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Del. Ken Plum: Virginia’s Reputation as Gun-Running State Continues

by Del. Ken Plum — March 16, 2017 at 10:15 am 46 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

A headline in The New York Times in December 1992 proclaimed that “Virginia Aims to Shed Image as a ‘Handgun Supermarket.”’ The Commonwealth got that reputation when a Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms study found that one of every four guns used in a crime whose origins could be determined had been bought in Virginia stores. In Washington, D.C., one in three traceable guns had been bought in Virginia.

Gov. L. Douglas Wilder was quoted in the news story as saying that “Virginia is the No. 1 source for handguns on the East Coast, and we must stop the trafficking or become known as the ‘Grim Reaper State.'” The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia at the time was reported as saying that, “No other East Coast state has gun laws as lax as Virginia’s laws — not South Carolina, not Georgia, not Florida. Nobody. This has to stop!”

I was in the House of Delegates and supported Gov. Wilder in getting a one-gun-a-month purchasing limitation law passed in 1993. I have been in the House in the period since then and have watched in opposition as the gun supporters passed exemption after exemption to the limitation until in 2012 they repealed the law, with Gov. Robert McDonnell signing the bill to repeal it.

Last week, an Associated Press headline brought back the theme from 1992: “NYC cops thwart gun ring that exploited looser Virginia laws.” Twenty-four people, including 22 from Virginia, were charged in a 627-count indictment for trafficking guns bought in Virginia and sold in New York.

The traffickers were caught on wiretaps. One was quoted by New York authorities as saying, “There’s no limit to how many guns I can go buy from the store. I can go get 20 guns from the store tomorrow. I can do that Monday through Friday. They might start looking at me, but in Virginia, our laws are so little, I can give guns away.”

As we work to build the image of the state to attract business and industry and to break free from an Old South reputation, events like last week bring back references of Virginia being the gun-running capital of the East Coast. The repeal of the one-gun-a-month law is but one example of a series of bills that have been introduced to weaken Virginia’s gun safety laws. There were other bills that nipped away at the few gun safety laws that remain. Fortunately in the last three years and again this year, we have had Gov. Terry McAuliffe to veto these bills.

The influence of the gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, is enormous. With few exceptions, the members of the majority party fall in line to support or defeat bills as directed by the gun lobby. My background check bill supported by about three-fourths of voters and the governor cannot get past a subcommittee, where it is continually defeated on a straight party-line vote, four to one. Too bad we have not learned from history!

To better appreciate the debate that goes on about gun laws in Virginia, watch the gun bill debate video.

  • The Constitutionalist

    Of course guns in DC are traceable to Virginia, where the hell else are they going to get them? Not DC.

    Every time I’ve gone in to purchase a firearm (in Virginia) I was always held up by this weird thing that we have in place.

    I keep forgetting what it is…

    Oh yeah, it’s the background check that we already have.

    Pretty soon we’ll need to have a background check on the rest of our constitutional freedoms as well.

    Want to vote? Background check. Want to speak? Background check. Want to worship and pray to a deity of your choosing? Background check.

    The only person not learning from history is you, what happened in Germany in the 30s when they took all the guns away? You probably remember that, but didn’t learn the lesson.

    • Tom H

      Wait… are you for no background checks at all when purchasing fire arms?

      • The Constitutionalist

        No. I am however against adding another background check when we already have one.

        Anyone who has purchased a firearm in Virginia knows this. Even at a gun-show.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Baltimore ?
      What about Florida

      • The Constitutionalist

        …..

        What about Florida?

  • Chuck Morningwood

    One gun a month? I’m good with that.

    • drb

      Mandatory?

  • Bah

    The influence of the gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, is enormous.

    This is simply stupid.
    Total 2016 NRA campaign contributions in VA: $23,050. This is TRIVIAL. Their donations rank WAY, WAY, WAY behind many other groups, including lawyers, realtors, banks, energy companies, transportation, labor, teachers.

