How Virginia Was Bought

If you wondered how Virginia went from a red state to a purple state to a blue state, here is part of the answer.

Michael Bloomberg played the long game, made many strategic campaign contributions over the years, and made Virginia his own.

According to the New York Times it started a lot sooner than the last couple of elections.

Soon enough, Mr. Bloomberg ramped up his spending on politics beyond New York. Frustrated at the flow of firearms from Virginia, a state with lax gun laws, Mr. Bloomberg tried to buoy candidates in the state’s 2011 elections who shared his views.

Then, in 2013, he received a visitor in New York: Mr. McAuliffe, by then a candidate for governor of Virginia. He proposed to Mr. Bloomberg that he make the state a decade-long priority, with an eye toward empowering Democratic supporters of gun regulation.

“I walked out with a multimillion-dollar commitment that day,” Mr. McAuliffe recalled.

Mr. Bloomberg spent more than $3 million in Virginia that year through his super PAC, helping propel Mr. McAuliffe to the governorship and electing a Democratic attorney general supportive of gun control, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. He has plowed millions more into the state since then, culminating last fall with a takeover of the state legislature by Democrats who are now seeking to pass a series of tougher gun laws.

It started with Terry McAuliffe, continued with Attorney General Mark Herring, and then down into state legislative races.

You know what happened in 2019 (corrected) – Democrats took both houses of the General Assembly.

Virginia’s Grand Compromise

The compromise between Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) and gun rights supporting legislators over concealed carry reciprocity has been consummated. In exchange for voluntary background checks by VA State Police at gunshows and a state prohibition on firearms for those with permanent domestic violence protection orders against them, carry reciprocity agreements that had been abrogated by Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) were restored.

In addition, the Virginia State Police have been ordered to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states as needed so that Virginia carry permit holders can carry in those states. As I read the law, Virginia will now recognize all other state’s carry permits so long as the holder is 21 years old or older and the permit can be verified 24 hours a day.

Gov. McAuliffe issued a press release calling the passage of this “public safety” legislation historic.

“The historic bipartisan agreement will make Virginia safer by keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and people who cannot pass background checks,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Virginians elect their leaders to work together to get things done, and today I am proud to say we did just that. This is the most significant step forward on gun safety in 24 years, and I look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly and the public safety community to build on the progress we made this session.”

Buried in press release was the important information about reciprocity agreements with the other statements. It is to be expected that a gun prohibitionist like McAuliffe would want to downplay that part of the agreement and play up the minor concessions from gun rights advocates.

The National Rifle Association’s statement on the deal went to the heart of the deal – carry reciprocity.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Deal Signed in Virginia

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association (NRA) commends Virginia’s leaders for reaching an agreement to secure the rights of law-abiding concealed carry permit holders. H.B. 1163 and S.B. 610 which will restore and promote concealed carry reciprocity for permit holders in the Commonwealth and around the country, were signed into law today.

“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,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “Self-defense is a fundamental right that must be respected.”

On Dec. 22, 2015, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring decided to sever concealed carry reciprocity agreements with half the country. The change was set to take effect early in 2016. The decision nullified agreements with the following states; Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In addition to providing concealed carry recognition for valid permits from other states, the bipartisan legislation signed today requires the Virginia State Police to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states where needed.

“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,” concluded Cox.

Governor McAuliffe signed the legislation earlier today despite a repeated onslaught of attacks from New York City Billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his misguided gun control allies.


An Example Of Everytown’s Campaign Against McAuliffe’s Compromise

Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors is royally PO’ed that a governor that they thought they owned lock, stock, and barrel has now come to an agreement with pro-gun legislators and forces. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) is, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, the focus of a social media campaign by Everytown in an effort to stop his agreement to reinstate and expand concealed carry reciprocity.

Gun rights activists and supporters in Virginia need to keep up the pressure on both McAuliffe and their legislators to reinstate existing reciprocity agreements as well as to expand to universal reciprocity recognition.

An Update On Virginia Reciprocity From VCDL

Grass Roots North Carolina received the following from Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League regarding the negotiations between Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) and gun rights supporters to restore concealed carry reciprocity.

BREAKING NEWS:  *** February 1 cutoff date for dropping recognition of 25 states has been extended to March 1


you’ve undoubtedly
heard from the media, there is a package deal in the works between
Governor McAuliffe and the Republicans in the General Assembly dealing
with 1)
concealed handgun permit (CHP) reciprocity, 2) voluntary background
checks at gunshows, and 3) those subject to a permanent domestic
protection order.

many CHP holders, CHP
reciprocity is a HUGE deal, especially if they travel out-of-state
regularly and want to be able to carry discretely.  For example, there
is no
solution to carrying in South Carolina if we don’t have an agreement
between our two states.

There is a
lot of misinformation from the media and elsewhere and a lot of people
coming to the wrong conclusions about what the deal does and doesn’t do.
 Rumors are flying that gun owners only get back the reciprocity
that was taken away by Herring and the State Police – that is FALSE.  We
have gained important ground!

STILL IN THE WORKS.  Things could still go south as the key bills that
make up the deal work their way through the legislature and onto the
WILL.  If it fails, we may not be able to fix the reciprocity situation
for another two-long-years.

VCDL has been privy to the deal for several days, as was a
national group.  VCDL monitored progress of this potentially
advancement of our liberty from its genesis, and provided counsel and
discussion points during its evolution.

The final product was given the nod by VCDL, however we will be watching like a hawk for
any changes that negatively affect gun owners.


There are three components that make up the deal, each component represented by matching bills in the House and in the

#1 – Reciprocity details –
gun owners gain ground!

