NEW YORK – As Governor Terry McAuliffe today signed into law a dangerous legislative package he negotiated with the NRA, thus sullying his legacy as a gun safety champion, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Everytown Survivor Network today responded to the legislation’s enactment.
Senate Bill 610 and House Bill 1163 opens Virginia’s doors to people with concealed carry permits from every state that offers them. Most other states have weaker standards for concealed carry permits than Virginia does – and this bill allows dangerous criminals and people with no safety training to carry hidden, loaded weapons in public in the Commonwealth. Additionally, the measure also makes it easier for Virginians to end-run Commonwealth gun safety laws by getting permits from states with virtually non-existent standards. A fact sheet on SB 610/HB 1163 is available here.
What’s more, Senate Bill 49 and House Bill 1391, while aiming to keep victims of domestic abuse safe, leave a dangerous loophole intact by omitting language that would explicitly require domestic abusers to actually surrender their firearms and setting forth a process for surrender. A fact sheet on SB 49 and HB 1391 is available here.
Since Governor McAuliffe announced his deal in January, the Everytown Survivor Network and the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action, along with partners CREDO and CeaseFirePA, collected the more than 3,000 signatures from Virginians that piggybacked on an open letter that 20 Virginia gun violence survivors sent to McAuliffe (available here) stating that “this deal is a dangerous rollback that puts public safety at risk” and asking him to “reconsider and continue to be a leader in Virginia on this important issue.” Additionally, the governor received more than 1,000 calls and postcards signed by nearly 29,000 people in opposition to the deal. The groups also ran social media and print ads urging the governor to reconsider the deal.
STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“Governor McAuliffe cut a backroom deal with the NRA. It betrays both gun violence survivors and gun safety advocates and endangers the safety of Virginians. We expected more from Governor McAuliffe – and we will continue pressing him to stand up for the 91 Americans a day killed by gun violence and hundreds more who are injured.”
STATEMENT FROM ANDY PARKER, A MEMBER OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK WHOSE DAUGHTER, WDBJ-TV REPORTER ALISON PARKER, WAS KILLED ON LIVE TELEVISION:
“I am beyond disappointed that Governor McAuliffe, whom I consider a friend, has abandoned his standing as a gun-safety champion to strike a political deal with the gun lobby – and that he is signing this legislation on the six-month anniversary of my daughter Alison’s death. I understand that politics is about compromise. But it is baffling that someone like Governor McAuliffe, who has a reputation as a great deal maker, accepted a deal that so many have described as a giveaway to the gun lobby. Virginians will be less safe if we open our doors to concealed carry permit-holders from states with weak laws. Gun violence prevention is a marathon, not a sprint, and I will continue fighting for stronger gun laws.”