s almost as if you aren’t supposed to be doing that.

Complaints about the process arose after an elderly man used a firearm to murder one and injure two others prior to committing suicide. The police, in their infinite wisdom, somehow impute that had this maniac obtained a firearm safety card (he had), he wouldn’t have committed murder.

Despite how laughable that argument is, Rhode Island’s governor assembled a panel to investigate “gun violence,” (#DOSOMETHING) which predictably recommended that the state establish and maintain a database of Blue Cards.

Effectively tracking gun owners is not only a waste of taxpayer dollars, but will likely have no impact on violent crime while placing the state in a position to more efficiently execute firearms confiscations down the road, leak personal information, and otherwise. Those are not doubt seen as features rather than bugs by the bill’s proponents.

Ghost Guns

(Office of Attorney General of New Jersey via AP)

Rhode Island Senate Committee spooked by “ghost guns”

In another act of sheer Plantation State genius, the Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill on Tuesday that would “make it illegal in Rhode Island for any person to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer or receive any firearm that is [wholly] made from plastic, fiberglass or through a 3D printing process.”

Senate Bill 2004 also bans “ghost guns,” which will not include firearms that aren’t required to have a serial number in compliance with the 1968 Gun Control Act. Having been passed, the bill is now headed for the House Judiciary Committee.

Rhode Island’s obsession with homemade arms is nothing short of weird. Homemade firearms are virtually unrepresented in Rhode Island crime statistics. Second, “wholly plastic” firearms are already federally regulated, and further regulation is dumb.

Third, the Gun Control Act exempts non-FFL firearm builders from the serial number requirement anyway. Inquiring minds want to know what’s behind Rhode Island’s fetishistic fixation with homemade firearms, because whatever it is, it sure ain’t based in fact or data.

3D AK receiver

Plastikov AK receiver (Courtesy Ivan the Troll and Gunstreamer)

Rogue arms enthusiast develops hi-powered plastic pistol

Somewhere in this country lives Ivan the troll, a rogue gunsmith and 3D printing enthusiast who brought us the Plastikov, the world’s first 3D-printable AKM receiver, and other designs. This week he unveiled on twitter a 3D-printable frame for the Browning Hi-Power, a classic semi-auto service pistol that has served the world over, from the interwar period to the present day.

It’s fitting that an arm which served predominantly on the freer side of the cold war may finally be decentralized. Kudos, Ivan. Some politicians would urge you, dear reader, not to Google his name in search of his “Safe Place” so we’ve done it for you.

phil murphy toy guns

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Gun-grabbing governor bans toys in New Jersey

In a move unsurprising to New Jersey gun owners or anyone familiar with the state, Governor Phil Murphy has just signed a bill into law making it illegal to sell “realistic toy guns.” The new legislation will ban certain colors, require that the toys be marked with an orange strip, and will set certain barrel specifications.

Aside from being incredibly annoying, these regulations will have no practical impact because the legislature and governor have apparently failed to consider that anyone might simply decide to design or otherwise customize real firearms to match these specifications.

They have also failed to consider that even if the toy gun is designed to look “less realistic,” it may not matter to law enforcement, who might shoot first and check for colored strips later.

DUI driving drunk

Bigstock

Federal court decides a single DUI is enough to destroy your Second Amendment rights 

Earlier this week the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, issued its decision in Holloway v. ATF, concluding that an individual with a single DUI conviction on their record may no longer purchase a firearm.

Raymond Holloway was convicted of an aggravated DUI in 2005 for having a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit. Because the particular statute Holloway was convicted of provides for up to five years imprisonment (despite that virtually never being the sentence), the feds consider it a “serious crime,” one that strips those convicted of their gun rights.

Such a conclusion is absurd given the intent of Congress when it passed the Gun Control Act of 1968, which was aimed at limiting firearms access for violent criminals; why else would Congress have granted an exception for finance-related felonies?

Can drinking and driving be reckless? Yes. But in and of itself a DUI charge from nearly two decades ago simply cannot be reasonably construed to indicate that an individual intends or is likely to commit violent crimes using a firearm or otherwise cannot be trusted with a gun. It is absolutely unfathomable that a non-violent misdemeanor conviction should deprive someone of their constitutional rights in perpetuity.

Toledo Police Department releases information regarding their ShotSpotter program

Six months ago the Toledo, Ohio Police Department rolled out its ShotSpotter program. ShotSpotter is a sound-receiver system that sends an alert to police when a gunshot is detected within a certain radius.

According to the police, “36 guns have been taken off the streets because of illegal gunfire.” The police also attribute over 50 arrests to the new program, which currently has only one device in one location. As a result of these confiscations and arrests the police chief has expressed interest in expanding the program.