    $5,000,000 Republican Governors Assn (Washington, DC)
    $1,000,000 Atkins, Sarah (Arlington)
    $1,000,000 Gilliam, Richard Baxter (Keswick)
    $692,175 Dominion (Richmond)
    $500,000 Adams, Mike (Mc Lean)
    $478,178 Commonwealth Victory Fund (Richmond)
    $475,784 House Democratic Caucus (Richmond)
    $329,936 Altria (Richmond)
    $324,330 Democratic Party of Virginia (Richmond)
    $279,549 Va Beer Wholesalers Assn (Richmond)
    $270,657 Va Hospital & Healthcare Assn (Henrico)
    $267,068 Va Assn of Realtors (Glen Allen)
    $262,050 Remington, James A (Henrico)
    $255,300 Holtzman, William B (Edinburg)
    $255,000 Laborers District Council (Columbia, MD)
    $250,000 Bills, Michael D (Charlottesville)
    $250,000 Munger, Philip (New York, NY)
    $244,750 HCA (Richmond)
    $227,958 Comcast (Philadelphia, PA)
    $226,851 Va Bankers Assn (Glen Allen)
    $223,780 Williams Mullen (Richmond)
    $210,038 Verizon (Richmond)
    $208,000 Verizon Communications Inc (New York, NY)
    $201,240 Ukrop, James E (Richmond)
    $181,500 Schar, Dwight C (Mc Lean)
    $179,159 Republican State Leadership Committee (Washington, DC)
    $177,500 Anderson Financial Services/LoanMax (Alpharetta, GA)
    $176,000 Va Cable Telecom Assn (Richmond)
    $174,200 Minor, G Gilmer III (Richmond)
    $168,972 Parrish, Hal (Manassas)
    $165,540 Common Good VA (Richmond)
    $164,333 McGuire Woods (Richmond)
    $160,858 Hunton & Williams (Richmond)
    $159,500 Allen Allen Allen & Allen (Richmond)
    $157,500 Pence, Robert Frank (Mc Lean)
    $149,232 Newport News Shipbuilding (Newport News)
    $148,604 Medical Society of Va (Henrico)
    $147,889 Appalachian Power Co (Richmond)
    $143,306 Premium Distributors of Va LLC (Chantilly)
    $143,227 Va Wine Wholesalers Assn (Richmond)
    $142,000 Va Trial Lawyers Assn (Richmond)
    $139,007 Troutman Sanders (Richmond)
    $132,498 Firefighters – International Assn (Washington, DC)
    $129,337 Anheuser-Busch (Saint Louis, MO)
    $126,950 Va Maritime Assn (Norfolk)
    $126,118 Republic National Distributing Co (Atlanta, GA)
    $125,000 Eychaner, Fred (Chicago, IL)
    $122,000 Medical Facilities of America (Roanoke)
    $116,999 Va Health Care Assn (Richmond)
    $114,750 Rice, Edward Hart (Vienna)
    $114,000 Wynne, John O (Virginia Beach)
    $111,095 Va Dental Assn (Henrico)
    $108,150 Transurban USA Inc (New York, NY)
    $107,014 DGA Action (Washington, DC)
    $106,000 Nova Technology Council (Herndon)
    $105,000 Community Leadership PAC (Arlington)
    $102,000 Anthem (Richmond)
    $101,137 McQuigg, Michele (Woodbridge)
    $101,101 Republican Party of Virginia (Richmond)
    $100,520 Va Auto Dealers Assn (Richmond)
    $100,366 Dupont Fabros Technology (Washington, DC)
    $100,000 Nappi, Samuel (Jamesville, NY)
    $100,000 National Air Traffic Controllers (Washington, DC)
    $94,900 Va Optometric Assn (Glen Allen)
    $93,787 Reed Smith LLP (Richmond)
    $92,000 Raytheon Co (Arlington)
    $88,136 Home Builders Assn of Va (Richmond)
    $87,750 Pfizer Inc (New York, NY)
    $87,322 Va Natural Gas (Norfolk)
    $87,250 Fralin, W Heywood (Roanoke)
    $84,596 Assn of Electric Cooperatives (Glen Allen)
    $84,050 Saslaw for Senate – Richard (Springfield)
    $83,500 Genworth Financial (Washington, DC)
    $83,129 Service Distributing Inc (Lorton)
    $82,906 Norfolk Southern Corp (Norfolk)
    $82,301 Virginia Senate Republican Caucus (Williamsburg)
    $80,800 Dominion Leadership Trust (Fredericksburg)
    $80,266 CJW Medical Center (Richmond)
    $78,540 Majority Leader PAC (Colonial Heights)
    $77,995 Va AFL-CIO (Henrico)
    $77,787 Va Eagle Distributing Co (Springfield)
    $77,126 Breakthru Beverage Virginia (Chesapeake)
    $77,000 Bennett, Leonard A (Newport News)
    $75,850 Capital One (Mc Lean)
    $75,000 A Stronger Virginia (Arlington)
    $75,000 Zuberi, Imaad (South El Monte, CA)
    $74,750 Toscano for Delegate – David (Charlottesville)
    $74,000 Affiliates of Va State AFL-CIO (Henrico)
    $73,493 Cox Communications – Tidewater (Chesapeake)
    $72,750 Check into Cash of Va (Cleveland, TN)
    $72,500 Va Society of Anesthesiologists (Richmond)
    $72,000 Catalist LLC (Washington, DC)
    $66,704 Henrico Doctors Hospital (Henrico)
    $66,635 Carly for America Committee (Alexandria)
    $66,000 Goodwin, William H Jr (Richmond)
    $65,820 Va Assn of Health Plans (Richmond)
    $65,500 Luke, John Anderson Jr (Henrico)
    $65,133 AT&T (Bedminster, NJ)
    $65,000 Va Beverage Assn (Richmond)
    $64,850 Old Dominion Highway Contractors Assn (Charlottesville)
    $64,765 WalMart Stores Inc (Bentonville, AR)
    $63,600 Mason for Senate – Monty (Williamsburg)
    $63,151 AGL Resources (Atlanta, GA)
    $63,000 Va Society of Certified Public Accountants (Glen Allen)
    $62,610 Smithfield Foods (Smithfield)
    $62,600 Maple, James E (Purcellville)
    $62,383 Richmond Assn of Realtors (Henrico)
    $62,376 Great American Restaurants Inc (Fairfax)
    $62,000 Washington for Senate – Ryant (Palmyra)
    $61,688 Aetna Life & Casualty (Hartford, CT)
    $61,007 Mullin for Delegate – Mike (Newport News)
    $60,500 Gottwald, Bruce C (Richmond)
    $60,460 Public Service Employees Union – Local #1301 (Wilkes Barre, PA)
    $60,000 Holtzman, Ann (Edinburg)
    $59,599 Northern Virginia Assn of Realtors (Fairfax)
    $58,700 Va Sheriffs Assn (Richmond)
    $58,653 Va Credit Union League (Richmond)
    $58,518 Jecklin, Ivan P (Henrico)
    $58,500 DePasquale, Thomas A (Arlington)
    $58,500 Farrell, Thomas F II (Henrico)
    $58,025 Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus (Richmond)
    $56,750 Matthews, Suzann W (Mc Lean)
    $56,500 AOL Inc (Sterling)
    $55,249 Facebook (Palo Alto, CA)
    $55,000 Va Assn for Commercial Real Estate (Alexandria)
    $54,201 Kemper Consulting Inc (Norfolk)
    $54,000 USAA (San Antonio, TX)
    $53,555 Northam for Governor – Ralph (Richmond)
    $53,500 Little, Christopher Mark (Mc Dowell)
    $53,500 Smith, S Sonjia (Charlottesville)
    $53,250 Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated (Charlotte, NC)
    $52,817 Chesbay Distributing Co (Chesapeake)
    $52,400 Abramson, Ronald D (Washington, DC)
    $52,354 Cullen, Richard (Henrico)
    $52,333 Lifepoint Hospitals Inc (Richlands)
    $50,612 Eckert Seamans (Richmond)
    $50,500 Community Loans of America (Atlanta, GA)
    $50,500 Withers, Nathaniel IV (Richmond)
    $50,000 Shah, Shehazre (Vienna)
    $49,348 TowneBank (Virginia Beach)
    $49,250 Honeywell Inc (Washington, DC)
    $49,250 Omega Protein (Reedville)
    $49,164 Loveland Distributing Co Inc (Richmond)
    $49,000 Metis Services Inc (Roanoke)
    $48,952 Va Chamber of Commerce (Richmond)
    $48,504 Nau, John L III (Houston, TX)
    $48,500 Snead, Thomas G Jr (Richmond)
    $48,487 EQT Corp (Pittsburgh, PA)
    $48,140 Guevara, John (Fairfax)
    $47,904 SunTrust (Richmond)
    $47,778 McClellan for Delegate – Jennifer (Richmond)
    $47,750 Va Retail Federation (Richmond)
    $47,000 Home Builders Assn of Va – Richmond (Henrico)
    $46,450 Christian & Barton (Richmond)
    $46,329 Lewis Gale Medical Center (Salem)
    $45,798 CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield (Owings Mills, MD)
    $45,750 Walgreens Co (Deerfield, IL)
    $45,500 Miller for Delegate – Jackson (Manassas)
    $45,500 Toll Road Investors Partnership II (Sterling)
    $45,000 ICSC Holdings LLC (Mechanicsville)

    • PhilipVanCleave

      You are making the bad assumption that influence must be bought. Gun owners are a big voting block who vote on the issue. Those are the real “numbers” that our elected officials pay attention to.

  • Dgeorge

    Ken, you do realize that it is against the law to make a straw purchase of a firearm. If you are caught buying a firearm to give to someone else you will spend considerable time in the stony lonesome. You do have to undergo a background check every time you buy a gun. I think it would be good for you to sit down with someone that knows and get your facts straight. Try to stay away from the cool aid.

  • Dgeorge

    By the way Ken, why don’t you go out and try to buy twenty handguns at one time and see how that works out for you, then get back to us.

  • Angry Angler

    Ken, We have MS-13 killing people in our parks and we have snakeheads in our rivers. We need our firearms.

    • Guest

      How will firearms make teenagers safer from gangs?

      • The Constitutionalist

        How will making it tougher for law abiding citizens to buy firearms make them less safe?

        Fun game, huh?

        • Guest

          Oh, are you able to show that firearms make teenagers safer from gangs? Since you stepped in, perhaps you’d like to help Angry Angler.

          Or maybe second amendment rights are just a game to you.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Oh, are you able to show that firearms make teenagers less safe from gangs? Since you stepped in, maybe you’d like to help yourself.

            Or maybe second amendment rights are just a game to you.

          • The Constitutionalist

            No. But common sense, the term you libtards throw out any time you are arguing against something you don’t agree with, suggests that making it harder for people who who are not criminals to purchase firearms does not, in any way, affect people’s safety.

            That’s what the studies show.

          • Guest

            Whoah, nasty! But you still haven’t explain how guns are supposed to make these teenagers safer. Please take this problem seriously.

            Also: actual real studies say guns make us all less safe, by increasing gun deaths in the home far beyond their ability to protect from an outside attacker. So be careful when you say what the studies show.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Oh the irony. Just as you haven’t explained how increasing background checks for law abiding citizens to lawfully and constitutionally purchase a firearm is making teens less safe.

            Second, let’s stay on topic, shall we? Additional (keyword here, as it suggests that it already exists – it does) background checks are not going to prevent gun accidents in the home.

            I think what you missed from this whole thing is that this is a completely pointless argument.

            You have research that backs up your claims, I have research that backs up mine. Neither of us are going to change each other’s minds. The difference between you and I is that I have real experience standing between people with guns and people without on the two-way rifle range, so my judgments are based on actual events and personal experience and less on what my favorite politician told me over the radio.

          • Guest

            Angry Angler’s assertion that more firearms (and it must be more, because no one is taking what we have) will protect teenagers from gangs doesn’t make sense on its face. That is the topic. I asked him/her to explain. You stepped in with no answer to what you now say is a pointless argument. Why?

            AA — and you — believe that stronger background checks will prevent people from buying guns. Why is that?

          • The Constitutionalist

            No, sorry, he had some assertions, but not what you are forcing into his/her mouth.

            Let’s go back and re-read Angry Angler’s comment together.

            This’ll be a fun trip.

            From AA:
            “Ken, We have MS-13 killing people in our parks and we have snakeheads in our rivers. We need our firearms.”

            Three assertions here.

            1. MS-13 is killing people in our parks.
            2. Snakeheads are in our rivers.
            3. We need our firearms.

            Here’s what he/she didn’t say:
            1. More firearms will protect teenagers from gangs.
            2. People are taking away our guns.
            3. Additional background checks will prevent people from buying guns.

            See how this whole argument is completely pointless because you were baited by an angry fisherman into biting the obvious red herring?

          • Guest

            I posted a single sentence drawing attention to AA’s implied argument. From the lack of response, AA was being disingenuous. But you were feeling sassy and now here we are.

            The only red herring here is your attempt to draw attention away from your inability to argue the point.

          • The Constitutionalist

            What was the implied argument, exactly?

          • Guest
  • John Pinkman

    Who didn’t expect these comments. I support Ken and rational, intelligent and educated approach to weapon safety. I’m proud to be a Virginian except for this gun running embarrassment.

    • Nope

      “gun running” claim is false.

      https://www.firearmsandliberty.com/kopel.traces.html

      Claims that 41% of New York Crime Guns Come from Virginia are Implausible

      In Project Lead, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has traced selected guns seized by the police in New York City and Washington, D.C. Again, the number of guns traced is a tiny percentage of the guns used in crime. For example, from January through September 1992, BATF traced 824 handguns seized in New York City. The traced guns amounted to about 6% of all the guns that had been seized from 13,382 crime scenes in the same period. In 1990, there were 13,769 guns seized by the New York City police, of which only about 1,126 (8%) were selected for tracing.

      Some gun control advocates have attempted to make the selective trace of New York guns appear to be comprehensive, by asserting that BATF traced all traceable guns. In fact, BATF traced all traceable guns only of the 8% of crime guns which it was asked to trace. Since most the remaining 92% were likely traceable (they contained a serial number which had not been filed off), the number of guns which actually were traced was far smaller than the number of guns which could have been traced.

      In 1989, gun control advocates used BATF trace data to make misleading claims about the frequency with which assault weapons are used in crime. Analysis of comprehensive police data about crime guns disproved the exaggerated claims based on trace samples. In 1993, many of those same gun control advocates are using BATF trace data to claim that the Virginia supplies 41% of New York City s crime guns (sometimes a lesser figure, such as 25%, is claimed). Unfortunately, it is impossible to definitively verify or disprove the figure. Unless the New York City police disclosed the serial number of every gun seized by the police, it would be impossible for neutral researchers to determine the origins of New York City crime guns.

      It is possible, however, to use common sense to conclude that the 41% figure is very unlikely to be accurate. To begin with, simplistic reliance on BATF traces has been demonstrated to vastly exaggerate the frequency of assault weapon use in crime. Assault weapons, according to comprehensive police data, were only used by 1/10th as many criminals at the trace requests would indicate; the guns accounted for only 1% of crime guns, rather than 10%. Accordingly, it is entirely possible that, based on what prior studies of BATF traces have shown, Virginia guns may account for only 4% of New York City crime guns, rather than the asserted 41%. The BATF trace figure is no more likely to be an accurate depiction of the actual crime gun picture in New York City than a Batman comic book is to be an accurate depiction of the world of crime-fighting.

