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:
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]