Virginia Watch: Bill Would Shut Down Non-Gov’t Owned Shooting Ranges, Including NRA Facility

The NRA’s indoor range at the organization’s headquarters in Fairfax, VA. (Photo: NRA)

In Virginia this week, Democratic lawmakers are busy throwing the proverbial spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.  Thus far, over 100 anti-gun bills have been introduced, covering everything from black rifle bans and bump stock prohibitions to universal background checks and red-flag orders.  

Of the more eye-popping measures filed is one that would effectively shut down all indoor shooting ranges of a certain size not owned by the government. Say what?!

HB 567, introduced by Delegate Daniel Helmer (D-40th), reads as follows:

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.

Ranges of that size must cater overwhelmingly to law enforcement and they must track users in a database! Sounds terribly Orwellian! 

Violators would face stiff fines; up to $100,000 for the initial violation and $5,000 per day for each subsequent violation.  Which is certainly enough to put almost any range out of business within a week’s time.  

Across the entire state, though, there are only two indoor ranges that would be affected by HB 567.  One, not surprisingly, is the facility at the NRA’s headquarters in Fairfax.  

In other words, this draconian bill was designed to force the NRA to close the doors to its range.    

Delegate Helmer seemed to admit as much when he spoke to the Prince William Times.  “Yes, this plan would affect the NRA, we also think it will save lives,” he said, though he did not elaborate on how it would “save lives.”

SEE ALSO: Here’s the List of Bills Anti-Gunners Plan to Enact in Virginia

One would think that this would have unconditional support from the anti-gun community because when given the opportunity to pot shot the “evil” gun lobby, what many of them have dubbed a “terrorist organization,” who wouldn’t be on board, right?

But at least one “gun-violence prevention” advocate said it was “ill-advised” to “poke the NRA in the eye.”

“I think it was a very ill-advised move,” Andrew Goddard, the legislative director of the Virginia Center for Public Safety told The Trace Wednesday. “It’s actually counterproductive.”

“If gun owners don’t get the chance to train,” he continued, “then we are going to have more untrained gun owners walking around with weapons, and that’s not going to make us any safer.”

Goddard said that he was going to personally talk with Helmer about HB 567, supposedly in an effort to get him to back off. 

That said, it along with all the other crazy bills introduced this week are in play at the moment.  We won’t know what actually sticks, that is what will garner serious consideration and an eventual vote for at least a few weeks. (A good place to start, however, is here, as these seem to be the more popular bills being discussed amongst Dems).

And, as always, stay tuned for updates.    

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 67 comments… add one }
  • Bird January 15, 2020, 3:20 pm

    Unfortunately law enforcement officers and agencies are always put on the front lines of political tyranny in this country. History tells us tyrannical governments aren’t changed by the stroke of a pen. They are however corrupted by the stroke of one. Eventually we’ll all keep talking the talk and become defenceless slaves? or walk the walk and defeat the communist domestic tyranny which is consuming our way of lifes.

  • Whathappenedto mycountry January 13, 2020, 8:25 am

    The word “unless” at the beginning of the bill says 50 employees in the building…what indoor range employs 50? Must be a massive indoor range. So any range that has less than 50 employees in the building is ok? They need to go back to school.

  • Goetz vB January 11, 2020, 10:00 pm

    In time all 48 continental states will be under gun control. For example, California will never ever be red again. Because anyone who complains about this is called a white nationalist, it is clear that these schemes are meant to be anti-white.

  • Steve January 11, 2020, 2:28 pm

    There is NO use commenting. Communist leaders will do what they want. But, I will make this comment. ” The only thing necessary for evil men to succeed is for good men to do nothing”.

  • Greg January 10, 2020, 8:00 pm

    For those that did not read the WHOLE article. This bill is only going to impact 2 gun ranges in VA. The only gun ranges that it will impact will be those in large buildings with 50+ employees (NOT most gun ranges) so it is targeting the NRA HQ building because it has more than 50 people working there.
    What the idiot politicians DON”T realize is that the NRA can simply build a new bigger better range, re-arrange the building (s) maybe add done walls and doors and give it a different address and only have range employees listed as working there. Yep, it will be a big waste of money, but what else does government cause?

  • Beachhawk January 10, 2020, 7:09 pm

    The voters in the Commonwealth of Virginia elected a legislature comprised of the most crazy liberal politicians who hate conservatives, guns and the NRA. Now those same voters are going to have to live with the results. I hope they enjoy what they have wrought. I don’t think it has quite occurred to them yet that the very politicians they elected are just getting started and gun control is just the beginning of fascism in the home of the founding fathers and the Mother of Presidents.

  • Clint W. January 10, 2020, 3:28 pm

    “Helmer is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and a Rhodes Scholar.”

    Well, being a smart veteran apparently negates common sense and the US Constitution. For those Virginians who comment here, get his email and comment to him directly what a stupid idea he has. If Helmer wants to ‘save lives’ he could save a lot more by banning alcohol, drugs ( how has that worked?), lottery’s and gambling which have the potential to rob the home of stable incomes and increases the expenses of state social programs plus makes stealing and pawning of stuff to feed the need a neighborhood problem, backyard swimming pools, and all household electric devices…if you really want to save lives.

  • william Shrieves January 10, 2020, 2:35 pm

    if and I say if these bills on gun control laws are passed you will ,maybe see civil war, hope not

  • Zupglick January 10, 2020, 12:57 pm

    Democrats just want their slaves back. They don’t care what color they are.

  • Larry Viles January 10, 2020, 12:56 pm

    So, the Dems in Virginia are proposing a law that says you must produce a government issued picture ID to use a firing range. Odd that they fight any attempt to require the same to vote. Oh, and claim it’s racist.

  • MBG January 10, 2020, 12:18 pm

    Just noting that indoor shooting ranges are currently regulated by local government zoning ordinances in Virginia. So, despite promises by the Dems that they would expand the authority of local governments once in power, we see another proposal that further limits the authority of those local governments. Perhaps as retribution for all those 2A resolutions? Virginia is for lovers,

  • Robin R. Price January 10, 2020, 11:54 am

    Well it looks like there will be no Freedom in Virginia after the Dems get done. If you are a Law abiding resident and own Guns I would say YOU HAD BETTER MOVE OUT OF VIRGINIA !! GOOD LUCK

  • Mark H. January 10, 2020, 11:00 am

    Of course, and then they close any and all state ranges.

  • TK. Anderson January 10, 2020, 10:55 am

    These are not laws, policies nor attempts at increasing public safety. It is a direct attack on the United States Constitution, the guaranteed and protected rights of the people and a criminal violation of oath of office. The intent and actions of the Virginia State Government is absent and far beyond the expectant duty of caring for the business of the people and have fallen well within the definition of a “domestic” enemy. The act of legislating laws “willfully and knowingly” that violate the individual rights of the people and the United States Constitution, is a direct attack on the people and the sovereignty of the United States. It is the duty by expectation of the people to protect and defend themselves and the United States Constitution against a enemies foriegn and domestic. The actions of the Virgina Government is past protesting.

    • Dave Emery January 10, 2020, 2:21 pm

      Too bad We the People have been neutered and have no courage.

      • russ January 10, 2020, 3:55 pm

        I am a Navy veteran that was stationed in Dam Neck back in the 70s and loved it. Breaks my heart to see what is going on to this wonderful state.

