Failed VA Veto Session Shows the Importance of Governors Who Respect Gun Rights

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By Christopher G. Kopacki, Ph.D

Virginia’s General Assembly gathered in Richmond for the Reconvened Regular Session (or Veto Session). This is the one-day session when bills the governor either vetoed or sent back to the legislature with amendments can be taken back up. This veto session is more significant than usual for the firearm industry because Democrats, who currently control both the Senate and House of Delegates, passed dozens of antigun bills.

They were on a mission to pass bills to strip away the Second Amendment rights of Virginians and punish the firearm industry. With much appreciation, Gov. Glenn Youngkin responded by vetoing all legislation that would have negatively impacted firearm and ammunition businesses.

Here’s a look at some of the defeated bills Democrats passed and were sent back to the General Assembly by Gov. Youngkin. The General Assembly was unable to override any of the governor’s vetoes.

SB 2 and HB 2 would ban the sale of many semiautomatic firearms classified as so-called “assault firearms.” The legislation would also ban standard capacity magazines, or those having a capacity of more than 10 rounds. NSSF’s recently-released research report conservatively estimates over 717 million such magazines produced since 1990, establishing beyond question they are commonly owned by law-abiding Americans.

SB 273 and HB 1195 would create an arbitrary and unconstitutional five-day waiting period for the purchase and transfer of firearms.

SB 327 would remove the right of young adults (18 to 20 years of age) to purchase certain semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. NSSF refers to this as an unconstitutional age-based gun ban.

SB 491 and HB 318 would create new civil liabilities for firearm industry members, specifically those engaged in the sale, manufacturing, distribution, importation or marketing of firearm-related products. These bills would also create a civil cause of action for the attorney general or local county or city attorney to enforce the provisions of the legislation. Such claims are preempted by the bipartisan Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

HB 351 would prohibit the transfer of a firearm from a licensed dealer unless the transferee purchases a locking device for the firearm if they reside in the same household as a child or complete a certification statement that they do not reside in the same household as a child. This bill disregards the fact that free locking devices are included in the package with every firearm shipped from a manufacturer and federal law already requires licensed dealers have such devices available for sale and must provide one when transferring a handgun.

HB 585 would implement statewide zoning restrictions that ban home-based licensed dealers from operating within 1.5 miles of an elementary or middle school. This bill would put many licensed dealers out of business.

HB 1174 would expand the definition of “assault firearms” while also unconstitutionally banning the sale of many Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) and those that would have been newly-designated as “assault firearm” to those under 21 years of age. The bill would have also codified into state law the minimum age to purchase a handgun as 21. That has come under scrutiny after a federal judge in Virginia ruled adults under 21 cannot be prohibited from purchasing a handgun.

To summarize, Democrats attempted to ban commonly-owned firearms and magazines, create new civil liabilities that would be weaponized against manufacturers and dealers, strip young adults of their rights, create unnecessary red tape to purchase a firearm and close responsible home-based businesses simply because they happen to be within an arbitrary distance of a school.

Democrats didn’t have the votes to override any of the governor’s industry-supported vetoes. NSSF thanks Gov. Youngkin and those legislators that stood up for the thousands of Virginians in the firearm industry and the millions of gun-owning Virginians it serves. NSSF will continue to actively engage here in Richmond. That doesn’t mean the work is done. Undoubtedly, many of these same bills, and some new ones, will be introduced next year.


Christopher G. Kopacki, Ph.D is Director of Government Relations for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

3 Responses

  1. “That doesn’t mean the work is done.”
    And don’t forget it.
    The fight to destroy the 2nd Amendment is never ending which is why POTG must be always on alert and ready to do battle against the likes of such the world has ever seen commonly referred to as the left, anti 2A crowd, amongst other adjectives.

  2. It was a miracle that Youngkin got elected. It was only because of tranz madness. The school system got caught trying to cover up secksual* assaults by a dude wearing a skirt in the girls restrooms. They tried to cover it up because they were pushing to allow boys into the girls restrooms in the name of tolerance (insanity). That was a bridge too far for a few mama bears, so they elected a Republican. Then they forgot about protecting children, and voted Dem because they wanted unlimited abortions in Virginia.

  3. One thing I think is severely underestimated by the conservative/libertarian element of the population is the ABSOLUTE ruthless, unstoppable commitment of the Leftist/fascists to their beloved world view. Like the Terminator, “Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead!”

    THOSE are our opposition, and they will not stop, until we are dead or disarmed (which is the last step before “dead”). Bruen and Heller have now been the “law of the land” for well over a decade . . . and these gutter scrunts are STILL passing laws that are blatantly contrary to the clear holdings of those cases, and DARING us to take them BACK to SCOTUS, and get slapped down, again, and . . . come right back with ANOTHER blatantly unconstitutional POS bit of legislation.

    Anyone who professes surprise or shock at this? Hasn’t been paying attention. Like the Terminator, THEY. WILL. NOT. STOP. We need to become as relentless, ruthless, and unstoppable as they are. National concealed carry reciprocity. “Safe carry” statutes to allow interstate transport of personal firearms. Making suppressors “over-the-counter” SAFETY equipment. Confirming the right of individuals to transfer personal property without Federal paperwork.

    If we could make those things happen, we would move the goalposts, and confirm the place of the 2A as an actual RIGHT.

    Sorry, I am somewhat passionate about this issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *