A package of restrictive firearms measures that had been depicted as a priority by Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe died unceremoniously Monday, Jan. 26 in the Republican-controlled Senate Courts of Justice Committee.
Gov. McAuliffe announced in December his intent to once again push for a renewal of the state's one-a-month limit on handgun purchases, as well requiring background checks at gun shows. His other priority bills snubbed by the committee included a prohibition for anyone subject to a protection-from-abuse order from owning a firearm and the revoking concealed-handgun permits for parents in arrears on child-support payments.
The same committee advanced bills creating a lifetime Virginia concealed handgun permit and allowing permit holders to carry firearms onto school property when no school events are in progress. Under current law, permits must be renewed every five years.
In a statement released Monday after the bills died, McAuliffe said, "I am disappointed to see these common-sense measures to keep Virginians safe fall to special interest politics. Too many families in Virginia and across the nation have lost loved ones to gun crimes that these proposals could help prevent."
Other measures approved by the committee included SB 1137, permitting concealed handgun permit holders to have a loaded long gun in their vehicle, regardless of local ordinances to the contrary, and SB 1155, which requires law enforcement authorities to make a reasonable effort to return a recovered stolen gun to its owner.
In total, a full dozen McAuliffe-supported gun-restriction measures were rejected by the committee. Among them was SB 909, which would have prohibited persons under a restraining order from possessing firearms.
Testifying against the gun-restriction measures were representatives from the Virginia Citizen's Defense League (VCDL) and the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Anna Kopperud, an NRA state liaison, stated, "By importing the Bloomberg-Obama gun control agenda to Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe shows how out of touch he is with the people of his state. His proposed gun control schemes are way off target in Virginia." Kopperud continued, "Virginians have a long history of fighting for their freedoms and they will continue to resist attempts to infringe on their Second Amendment Rights."