Virginia judge says law banning sales of handguns to young adults is unconstitutional
A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that a law banning licensed federal firearms dealers from selling handguns to young adults under 21 violates the Second Amendment and is unconstitutional. The ruling came Wednesday. It would prevent dealers from selling handguns to 18- to 20-year-olds. Four plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of the 1968 law and associated regulations from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after they were turned down when they tried to buy handguns. Wednesday's ruling is the latest decision striking down gun laws in the wake of a landmark 2022 Supreme Court ruling. That ruling changed the test courts have long used to evaluate challenges to firearm restrictions.
Blacksburg community has mixed reactions to town’s gun ban
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Blacksburg Town Council approved a gun ban Tuesday night for town-owned property, including town hall and public parks and recreation centers. [Blacksburg leaders unanimously approve gun ban on town-owned property]Town leaders were able to do this thanks to legislation passed by the General Assembly. So far, it has received mixed reactions across town. If I’m not allowed to have a firearm and somebody has one illegally, he’s protected, I’m not,” said McHale. The ban also applies to town-permitted events on public property.
Blacksburg leaders unanimously approve gun ban on town-owned property
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Blacksburg Town Council unanimously approved a gun ban on town-owned property, including town hall, public parks, and rec centers Tuesday night. Cole Harden of Blacksburg was one of a few who spoke against the ban. Although they added the “super majority” of emails received against the ban were from those out of town. “I just wanted to express my appreciation for the courage of our Blacksburg Town Council for taking this on after so long,” Gillespie said. It was also prepared for any possible confrontation, with about a dozen police officers, including Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson, standing by in chambers and in the hallway.
Roanoke postpones public hearing to consider prohibiting firearms on city property
ROANOKE, Va. – Citizens in the Star City have to wait a little longer to have their voices heard by the city council regarding gun laws. On Monday, Roanoke City Council initially approved a request for a public hearing to be held on Jan. 19 to get input from residents about the council’s consideration of an ordinance prohibiting firearms on city property. However, that hearing has been pushed back. Officials said the adoption of the ordinance is permitted by an amendment to Section 15.2-915 of the Code of Virginia, “Prohibition of Firearms on City Property,” which was effective July 1, 2020. According to official documents, the law doesn’t require a public hearing prior, but Roanoke did this in an effort to promote transparency and allow residents to participate in their government.
Changes coming to Virginia’s concealed carry permit process on January 1
ROANOKE, Va. – The new year will bring a change to the concealed carry permit application process in Virginia. If you were planning on completing online training for a concealed carry permit, time is running out. SafeSide Tactical, which has locations in Roanoke and Lynchburg, started offering its concealed carry course online earlier this year after having to cut class sizes to maintain social distancing guidelines in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly, all training for a concealed carry permit must be taken in person starting January 1. It is illegal in Virginia to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
Walmart reverses decision to remove guns and ammo from store shelves
But, “as the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today,” he said Friday. The move comes four days before the presidential election, which Presidential Donald Trump has suggested he will contest in the event of a win by former Vice President Joe Biden. Across the country, stores have begun boarding up windows and hiring additional security to prepare for any potential property damage. “Many have (and will be) boarding up locations or relying on other safety precautions — normally methods that are reserved for severe weather incidents,” Tom Buiocchi, CEO of the facilities software company ServiceChannel, told NBC News in an email. From May to July, ServiceChannel saw about $20.4 million in invoices for work orders related to civil unrest.
Roanoke Valley Gun Show attracts 2nd Amendment supporters to Berglund Center
ROANOKE, Va. – The Berglund Center became a place to celebrate and shop in support of the 2nd Amendment on Saturday, and COVID-19 may have made the right to bear arms even more attractive for some. People lined up across the Berglund complex Saturday morning for tickets to the Roanoke Valley Gun Show. Event organizer Annette Elliott said the show faces a unique challenge this year for another reason. “Guns are in short supply now, manufacturers are backed up until January 2021 is what I’m understanding,” Elliott said. They’re under the same challenge at the manufacturing level because of COVID.”The Roanoke Valley Gun Show continues through the weekend.
