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Thursday, March 20, 2014

McAuliffe's First Veto Aimed At Gun Owners

You may recall that Governor Terry McAuliffe tried to amend HB962, a bill that simply clarified current law related to storing a loaded firearm in a compartment in a vehicle or boat.  McAuliffe's amendment would have completely changed the meaning of the bill.  HB962 clarified current law by expressly stating that when a loaded firearm is stored in a closed container in a vehicle or boat, that the container does not have to be locked.  Former Governor Bob McDonnell signed that into law in 2010.  However a few localities have caused gun owners some inconvenience because the law was appearently not clear enough because the code currently uses the word "secured" but not "locked."  McAuliffe tried to insert an amendment that would require the compartment to be locked.  The original bill passed both the House and Senate overwhelmingly.  The House overwhelmingly rejected the amendment.  So, he vetoed the bill.  McAuliffe's veto message stated:
I believe the bill as originally passed does not offer adequate protection to our citizens and law enforcement personnel and, accordingly, I veto this bill.
Interestingly enough, because of the way the House dispatched with the amendment, they may not have the opportunity to try and override the veto, which in this case is fine.  Nothing changes.  Those without a concealed handgun permit can still store a loaded firearm in compartment in a vehicle or boat and it does not have to be locked. Does this still open some gun owners up to inconvenience because some law enforcement may not fully understand the law? Probably.  But in the end, McAuliffe tries to tip his hat to Michael Bloomberg and the gun ban lobby and ends up looking like a fool because his veto of the bill changes nothing.

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