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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Kaine Vetos Self Defense Legislation

Today, Governor Tim Kaine (D) announced his veto of important self-defense measures – Senate Bill 436 and Senate Bill 476, both of which passed each chamber of the General Assembly by overwhelmingly bipartisan majorities. SB436, authored by State Senator Jill Vogel (R-27) would allow for non-concealed carry permit holders to safely store a handgun in a locked container or compartment in a vehicle or boat. The State Senate passed the measure 31-9, while the House of Delegates approved the bill, 69-29.

SB476, authored by State Senator Emmett Hanger (R-24), would allow restaurants and clubs to decide whether or not concealed carry permit holders may carry concealed firearms in their dining establishments for self-defense, provided that the CCW permit holder does not consume alcohol. Thirty-one states currently allow concealed carry in restaurants. The Virginia Senate voted 24-15 in favor of the bill, while the House of Delegates vote passed it 62-36.

VSSA is disappointed but not surprised by the governor’s decision to ignore the will of a bi-partisan majority of the legislature. His spokesman inferred the Governor would likely veto the bills after they passed both houses. Both bills are reasonable measures. The delegates and senators who voted for this measure trust law-abiding Virginians and believe that these sensible measures enhance public safety within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Apparently, Governor Kaine does not trust Virginia’s nearly 150,000 law-abiding concealed carry permit holders. Also, in th press release announcing his veto of SB476, Gov. Kaine alluded to “law enforcement” opposition to this measure. However, during committee testimony in both chambers, Virginia State Police representatives did not state any opposition to the bill when asked for their position.

The General Assembly session is scheduled to adjourn this Saturday, March 8.

Please contact your State Senator and State Delegate immediately and strongly encourage them to stand up for your right to self-defense by voting to override Governor Kaine’s veto of these critically important bills! To find contact information for your State Senator and Delegate please click here.

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