‘We’re really in an ammo crisis’: Virginia gun stores impacted by national gun, ammo shortage
ROANOKE, Va. – At SafeSide Tactical in Roanoke, the ammo shelves are getting bare and about a dozen are completely empty. When we sell a gun, customers expect to be able to purchase ammo so they can use the gun. To put the gun shortage in perspective, SafeSide Tactical was seeing about a 90% decrease in availability on Thursday. “A lot of folks learned a small part of this lesson in 2013 during the ammo shortage,” said Tyler. Now, we’re really in an ammo crisis.”He said the company is looking at what it can do from a manufacturing standpoint to combat the shortage for local gun shops and ranges.
Police: Lynchburg man sought out people selling online to steal their guns
LYNCHBURG, Va. – A Lynchburg man is in jail after police said he stole several guns by responding to people selling guns online and asking them to move the sale to a more remote location before stealing the guns from them. On June 29, James arranged to buy a gun at a 7-11 store on Fort Avenue but changed the location and then stole two semi-automatic pistols from the victim, according to Lynchburg police. On July 11, James arranged to buy a gun at James Crossing Apartments, but James “coaxed” the victim away from the original location and tried to steal a semi-automatic rifle, according to Lynchburg police. Police said in the July 11 incident, the victim chased James and recovered the rifle while James ran away into the woods. The Lynchburg Police Department reminded all citizens to be cautious when selling or buying items online and to do so in a well-lit, public place that has video security cameras in place.
‘A rough week’: Roanoke’s gun violence task force meets as city sees 7 shootings
ROANOKE, Va. – Friday morning, Roanoke City’s Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence met to help curb shootings in the Star City. The city’s task force, renamed the Ad Hoc Study Committee on the Reduction of Gun Violence, discussed gang violence and re-incarceration, education and safer neighborhoods. Roanoke City Police Chief Sam Roman updated the group on crime statistics in the city. Solutions included forming a comprehensive plan for folks to re-enter society after serving jail time, educating youth, and sharing stories about how gun violence has impacted people in the community. The committee discussed meeting bi-weekly, instead of just once a month.
Roanoke’s vice mayor reacts to violent weekend of shootings
ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke Vice Mayor Joe Cobb is reacting to the recent gun violence that took place in the city over the weekend. Cobb said it was alarming to hear about the four separate shootings that injured three different people, including a juvenile male. This week, the city’s Task Force to Reduce Gun Violence is going to meet virtually for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started. “We’re a little behind, but we are now poised to be able to make up some ground and move forward,” said Cobb. The task force is meeting virtually via Zoom at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 17.
Virginia’s new gun background check law headed to court in Lynchburg
LYNCHBURG, Va. – A local circuit court is about to become the latest battleground over Virginia’s new law expanding background checks for people buying guns. On Thursday, a Lynchburg Circuit Court judge will hear a lawsuit from gun lobbyists. Attorney General Mark Herring filed a brief Tuesday to defend the law. Starting Wednesday a background check is required for all gun sales, including guns bought from an unlicensed dealer at a gun show. The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard at 1:30 p.m.
New gun control laws taking effect in Virginia on July 1
ROANOKE, Va. Ahead of new guns laws that take effect in Virginia on Wednesday, gun owners in the Roanoke Valley are speaking out about the new restrictions. Gun owners, including Aliya Fitz-El, stopped at Roanoke Firearms to stock up. A lawsuit filed by gun rights lobbyists to block the law was denied by a judge last week. That kind of hurts the gun shows a little bit because instead of instant background check, youve got an hour or two or maybe a day or two background check, said Cochran. I havent seen a lot of people coming in just to buy their handguns because the new laws taking place tomorrow, said Cochran.
