After pushing gun control gimmickry to play political games—and then paying for it with their careers at the polls—you’d think politicians would learn that defying the will of the people is a losing proposition.
Yet in Virginia—the one state most responsible for writing and winning our Bill of Rights, and the modern home of the National Rifle Association—cynical politicians are unilaterally voiding many of the Second Amendment’s protections, not just for Virginians, but for millions of Americans who ever visit or transit Virginia. Virginia executives unilaterally gut Second Amendment protections not just for 420,000 Virginians, but also 6.3 million residents of other states.
And they’re doing it just because they can.
In late December, Virginia’s Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring announced that the Old Dominion was severing Right-to-Carry reciprocity agreements with half of the United States—not through legislation, but through executive fiat.
Indeed, the attorney general’s scheme appeared specifically intended to bypass the legislative process: Even the Washington Postcharacterized it as “part of a national push to circumvent legislatures opposed to tightening gun laws.”
As a result, one month from today, on Feb. 1, 2016, Virginia will no longer recognize or honor concealed-carry permits from 25 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin or Wyoming.
As a result, more than 6.3 million people who can legally carry a concealed firearm into the commonwealth today may not do so after Feb. 1.
At the same time, 420,000 Virginians will see their right to carry a firearm for self-defense while visiting those states disappear, as well.
Herring tried to justify the move by claiming that the states with which he was severing reciprocity agreements had less stringent requirements for issuing Right-to-Carry permits. Yet when his office was asked how many crimes were committed or how many gun accidents happened in Virginia due to out-of-state permit holders, Herring couldn’t name a single instance.
As Kerry Dougherty of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilotput it, “Without even one example to justify his sweeping actions, it appears that Virginia’s top law enforcer is behaving like so many other government meddlers as he attempts to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.”
NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox put it more pointedly: “Plain and simple, Mark Herring is putting politics above public safety. This decision is both dangerous and shameful. The attorney general knows that permit holders are among the safest groups of citizens in the commonwealth and the country. At a time when people are scared and desperately need the ability to defend themselves, Herring has chosen the path of making self-defense harder.”
Maybe because Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe—scion of Syracuse, N.Y.; former chairman of the Democratic National Committee; and chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign—and his fellow Democrat, Attorney General Herring, want to pay back former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the gun-ban zealot who threw his $37 billion fortune behind efforts to elect anti-gun Democrats in Virginia just a month before.
Or maybe they just did it out of spite.
After all, the McAuliffe-Bloomberg gun-ban gambit backfired on them in Virginia’s November 2015 elections. As Robert McCartney wrote in the Washington Post, “When Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his fellow Democrats study what went wrong for them in Tuesday’s crucial legislative elections, one possible mistake stands out: Their aggressive advocacy of gun control ...”
A Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial echoed that criticism, noting that in one key election race, the candidate “made a massive mistake” by standing with Michael Bloomberg in “a campaign focused on guns.”“Part of a national push to circumvent legislatures opposed to tightening gun laws”—Washington Post
In other words, McAuliffe and his attorney general couldn’t win by playing cynical political games with gun control that defied the will of the people—so they upended the chessboard, stomped all over the chess pieces and stormed off out of spite.
While it’s tempting to laugh at them for their political incompetence, and shrug them off as irrelevant, the fact is that we ignore them at the peril of our freedoms.
Because Gov. McAuliffe and Attorney General Herring, with their unilateral anti-gun executive orders and “I dictate the law, not the legislature” arrogance, are just Virginia’s executors of a more widespread and much more troubling form of public-policy malfeasance.
The leftist Center for American Progress has released a so-called “Framework for Action,” in which it urges state governors and their minions to simply go around their state legislatures—and short-circuit the legislative process—to impose gun control through “28 Ideas for State Executive Action.”
One of those 28 ideas, not surprisingly, is revoking Right-to-Carry reciprocity agreements with other states.
As Chelsea Parsons of the Center for American Progress told the Washington Post, “This has been where the gun violence prevention movement is going. In much the same way President Obama said I’m not going to wait for Congress anymore, the same can be said for leaders at the state level to really use their authority to take strong meaningful steps on this issue.”
In other words, expect your state-level executive officeholders to do the same thing that Virginia’s governor and attorney general are doing to impose gun control.
Use Your Power!
This trend—state governors and executive-branch politicians unilaterally imposing anti-gun dictates—directly endangers your Second Amendment rights. The only way to stop this growing movement is to elect pro-freedom executive officeholders at every level across America. And the best and only way to do that is to assemble a nationwide army of pro-freedom voters now. We need your help to do that. To become a part of NRA-ILA's FrontLines™ Volunteer Program,click here.