    • Brent Baird January 10, 2020, 6:04 pm

      Personally , i’m done with all the anti-gun posturing, i’m 63 years old and heard all I care to hear!I’m not going to go and protest or any of that crap , that just fuels the meme. I’m ready for them to pass the laws and have it all blow up . Move? No , I ain’t gonna move from VA. , they can be moved in a pine box. Might as well take it national , just get it out in the open and finish it for good! ******Tired of mental illness!! ******

  • Mario January 10, 2020, 10:33 am

    I blame the NRA for bringing this on themselves. Knowing that we’re facing this huge fight for the 2A they’ve allowed a lot of internal turmoil and in the 2A community the NRA is not universally loved. One thing the NRA can do is FOIA every legislator who submitted these proposals and expose the paper trail between the legislators and Bloomberg’s minions. Also, the NRA and the other range could fight the bill to close them down as the government is targeting a legitimate business for no valid reason. More people have been killed in Target and Walmart parking lots than in the NRA range.

    • Bob B January 10, 2020, 12:01 pm

      Blame the voting public of Virginia, not the NRA, they are the ones who elected these clowns.

      • Samuel J Graham January 10, 2020, 1:10 pm

        Do you live in Virginia ? We were gerrymandered to get Democrats elected. An over abundance of immigrants moved to Virginia in the last 10 years. They mostly vote Democrat. Get your facts before you make uninformed statements.

        • Richard Hoyt January 10, 2020, 4:14 pm

          40% voter turnout. People stayed home. The People get the government they deserve.

    • Scooter January 10, 2020, 8:05 pm

      It is not the fault of the NRA, wake up . Reach down and get ahold of yourself.

  • Daniel G. Druehl January 10, 2020, 10:17 am

    Heil Hitler! These morons have their heads in a deep dark hole. History speaks a very strong tale about removing the people’s liberties, something the leftists will never get.

  • jack schmidt January 10, 2020, 10:13 am

    you call Trump a Nazi or Hitler . this is the start of what Germany went thru before the 2nd world war . this is what the Democrats and the Squad want . why don’t we get rid of those B _ _ _ _ _ S its documented on what they have done wrong and its enough to remove them and or go to trial with them Pelosi is afraid and I guess her panthose are to tight and is effecting her brain . Virginia you people are terrorists with these laws , racists and unamericans and Soros anarchists

  • Ti January 10, 2020, 10:04 am

    Let’s see – keep the baby or ABORT IT? Your choice.

    Own a firearm or NOT?
    NO you don’t get to choose!

    Mind your own GD business!

  • justjim January 10, 2020, 9:58 am

    This isn’t just VIRGINIA. This is NATION WIDE. The strategy of pushing tens or tens of tens of gun bills in a single session is a careful strategy to overload the citizenry. Who has the time to attend 100, 60 or even ten committee meetings to testify in opposition? or to draft letters to each of their representatives regarding each bill proposed?

    (I hope you All are taking the time to call, email, and VISIT the offices of your senators and representatives. Even a simple message to “OPPOSE ALL CURRENT GUN CONTROL BILLS” is better than doing nothing.

    Better yet is attending town hall meetings (yes it’s inconvenient – but so is being disarmed). Here you can call them out publicly on the issues and make them squirm in full view of other voters. AND it is an opportunity to educate those other voters. Please, do it.

  • Ronnie Pigg January 10, 2020, 9:23 am

    I challenge everyone who comments on Guns America or what ever Pro-Gun Right organization you belong to to attend the protest against these issues(when the date is announce) to go and support this form of communism. Let’s show how strong we really are.

    Side Note: Chucky Schumer has a Carry Permit. He from New York. If it was not for his political power he wouldn’t have one. Bloomberg has 9 armed body guards who are 6’3″ or taller. What’s he scared of? I guess his mouth.

  • WILLB2 January 10, 2020, 9:08 am

    Indoor ranges in Florida already follow these “rules?” Not sure about other States.

    • Mario January 10, 2020, 10:25 am

      Same here in Colorado. You have to show a government issued ID to shoot at a range. A lot of foreign tourists shoot at my local range and they use their passports. A visitor from Amsterdam told me it was easier for him to take his sons shooting here in the US than back at home and he was a cop!

