Right before Christmas, general buffoon, former Clinton bagman and current Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe took the unprecedented step of revoking concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 25 states. This was a typical liberal reaction to any shooting: create more difficulty for gun owners without in any way impacting the ability of criminals to use guns to commit crimes. As Leon noted at the time:
However, a group of 31 states did have reciprocity agreements that covered most of the country, at least reducing the chances of sharing the fate of Shaneen Allen, who was sentenced to three years in prison for carrying a legally purchased firearm – for which she had a valid out of state concealed carry permit – into the state of New Jersey.
Prior to Mark Herring’s decision, Virginia was one of those states who participated in these reciprocity agreements, so that Virginia gun owners could travel throughout most of the country legally with their weapons. But the effect of cancelling these reciprocity agreements goes both ways, so that not only can out-of-staters no longer carry their gunsinto Virginia, but Virginians can’t carry their guns out of state.
Now McAuliffe has found that when faced with even a part-time legislative body that has determined to undo an executive's unconstitutional actions, the legislature can win. This, by the way, is a lesson that has totally been lost on the GOP majorities in Congress. Today he folded:
Gov. Terry McAuliffe plans to announce Friday that Virginia will restore handgun reciprocity agreements with nearly all states, in a stunning reversal of a firearms policy that had angered Republicans and gun rights advocates across the nation.
The about-face is part of a deal that McAuliffe (D) struck with Republican leaders one month after Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D) ended the right of gun owners in 25 states to have their concealed carry permits recognized in Virginia.
In exchange, Republicans will agree to a major concession: Anyone subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offense will be prohibited from carrying a firearm for the two-year life of the order. The issue had been a nonstarter in the Republican-controlled General Assembly.
What the Virginia general assembly did was allow McAuliffe, contra the Washington Post making this into a big deal, a small face-saving measure that is going to impact very few people. Plus, it is going to affect people that most of us would be afraid to go to bat for in the first place. Not a 100% win, but it is a win for Virginians who have concealed carry permit.
If you think this was a win for McAuliffe, think again:
In a Facebook message, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence said McAuliffe has bragged about “his administration’s aggressive new approach to confronting the National Rifle Association.”
“Now he’s preparing to cave to them,” the message says. “As far as we are aware, there is not a single gun violence prevention advocate in Virginia who was informed about this deal before it was done. We all stand in opposition to it.”
“This is a bad deal. House Republicans will ‘let’ us pass two measures that are already incredibly popular, even among most gun owners. In exchange, the AG who went out an a limb is about to have that limb cut out from under him and we go to universal reciprocity.”