RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — GovernorTerry McAuliffe signed a slew of gun bills Friday afternoon, weeks after striking a deal with Republicans. The bills will expand concealed carry agreements with states across the country, require people under permanent protective orders to give up their guns or face a felony, and require state police presence at gun shows for voluntary background checks.
Governor McAuliffe says for him, in the face of high-profile critics, the decision was as simple as safety, and had nothing to do with politics.
“As governor, my job is to keep communities safe and when my law enforcement personnel say what I’m doing is keeping them safe, then i know I’ve made the right decision,” said the governor. “The debate on gun safety has had sharp edges that have kept us apart for so many years, but we braved those sharp edges together this year and we can be proud of the accomplishments.”
Lissette Johnson, who’s husband shot and killed himself after shooting her, was among those in the crowd at the governor’s mansion during the bill signing. She says Friday’s actions by the governor will save countless victims of domestic abuse and their families.
“When I had told him I wanted to leave a verbally abusive relationship, our marriage of 21 years, he shot me several times,” Johnson, a survivor of domestic abuse, said. “We’re not just talking about women’s lives, we’re talking about bystanders, children, relatives, mothers, brothers.
I believe that it will give them more confidence that they will be safe at that point.”
Friday’s bill signing was the first for the governor at the governor’s mansion. McAuliffe says he decided to have it at the historic home because of the historic nature of the bills.