Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1023. This bill, which is opposed by the Virginia State Police, would prohibit the sharing of Virginia concealed handgun permit information with another state’s law-enforcement agencies if Virginia does not have a concealed handgun reciprocity agreement with that state. The bill also would require the State Police to publish a list of states recognizing the validity of Virginia concealed handgun permits on its website.SB1023 would have protected concealed handgun permit holders from the various fishing expeditions that law enforcement in anti-gun states will sometimes put gun owners through during routine traffic stops once they find out the individual is a permit holder. It would have prevented the state police from sharing CHP information with law enforcement in anti-gun states.
Information sharing is the bedrock of effective cross-jurisdictional law enforcement, and the withholding of information adversely impacts investigations and jeopardizes the safety of officers. Depriving law enforcement officers of this critical, potentially life-saving information would put them in harm’s way -- an unacceptable outcome that I cannot support.
During the Reconvened Session, I offered a substitute to Senate Bill 1023 which would have enhanced public safety by restoring Virginia’s “One-Handgun-A-Month” law. Since this law was repealed in 2012, Virginia has once again become a prime location for criminals to purchase weapons in bulk. This amendment was not adopted.
The second bill vetoed was Senate Bill 1315. SB1315 would have allowed foster parents to carry a firearm on their person. It also required firearm to be securely locked when not in use. McAuliffe said in his veto message:
Many children in foster care have suffered difficult childhood experiences and struggle to find a stable home. The state has a special responsibility to ensure that those children enjoy living conditions that are as safe as possible.Neither bill would have endangered the public as CHP holders are some of the most law abiding individuals in the country. Additionally, gun owners are also safety conscious. Unintended deaths involving firearms are at all time lows. SB1315 would not have endangered children who are in foster care.
To provide an extra layer of protection from unintended use of weapons in foster care homes, the state currently requires firearms and ammunition to be stored in separate, locked locations. Senate Bill 1315 would eliminate this added protection, increasing the risk that children might gain unauthorized access to firearms and ammunition.
During the Reconvened Session, I offered a substitute amendment that would have strengthened the gun safety provisions by requiring compliance with local ordinances, requiring firearms to be stored separately from ammunition, and clarifying the required use of safety mechanisms. This amendment was rejected.
The unintended use of weapons can pose a serious danger to children and adults in foster care homes.
Accordingly, I veto this bill.
These actions further demonstrate the need to elect a pro-rights Governor in the 2017 statewide elections. Please vote in the June nominating primaries then get involved in the campaign of pro-rights candidates. If we want to advance good legislation, the only way to do that is with a pro-rights Governor.