Judge denies attempt to block Virginia’s new one-handgun-a-month sales law
RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia’s new handgun sales law will be going into effect as planned. On Thursday, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that a judge has denied the gun lobby’s attempt to block the one-handgun-a-month law. Herring called it, “a huge win for public safety,” in a tweet and continued, saying, “Proud we could successfully defend this commonsense law to reduce gun trafficking and keep Virginians safe.”🚨BREAKING🚨A judge has DENIED the gun lobby’s attempt to block the one-handgun-a-month law. “I am really pleased that the judge agreed with me today and rejected the gun lobby’s attempt to block the one-handgun-a-month law. “Virginia had a one-handgun-a-month law in effect for nearly twenty years that was extremely successful in keeping firearms out of our communities and out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
Gun rights advocates sue to block Virginia handgun sales law
RICHMOND, Va. – Gun rights advocates are suing to block a Virginia law from taking effect that would ban people from being able to buy more than one handgun a month. The Virginia Citizens Defense League, Gun Owners of America and Gun Owners Foundation are among plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed recently in a circuit court. Virginia’s Democrat-controlled General Assembly passed the bill, along with other gun control measures, in April and Gov. Law enforcement officers, correctional officers, antique firearms dealers and concealed handgun permit holders are among a list of those exempt from the law. Attorney General Mark Herring said he would defend the bill, The Virginian-Pilot reported, citing a statement from the prosecutor.
State police to keep troopers at Capitol ‘as long as needed’ after threats of violence for rally
RICHMOND, Va. – After threats of violence at Virginia’s Capitol ahead of Monday’s large gun rights rally, Virginia State Police plan to continue to help Capitol police with security in Richmond “as long as needed,” a spokesperson told 10 News on Friday. Dozens of state police troopers were there for Monday's event. The spokesperson said VSP won't know the total costs from the day for several weeks. A 10 News crew saw many more officers than normal in and around the Capitol Tuesday, the day after the rally. Aside from Monday’s event, state police said they don’t expect extra costs for the legislative session because troopers are working their normal shifts.
NRA holds town hall meeting in Roanoke
ROANOKE, Va. – The NRA says turnout was more than they expected for a gun legislation roundtable in Roanoke on Friday night. They said the purpose of the meeting was to educate supporters on how they can voice their views on gun laws and proposed legislation. “We just want to make sure that we turn their engagement into visits to the Capitol and into context with their lawmakers. That’s really our focus to make sure their voices are heard,” said Katherine Mortensen, NRA spokesperson. Another meeting is scheduled for Saturday in Lexington.
Safeside Tactical prepared for uncertain future of state gun laws
ROANOKE, Va. – On Monday, Bedford County was poised to become the latest Second Amendment sanctuary in response to proposed state gun laws. Because of the proposed gun laws and more than 40 localities choosing to take a stance against them, business is up at Safeside Tactical in Roanoke. Co-owner Mitchell Tyler said interest in conceal and carry classes has increased, as have sales of both guns and accessories. So, if retail sales are down on this one segment, we’ll see a natural progression; more people using the range, more people taking training classes," Tyler said. People in Salem were also expected to address the Second Amendment sanctuary issue Monday night during a meet and greet for the city manager.
Safeside Tactical, Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare partner for “Mental Health First Aid” class
ROANOKE, Va. – Two Roanoke organizations are exploring the intersection of mental health and firearms with a training course during the weekend. Safeside Tactical, a gun store and range in Roanoke, will host Blue Ridge Behavioral Health’s “Mental Health First Aid” course Saturday morning. The training focuses on suicide prevention, as well as looking for mental health warning signs in others before they pick up a gun. Sheila Lythgoe, who runs the training for Blue Ridge Behavioral Health, said Safeside Tactical reached out to her first about collaborating. “It’s really just asking those tough questions about, ‘Are you thinking about suicide?’" Lythgoe said.