      Common sense also suggests that a claim of 41% of New York City crime guns originating in Virginia is implausible. There are a large number of jurisdictions which are about as close to New York as Virginia is, and which have less intrusive gun control laws, including no instant background check. Those jurisdictions include Ohio, Vermont, West Virginia, New Hampshire, and Maine. In addition, Delaware has gun controls no more restrictive than Virginia s (both states have an instant check), and Delaware is considerably closer to New York than is Virginia. Indeed, New York counties outside the New York City region allow long guns to be bought over the counter, with no waiting period, and no background check. It is unrealistic to believe that so many New York gun-runners would travel farther than they need to, and to a state where gun laws and background checks are stricter than in closer states, to purchase crime guns. True, urban parts of Virginia may offer gun-runners an anonymity that rural Vermont does not, but Delaware; southern New Hampshire; Portland, Maine; much of Ohio; and upstate New York also have urban areas.

      It is also important to note that the BATF trace reports do not indicate that a gun was used in a violent crime. When the Congressional Research Service asked BATF about the connection between gun traces and gun crimes for assault weapons, The agency response noted that it is not possible to determine if traced firearms are related to criminal activity.

      Since the simple ownership of a handgun by an honest citizen and first-degree murder by a repeat offender are both considered crimes in New York City, it is necessary to consider what kind of New York City crime that Virginia guns may be involved in.

      The statement that the New York guns which BATF traced were seized from a crime scene does not demonstrate that the guns were used in a violent crime. A crime scene, by New York City definition, includes the bodega where a store-owner used his unlicensed handgun to scare away a robber, as well as the automobile where police found a handgun that a secretary was carrying for protection against car-jacking.

      Nationally, nearly 80% of BATF gun traces do not involve guns used in violent crime; the traces are for technical violation of gun control laws, such as possession of a firearm without a license. In New York City, obtaining a handgun license is very difficult. Although New York law requires that the police act on license applications within six months, delays of nearly a year are routine — even for crime witnesses who being threatened by criminals out on bail. In addition, it is nearly impossible for an applicant to get a license to carry a handgun, unless the applicant is named Donald Trump, in which case the carry permit will be granted in a few days.

      Because New York City is such a dangerous place, and because the police cannot offer adequate protection against crime, and because obtaining a handgun permit is very difficult for unwealthy persons who cannot afford lawyers, many citizens obtain handguns illegally; they adopt the adage that “it is better to be judged by twelve than to be carried by six.” They would rather face the risk of prosecution for an unlicensed handgun than face the risk of living in New York City without a handgun. Non-criminal New York City residents are estimated to own over two million unlicensed handguns.

      Much the same story can be told for Washington, D.C., where crime is even worse than New York City, where the police are notoriously ineffective, and where handgun purchases are entirely illegal.

      Accordingly, the simple fact that some Virginia guns were found at the crime scene in New York (or Washington) does not indicate whether they were found in the hands of a violent criminals, or in the hands of a good citizen who owned an unlicensed gun for legitimate protection.

      Indeed New York s gun criminals who own handguns under circumstances which would be entirely lawful in Virginia (possession of a handgun for home protection) are more likely to own a traceable handgun than are actual violent criminals. A person owning a handgun for home defense would have little reason to file off the serial number. But 60% of actual felons, according to the National Institute of Justice, consider a gun’s untraceability to be very important and another 21% consider it to be a little or somewhat important.

      It may well be true that a large number of residents of Washington, D.C., and New York City have obtained unlicensed handguns for protection, and some of these fearful citizens have been caught, and their guns have been traced back to a Virginia purchase. The fact does not prove that Virginia guns are being used in violent crime in New York or Washington. The fact proves that Virginia guns are being used for legitimate protection in cities which have attempted to outlaw self-defense.

      In fact, of the New York City firearms traced to Virginia during the first nine months of 1991, only 32 guns (or 17% of the traces) of Virginia guns related to a violent crime. The rest were associated with technical violations of New York City s arduous handgun licensing scheme, or other non-violent offenses. Forty-seven percent of the violations involved weapons possession crimes (including as simple possession of an unlicensed gun in the home); 35% involved other non-violent offenses (such as possessing a handgun and a gram of cocaine in the same apartment).

