Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin Kills Gun Control Bills


Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin Kills Gun Control Bills iStock-884220580

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin dealt a killing blow to Democrat’s hope of passing additional gun control in the Commonwealth.

Earlier this year, Democrats in the Virginia legislature passed 36 gun control bills, including an “assault firearms” bill that would see most semi-automatic rifles banned, magazine limitations, and a bill prohibiting homemade firearms. The Democrats have a razor-thin majority in both chambers of the legislature. The state’s executive branch is controlled by all Republicans.

The Governor has been tight-lipped on gun issues, although he has claimed to support the Second Amendment. Many worried that the Governor would buckle and sign these bills, but the Gov. Youngkin was true to his word and killed all the bills.

Of the 36 bills, 30 were vetoed, and the remaining six were modified from anti-gun language to pro-gun bills, which are sure to fail when they are sent back to Democrats for approval. This technique of modifying bills to ensure they are rejected is called the poison pill technique. The Governor might not have “talked the talk,” but he did walk the walk.

One of the bills that was modified was the Democratic’s “ghost gun” bill. Youngkin removed the language requiring a homemade gun to have a serial number and replaced it with a law that would prevent the state from prosecuting someone for having a firearm with little to no metal if they were unaware of the undetectable firearms law. Although this change wouldn’t prevent federal charges, it would protect gun owners from local law enforcement.

The Governor’s actions delighted gun rights activists from the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), Gun Owners of America (GOA), and the National Rifle Association (NRA), who all released statements thanking Gov. Youngkin for protecting Virginians’ natural right to bear arms. VCDL President Phillip Van Cleave was particularly happy with the Governor’s actions.

“Governor Youngkin stood firmly with Virginia’s gun owners by vetoing 30 bills that were either unconstitutional or that irrationally targeted law-abiding gun owners instead of violent criminals,” Van Cleave told AmmoLand News.

Anti-gun groups took to social media to bash the vetoes. Mom’s Demand Action and Everytown were particularly upset with the Governor. The groups claim that Youngkin disregarded the will of the voters without acknowledging that most of the state has some form of Second Amendment Sanctuary status. In 2019, 50,000 Virginians took to the streets of Richmond to protest gun control measures.

“Today’s decisions from Governor Youngkin are disappointing and a disregard of the will of the voters,” said Mike Fox, a volunteer with the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We demonstrated in the 2023 elections when we helped flip the House of Delegates to a gun sense majority that Governor Youngkin’s guns everywhere agenda isn’t welcome in the Commonwealth and that voters want leaders who will make stronger gun safety laws a reality. Thanks to the leadership of our legislators, there are still many lifesaving gun violence prevention bills on the way to Governor Youngkin’s desk. He’ll have another opportunity to do the right thing and support our efforts to make our communities safer by signing those bills into law.”

For the foreseeable future, Virginia will continue to be a battleground state for gun rights, and these bills will be introduced again. Neither side of the debate seems to be willing to back down.


About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. Mr. Crump has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.

John Crump


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