There are a couple of things to unpack here. First, Toledo is an incredibly poor, violent city. As of 2017, 27.8% of Toledo residents live in poverty, and violent crime occurs at a rate of 1,192 per 100,000. The police department is bragging about confiscations and arrests, but the way the program is actually enforced remains unclear.

In other cities where ShotSpotter devices are more widespread, the program’s efficacy has been questioned. The program is also expensive – ShotSpotter charges $65,000 and $90,000 per square mile, and in an 84 square mile city, a program like ShotSpotter will cost Toledo a fortune. But middling efficacy and high cost aren’t the worst features of ShotSpotter.

Programs like these normalize surveillance in densely populated cities, aiding in the creation of a police state at the expense of the taxpayer. When combined with other programs like databasing, video surveillance, and social media monitoring à la the NYPD, the government is able to track the movements of all its subjects, and history has shown that power of this nature is routinely abused.

 

Matthew Larosiere is the Director of Legal Policy at the Firearms Policy Coalition.

comments

  1. avatar John W Weber says:

    The only time a law maker backs down is when it’s an issue of race, whether they’re wrong or right.

  2. avatar Prndll says:

    I’m not sure why this is even a question. The people running Virginia are still there. That event might mean something and it might have even sent a message but it never meant that the threat was gone. Northam still woke up the next day with a state to govern. Wether correctly or with a socialist bent. There is no reason to think that a few thousand people can show up one day and leave the next will cause everyone running Virginia to change their minds about things.

    1. avatar Dave says:

      Recall Northam.

      1. avatar Prndll says:

        ok, sure
        The way I understand it though, that process is long and drawn out and isn’t very likely to remove him anyway. This whole thing isn’t just about him.

        1. avatar gene says:

          It’s a civil suit and there are at least two going one. One was submitted in Augusta County in December. I don’t know the status of the second.

          Given the complete disregard of the Governor for the massive statement against what he’s forcing, the arrogance and dismissive attitudes of the newly elected legislators, and the blatant ignoring/sleeping/playing on phones with their daughter/let’s switch BOS meeting times games, it reminds me of Ernestine from the phone company saying “We don’t care. We don’t have to. “

      2. avatar Super Frustrated in VA says:

        Recall all the elected Democrats

        1. avatar google Is Evil says:

          Matthew Larosiere writes “…Programs like these normalize surveillance … databasing, video surveillance, and social media monitoring…”

          Then Matthew Larosiere touts google search in his story. Google who is HELPING China develop a nation wide surveillance state with a “social credit score” for every citizen.

          Na, not hypocritical at all Matthew.

        2. avatar Reason says:

          At least recall the ones in swing districts. Enough to take back one branch of Gov’t to stop all the crap Two face wants.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      But they’ll step and fetch to demands from “Black Live Matter” demonstrators. So it seems it’s more issue-dependent.

      It worked when it ended the Vietnam War, though admittedly it took hundreds of Richmond-sized demonstrations in DC and around the country, though it took years.

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      OK..now what?

  3. avatar MarkPA says:

    “. . . a case of state actors perverting the law to give force to their own whims or fragile egos . . . ” Hadn’t thought of that. Possibility; but it seems a little far-fetched.

    What occurred to me was the possibility that the suspect had intentions of perpetrating some disruptive act as a false-flag act to disparage the overwhelming majority present who were rights advocates. Start a fight; pepper-spray someone, smash a window. Something of that sort.

    I’d like to see the evidence that would emerge from a trial. This is a felony. I would really hate to see the DA dismiss the charges or plead-it-down to some misdemeanor disturbing the peace. If she was merely cold and defied police orders to un-mask because she saw plenty of others in cold-protective gear then she deserves to be acquitted; and thereby exonerated in public. If there is some nefarious intent, then the public has an interest in knowing the evidence to that effect.

  4. avatar NORDNEG says:

    The Supreme Court needs to address most of these gun related legislation’s being passed by anti constitutional politicians, about time the S Court got off their asses & go to work.

    1. avatar Super Frustrated in VA says:

      I agree but would be better after Trump puts another Justice on the bench….

      1. avatar Rusty - Die Ruthie Die - Chains says:

        Not wild about Trump, but he has done an excellent job appointing judges through the entire federal court system. That is the single reason I will vote for Trump, there are hundreds of reasons I will vote against any of the Democrats trying to be his replacement.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          +1

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          One reason is plenty. Just do it!

        3. avatar Republitard or Demoturd, decisions decisions says:

          Your vote, or mine for that matter, will have absolutely no impact on the outcome of a federal election. People like to brag and feel good about it. “I voted,” good for you lol, you’re that vote that changed everything congrats!

  5. avatar cgray says:

    Huh. I thought surely a bunch of slack jawed goobers milling about with ARs strapped to their chests would convince the power tripping Soviet Democrats in the Virginia legislature to see the errors of their way.

