AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

Youngkin Proves Himself a Pro-Gun Wall, Swats Down Dozens of Anti-2A Bills

Gov. Glenn Youngkin wasn’t exactly the most forthcoming when asked about his pro-gun credentials. While he was undoubtedly better than the Democrat he was running against, there were concerns that he wasn’t as staunch a Second Amendment proponent as many would have preferred.

That wasn’t helped by his evasive answers about whether he’d sign gun control that was worming its way through the state legislature earlier this year, either.

In the end, though, he vetoed those bills.

In fact, Youngkin has been a solid bet for Virginia gun rights activists.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed 30 gun control bills on Tuesday afternoon, using his perch as a Republican governor to restrain Democrats from taking the state in a leftward direction despite the party having taken full control of the legislature in November.
“I swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of Virginia, and that absolutely includes protecting the right of law-abiding Virginians to keep and bear arms,” Youngkin said in a statement.
In the batch of 30 bills blocked on Tuesday, the governor explained his reasoning for each. He blocked a bill that would criminalize gun possession at public colleges, saying that the Democrats failed to consider “Virginia’s diverse geographic, cultural, and societal norms across different regions,” and that individual colleges can already prohibit guns if they want to.
Another bill, prohibiting home-based firearms dealers near schools, appeared to be targeted at one specific individual, and is therefore constitutional, he said. 

Tuesday’s vetoes show that in order to get bills passed, they will have to work with Youngkin and moderate their positions.
Among the other bills vetoed include one that would have blocked widely-used gun safety courses from being used for concealed carry permits, having people take them instead from the state’s Department of Criminal Justice Services.
House Bill 799 would have required fingerprints to be submitted to obtain a concealed carry permit, which would be kept by the FBI. Youngkin said in 2012, members of both parties agreed this was superfluous given existing background checks, and that “concealed carry permit holders are known for being law-abiding citizens in the Commonwealth.”

Another bill would have allowed lawsuits against gun manufacturers, regardless of the PLCAA’s prohibition against them.

All in all, he knocked down every anti-gun bill sent to him, gave the legislature a reason, and some of them aren’t really reasons they can work around. His arguments are solidly pro-gun and while there are suggestions he’s open to compromise, I don’t actually see any of that here and now.

I’ll admit that I had reservations about Youngkin. I don’t live in Virginia and haven’t in this century, but I had concerns that maybe he was going to turn out to be a little squishy on gun rights.

No, he’s not.

Instead, what we seem to be seeing is a man who can come across as reasonable while still staunchly defending the Second Amendment.

All of these bills were trainwrecks in and of themselves. If all of them had been signed, it would have changed the landscape of Virginia in ways that would propel it into the ranks of among the most anti-gun states in the nation.

It wouldn’t quite be New York or California, but it would have been close enough for folks living there.

Thanks to Youngkin, it’s not happening.

Elections have consequences, and sometimes those consequences get to happen to the other side.

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