      • Mark kaul January 10, 2020, 2:18 pm

        The ID and logging of shooters is not the biggest issue with the bill (though it is concerning). They are attempting to close a range because the government doesn’t own it (or more precisely the NRA does). Trace the $$$ Bloomberg is behind this.

  • Chuck January 10, 2020, 9:00 am

    Virginia, one of the birth places of our country’s freedom ….. have you forgotten Patrick Henry words…
    “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death”

    Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

    “No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery…..”

  • Hal January 10, 2020, 8:44 am

    When are the people of Virginia going to start recalling all of these anti-gun Democrats?

  • Skip Markley January 10, 2020, 8:39 am

    Wake up Virginia – you can fix this mess by removing the democrats from office in the upcoming election. Every gun owning citizen must vote in November!

  • Jay January 10, 2020, 8:37 am

    What’s cooking up in Virginia is real and it will turn into something! The whole Virginia thing is a Deep State Dream coming true! Gun owners make up a little more than a third of Americans. We are constantly barraged by the lies in the Lame Stream media as White Nationalist, gun crazy red necks etc…..you’ve heard them all. Remember the biker Twin Peaks scenario in a restaurant all started by the under cover cops and law enforcement to make a point!? Well it will happen in Virginia by some sniper or two, under cover cops/law enforcement under the governors control all by design/plan and carried out to make all gun owners look like a bunch of bad terrorist thugs and radical people that do indeed need those bad guns taking away and Americas dumb down will fall for it and you know what comes next! Be ready for the fall out as they will make some thing happen, mark my word!

  • James January 10, 2020, 8:33 am

    Is it sad that Virginia ( once a bedrock of Red party values , especially gun rights ) has been infected by its proximity to the Beltway of Wash,DC. These mass amount of gun bills is actually smarter than one large bill that would easily be shot down ( no pun intended ) . Too bad that their “shotgun ” of bills will mean SOME may actually pass . Sheer Numbers can win any battle . Cross our fingers that none pass . What part of ” shall not be infringed ” is so difficult to comprehend ???

  • Big John January 10, 2020, 8:26 am

    Shutting down the NRA Range won’t bring them to the forefront of this fight…now if you were to ban Wayne LaPierre’s wardrobe account or take away his 57% pay raise, that would garner their attention.

    NRA (No Real Action).

  • RJ January 10, 2020, 8:14 am

    Open letter to the NRA
    Dear Sirs,
    As a long term NRA member, this is an invitation to move your headquarters and it’s gun range to the wonderful state of Missouri. As transplanted Ozarkian, I can brag to you about the beautiful natural wonders of Missouri, the friendly southern charm of it’s citizens and the many family friendly virtues of the state. As you well know, Springfield, in Bass Pro Shops headquarters, houses an NRA firearms museum, so you certainly are aware of Missouri’s benefits. I invite you to join us. Jump in, the water at Table Rock Lake is fine.

    • D.J. January 10, 2020, 9:31 am

      As an Ohioian , and life NRA member , I would like to propose a
      move to the Buckeye state .
      Southeast Ohio is a deer hunter’s paradise , Camp Perry in the
      northern part of the state is the home of the National Matches , and
      so far , the state government has not gone insane with its firearm laws .
      No offense to ” mighty Mo. ” , but I thought I’d plug my state as well .

  • Abby Normal January 10, 2020, 8:11 am

    I am reading that there is an armed multi-State militia march to Virginia on the 20th of January in protest. It should be lots of fun. I know that I’m riding with a couple friends. Vacation is already approved for that week.

  • Jim RET/DAV/USA January 10, 2020, 8:08 am

    looking at this – entire Virginia “gov’t” needs be shut down – lost mind(s) – people of VA should go in for massive gov’t recall.

    • John Rogers January 10, 2020, 9:33 am

      I’m surprised there hasn’t already been a massive recall under rule 308.

