Virginia Gov. Youngkin vetoes 30 anti-gun bills, keeping law-abiding citizens armed and Democrats angry

Gun Rights

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) blew away 30 bills this week that he figured encroached on the rights of law-abiding citizens, including a Democratic bill prohibiting the sale or possession of new so-called “assault” rifles.

Among the bills Youngkin ultimately
shot down were:

  • HB 2, a Democratic bill that would ban the sale or possession of new “assault rifles”;
  • HB 454,
    a Democratic bill that would have criminalized an otherwise law-abiding
    citizen’s possession of a firearm in a building owned or operated by a
    college or university — which Youngkin noted was unnecessary granted the
    present ability of institutions of higher education to implement
    prohibitions on their respective campuses;
  • HB 585, a Democratic bill that would have barred firearms sales within 1.5 miles of an elementary or middle school — which the governor said appeared “unconstitutional, retaliatory, and arbitrary”;
  • HB 799, a Democratic bill that would have required the submission of fingerprints with an application for a concealed handgun permit or permit renewal — which Youngkin said “targets individuals already subject to background checks and mandatory training, creating superfluous and onerous restrictions on responsible citizens exercising their Second Amendment right to self-defense”;
  • SB 273, a Democratic bill that would have required a waiting period to purchase a firearm — which Youngkin said would “impede individuals facing threats of violence from promptly acquiring a firearm for self-defense”;
  • HB 798, a Democratic bill that would have barred Virginians with a misdemeanor conviction of assault and battery or stalking from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm;
  • SB 99, a Democratic bill that would have banned the carrying of so-called “assault firearms” in public areas; and
  • SB 327, a Democratic bill prohibiting any American under the age of 21 from purchasing a handgun or “assault firearm” — which Youngkin indicated would render meaningless the constitutionally protected right to possess a firearm for those under 21.

The Washington Post
noted that in Youngkin’s first two years in office, Republican lawmakers successfully prevented gun-grab legislation from advancing in the House of Delegates. This spared the governor from having to evidence his support for the Second Amendment.

However, with majorities in both the state House and Senate, Democrats apparently figured they could advance their agenda or at the very least expose the governor as a defender of the Constitution.

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said in a statement, “I swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of Virginia, and that absolutely includes protecting the right of law-abiding Virginians to keep and bear arms.”

The governor did, however, ratify a bill preventing parents from “willfully allowing a child who poses a credible threat of violence to access a firearm” as well as a bill banning the manufacture, transfer, or possession of an auto sear — a device that converts semi-automatic firearms into automatic weapons. Neither of these bills were opposed by the Citizens Defense League.

“I am pleased to sign four public safety bills which are commonsense reforms with significant bipartisan support from the General Assembly, and offer recommendations to several bills which, if adopted, will make it harder for criminals to use guns in the commission of a violent act,” added Youngkin.

The governor’s vetoes were not well received by Democratic lawmakers, who do not have two-thirds majorities required to override them.

Democratic state Sen. Creigh Deeds complained on X,
writing, “2 more of my bills, prospectively banning assault style weapons, and keeping guns off college campuses are being vetoed. Shameful and unthinking action!”

Deeds’ colleague, state Sen. Mamie Locke (D),
responded, “Consider the source. Guns for everybody, no redemption for anyone, suppress the vote and voters and tax cuts for millionaires. Who’s backwards?”

Heather Williams, the president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee,
claimed, “Republicans continue to make it clear that they care more about guns than people.”

The National Rifle Association, on the other hand, lauded Youngkin’s resolve.

“Governor Glenn Youngkin’s courageous veto of dozens of ill-conceived gun control bills is a resounding victory for the Second Amendment in Virginia,” Randy Kozuch, NRA executive director,
said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital.

“His refusal to bow to unconstitutional overreach — stopping widespread bans on semi-automatic firearms, blocking ill-conceived laws like arbitrary waiting periods, and unjust age restrictions — underscores his fierce commitment to safeguarding our fundamental rights,” continued Kozuch. “This is a clear message: Virginia stands firm against the erosion of our liberties.”

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