NRA Headquarters shooting range
Courtesy National Rifle Assocation
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Virginia Delegate Dan Helmer pre-filed House Bill 567 recently. If enacted, the bill would ban any indoor shooting range not owned by the commonwealth or the federal government…with an exception and some onerous reporting requirements.

You can read the bill here.

First, smaller indoor ranges would be exempt. As the bill states, Virginia would allow indoor ranges to continue to operate if “fewer than 50 employees work in the building.”

That would exempt most indoor ranges in the state. Few if any gun store/range operations employ as many as fifty people.

But . . .

Even those ranges that would be allowed to continue to operate would have some new record-keeping requirements they’d have to comply with.

(b) the indoor shooting range maintains a log of each user’s name, phone number, address, and the law-enforcement agency where such user is employed, and (c) the indoor shooting range verifies each user’s identity and address by requiring all users to present a government-issued photo-identification card.

So if most of Virginia’s privately-owned ranges would fall well under the 50-employee limit the bill lays out, why is it there at all?

This is why:

NRA Headquarters shooting range
Courtesy National Rifle Association

The National Rifle Association operates a first rate indoor shooting range in its Fairfax headquarters. As the NRA’s web site describes it . . .

The 50-yard, wheelchair accessible NRA Range is open to all NRA members and the general public. Featuring 15 shooting booths, The NRA Range has ample room for pistol, rifle, and shotgun shooting. The automatic target retrieval system can place targets at any distance, in one-foot increments from 7 to 150 feet. The revolutionary backstop system enables guests to fire rifle calibers up to .460 Weatherby Magnum and pistol calibers up to .500 S&W. (Steel core ammunition and blackpowder firearms are prohibited. Shotguns may fire slugs only.) Shooters must provide their own firearms.

The NRA Range is open for recreational shooting and is used for NRA Firearm Training courses, junior shooting programs, NRA instructor courses, shooting clinics, events, and many other activities. The NRA Range is also available for private group rentals.

Far more than 50 people work at NRA headquarters where the range is located. Delegate Helmer’s bill is a shot aimed precisely at the NRA.

Incoming Virginia Democrats are doing everything they possibly can to impede, limit, obstruct, and attack the state’s gun owners and their Second Amendment rights. Helmer’s bill is just one small front in that all-out assault.


[h/t John Dingell III]

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  1. I think you missed some details on the smaller ranges:
    “the law-enforcement agency where such user is employed,”

    This bill aims to shut down indoor ranges that aren’t primarily used by cops.

    1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 3 of Chapter 12 of Title 18.2 a section numbered 18.2-511.2 as follows:

    §18.2-511.2. Indoor shooting ranges; prohibited in private buildings; exceptions; penalty.

    A. As used in this section, “indoor shooting range” means any fully enclosed or indoor area or facility designed for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols, silhouettes, skeet, trap, or black powder or any other similar sport shooting.

    B. It is unlawful to operate an indoor shooting range in any building not owned or leased by the Commonwealth or the federal government unless (i) fewer than 50 employees work in the building or (ii) (a) at least 90 percent of the users of the indoor shooting range are law-enforcement officers, as defined in §9.1-101, or federal law-enforcement officers, (b) the indoor shooting range maintains a log of each user’s name, phone number, address, and the law-enforcement agency where such user is employed, and (c) the indoor shooting range verifies each user’s identity and address by requiring all users to present a government-issued photo-identification card.

    C. Any person that violates the provisions of this section is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $100,000 for the initial violation and $5,000 per day for each day of violation thereafter.

    • Time for the NRA to declare itself a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Corporation, exempt from this proposed regulation.

      With insanity like this, it’s now pretty much impossible for the gun grabbers to claim that these laws have any intention to promote “gunsense” or safety in any measure. Since when does closing down gun ranges promote safety? This is done for sheer vindictiveness.

    • He also missed all the other new bills…
      They refiled the ban and registration bill. It will cost $50 and all your personal info and firearm details to have the privilege of keeping your property.