  • JGinNJ January 10, 2020, 7:40 am

    The proposed bill says a range user would need a government issued ID? How unfair and unsafe – wouldn’t it mean that illegal alien gang members would not be able to practice shooting so they handle and use guns more effectively? Shocking. This will result in less precision in drive by shootings and more month old babies killed thanks to poor aim. A better law would be one that demanded all illegal alien gang members reach a competitive level in target shooting, otherwise they will be designated as “illegal” illegals and banned from murdering anybody.

    • Tod January 10, 2020, 11:20 am

      How come no one talks about why the gun violent statistics are so high and where the biggest percentage is coming from?, illegals and gangs members. Stop them, change the Statistics, Which would be the most effective way to solve the problem. How come the Dems and most people don’t see this truth??

    • Dean Gans January 10, 2020, 2:13 pm

      They can’t practice shooting, but no ID required to vote….

  • ROBERT January 10, 2020, 7:22 am

    There is a little-known Federal law, passed somewhere around the beginning of the 1900’s, mandating that any range built using public funds MUST be made available for PUBLIC use.
    [That means all police ranges, all military ranges, …]
    I read it back in the 1970’s, but have lost the citation over the years. If anyone knows it, I would appreciate you posting it.

  • Chuck January 10, 2020, 7:20 am

    Governor Blackface Babykiller needs to keep in mind that there will be nullification and defensive uncivil disobedience if any one of these proposed edicts gets approved. Notice that I don’t call them laws because they’re not.

    So if they keep it up the D-Rats may get to know what it felt like to be Confederates on the wrong side of history. And yeah, under the First Amendment I can say that.

  • ROBERT January 10, 2020, 7:19 am

    VIRGINIA is asking for more trouble than they bargained for [at least in the headache department.]
    There is a little-known Federal law, passed somewhere around the beginning of the 1900’s, mandating that any range built using public funds MUST be made available for PUBLIC use.
    [That means all police ranges, all military ranges, …]

    • Alan Robinson January 10, 2020, 9:19 am

      Why would you think it’s trouble for them???
      The Law you speak to is the Pittman Robertson act, and it is so poorly put together that a State or County CAN use those funds, then set up a specific schedule for the General Public to use the range, all the while they control the range and make it very difficult or inconvenient for the Public to use.
      That’s exactly what we have here in Colorado, and the Counties use those ranges for their police forces, and have a very small window for us.

  • Chuck January 10, 2020, 7:07 am

    Governor Blackface Babykiller and his D-Rat ilk should keep in mind that those he and his D-Rat ilk plan to bully will experience the followiing : nullification and defensive uncivil resistance. So it won’t end well for the D-Rats if any one of these proposed edicts becomes “law.”

    But keep it up you good-for-nothing D-Rats and you’ll spark the second civil war, and like the Confederates that you are you’ll once again be the losers and be on the wrong side of history.

  • Frank s January 10, 2020, 6:45 am

    The NRA will contest the bill in court if it passes. Sounds like at least one person has a little common sense about it though.

  • Henry Stamm January 10, 2020, 6:43 am

    Looks like all the commies, fascists, nazies, racists of all races have moved to Virginia and CA. Sad

    • Andrew Ling January 10, 2020, 8:20 am

      Oh, geez! Please don’t say that. I fled Hawaii for VA in 1990 for good measure.
      I hope you are dead wrong about this. VA will never be a commies, fascists, nazies, racist state, Nevah!
      I certify it. I shoot at NRA all the time. The place is my sanctuary.

  • Robert Frasconi January 10, 2020, 6:35 am

    The NRA (Negotiate Rights Away) is, in large part, responsible for this. It has failed many times to oppose restrictions on firearms.

    Post-Las Vegas Massacre, it paved the way for President Trump’s dictatorial edict to ban a gun accessory. This action led to the president’s calls to “take the guns first, and worry about due process later.” Unconstitutional red flag laws have been enacted in a number of states and are being considered in others.