    1. avatar gene says:

      By appearance, in exercising the latter part of the 1st Amendment, the citizens have been met with nothing but contempt by the newly installed elected leadership. But through their pretentious eyes, we’re not worthy of being governed, they have decided as a matter of superiority that we must be ruled and done so with complete disregard of our wants and desires. How does this fit in with the idea of the consent of the governed? Seems as if there’s a good bit of objection.

      1. avatar Bad Hat Harry says:

        The issue is that the VA Dems owe a massive debt to their master, Bloomburg for buying their elections. Now they must pass whatever he wants for VA.

        1. avatar gene says:

          Concur.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      That’s just so precious.

  6. avatar Dumbo-ears_Obama says:

    If libtards don’t know what guns you have, they can’t know what guns you sell in private unless you tell them. There is NO reason to tell them. Screw their continued infringement on gun rights and quit voting for DemoRats.

  7. avatar PTM says:

    Great article and review…really appreciate it.

    1. avatar Someone says:

      What review?

      1. avatar PTM says:

        The article was a review of recent events and stories.

        Thinking. It’s fundamental.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          i thought tif was tax increment funding.
          not thinking is also fundamental. so what?
          review, preview, digest, summary, account.
          hear the sound of one key typing.

  8. avatar Arc says:

    So I guess gangs will just have to shoot at each other with high powered repeating crossbows, turn out some of them assassin tools like silencers, or use knives!

    Them old 15th century crossbows packed 1,000Lbs of force and recoiled like small rifles.

  9. avatar Conrad says:

    What the Nation needs is an Abridgement Foundation with say, 10 Billion dollars in it that self-regenerates through investments to offset the Dips.
    And what might be the Dips be you ask?
    They are Constitutionalists who exercise their Rights to Own, Carry, and Sell firearms but become victims to unconstitutional State Laws. Every case would have oversight, and every case could receive help.
    This would completely offset the evil that elected men do by ignoring the Original Intent of the Constitution.
    Heck, we’ll call it The Federal Abridgement Foundation, the NAF.

  10. avatar Chief Censor says:

    When thousands of middle aged Republican men — who are self pro claimed law abiding citizens — show up to a permitted rally to yell for a few hours, thank law enforcement for their efforts to suppress their rebellion, clean up the city for free, refuse to civilly disobey the “illegal” emergency orders, then leave on time, the government has called their bluff as simple posturing from fearful men. Thus the rulers continue to do what they want and planned to do prior to the insurrection that never was. I think they call those types of people “pushovers,” the millennials and zoomers call them “LARPers.”

    The government tested the people and determined the “militiamen” failed. They now know they can get away with having a white supremacist governor, that is fine with many black and brown babies being murdered after their birth and is bought off by corporate interests to oppress the people by more than just disarming them.

    They knew the “sanctuary” county push was DOA because it has no lawful authority over their government and there is no enforcement group to impose such a status. The police are on the side of their paycheck when push comes to shove, which was witnessed during the rally.

    They saw how many people would show up, they saw that many of them were outsiders and older, they documented the group who has what they want. The Virginians that showed up listened to a few speeches, at least tried, then went home peacefully while the gun control kids were doing a sit-in for more “laws” in Virginia.

    The “patriots” took out their guns but were not ready nor willing to use them. Everyone should know that you don’t whip out your gun unless you are willing/going to use it. The Virginia government now knows that your gun is your toy not your tool, it’s a political prop that makes you feel powerful rather than makes you powerful. You should have left your arms at home so you could actually do something to push back on the government without being shot dead because you were “storming” the capital while armed and dangerous. You limited your options by immediately taking out your firearms.

    The left doesn’t have to carry boom sticks to push society towards what they want. They know that’s not how you win a fight that isn’t an actual war. They keep winning while the other side postures about violence they’ll never commit because they’re law abiding citizens who love and respect the men and women in government uniform that follow orders from tyrants.

    I bet the tens of thousands of people, who came to hang out with their buddies and take pictures, will not show up to fight once the new rules are signed by the governor. Let’s be honest, they value their life more than they do liberty. Not even civil disobedience is an option they are willing to do. Struggle they shall not. They will vote the same anti human rights president into office for another 4 years as their grand chess move for liberty and justice.

    Keep on carrying on, America.

    1. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

      Compare this group to the antifa group. The government fears antifa. No one makes them take off THEIR masks. Either way, the rally members patted themselves on the back for being good citizens, and the VA congress and governor laughed at them.

      1. avatar Chief Censor says:

        The loyal subjects shall not rise up in genuine resistance to their rulers.

        A lot of millennials in Hong Kong have more of an American fighting spirit than “patriot” Americans armed with modern rifles (and a permit).