      One final factor suggesting caution in leaping from the Project Lead trace information to possibly unjustified conclusions about Virginia gun-running: The Virginia guns identified by Project Lead likely included guns which had been stolen from, rather than purchased in a gun store. and which had found their way through the black market to New York City. Project Lead does not attempt to determine if a Virginia gun found in New York had been stolen from a Virginian, and then transported to New York.

    • Dgeorge

      What is an embarrassment is the ignorance of the anti-second amendment people and their absolute lack of knowledge of our gun laws.

    • The Constitutionalist

      Someone that’s never handled a firearm in their life should not be making rules for the rational, intelligent, and educated approach to weapon safety.

      Kindly – a certified firearm instructor.

  • ??????????????????

    OK, moderator, why was that post showing the absurdity of his claim about the NRA deleted?

  • 30yearsinreston

    Anyone fed up.with Plum’s .excuses for
    inaction and 30 year old reminisces should know there is a young man asking for signatures to allow him on the ballot as an Independent
    He was at the library this week.
    He got mine

  • drb

    We see that the problem is with the states with strict gun laws for law abiding citizens. The criminals are the ones importing the guns for their criminal activity in those states and the citizens are undefended. Why is there less gun violence in Virginia? Or less innocent victims?
    BTW, have we noticed that it is Liberals that are trying to stop law abiding citizens from protecting themselves and they are the ones that go off and do the mass shootings?

    • Guest

      I like the first part of your comment. It’s a shame about that last sentence. The truth is that most politically motivated domestic terrorists in our country, including shooters, come from the right.

      I’m not saying they’re proper patriots. But these days, if you want armed individuals to tear into innocent bystanders while spouting dogma, look for the Gadsden flag.

      • drb

        My second part was a bit of hyperbole to make a point that the left just spouts off and blames the right for just about any and all things. But some of the recent shootings are from the left.

        Ft hood shooter

        Navy yard shooter

        Va. Tech shooter

        Colorado shooter

        Columbine shooters

        Congresswoman Gifford shooter

        Sandy Hook shooter

        • Guest

          Ft Hood: a radicalized fundamentalist and you claim he was liberal? Tell me more. Others are leftist but you don’t appear to understand left vs. lib. And I know we have a great memory, but 20 years isn’t recent.

          Let’s look at some actual recent terrorist shooters from the right. Within the last three years:

          Gavin Eugene Long

          Micah Xavier Johnson

          Robert Lewis Dear Jr.

          John Russell Houser

          Dylann Roof

          Jerad and Amanda Miller

          Frazier Glenn Miller

          If you don’t know those names, someone’s been feeding you selective news. I also didn’t name attackers too incompetent to succeed, or planned attackers arrested before implementing their plans. Thankfully, law enforcement pays attention to reports due to serious stockpiling, bragging, or a partner’s guilty conscience.

          • drb

            Please explain the difference of left vs. lib.
            But my list is what everyone remembers because they were all over the news for a long time and great effort was made to call them the right till someone actually did investigate and not take the news anchors word for it.
            Yes, I do include a fundamentalist Islamist as part of the democrats. or the left or the liberals or the progressives or the national socialist or the communists. They are allies against Americans.

          • Guest

            Left vs. lib in conservative words. Enjoy!

            “Everyone” apparently remembers a false narrative. What a shame. Because “Colorado” was a moderate. “Sandy Hook” was not a registered voter. “Columbines” were both too young. And so on. It’s actually a real shame that none of them felt a way to fight (perceived) oppression here in the USA outside of a gun.

            And fundamentalism, of any religion, is conservative by definition. Really.

            Again, check out those recent right wing shooters. Some of them even left behind swastika signs or the Gadsden flag!

