One day after Virginia legislature convenes, Dana Loesch lies on Fox & Friends that gun safety bills would “ban gun ranges”

Dana Loesch baselessly tells Fox News hosts that Virginia wants to "ban gun ranges"

Pro-gun commentator Dana Loesch went on Fox News to make the false suggestion that proposed gun safety bills in Virginia will ban all gun ranges and prevent parents from teaching their children about firearms. In fact, the bills Loesch was referencing propose a narrow regulation on certain gun ranges that employ more than 50 people and would make it a misdemeanor to allow minors to use firearms without adult supervision. 

Following a May 2019 mass shooting in Virginia Beach that left 12 dead and a Democrat-backed July special session on gun safety in the legislature that Republicans immediately shut down, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) pledged to prioritize gun violence prevention in the new legislative session that began on January 8. Virginia Democrats, who took control of both chambers of the legislature in the 2019 elections, introduced a roster of gun safety bills, including an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, a raised age requirement on gun purchasing, and extreme risk protection orders that temporarily remove firearms from people who are a danger to themselves or others. 

On January 9, former National Rifle Association national spokesperson and current pro-gun radio host Dana Loesch joined Fox News’ morning show Fox & Friends to fearmonger that Virginia Democrats are plotting an “overall strategy of disarmament” in the commonwealth. Loesch went on to falsely assert that the proposed gun safety bills would “ban gun ranges” so that “law-abiding Americans can't actually train to carry their arms” and start “stripping parents of their rights … of determining when and how their children can learn about firearms”:

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Citation From the January 9 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Hundreds of gun rights advocates gathering outside the Virginia Beach, Virginia, city council meeting this week as local officials passed a resolution declaring Virginia Beach a Second Amendment constitutional city. 

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Now Virginia Beach is the latest community taking measures to protect gun rights in anticipation of strict new gun regulations thanks to the Democratic state leadership. Joining us right now to discuss it, nationally syndicated radio host Dana Loesch. Hey Dana -- I understand that Virginia Beach in particular has hit the pause button, but where is this heading? 

DANA LOESCH: Yea well -- and that's the million dollar question and good morning to everyone. I think Virginia Beach, I think this is now 118th, 119th county area that is now declaring itself to be a Second Amendment sanctuary. All of it has been happening so quickly and people -- I don’t know, I'm sure you all saw, have seen all of the video footage from all these different counties. You have hundreds of people turning out every single time and that's what I think Virginia Democrats didn't appreciate when they began this tactic and their overall strategy of disarmament and let's be really clear, because that’s what this is. This is what Democrats envision for the rest of America.

Just a quick example of some of the things that they've proposed: In Virginia, Democrats -- there's one Democrat lawmaker who has actually proposed to ban gun ranges. They want to ban gun ranges because it's all about gun sense and gun safety, but yet I guess a part of that gun sense and gun safety is to make it to where law-abiding Americans can't actually train to carry their arms and practice their marksmanship, which doesn’t sound like gun safety or gun sense to me. They’ve also started stripping parents of their rights, that’s another proposal, of determining when and how their children can learn about firearms and actually shoot firearms under adult supervision. So we have a number of things -- we have the magazine ban, universal background checks, which, if you remember, when Colorado passed this law, it actually didn't do anything to impact crime; in fact, crime increased, same thing with Maryland. So they are focusing on things that do nothing to punish criminals, which is interesting because you have a number of local attorneys who have decided that they will not prosecute some low-level offenses -- they want to go ahead and instead target law-abiding gun owners.

Contrary to Loesch’s alarming, sensationalist attempt to gin up fear of gun safety proposals, none of the new Virginia bills would “ban” gun ranges or “strip parents of any rights. Instead, the range bill would only prohibit indoor ranges in private buildings that have more than 50 employees. The likely impact of this bill would be to close the range at the NRA’s headquarters in Fairfax and possibly one other range in Richmond. An aide for the sponsor of the bill argued that it “would make sure that we don't have people bringing large quantities of firearms and ammunition into office buildings.” However, the bill is not part of the core gun safety proposals in Virginia and is unlikely to become law. A leading Virginia gun control advocate called the bill “eccentric,” suggesting it was a response to Virginia Republicans’ tradition of introducing numerous pro-gun bills on wide-ranging issues when they have controlled the legislature. 

The other bill referenced by Loesch would make it a “Class 1 misdemeanor” for any adult to knowingly allow a minor to use a firearm “except when the person is under the supervision of an adult” -- hardly stripping parents of any rights. Contrary to Loesch's argument, the bill explicitly requires adult supervision of children learning to use firearms instead of enabling them to handle weapons alone or with other minors.

This Fox News appearance was just Loesch’s latest attempt to sow baseless fear about any and all legislation to prevent gun violence. In September alone, she appeared on Fox to suggest Democrats want to massacre gun owners, tweeted that a mandatory buyback of assault weapons is a “state-sanctioned threat,” and told Fox News’ Jesse Watters that a mandatory buyback is an “implicit forcible theft, which would result in violence.”