RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Since striking a historic agreement on gun bills with republicans, Governor Terry McAuliffe has taken his veto pen to several firearm bills, including two more on Thursday.
They are the third and fourth gun bill to be vetoed since the end of session. One would have allowed anyone filing a protective order to be immediately granted a concealed carry permit for up to 45 days. The other would have changed the definition of brandishing a firearm.
“I absolutely do not understand how he can claim to be sensitive to women that are battered and yet turn right around and take away their ability to defend themselves, makes no sense,” said Philip Van Cleave with the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Van Cleave says it can take weeks to get a concealed carry permit and believes the veto will endanger women who file protective orders from protecting themselves.
“Right when they file a protection order that’s the most dangerous time,” said Van Cleave.
Lori Haas with Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws, meanwhile, was pleased with the governor’s decision.
“We’re very pleased to hear the governor’s news and not surprised,” she said. “He’s devoted to gun violence prevention and we’re happy about the vetoes.”
Haas, whose daughter was injured in the Virginia Tech shooting, says she believes the concealed carry permit would just escalate a situation needing to de-escalate.
“Introducing a firearm into a domestic violence situation puts a woman in a much-increased risk of death by that firearm,” said Haas.
The governor has several more gun bills to consider. Both sides say they’ll continue to fight before lawmakers return to possibly override the governor’s vetoes.
“We’ve already got our members contacting the general assembly to try and do an override,” said Van Cleave.
“If more firearms were the answer America, would be the safest country in the world, and it’s not,” said Haas.