Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe values his ability to undermine the will of his constituents, and yesterday he announced his intention to keep that power intact.
McAuliffe vetoed House Bill 1096, legislation that would have prohibited, “any state entity from adopting or enforcing any rule, regulation, policy, or administrative action governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage, or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combinations thereof unless expressly authorized by statute.”
That’s a mouthful. Here it is in layman’s terms: HB 1096 would have 1) prohibited the governor from passing anti-gun executive orders and 2) given Virginia’s Congress sole authority to enact gun laws (“statutes”) for Virginians. By vetoing the bill, McAuliffe is preserving his ability to go around Congress and disregard the will of Virginia residents.
As the NRA-ILA points out, HB 1096 “was an important response to the Governor’s Executive Order 50, which banned firearms in many state buildings and denied citizens their right to self-defense on that property.” Virginia legislators saw how far McAuliffe was willing to go to erode Second Amendment rights, and they crafted legislation to ensure such attacks would never happen in the future.
The bill, sponsored by Del. Michael J. Webert, R-Fauquier, passed the House of Delegates on a vote of 63-35 and cleared the Senate on a vote of 21-17. Unfortunately, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, Republicans do not have the votes to override the veto.
The anti-gun lobby does not have the support of the American people. In state legislatures as well as the national Congress, anti-Second Amendment bills have failed time and again. And instead of working through proper legislative channels, these groups have resorted to executive orders meant to force an anti-gun worldview down the throats of law-abiding Americans.
The President’s anti-gun executive action has received extensive media coverage, but McAullife is not the only governor to follow Obama’s lead. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recently issued his own set of rules that, among other things, more strictly enforce Washington’s expanded background check laws. The orders don’t accomplish much, as this anti-gun website complains, but the mindset is still troubling. If a state legislature (aka, The People) refuses to act, the governor must step in and impose his will.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown also announced her intention to issue executive orders on gun control. She’s sparse on the details, but says she plans to “explore what might be achieved through my executive powers.”
Here’s another. Last December Connecticut Governor Daniel P. Malloy announced his intention to sign an executive order to banning the sale of firearms to those on government watch lists. The announcement specifically mentions the “no-fly list,” which American citizens can find themselves on without any kind of due process. To deny Second Amendment rights based upon this criteria is a clear violation of those rights.
Michael Bloomberg and the anti-gun community have made no attempt to hide their intention of pursuing their agenda at the state level. If we want to maintain our right to keep and bear arms, we cannot neglect the actions of our governors and state legislatures.
(Editor’s note: This article was a submission from freelance writer Jordan Michaels.)