      You can never get parts if your banned gun breaks. Parts are banned completely. Parts can’t get grandfathered. You go to jail if you have a spare muzzle break or pistol grip.

      Pistols with threaded barrels are banned, so you need to sell or surrender your threaded barrels.

      Silencers must be sold, surrendered or destroyed.

      You can’t ever sell your banned guns either.

      • Oh, and now there are gonna be ammo free zones. Leave ammo in your car when you park it at a school or gov building… you’re now a felon.

      • At least one version of this bill requires the registration immediately and then will allow you to keep the firearm until 2021 by which time it must be sold, destroyed or surrendered.

        So… tell them you have it so they can make sure it is properly confiscated next year.

        This is the Democrats’ concept of a “compromise”.

    • I can’t edit the original post, but the police thing is a second exception. I though I read “and/or” but the bill only has the word “or”

    • The “or” is operative. You can have 50 or less employees and the bill doesn’t apply. You can also have more than 50 employees and the bill wouldn’t apply as long as cops are the ones using the range.

      Of course the first thing I would do if I had more than 50 employees was to find a way to cut down to 49. Safety? No time for that.

    • Not defending the bill in any way, but:

      “It is unlawful to operate an indoor shooting range in any building not owned or leased by the Commonwealth or the federal government unless (i)… or (ii)…”

      (i) having less than 50 employees and (ii) servicing 90% law enforcement but having more than 50 employees. Everything labeled (a), (b), etc. Is a subsidiary requirement of (ii).

      So, for ranges with less than 50 staff there is no change. If you have more than 50 employees AND primarily serve cops, you can stay in business if you comply with the recordkeeping requirements. If you have more than 50 employees and don’t primarily service cops, you would be out of business.

      This is a very thinly veiled attempt to make the NRA range illegal without calling it out by name (which would be unlawful). It shouldn’t survive a legal challenge.

      • “It shouldn’t survive a legal challenge.”

        I would like to think Justice Thomas is seeing that bill and filling a legal pad with notes while thinking “Disrespect my civil rights motherfucker? Do I ever have a ruling for you…”

        I can dream, can’t I ? 🙁

        • I love reading Justce Thomases dissents and opinions. They’re fire as the kids would say.

  2. I realize they own the statehouse now, but is the Va. legislature doing anything but trying to abolish the second ammendment?

    • Yeah, they’re trying to set off the boogaloo, CW2, the revolution 2.0, or whatever people are calling it these days. Maybe we will see some people tar and feathered?

    • The Democrats don’t “own” the statehouse, they are merely occupying it until the good citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia come to their senses and evict them via the ballot box.

      • Hard to vote against a DemocRAT when they run unopposed. That and the Atty General played politics to ensure that Republicans were redistricted almost out of existence.

  3. “and (c) the indoor shooting range verifies each user’s identity and address by requiring all users to present a government-issued photo-identification card.”

    A photo-ID card? Isn’t that a scheme to disenfranchise poor African-American folks? Quick, call the DoJ Civil Rights division and demand social justice.

    • And this is what they want a “told you so” moment as in see I told you they are all bloodthirsty and they will do this to anyone

      • Who are the blood thirsty ones? I’d say the side that has threatened to send troops after constitutional abiding citizens.

  4. For any range affected, it sounds like a “taking” to me.

    They are violating the property rights of existing affected range owners. It is unconstitutional unless the state declares eminent domain and compensates the owner.

    The NRA would tie-up the state in litigation for decades.

    • It is specifically targeted at the NRA, which has a range in the building!

      There is only one other range that I know of that has 50+ people working in the building.

    • Shit like this shouldn’t even see paper. The state should damn well reimburse the NRA for any and all legal fees for creating knowingly unconstitutional trash and using it like a weapon.

  5. I guess that money they spent on Wayne’s tailored suits was much more important. Than spending money on protecting their private property rights.

    • Dan Helmer’s press release says it’s to prevent office violence since it’s somehow unsafe for an office building to have a shooting range.

