Close-Up of Man Holding .45 Caliber Handgun

 Declaring the start of a “new era,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Friday signed into law a package of gun bills, the product of a deal struck with Republican lawmakers that cost him the support of some of his strongest allies in the fight for gun control.

Opponents of the compromise, including Andy Parker, the outspoken father of a television journalist who was killed in southwest Virginia, noted that McAuliffe’s victory lap came on the six-month anniversary of his daughter’s shooting.

But underscoring what McAuliffe said was the historic nature of the deal, the governor signed the bills in the Executive Mansion, the first time he used the home for this purpose, and hinted at his legacy.

“I’m so proud to announce that a new era begins today here in the commonwealth of Virginia,” he said. “These new laws will serve as permanent protections for our citizens. They will remain in place when I leave office.”

The deal would expand the rights of concealed-carry handgun permit holders in Virginia and around the country in exchange for tighter restrictions on domestic abusers and voluntary background checks at gun shows.

McAuliffe is a pragmatist.   He is smart enough to know that he would not win a show down with the NRA.  So he did the next best thing–he compromised.

Part of the anti-gun lobby’s problem is that they go after things that aren’t really problems, at least in the statistical world.  For example, can anyone find a case where some concealed weapon permit holder has come into the state and killed someone?  I don’t think so.

Regardless of who thinks who is right, both sides walked away with something they wanted.  The NRA people got their concealed weapon permits from other states recognized.  The gun control folks got their tighter restrictions on domestic abusers codified, including removing those guns belonging to the domestic abusers.  In addition, there will be a state police officer at all gun shows to run voluntary background checks on private sales.  While these gun control initiatives might not seem like much, it’s a start, especially the domestic abuser part.

Those who hate McAuliffe over it might want to think about what they have now vs what they had before.    You can stand on principle all you want but at the end of the day, you end up just standing.  McAuliffe got something done.

6 Thoughts to “McAuliffe signs gun compromise into law”

  1. Starryflights

    Good call by McCzuliffe

  2. Steve Thomas

    Starryflights :
    Good call by McCzuliffe


    I would agree that it is a good call. I might not agree with T-Mac on much, but I know he’s got a good sense for the political winds.

    If others could follow the model, that of targeting individual criminal behavior, mental illness, as root-causes of violence, rather than the gun itself, I think you would find the gun-culture amenable to compromise. This was a no-brainer for both sides. Both sides won, in my book, but oddly, neither side “lost”, if the real goal is to limit certain individual’s access to firearms.

    If I ever find myself purchasing or selling a firearm from or to a private individual, I will certainly avail myself of the VASP background check service, even if there is a nominal fee attached. And if this weekends tragic shooting of three police officers responding to a “domestic dispute”is an example of a real problem, I am all for those subject to a court-issued restraining orders/protective orders, being banned from purchasing firearms, or maintaining a CHP, as due-process and public-good are respected in these cases.

    1. McAuliffe has made some enemies with this call. However, I think he did the right thing. Everyone walked away with something they wanted.

      I would much rather pinpoint problems also. For instance, we know the mental illness component. That’s where we can all work together towards a common goal.

      As for last weekend, I guess it’s too soon to know where the system broke down. Had there been mental illness? we don’t know yet. Were the guns purchased legally? We don’t know. IN fact, we don’t know for sure about all the guns other than hand gun and long gun.

      The irony of dropping the permit fees hasn’t escaped me. What brought it home was getting an email from the chairman where the dropped fees were mentioned but not the fallen officers.

      No, I don’t think there is a correlation. With irony, there often isn’t…just the irony of irony.

  3. Censored bybvbl

    Mental illness will bring on the next fight. Do you look at VA records to see who has a disability for PTSD? Does the diagnosis mean there will be a problem? Or do you wait until someone (spouse, parent) has to get a restraining order against someone?

  4. Steve Thomas


    I am interested in knowing whether or not this soldier had previous instances of domestic violence, and less interested in the type of firearm or when/where purchased. Odds are, he wasn’t a felon, and the firearms were purchased legally. Maybe PTSD was a factor, but maybe not. As a matter of due process, since this is a case currently being argued before SCOTUS, had this murderer ever before assaulted his spouse? Had it been reported to civilian or military authorities, and was a protective order ever considered? I am sure we will get these answers in due time. I have my suspicions, based on my time in the military.

    One thing is a near certainty, IMHO: Ebert will go for the death penalty, and will likely get a conviction.

    1. I would bet on Paul getting a conviction. Ambushing a cop just doesn’t settle well with Ebert.

      I would be interested in the history of the shooter also in terms of mental illness and domestic violence.

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