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VA – GUN POLITICS – Double-Standard: Virginia Eliminates Online Carry Courses While Promoting Distancing for Everything Else

Virginia has provided a stark example of how gun control is aimed at harassing law-abiding gun owners rather than improving public safety. As part of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the General Assembly’s sweeping attack on gun rights in 2020, anti-gun lawmakers enacted legislation that made it more difficult for gun owners to obtain the required training for a Right-to-Carry permit. Prior to January 1, applicants had been able to prove their competence with a handgun by providing proof of “Completing any firearms training or safety course or class, including an electronic, video, or online course, conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor.” HB 264, signed into law by Gov. Northam on March 23, removed the electronic, video or online course options and required a qualifying firearm training or safety course to take place in-person. Such legislation is always aimed at inconveniencing gun owners rather than improving public safety. In his book More Guns, Less Crime, Economist John Lott noted that “the presence or length of the training periods typically show no effect on crime…” and “there is no doubt that longer training requirements discourage some people from getting permits.” However, this legislation is particularly galling given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s response to it. Just as the state government is encouraging Virginians to social distance, including distance learning, it has cut off a vital distance learning tool for gun owners. The problem has been exacerbated by Northam’s onerous COVID-19 restrictions on indoor shooting ranges.  [full article]

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