RICHMOND, VIRGINIA — Governor Terry McAuliffe issued a wave of vetoes for bills that passed in the General Assembly. Of note for concealed carriers is one bill that would have dropped the age for concealed carry applicants to 18 if they were serving in an active duty role in the United States military.
According to the Washington Times, Gov. McAuliffe vetoed that bill alongside another bill which would have allowed homeschooled children to play for public school sports teams and another bill which would have allowed concealed carry switchblades.
It’s nothing new with McAuliffe, though. As a Democratic Governor, he has continually acted as the counter-weight to Republican-backed initiatives to expand gun rights and carry through other unrelated agenda items.
Last year, he pushed ahead regulations banning people from carrying concealed handguns into public buildings. He used his Attorney General to temporarily pull concealed carry reciprocity with a majority of states. Thankfully, that was rescinded.
In a lot of ways, he reminds me of former New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan. Also a Democrat, she adamantly opposed permitless concealed carry measures passed through the legislature. Often times, many states will elect a Democrat governor to off-set a Republican-majority on the state legislature. In some cases, this may prove a pragmatic approach to balancing the agendas of both parties. However, in recent years, it’s only served as a point of endless gridlock.
Ultimately, concealed carriers in the Commonwealth of Virginia are unaffected by any of the recent vetoes of Gov. McAuliffe. It definitely stops a large number of active duty military service members from pursuing a concealed carry permit — which may have been useful in stopping attacks such as what happened in Chattanooga, Tennessee, back in 2015.
Virginia has quite a few large active duty military bases — including Marine Corps Base Quantico, NMITC Dam Neck, and Naval Station Norfolk amongst others. These are locations where men and women come from across our country to begin their careers in the military. It would have been nice to let them know that the country they defend respects their rights to defend their lives off base.