          • drb

            Those shooters I listed all have been shown to have ties to the left. Even if mental illness was involved.
            Swastikas are of the left by definition. In fact all the positions that deny liberty or freedom is on the left as well. That is what makes them on the left.

          • Guest

            For “shown ties” we’ll just have to disagree.

            But seriously, someone’s messed with your definitions. Leftist politics are based in social equality. Right wing politics are founded in the idea of an immutable, natural order. That’s why the current “Alt-Right” chose that label for themselves.

            So, of course, Swastikas are of the right, while the “national socialist” label was always as false as the equally ruinous “German democratic republic” of East Germany. Both sold a false bill of equality before assuming power. Imagine how the populace felt afterward. Oh, wait. We don’t have to imagine, we’re living it.

  • PhilipVanCleave

    Delegate Plum, you put way too much credence in a miscreant’s bragging! If he buys more than one handgun in 5 business days from the same dealer, the dealer has to report those purchases to the BATFE by federal law. Another dumb criminal who doesn’t know, doesn’t care, about the law.

    The criminal network used “straw purchasers” to buy the guns. Straw purchasers have clean backgrounds – no background check is going to stop them, none, including the one in your bill. Illinois and DC have Universal Background Checks, do we really want their crime rates? Criminals also use stolen guns, no background check required for that source of firearms.

    Virginia had the One Handgun a Month for almost 20 YEARS. New York
    complained about Virginia the whole time because that law didn’t work!
    Criminals got around it using lots of straw purchasers and by theft. So it was repealed.

    Laws do not stop determined criminals, especially where there are huge profits to be found. New York’s draconian gun laws only disarm the good guys and create a large black market for guns – one that’s guaranteed to be filled by someone. (Even with New York’s horrible gun laws, the majority of the guns used by criminals in New York come from, wait for it, NEW YORK!)

    Since this criminal ring has been caught, long prison terms will hopefully shut down the pipeline, at least for a little while.

    Philip Van Cleave
    President – Virginia Citizens Defense League

    • The Constitutionalist

      I know would fix all of this. Let’s make it illegal to be a criminal, that’ll work!

  • ramrodd

    The TRUTH about the “supremacy clause” – our Constitution does not delegate to the government authority to restrict our arms, ammunition, regulate firearms dealers, do background checks, etc. The national government may not lawfully circumvent this restriction by means of a treaty wherein the signatory governments agree to disarm their Citizens or Subjects.

    https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/?s=The+TRUTH+about+the+%22supremacy+clause

  • ramrodd

    The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.” [Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859)]

  • ramrodd

    The NRA has been selling out the American gun owner for over 100 years. They actively supported the NFA in 1934, the Gun Control Act in 1968 and the oppositely named Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA) which removed the right of Americans to purchase new automatic or AOW weapons, a clear violation of the Second Amendment.

    All of this was done with the cooperation of the sellout Progressive owned and run Republitard Party as well.

  • ramrodd

    Dear NRA…..
    Stop “negotiating” excuses to INFRINGE on OUR RIGHTS.

    If there must be background checks, let’s try this idea…Are there any ‘legislators’ that are interested in a Constitutional Background Check?

    Since SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED means exactly that..

    Let’s try a “Background Check” that DOES NOT INFRINGE on anybodies RIGHTS…
    A FULL, IN DEPTH background check for ALL Politicians, Bureaucrats, and ALL government employees, and set MINIMAL INTELLIGENCE, JOB SKILLS AND CHARACTER QUALITIES that must be met before they can run for office,
    be appointed or hired.

    That way, WE, THE PEOPLE, get a much better class of politicians and bureaucrats, as well as EMPLOYEES that can be trained to do the jobs they are being hired for.

    Any bets on how hard the political class will fight to prevent it?

    THAT would be a Background Check that nearly ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS will support and I don’t much care if the illegals and their sycophants don’t like the idea.

  • drb

    I am not confused a bit. It seems you have bought into the propaganda of the left.

    • Guest

      I am telling you literal encyclopedia definitions. Are you taking a righteous stand against Big Reference?

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