VA Gov. Blocks Bill To Lower Concealed Carry Age For Active Duty MilitaryScreen Shot 2017-02-24 at 11.51.19 AM
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe recently blocked a group of bills that had passed in the General Assembly, one of which would have dropped the age for concealed carry applicants to 18 if they were serving in an active duty role in the United States military. Democrat McAuliffe has been known for countering Republican-backed initiatives to expand gun rights. In 2016, he rallied to pass regulations that would prevent people from carrying concealed handguns into public buildings, but that was later overturned.
Some have compared McAuliffe to Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, whose unwavering opposition to permit less concealed carry measures passed through the legislature. It is common for states to elect a Democrat governor to off-set a Republican-majority on the state legislature. This has proven to only cause continuous conflict.
Concealed carriers in Virginia are not affected by the recent bans made by McAuliffe, but it will hinder many active duty military service members from pursuing a concealed carry permit. That is a problem since Virginia is home to several large active duty military bases, such as Marine Corps Base Quantico, NMITC Dam Neck, and Naval Station Norfolk. Pushes like the ones made by McAuliffe speak volumes to men and women in the military by denying them their right to defend themselves off base.