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Virginia bill would ban large, indoor shooting ranges like the one at NRA headquarters

Another aspect of Democrats' gun control push

Justin Li, Nick di Leonardo and Jay Boyles enjoy target practice on the 100 yards range at the Elite Shooting Sports in Manassas, Virginia. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A proposed gun control bill in Virginia would place significant limits on the ability for indoor shooting ranges to operate within the state, including the range located at the National Rifle Association's headquarters in Fairfax, according to the Prince William Times.

Democratic state Del. Dan Helmer, elected in 2019, introduced House Bill 567 earlier this month. The bill seeks to place restrictions on indoor shooting ranges with 50 or more employees.

What would the bill do?

Under the bill, indoor shooting ranges would be illegal unless they are in buildings either owned or leased by the state or federal government, have fewer than 50 employees, or unless at least 90% of the users of the ranges are law enforcement officers. The ranges would be required to log each user's name, phone number, address, and law enforcement agency.

What's the point?

Helmer, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said his experience with firearms on those deployments has motivated him to "deliver commonsense measures for our community."

"This bill would make sure that we don't have people bringing large quantities of firearms and ammunition into office buildings," Noah Bardash, an aide to Helmer, said. "This bill would likely impact the NRA's indoor range."

How are gun owners and advocates responding?

NRA spokesperson Catherine Mortensen said the bill would "destroy small businesses in Virginia without reducing crime," as well as limit the ability for people to receive training for home and self-defense.

One resident of Lynchburg told WSET that he and others would be willing to go to the extreme to protect their Second Amendment rights.

"If it comes to it, I mean, we'll die for this right, it'll be something people go to war over," the resident said. "Taking this establishment here and now making it illegal for these guys here to own and operate seems crazy to me."

One last thing…
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