Youngkin Praised for Defending the Second Amendment After Vetoing Dozens of Gun Control Bills

Gun Rights

From a ban on some semi-automatic weapons to gun purchase waiting periods, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed more than two dozen gun bills sent to his desk this week by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. 

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On Tuesday, the Republican governor said he signed 31 bills into law, vetoed 30, and offered amendments to six. 

“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,” he said in a statement. “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.”   

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Youngkin’s office released a 23-page document with his veto statements, including on some high-profile pieces of legislation, such as the ban on what Democrats refer to as “assault weapons.”

“The Constitution precludes the Commonwealth from prohibiting a broad category of firearms widely embraced for lawful purposes, such as self-defense,” Youngkin explained. “Despite this, certain members of the General Assembly have pursued legislation banning most contemporary semiautomatic firearms and specific ammunition-feeding devices. 

“Like all Virginians, I am profoundly troubled by the occurrences of mass shootings and crimes committed with firearms,” he continued. “The pain and sorrow inflicted by criminals with heinous intentions are truly heart-wrenching and should not be minimized for our communities, the victims, or their families. 

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“Virginia has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Unfortunately, the Commonwealth has reduced penalties for criminals, contributing to violent crime,” the Republican governor added. “Enhancing penalties for crimes committed with firearms will reverse this trend. Our most significant gap, however, has been in our behavioral health system, which is why substantial investments in behavioral health are necessary. 

“That twofold approach can provide a real solution without creating outcomes that would affect law-abiding citizens and violating our constitutional rights. Accordingly, I veto this bill,” he concluded.

The NRA praised Youngkin’s “unwavering resolve to defend the rights of all Virginians against these flagrant assaults on our self-defense rights and our ability to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”

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