With only two gubernatorial elections being held throughout the nation this year, Virginia’s has come into the national spotlight. This election could also shape the future of the Second Amendment in the Old Dominion for years to come.
Should Terry McAuliffe (D) get elected to the governorship once more, an ominous future for the right to keep and bear arms lays ahead in the state of Virginia.
Already, McAuliffe has been echoing false claims made by President Joe Biden (D). He has also been backed and funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
Like Biden, he prefers to label firearms ownership as a “public-health crisis.” He also often calls the actions of violent criminals “gun violence.” He states on his campaign website that he will “treat gun violence as the public health crisis it is,” and that he intends to create an “Office of Gun Violence Prevention.”
This is just the beginning of his anti-gun agenda. His plan calls for a ban on some of the most-popular semi-automatic rifles sold today, such as the AR-15. He also wants to ban magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds—he deceptively calls these “high-capacity” magazines, in spite of the fact that they are simply the standard magazines that come with many semi-automatics. Such actions would not decrease violent crime, and would instead punish law-abiding citizens.
Beyond this, McAuliffe vowed to “explore the possibility of requiring waiting periods when a person purchases a firearm, and implementing a permit-to-purchase law.” As reported by the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, “[a]rguments for waiting periods focus on two easily disproven claims: waiting periods allow more time for the background investigation and allow for a ‘cooling off’ period. There is no evidence to support either claim. Instead, gun owners should understand what this actually is: registration of law-abiding gun owners, which will undoubtedly facilitate any future gun-control efforts.”
And just as incumbent Gov. Ralph Northam (D) eroded Virginia’s preemption statute, McAuliffe would seek to build upon this, as he plans to further restrict carry “in certain public spaces” and to give local governments “broader authority to prohibit open carry in their jurisdictions.”
Second Amendment supporters know that preemption statutes exist to prevent a confusing network of ever-changing, local firearms laws that can make it all but impossible for citizens to exercise their rights.
As noted earlier, it should be no surprise that Bloomberg is bankrolling a large part of McAuliffe’s campaign efforts. The former New York City mayor reportedly threw upwards of $1.8 million behind anti-gun candidates in Virginia, one million of that was reportedly earmarked for McAuliffe’s campaign.
So despite the fact that Virginians are reportedly exercising this constitutional right at increasing rates over the past years, Terry McAuliffe would seek to not only curtail this, but also to criminalize those who do.
Just two short years ago, gun-control proponents took control of both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly, in addition to having control of the governorship. Immediately, these politicians sought to enact restrictive pieces of legislation. Many of these, unfortunately, went into effect; but some of the most-egregious measures were, thankfully, defeated.
To find out more about what you can do to protect gun rights in Virginia, visit: NRA-ILA Grassroots.