      • First they went with legislation that could never have prevented the crime they claim it would fix. It’s infuriating, but they could at least claim it’s a response to something that actually happened.

        Now they’re on to legislation that won’t prevent crime and explicitly targets *only* the law-abiding in response to a problem that *doesn’t exist.*

        Progressivism is a progressive disease.

        • Democrats and Progressives don’t “suffer” from cognitive dissonance. They thoroughly revel in it.

    • What about ranges at military facilities?

      I would like to see all firearms manufacturers, parts suppliers and ammo suppliers refuse to do business with the state of VA over this.

      I feel like families with loved ones buried at Arlington cemetery out to threaten to move their loved ones elsewhere because the leftists are pissing on everything those people died for.

      • Military facilities are federal land, the state has no jurisdiction to tell a base what it can and cannot have.

        State law applies only insofar as the feds allow it to.

  6. There are two exemption categories. Exemption (i) is having less than 50 employees. Exemption ii has the (a), (b), and (c) about being used by at least 90% LE, having ID verification, and logging customers. The two are separate.

  7. I think this the result of the Texas Church incident and an indirect attack on concealed carriers. If we can’t practice they will make the argument we aren’t competent. They will imposeca stricter train requirement but their won’t be any place to train. The objective is to free gangs to roughshod over the citizens. Virginia is a sanctuary State. A place where MS-13 is free to operate.

    • Following the Chicago playbook: ensure any shooting range is as far away and expensive to use as possible, then make absurd requirements for “training” that you must have to exercise your rights. Doing so can easily double the cost of getting your first gun

      • The VA Dems Politicians are definitly pulling from the slave state playbook. In my county it cost $200 for a first time CCW permit and $300 for the a first timer CCW class. The permit last 2 years. Then to renew, every 2 years its $150/permit and $150/CCW renewal class. Every year more and more CA folks are obtaining thier first CCW licences but imagine if it was more affordable.

        • I would imagine that if the looney CA state government makes it harder and harder for its citizens to get concealed carry permits, there will come a day when CA residents will just give up trying to get one and will concealed carry anyway, and if the local cops know what is good for them, they won’t take any action against it. The only place this wouldn’t work would be in places like ‘Frisco, LA County and other anti-gun enclaves along the coastal strip.

          If the progressive marxist Democrats in the Virginia legislature try to make it too hard for citizens there to conceal carry, look for non-compliance as well. The 2A Sanctuary movement in the state will probably mean that local lawmen won’t enforce such laws, as they know who the good folks and the bad guys are in their jurisdictions, and they know where their bread is buttered…

    • HB 899 is going to piss off the greens with it effectively banning monolithic copper bullets.

      • Not just copper solids (funny, those are the only bullets allowed for hunting in California) but also “cartridges containing bullets coated with a plastic substance with other than lead or lead alloy cores.” Say what? Those coatings do the same thing as a copper jacket, thus reducing exposure to environmental lead produced by the firing of lead bullets. Why on earth would they want to do that? Absolutely senseless.

        • Reduce effective options increase lead exposure increase cost then reduce available ranges while increasing hassles to reduce the number of people able to train and then up environmental lead fines/remediation/condemned property?

    • “Virginia has gone full on retard.”

      Part of me hopes they enact that legislation, just so it can speed up the inevitable reaction…

  8. There are no better examples of infringement that Virginia, California, Washington, and Illinois.

  9. Here in Washington State we are still waiting for someone to be prosecuted for a violation of I-1639, the gun grabbers statute. It is a joke in the eastern side of the state. If anyone is arrested and charged for this in the eastern side of the state, they take it to a Jury trial and will be acquitted or a hung jury. The leftists are not wanting any of these “Violations” to go to court. No way anyone will be convicted of this on the eastside of the Cascade range.

    • yea, but if you like the new Ruger pistol caliber carbine you have to take a class to have an “assault weapon”. Inslee’s liked where he sucks.