        I heard the NRA has publicly stated they are willing to do a deal with the Virginia government on gun control.

        I don’t see any true plans for a resistance against the attacks on liberty. I just see LARPers thanking the cops for their service, asking the courts (that green lighted gun control) to rule against the government and for the pro gun control president to save them.

        I think when their plan is to get 8 years of a New York billionaire Democrat — who owes many anti gun rich people favors — to save them from the lefties they have no real understanding of the situation. “Patriots” will continue to wonder why Democrats are doing so much “self sabotage” to make sure the indebted New Yorker gets another term.

        The leftists like taking the guns first…

        1. avatar PTM says:

          So, “Chief Censor” tell us of your plans for armed rebellion against your local, state and federal government. Would love to hear more about it. I’d hate to think you are merely a keyboard warrior posting anonymous talking a big game.

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          Why is he giving a press conference in that elevator? Is he punching the button for “Satan’s Lair” when he’s done?

      2. avatar William Burke says:

        “The government fears Antifa.” Criminy, you owe me a new keyboard. That’s utterly absurd. They don’t fear Antifa; they USE Antifa. They’re shock troops beholden to their Deep State masters.

  11. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    “Obtaining a firearm in New England is an oft laborious process” – In some states, perhaps. Not all that laborious in NH. You tell the clerk which gun you want, fill out the form, wait for the background check to go through, pay, and leave with your new gun.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      Sounds pretty scary. I guess the gun murder rate there is through the roof compared to places with sensible laws like Maryland and D.C.

  12. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Federal court decides a single DUI is enough to destroy your Second Amendment rights

    “If you just comply with the crowns law there will be no need for further punishment.”

    Major Pittcarin in Boston’s town house square

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      obviously they’ll use any excuse….their agenda is clear

  13. avatar Dude says:

    The same people cheering the DUI decision are also the ones preaching on criminal justice reform. And they would have no problem voting for DUI Bob O’Rourke.

  14. avatar strych9 says:

    Re Virginia:

    The protest wasn’t meant to stop the grabbers in their tracks.

    Re DUI:

    Hardly shocking. The ruling is an extension of what many people, many POTG included, think about substances. Until of course it has to do with guns, because guns are different.

    When you submit to grabber logic you either become a grabber or a hypocrite. Those are the options.

    1. avatar pwrtool says:

      Many here have and will defend bad court rulings.

    2. avatar Dave says:

      What then was it intended to do?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        The same as any of the civil rights marches of the past; to get a message out to the target audience.

        The target audience then was not a bunch of virulent racists and it’s not the grabbers today. Anyone who assumed “Oh, people who truly and viscerally hate us is just gonna stop doing what they’re doing if we ask them to” is a moron.

  15. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Those Rhode Island guys would get spooked if a pod of Blue Whales simultaneously off their coast.farted. That spout of water would be “frightening”.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      perhaps the counties in Virginia should take West Virginia up on their offer?…

  16. avatar Everyday_Carrier says:

    The only thing I gathered from this is we need to print and assemble more of our own guns without registration. If I could print a nuke, I would.

    Suck it tyrants.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      ” If I could print a nuke, I would.”

      With fine particles of the proper radioisotope, you most certainly can, on tooling currently available…

  17. avatar Anymouse says:

    “Such a conclusion is absurd given the intent of Congress when it passed the Gun Control Act of 1968, which was aimed at limiting firearms access for violent criminals; why else would Congress have granted an exception for finance-related felonies?”
    Is there a citation for this? I only see exceptions for pardons and convictions that weren’t eligible for a jury trial.

  18. avatar Rich says:

    Marxists who infect our government plus the media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.
    Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.
    No matter what any politician or hard-left mainstream media tells you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..
    These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family.
    Ask the six million J ews, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the N azi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.
    Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved.
    American Thinker

  19. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Anyone who says going to vote is a waste of time, is just part of the problem. Being an active educated voter is what kept the country free. Despite the racist gun control laws. Because blacks could get around these unconstitutional laws by getting their guns and ammo, including Machine Guns, thru the US Mail. That stopped (legally) in 1968.

    For now at least more Republicans support gun rights than do Democrats.

  20. avatar hal hack says:

    The Black Guns Matter guy in the first pic looks like an angry raghead with his stupid neck beard…..just sayin’

  21. avatar BusyBeef says:

    So Rhode Island is going to ban firearms made 100% of plastic? Name one.
    OK?

  22. avatar Alan says:

    Gun owners may eventually come to realize that elections have consequences. Problem is or seems to be that the above realization might be late in it’s arrival, significant if not fatal damage having been done to their basic constitutional rights, while they seemingly slept. Turns out that it is so much easier to avoid damage to basic rights, than it is to repair said rights, once damaged. How come, I wonder, is it that so many seem so unaware?

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