AG Mark Herring Takes Aim at Gun Show

by Kerry Dougherty

Mark Herring is so proud of himself that he took to Twitter yesterday to do a little preening.

Virginia’s attorney general even put those silly flashing light icons at the top of his post so you’d know this was really big news.

Yep, Herring’s chuffed because he successfully stopped Virginians from buying firearms this weekend. A big victory for Richmond’s anti-gun crowd.

This had nothing to do with COVID-19. The pandemic was just a convenient excuse.

Herring essentially shut down a popular three-day Northern Virginia gun show that had already put into place rules for reduced capacity, masks and social distancing, as they had for two earlier shows this year.

According to the website for The Nation’s Gun Show, the Fairfax County Health Department told the promoters on Wednesday morning that they could operate as a brick-and-mortar retail establishment. Like the Walmart across the street from the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly.

But later that same day Gov. Ralph Northam and Herring got in on the act, classifying the gun show as entertainment and limiting attendance to 250. You know, like a football game.

It’s unclear what authority these two have to label a sales event as amusement, but seizing power and expanding his authority is what Northam seems to do best.

From the website of The Nation’s Gun Show:

The Dulles Expo Center is 130,000 sq ft building and the Walmart beside us is an 80,000 sq ft. building, we are 50,000 sq ft. bigger. The Walmart beside us has one giant aisle and the all the rest of the aisles are an average of 6ft or less. We have wider aisles, 14 ft average, so we have more space to social distance. Also, our show and the building management are self-imposing a 50% occupancy limit.

We are bigger and better able to social distance. We limit our occupancy, everyone wears a mask and follows the COVID REQUIREMENTS. We have also had two shows already and have not been a super spreader. All we ask is that we are allowed to operate on the same type of business model and at the same level as the Walmart across the road. We are not entertainment and amusement. We will have at our show roughly the same number of people that will be going through any average Walmart in the state of Virginia and across the country every weekend.

The gun show operators headed to court Thursday, seeking an emergency injunction. They lost.

According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Lawyers for the gun show argued that the restrictions on the gun show violate state law and both the state and federal Constitutional protections on the right to bear arms…

The lawsuit offered theories as to why the order exceeded the governor’s authority, but Judge Brett Kassabian rejected them all at a hearing Thursday morning.

While he said he was sympathetic to the fact that show organizers and vendors stand to lose millions of dollars, Kassabian said, “To allow thousands of people to roam unchecked in the throes of the worst pandemic in 100 years is not in the public interest.”

Excuse me, Your Honor. But what’s the difference between thousands of people roaming around “unchecked” in Walmart and thousands of people at a gun show?

Be honest. The only difference is the merchandise.

This column is republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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30 responses to “AG Mark Herring Takes Aim at Gun Show”

  1. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Herring needs to look into the Rural King in Front Royal. Open carry everywhere. Could be interpreted as an entertainment gathering.

  2. He’s just jealous of The Gov.
    Northam does Michael Jackson; Herring does Kurtis Blow.
    Ralph says masks are love; Mark says guns are hate.
    Tyrants gotta tyrant…
    Am I the only one wondering when we’ll have to change the Seal of Virginia?

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Including in your paean to your own genius “for the sole purpose of selling guns” is the give away that this is selective enforcement. I doubt any court will override. The recent actions of the General Assembly killing any and all proposed restrictions on these powers sent a clear signal.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    Looks like Walmart is doing something similiar:

    ” November 13, 2020 at 10:47 PM EST – Updated November 14 at 12:06 PM
    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – Starting on Saturday, Walmarts nationwide will be “metering” in order to limit the number of customers inside a single store at one time.

    The process of metering was put in place back in April for Walmart at all stores across the country. Starting this weekend, Walmart will be back to counting customers. When Walmart started regulating store entry back in April, they were allowing no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, or about 20 percent of a store’s capacity. The new mandate will remain the same, unless there is a lower capacity allowed as required by a local government.”

    Walmart is also being “tyrannical” ?

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      As usual you didn’t read this. The show organizers were also limiting to 50% of capacity, perhaps not quite as limited as Wal-Mart. It is also a far more open space. So they ARE doing what Wal-Mart was doing. Facts mean nothing to you. This was about the guns, clearly.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        I think if you read the Walmart article – you will see that they limit according to square feet and on top of that they will go lower if the State or locality has lower thresholds.

        The average Walmart is abouot 180,000 square feet and the article says 5 people per thousand so that’s about what, 900 per store at one time, right? Hardly “thousands” at one time but heck why ruin a perfectly good rant about guns?

        1. Steve Haner Avatar
          Steve Haner

          He admits it was about the guns. He bragged about shutting down a gun show. He wouldn’t have tweeted out a victory shutting down a car show or home show….Sorry, if not selective enforcement, certainly selective braggadocio.

          1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            The latter is only unseemly.

    2. Larry,

      11 111
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  4. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    “… and I’m pleased that the Judge agreed with me.” So, he didn’t do it alone. Damned activist judges.

    There, I said it so you Consevatives can turn your energies to overturning elections.

    1. The Attorney General’s job is to represent all Virginians. That includes gun owners and gun retailers. I guess he’s forgotten.