  10. There are about 25,000 police officers in Virginia. Does that mean that only 2500 residents can go shooting at an indoor range? If so, there is no way that this passes constitutional muster, any more than Chicago’s ban on shooting ranges (designed to keep people from qualifying for CCWs) was. It also requires every range to have memberships so that it doesn’t violate the 10% limitation. If they are full up, too bad so sad….I don’t think so sports fans. What if that small little range in a rural county has only a local cop or two who shoots there–does that mean that it is forced to close? Hmmm.

    • ” If so, there is no way that this passes constitutional muster, any more than Chicago’s ban on shooting ranges (designed to keep people from qualifying for CCWs) was.” Have to tell you that it may not pass constitutional muster but the sad reality is that their are still no ranges in Chicago nor are there likely to be any in the near future.

  11. Wait. Let me guess. This law wouldn’t have stopped their recent mass shooters either that they use as the reason to pass these laws.

  12. “the indoor shooting range verifies each user’s identity and address by requiring all users to present a government-issued photo-identification card.”

    I’m sure democrats and the media across the country will denounce this as racist, right? Something like this would no doubt be signed by Gov Blackface. Oh wait, they’re all lying hypocrites.

  13. Dan Helmer is an oath breaker. He is or was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Virginia National guard. He graduated from West Point and is a Rhodes scholar. He unfortunately must have been asleep during history class and also during his time overseas as his comments and propaganda he spews spits on the constitution and an armed, free populace.

    • Anyone above the rank of Captain is anti-gun. I think it is in the officer’s training manual. (And being only ,ildly sarcastic. Pro-gun high ranking officers are few and far between.)

      • “Anyone above the rank of Captain is anti-gun.”

        They learned the lesson from Vietnam – when officers got a grenade in their rack…

        • Any officer of the rank of Colonel/Captain (O-6) does not get promoted unless they can pass the political portion of their promotion board. That’s because flag/general officers are extremely political creatures who go by the operational policy, “It doesn’t matter who you know and who you blow, but how you blow who you know.”

  14. If the Democrats in Virginia survive trying to enforce any of these unconstitutional laws they certianly will not survive the next election.

    Virginia Patriots are now “woke”.

  15. Be a total shame if one of Iraq’s incoming missiles overshot its target in Baghdad and landed in the Virginia state house.

  16. If this law doesn’t have any proof or purpose other than sticking it to the NRA I’m sure they can fight their own battles.
    Heaven knows they have enough money and lawyers.

  17. Pure political persecution…
    If we give up our guns, we’re dead fn ducks.

    Dr. Zhivago anyone?

  18. Making a list and checking it twice in the manner of the KGB? That legislature is composed of evil people.

  19. Not claiming any great clairvoyant capabilities, but when I first heard about all of the impending anti-gun activity in the Virginia Legislature something in the back of my mind said that one of the real targets was NRA Headquarters.

  20. dRATS have learned to ask for much more than they will get because they know it will yield “something”. May they suffer a net loss.

  21. You know, there may be a bright side to them doing that, it would demonstrate the need for strict scrutiny.

    There is nothing ‘reasonable’ in those laws, it’s pure harassment against the practice of a civil right…

  22. Maybe this will motivate the NRA to get into the fight for real this time instead of sitting it out in their ivory tower in Fairfax.

  23. Were this to pass (and I had influence at the NRA), I would create a new corporation to run the range, and lease the range to it at a nominal fee. It would then meet the <50 employee requirement.

  24. When do we get conservative politicians to start passing legislation exclusively for taking away things leftists like?

  25. Time for the mother of all lawsuits to be filed against these political hacks.Interested in how the N.R.A is attacking this matter.I’m a life member and hope they can stop this B.S in Virginia before it spreads to other states including mine.

  26. Historically government Regulation is how access to guns and training was restricted.
    It should also be said that this NRA range was always open to black gun owners. When the rest of the area was skin color restricted at the turn of the 19th century.

    If any gun owner is still voting democrat it’s because they want “free stuff” or they are just another Low Information Voter. The 2A is just not important to them.

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