McAuliffe Wants to Bring Back Handgun Restriction in Virginia

Support for guns in homes at all-time high in America

Terry McAuliffe / AP
• December 16, 2014 11:50 am


Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) announced on Monday that he will seek to reinstate a restriction on gun sales that limits individuals in the state to one handgun purchase a month.

The law was repealed during the previous administration of Gov. Bob McDonnell (R.).

McAuliffe's request for the Republican-dominated legislature to reinstate the law is likely to fall on deaf ears, according to a report by Reuters.

McAuliffe announced plans for multiple other restrictions on gun owners, such as a requirement for private vendors at gun shows to run background checks, and to revoke concealed carry permits from parents who are delinquent on child support payments, according to the report.

Opponents of the proposed laws say that McAuliffe is obligated to take up the fight against gun rights due to the campaign contributions he got from former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

The head of a Virginia gun-rights group called the move political payback to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent gun-control activist who was a major donor to McAuliffe's 2013 gubernatorial campaign.

"I think this is all politically motivated," said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun rights group. "If anything, Virginia is more pro-gun than it was last year."

The announcement from McAuliffe comes at a time when public support for gun rights in America is at an all-time high. Support has nearly doubled in the past decade, with a Gallup poll last month finding that more than six in ten Americans believe that "guns make homes safer."