Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed on Thursday three pieces of legislation he said would threaten public safety by weakening gun laws.
One of the vetoed bills would have allowed people protected by a protective order to carry a hidden handgun without getting a permit.
The governor vetoed identical bills Senate Bill 626 and House Bill 766. The bills would stop application and safety training requirements for individuals with concealed handgun permits who have secured protective orders.
“Senate Bill 626 encourages victims of domestic violence to introduce deadly weapons into an already dangerous situation, an approach that I believe could have significant negative public safety consequences,” said McAuliffe in a veto statement for both bills.
McAuliffe proposed amendments that would speed up the concealed handgun permit approval process for individuals who had given serious consideration to the risks and responsibilities of concealing a handgun and completed all necessary training requirements. However, the amendments were rejected.
McAuliffe also vetoed a bill that would have narrowed the circumstances when a person could be charged for illegally pointing or brandishing a firearm.
In order to receive a conviction under this law, prosecutors must prove that an individual not only brandished a weapon, but also knew or should have known that his or her conduct induced fear in the mind of another person.
“Making the change requested in this bill would create unintended consequences for prosecutors and law enforcement officers attempting to secure convictions for violators of this law,” said McAuliffe in another veto statement for House Bill 560.
“This proposed modification would unnecessarily burden our public safety officials and potentially create a defense for individuals who recklessly handle firearms," he said.