      “As Attorney General, it is my duty to fight for greater justice, equality, opportunity, and security for all Virginians, and to provide legal services to the Commonwealth’s agencies, boards, commissions, colleges and universities. We are the Commonwealth’s law firm, defending the interests of Virginians and Virginia government.”

      “I hold myself and the employees of the Office of Attorney General to the highest ethical and legal standards, and will bring to bear any resources that are necessary to ensure that Virginians’ interests are defended…”

      “We are here to serve you…”,%2C%20commissions%2C%20colleges%20and%20universities.

  5. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Ya know, Kerry, you should just defy logic, get Covid, and then you can tell us “It’s no big deal.” Imagine how much more weight your opinions will carry as one of the survivors!

    Odds are in your favor.

  6. Wonder what’s been going on Dulles Expo Center until now? Has it been the usual LEGO and home shows? Those are the reasons we went there in the past.

  7. djrippert Avatar

    Let’s see … Virginia is one of only two states where judges are directly elected by the legislature without even a selection committee making recommendations. The other state is South Carolina. Those same legislators will also decide if the judge gets reelected. One is left to marvel at this shredding of checks and balances as the General Assembly members waddle around speaking in hushed tones of reverence about “Mr Jefferson”.

    Why is anyone surprised that a Virginia judge sided with the political party in power?

    Why was anyone surprised when the state supreme court declared it could not define the words “compact and contiguous” and therefore could not enforce that part of the state constitution.

    Virginia is a badly broken state.

  8. djrippert Avatar

    So, Herring claimed that the gun show was planning to operate at full capacity when, in fact, it was planning to operate at 50% capacity. Pretty much of an outright lie. What a shock from The Three Stooges of the Apocalypse – Coonman Northam, Blackface Herring and #notme Fairfax.

    Virginia is a badly broken state.

  9. There is another gun show scheduled at the Dulles Expo Center the weekend on January 1-3, 2021. Two weeks later there is to be a camping and RV Expo.

    Ii would not surprise me in the least if a loosening of Covid-19 resurgence-related restrictions is announced sometime between January 4 and January 14. Things are bound to be a better by then, right?

  10. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Totally agree with Mark Herring. He is saving lives in two ways at the same time.

    1. So you would agree with conservatives using any means available to shut down abortion clinics? Anything to save lives? Even if you bend the truth?

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Destroying one to save another is a wash, at best.

    2. How does me purchasing a gun cost anyone his or her life?

    3. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Praise Jesus for Mr. Herring. Com’em mon man! Corn pop!

  11. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Abortion is another topic. I am not a fan but it is the law. How am I bending the truth?

    1. Matt Adams Avatar

      Roe isn’t Law. It’s legal precedent, which is why it’s still litigated state by state whenever a new majority attains power.

      Law is enacted by legislation not by the bench.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        And legal precedent is based on… what? Air?

        Roe v. Wade, a question involving shallow bodies of water… oh wait, that’s Row v. Wade.

        It’s an opinion on the application of existing laws.

        1. I understand that the ruling must be taken into account when courts make judgements regarding abortion laws, but if Roe v Wade is already the law why does our current president-elect think it necessary to make it the law of the land?

          1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

            Roe v. Wade set an abortion as a “basic liberty”. It’s not like SCOTUS did something revolutionary. It has been treated as such in the Old Testament, and in orther cultures, including British Common Law. (I need to check that)
            Religion complicates things, but the notion that at some point, society has an interest in the life of the child, which RvW addresses, is a line. Liberty v Liberty.
            I would like to see it codified so that the mother can place demands on society. “You want it? Okay, you pay for it. You arrange adoption and if you can’t, you raise it.”
            But I have faith that science will solve the problem. Science will develop a prenatal test for homosexuality, and the Evangelical will support abortion on demand.

    2. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      What do you think the right to bear arms is? There are centuries of law upholding the right to own and bear arms.

      As a policy matter, I have no problem with the basic right of a woman to have an abortion. But the legal reasoning in Roe is a piece of crap built on another piece of crap – Griswold. Penumbras and emanations. It’s not much different than old folk tales of ghosts, goblins, fairies, banshees and headless horsemen.

      Herring is a piece of crap. His legal skills are marginal. And he supports making government decisions based on the content of speech/action. No wonder he’s a favorite of the Post editorial writers.

      1. “There are centuries of law upholding the right to own and bear arms.”

        That statement is likely to bait someone in to posting a bare-faced lie.


    3. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead V

      Sort of like slavery in the 1850s right?

    4. “How am I bending the truth?”

      I didn’t mean to imply that you were, at least not in this instance.

      It was our AG who got the event canceled, then lied about the exhibitors plans for the event. I haven’t seen his testimony in court, but suspect there are a lot of misrepresentations and bending of the truth there as well. An objective AG would have sought a solution to accommodate all parties.

      You only endorsed what he did.

      BTW – I didn’t agree with the criticism of your use of “AR-15” a couple weeks ago. Yes, it’s a name brand, but it’s also commonly used within the industry to describe the platform as well.

      I know a bit about firearms, and that dustup made no sense to me. It was like berating someone for saying “Q-tip” instead of cotton swap, or “BAND-AID” instead of bandage.

      When I do disagree with your comments, it’s because I believe them to be wrong. I don’t just take an opposing view because you aren’t a conservative.

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