    Democrats, emboldened by the Trump actions, proclaimed that they would take unilateral action to institute firearms bans, if elected to the office of President.

    President Trump extols the virtues of the 2A at campaign rallies while using his office to destroy it in actuality.

    Don’t believe it?

    Name one major pro-2A action President Trump has taken. Has the NFA been repealed? Has any part of the NFA been changed to lessen restrictions? Constitutional carry and Hearing Protection Act initiatives have given way to bump stock bans, red flag laws, and silience on Virginia’s imminent attempt to usurp natural rights.

    Contra their rhetoric, neither the NRA nor Donald Judas Trump actually support the 2A.

    Virginians and all free men who possess the natural right to keep and bear arms are not going to vote themselves out of this assault on bedrock rights. That is due in very large part to President Trump and the NRA.

    • johnnyraygun January 10, 2020, 8:19 am

      I agree completely. Trump does not own, or like firearms, even though his kids shoot and hunt. He wants power and will use us firearms owners as puppets to get that power. Clinton was the gun grabber,,,W. Bush left us alone and even Obama, in his first term, started out against gun control.

      • Jake January 10, 2020, 2:17 pm

        It would be nice for commenters not to be uninformed. Trump had a concealed carry license in NY but has now moved to Florida.

    • Jay January 10, 2020, 8:41 am

      Trump is the Trojan Horse and it’s belly will open up soon!

      • Michael C January 10, 2020, 12:51 pm

        As Mr. Frasconi stated, I think we are already getting glimpses into the belly of this beast. On the campaign trail, President Trump was all about the Second Amendment. He knew that’s what it would take to get the “deplorables” (as per Hillary) out to vote. Now, I don’t feel like a deplorable, but I do feel like a pawn.

        What we need is federal preemption. Basically, it would be what the sanctuary states/municipalities are doing, only at the federal level. Furthermore, ANY proposed “law” that contradicts the constitution would be illegal and unenforceable. A state that passes any such legislation will bear all direct and ancillary costs incurred by defendants in their defense.

      • Jake January 10, 2020, 2:18 pm

        Troll.

  • Steve January 10, 2020, 6:33 am

    Apparently, the totalitarians have escaped the dustbin of history in the shameful state of Virginia.

  • Gus January 10, 2020, 6:15 am

    Okay, just to be clear, these dimwits want to shut down the only SAFE places for legally law abiding gun owners to go to to train, practice and use their guns IN A NON VIOLENT MANNER, and this makes sense how?

    • ROBERT January 10, 2020, 7:31 am

      ABSOLUTELY!

    • JGinNJ January 10, 2020, 7:57 am

      With the shutdown legal law abiding gun owners will have equal opportunity to attain the same skill levels as illegal alien gang members, with the same safety standards and levels of violence. It makes sense because it levels the playing field between common people and criminals, and nothing is more important than that, unless we want to make up for our past transgressions and give the criminals a break for a few decades, maybe by giving them free ammunition to shoot in their illegal guns or to use in illegal robberies or illegal murders.

  • Joel Macha January 10, 2020, 5:44 am

    this is very similar to what the Nazi party did shortly after coming to power,and we all know how that turned out.

  • BigC January 10, 2020, 5:33 am

    I’ve got a better idea, let’s ban idiot Democrap politicians!!

    • ROBERT January 10, 2020, 7:34 am

      YOU CAN ELECT A “MAN” TO CONGRESS, BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE HIM THINK.

  • Mark January 10, 2020, 5:26 am

    If you read a previous article showing Hitler you will see that one of the things done in Germany was to close down private shooting ranges. Sounds familiar.

  • glenn January 10, 2020, 3:53 am

    Nonsense!!! Lol…no one will believe or comply with utter nonsense such as this.all wwe like ridiculouse distraction of yet more mk ultra of the sheeple that any illussion of choice is reality…this all goes against natural law and is a compleat fraude.

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