In December 2015 Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, under direction from Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe, unilaterally stripped long standing concealed carry reciprocity agreements between the Commonwealth and 25 other states, putting a number of Virginia residents in unnecessary danger. The move prompted harsh backlash and criticism from Virginia residents, Virginia military families, Virginia businesses and from Governors around the country whose states held the agreements. As I noted at the time:
Stripping the concealed carry reciprocity agreements between Virginia and 25 other states in the name of "safety" will actually do nothing at all to keep citizens safer. Criminals regularly carry guns across state lines without permits. Virginia itself is a very transient place with many military families and government workers from all over the country living short term in northern Virginia while working in Washington D.C. This move will not make anyone safer, instead, it places a larger burden on the law abiding.
But thanks to the quick work of the National Rifle Association and the Republican Virginia legislature, the agreements were restored last week through H.B. 1163 and S.B. 610.
“Now, more than six million law-abiding gun owners will be free to travel in and out of Virginia with their Second Amendment rights intact," NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox released in a statement about the deal. "Self-defense is a fundamental right that must be respected."
“Concealed carry permit holders are among the safest groups of citizens in Virginia and throughout the country. On behalf of the NRA’s more than five million members, we commend this effort to protect public safety and fundamental freedoms. Hopefully this effort will encourage Congress to pass national right to carry reciprocity legislation as soon as possible,” Cox added.
Naturally, the reciprocity restoration has Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun groups up in arms and Everytown's Shannon Watts has been attacking Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe for signing the legislation. McAuliffe used to be an Everytown ally, but based on what many sources are calling "unprofessional" reaction from the group surrounding reciprocity restoration, that partnership appears to be over.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s spokesman lashed out this week at a national gun-control group, which answered McAuliffe’s call for help in fall Senate races with a $2 million TV blitz but more recently blasted the governor’s gun deal with Republicans and the National Rifle Association.
Brian Coy spoke dismissively of Everytown for Gun Safety, which is associated with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, as a “group from New York” that does not have the interests of Virginians at heart.
“One group from New York and its affiliates are upset, but that does not represent Virginia views on this,” Coy said. “We had no interaction with Everytown, the national folks, until after this deal became public. We wouldn’t have even known who to call.”
It should be noted Bloomberg's Everytown spent more than $2 million in Virginia's 2015 elections in an effort to flip the Republican controlled Senate into Democrat hands. They failed. Ninety-two percent of NRA backed candidates were victorious in Virginia elections last year.