Virginia's HB319 issue

VA HB319 | 2024 | Regular Session | LegiScan

I have been trying to find the bill number for this for a couple days now. Very thankful for the Email this morning, USCCA instructor support.

I imagine that I am not the only instructor in Virginia this effects, does this honestly have any real chance of getting passed the governors desk? I’m finally trying to get my business off the ground and the Virginia Dems are as usual, trying very hard to make me not like them.


Contact Nick, tell him how this bill is going to affect you.
(804) 698-1062


Every instructor, heck, every gun owning resident, in Virginia, should be an active member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). The group is one of the best state-level 2A orgainzations in the country,
Use their VCDL Politics page to learn about relevant bills and their status.
Here is what that page tells us about HB319 as of 1/15/24:

HB319 Patron: Dan I. Helmer - all patrons
Firearms instructors and safety programs; National Rifle Association and United States Concealed Carry Association. Removes references to the National Rifle Association (the NRA) and the United States Concealed Carry Association from the Code that allow the organizations to certify ranges and instructors and for courses offered by them to serve as proof of demonstrated competence in firearms safety and training for the purpose of obtaining a concealed handgun permit or receiving training as a minor in the use of pneumatic guns. The bill also repeals authority for special license plates in support of the NRA.
VCDL Comments
This bill takes firearm courses offered by the National Rifle Association and the United States Concealed Carry Association and any of either one’s instructors off the list of courses that satisfy the training requirement to get a concealed handgun permit. The NRA has been known for its top-notch firearm training since its inception. The USCCA offers similar training courses. This bill, which seems like a personal vendetta against the NRA and the USCCA, would make it significantly harder and more expensive for permit applicants to get the training required by Virginia. If the goal is the get as many people trained as possible, this bill will do just the opposite.
Status as of 1/15/24
01/05/24 House: Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/24 24102857D
01/05/24 House: Referred to Committee on Public Safety


I have a few delegates to email today, honestly. Del. Fritas was already on the short list. We need more like him in the statehouse. I need to go pay a visit to mines office. Have been a VCDL member for years, I called myself looking at their action emails regularly, I must have missed it somehow. VCDL Lobby day is today, but I will unfortunately not be able to attend this year. I hear its going to be another big one, hopefully as big as 2020 was.


I just read the entire text of HB319.. In one sense it is not a terrible bill, but the reality is we don’t really know where it will take us. If made law, it would remove NRA and USCCA as automatic instructor-approval entities, and instead push that responsibility to the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

The result will be that the Department of Criminal Justice Services will have to develop, publish, and manage an instructor certification program. That department could, in theory, use certification by recognized entities, like NRA, USCCA, RangeMaster, GunSite, Sig Sauer Academy, NAAGA, or others, as a prerequisite to being a state license instructor. Or they could go in the direction California is doing and limit that to state law enforcement certified instructors.
Here in Arkansas, for many years to become a CHCL Instructor registered with the State Police, NRA instructor certification was required. I have been told (but not yet confirmed) that very recently USCCA was added to that short list.

There are pros and cons to making any state-level policy either a matter of law in statute, or a matter of regulation in the hands of the bureaucrats. Part of the analysis is how hard do you want to make it to change the policy, and who should make the decision.
I am undecided on this one.

The way it has been explained to me, to become a certified CCW instructor you would have to go through the DCJS program. The DCJS programs require you to be Law Enforcement to even be able to apply for their instructor programs, as your department is who has to authorize you to take the classes. Any program currently in use in VA that allows you to issue CCW instructional certificates already has to go through the VADCJS and be approved before it is recognized. USCCA and the NRA are just the recognized national organizations with approved curriculum. The law does not target any individual institution in the state that has submitted and approved their own instructional material that has DCJS certified instructors. The crazy thing is we just covered all of this 2 weeks ago in our Shooting Sports Management class. If you are going to stray from the approved USCCA or NRA instructional material, you have to submit said program to the VA DCJS for review and approval already, as it is.

All this boils down to is an attempt by bloomberg to reduce the number of licensed instructors, which drives wait times for CCW classes up in the hoped attempt it will put less firearms in the hands of legal gun owners. We already saw this the first go around when they pushed through the revision and removal of online CCW classes, claiming that only in person instruction was good enough. Now that is not good enough either. It’s just another attempt in the ongoing pursuit to change Virginia from a “shall issue” state to a “may issues” state, which should be illegal to begin with.


I have to admit…I do not see a single pro. What are they?

And even though we all know this, I have to say it ‘out loud’…the correct change VA needs to make is to go to permitless carry where open and concealed carry of firearms is legal without a permit…and also permits should be issued without requiring proof of training. Many other states have done this, and it works.


Virginia has always been legal to open carry. We were one of the few states for a very long time. There have been several attempts to push constitutional carry through the VA state house. Northern VA dems have managed to counter it by the narrowest of margins several times.


In my 60+ years, not once has anything government stuck its nose into been improved. Most often it will become more scarce, more expensive and more restrictive of inherent rights and freedoms. This is a pure power grab. I live in Commiefornia and can see this first hand. You must not allow this tyranny to propagate.


Whats the Reagen quote? “the 9 scariest words a person can here are ‘Im from the government, and i am here to help’”


From a libertarian philosophy that less government is better government ( I really like John Stossell) , it is a pro to remove unneeded details from existing laws. However, in this case, as in so many of the problems with our federal government, allowing a less-responsive and less-controllable bureaucracy to add those and more details back into the regulatory stream is the con.
I prefer laws that explicitly forbid the executive branch from doing things that quickly become an instusion on freedom.

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It was very poorly attended. Too many that “just could not attend this year” is a major issue, since the governor is untested, the Democrats are hungry and have control of both houses to push legislation through to pressure the governor to pass bad bills.

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Yeah, its always been a problem. Even putting it on MLK day most people dont get it off unless you work for the .gov. i have 75+ hours on my plate everyweek as it is. Finding time for the grocery store is a challenge thse days.

Unfortunately, the gun lobby doesnt pay us and bus us in like MDA and ETGS does.

That does have some impact, but we don’t control the legislative schedule. And yet, in 2020, we had over 50K attend. The reason so many bad bills were recinded or killed in committee in 2020 was due to the huge Lobby Day turn-out.

It would seem a lot of people “found the time” that year.What’s different this year? Complacency, an issue we fight every year. We now can only hope and pray that the governor isn’t a RINO and will veto bad bills, and there are a number of very bad bills on the Democratic agenda.

Even the $25 to become a member of the VCDL is more than most people are willing to spend. Apparently their rights are not even worth $25 to them, much less going to the Capitol on Lobby Day.


Honestly, 2020 lobby day had the exact opposite effect as desired. We ended up with the end of state preemption, CCW is no longer allowed in the state house or on state house grounds period, VCDL had our 20 year long tradition upended by MDA convincing Stoney to issue permits before the permit submission period even opened 2 years running, the constitutional carry bill was shelved and red flag laws got worse. While WE think attendance and optics were great, they were honestly counter productive. If the republicans had control of either legeslative body it may have been a different story but all it honestly did was frighten the tyrants into MORE restrictions, not less. A good portion of that crowd on 2020 were not even virginia residents, so they were not even there to petition THEIR government.

It would have been far worse, they submitted bills to committe that would have ended your ability to own, much less carry, a magazine fed handgun, rifle or shotgun and even some revolvers, due to capacity limits. Lobby Day 2020 was very effective. You have to look at what was being proposed and what got passed, of the bills that were passed, they were watered-down quite a bit.

Not true. Yes, there were people from out-of-state there, but most were from Virginia. There were people from out-of-state there, this year, but most were from Virginia this year, too.

I am an active member of the VCDL, volunteer at many events, and talk to a lot of people. People from Maryland attend gun shows in Virginia, even going as far South as Richmond. Just because they are not residing in Virginia, does not mean their rights are not being affected. Are not your rights affected when you travel outside of Virginia?

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I’ve seen that happen several times to several states.

Bringing attention to gun control laws in a state predisposed to passing control laws often results in them clamping down even harder

Or, you get that “compromise” where they want to take all of your Rights, but they settle for only taking some of them. (then come back for the rest later…piece by piece)

Need to push for repealing control laws to get some swing the other way


I will not classify “death by 1000 cuts” as a “win”… this is Antigun tactics 101. Propose worse legislation that you are willing to pass on as a “bargining chip” to convince people to agree to slightly lesser infringing laws. Then they just refile them for the next legislative session.

dude, Alex jones attended 2020 with a large contingent of Proud boys from as far away as Oregon, in an armored scout car no less, I have firsthand pictures. we had people from upstate NY, the guy toting the M82a1 owned a shooting range in upstate new york. We had people from Ohio, we had people bussed in from as far south as Georgia in 2020. Most of the Patriot wave guys were from Ohio, Kentucky, and NY. I know, I know a lot of the various different groups. There’s a crazy amount of overlap in social media gun groups, and a lot more than you think in 2020 had no vested interest in Virginia other than making a spectacle at our expense.

Okay, so the VCDL is worthless and has not accomplished anything, right? That seems to be what you are implying, but if you look at the firearm laws in Virginia before and after the VCDL, you will have to admit that they have been very effective at not only removing bad laws, but getting good laws no the books. If not for the VCDL, we would still be a “may issue” state. It was their lobbying efforts that got that changed to “shall issue”.

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Where did i ever disparage the VCDL? Im a member my guy. I never said that what VCDL does didnt make a difference. It does, but 2020 was co-opted from VCDL by outside parties with ulterior motives.