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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More on Kaine Veto of Self Defense Legislation

I posted on this blog after SB 436 and SB 476 passed that they passed after the window that required the Governor to act before the end of the session. I was mistaken. It has been a while since I have worked in the realm of appointive state Government and my memory is apparently not as good as I thought. Bills that arrive on the Governor's desk more than a week before the session's adjournment fall within a seven-day window of time in which he has sign, amend, or veto them, or they'll become law anyway. Both SB 436 and SB 476 met that requirement.

A number of articles in this morning's papers reported on Kaine's action. This Washington Post report confirmed what I thought; there is a chance the legislature could try and override the Governor's veto of SB 436 and SB 476 before they adjourn on Saturday. I know that Governor Gilmore vetoed a bill during the session in 1998 and the legislature attempted an override during the session and did not wait for the reconvened session (known as the "Veto Session"). With SB 436 standing the best chance for an override, it is possible that Senator Vogel will want to act quickly so as not to give Kaine a month to twist the arms of pro-gun Democrats. The Post reported:
Kaine vetoed his first legislation of the year -- a pair of bills that would have loosened restrictions on where person may carry or place firearms. One measure would have allowed people to keep concealed weapons in cars if the weapons are locked in a compartment or container, even if the owner did not have a permit (SB 436). The other would have allowed people to carry concealed weapons into restaurants that serve alcohol (SB476). Currently, it is legal to carry a weapon into a restaurant
only if it does not serve alcohol.

Kaine said the bills could have endangered law enforcement officers, restaurant employees and patrons.

"I have to make a decision that's best for public safety,'' Kaine said. He said he based his decision on recommendations from the law enforcement community.

Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) called the measures "two very
reasonable bills" and said Kaine showed "disdain for law-abiding gun
owners."

"He is not a strong believer in the Second Amendment," Gilbert said.

Legislators could try to override Kaine's veto this week or when they return for a one-day veto session April 16. Two-thirds of both chambers are needed to override a veto.

This from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

It was the second time since 2006 that Kaine has refused to sign legislation allowing weapons to be stored in a motor vehicle's locked glove compartment or other vault-like boxes (SB 436). The guns-in-bars proposal had never before made it to the governor's desk.

The Vogel bill (SB 436) stands the best chance of the two of becoming law, despite Kaine's objections. That's because the measure was approved by margins in the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate big enough to override a veto. It cleared the House with 69 votes and the Senate with 31. In the House, that's two better than required for a veto override; in the Senate, four more than the minimum.

A two-thirds vote is required in both chambers for a bill to become law over a governor's veto. The Hanger bill may face tougher going. It passed the House with 62 votes, and the Senate with only 24.

And though both bills generated support among Kaine's fellow Democrats,
particularly those from the countryside, they will likely come under pressure to
sustain his vetoes.

And finally, this from the Winchester Star, Senator Vogel is not please with the Governor either.

"The Governor’s heavy handed approach to kill legislation supported by the overwhelming majority of legislators in his own party demonstrates the power of the anti-2nd Amendment lobby over this governor," she said in the release. "I consider it a sad day for the citizens of Virginia when the governor will side with a small but powerful lobby over the objection of gun owners in Virginia as well as a stunning majority of members of the House and Senate."
VSSA reminded gun owners during the 2005 campaign of Kaine's anti-gun background. He ran saying he supported the Second Amendment and was no threat to the rights of gun owners. His record as Mayor of Richmond said otherwise and we now have proof that those promises of 2005 were empty words. This is a lesson we should remember during this election year.

As for these two bills, gun owners need to put more pressure on the Senators and Delegates than Governor Kaine. Please act now and contact your legislator. You can find out your legislator's contact information by clicking here and completing the form.

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