Virginia will honor the carry permits from ALL states!  This is
considerably better than current law and something VCDL has been trying
to get
for at least seven years now.  

Because Virginia will honor all other states, Virginia CHPs will be
recognized by all the states we have lost AND we will gain some new
 New Hampshire, Georgia, and Colorado!

The State Police and the Attorney General will have NO say in the new
law.  If another state requires a formal
agreement to honor Virginia CHPs, the new law requires the Attorney
General to enter into any such agreement.  If he fails to do this, item
below, does not go into effect.

One other change on the reciprocity law:  If your Virginia CHP is
revoked for cause, you won’t be able to carry on a non-resident permit
from another state.  Not a deal breaker.

 Just because we are honoring all other states, doesn’t mean we can
carry in all those states.  Someone
from New York will be able to carry here, but we won’t be able to carry
in New York unless New York is willing to enter into a reciprocal
agreement with Virginia, for example. 

As more and more states start honoring out-of-state permits, the prospects of our permit being honored by even more states
down the road is bright!

#2 –
Voluntary gun show background checks

Background checks for a private sale are COMPLETELY voluntary.

* The State Police shall be at every gun show in Virginia, by law.  (Some gun owners were thinking this was some kind of
a trick – that if the State Police don’t show up, the gun show would be cancelled.  This should put that worry to rest.)

The gun show promoter shall notify the State Police of
the location and times of the gun show at least 30 days in advance,
shall provide a free location for the police to set up, and shall have
letting attendees know of the voluntary background checks at the State
Police booth.  (I checked with one of Virginia’s largest gun show
promoters on this to see if any of it was objectionable and was told,

* The State Police may charge a reasonable fee.  (If they charge more than you want to pay, you can
just walk away and do the transaction without the background check.)

NO information on the make, model, or serial number of the gun being
sold will be provided to the State Police – i.e. no
federal Form 4473!  The purchaser will have to fill out the Virginia
form, which asks a few questions and has the buyer’s name, address, and
signature.  (If you don’t want to fill out that form, you can just walk
away and do the transaction without the background

There is a carrot: if a
background check is run, the seller receives some special legal
protections that are currently not available for private sales.  If a
check is not run, you don’t have any more or any less legal protections
than under current law.

Yes, down
the road inevitably there will be some bills introduced that attempt to
the background check mandatory.  We get bills on mandatory background
checks for private sales every year.  We will have to fight and defeat
those bills in the future, just as we fight and defeat similar bills

For those gun owners who
would feel safer selling a gun to someone who has had a background
check, this
provides a new option in addition to the current option of either asking
if the person has a CHP or going through the more laborious and
route of letting an FFL do the transfer.  It also has no effect on
private sales conducted anywhere outside of gun shows, where this
option is not provided.

#3 –
Persons subject to a PERMANENT domestic violence protection order cannot possess firearms until the order expires

* The ONLY permanent protection order this restriction applies to is one for domestic
violence and NOTHING else.

The subject of the protection order must have had his day in court along
with any legal counsel.  Temporary protection orders do NOT affect
possession of firearms.

If the judge, after hearing the defense, decides to issue a permanent
protection order anyhow, the subject of the protection order will lose
his gun
rights for the duration of the order (MAXIMUM of two years), and
automatically get those gun rights back when the permanent protection
order expires.
 Note:  a new permanent protection order could potentially be issued
when the perament protection order expires if the judge thinks a danger
still exists.

The subject of the
permanent protection order will have 24 hours to turn his guns over to a
person of his choice, as long as that person can legally possess

The above is basically
federal law already, and state law already prohibits a person with such a
permanent protection order from purchasing  or transporting a


* VCDL will be monitoring the deal’s
progress, watching for changes that negatively affect gun owners. 

* If a negative issue arises and is not fixed quickly, I will advise all of you immediately via an Urgent Legislative Action

* I will also be providing
links to the three bills described above as soon as the final language is available online.  That way you can read them for

* For now just standby on
this, as I keep you advised of the progress of the deal.

* If you don’t have any absolutely urgent questions, please hold on to them for now as it would be easy to overwhelm me
with emails (I’m already getting over 200 a day as is).

 We interviewed Phil for The Polite Society Podcast yesterday evening. I will put up a link to that interview as soon as it is published. However, in the meantime, Phil said that an appropriations bill had been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly that would restore reciprocity to the way it was before Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) went full-Bloomberg. Given it is an appropriations bill, Gov. McAuliffe must either approve it in full or veto the entire bill. There is no line-item veto on appropriations bills.

Needless to say, the gun prohibitionists are having a hissy fit over the compromise between McAuliffe and gun rights supporters. A few days ago the Washington Post reported this:

“Governor McAuliffe should reconsider this dangerous gift to the gun lobby,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, which in the fall poured more than $2 million into two state Senate races at McAuliffe’s request.

Late last night the Post reported that Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors has now started a social media campaign against McAuliffe.

On Wednesday, Everytown launched a social media campaign against McAuliffe, who last week stunned gun-safety advocates by announcing that he had struck a gun deal with Republican legislators and the National Rifle Association. It shows side-by-side photos of McAuliffe and the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre.

“What do VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe and NRA head Wayne LaPierre have in common?” one version reads. “Both Gov McAuliffe and NRA Head Wayne LaPierre support allowing dangerous people to carry hidden loaded weapons in Virginia.”

While clearly a lower-budget affair than last fall’s TV blitz, Everytown’s social media campaign against McAuliffe was a stunner, given how closely he worked with gun-safety groups since his 2013 campaign for governor. He narrowly won the race while bragging about his “F” rating from the NRA.

If I were a Virginia politician, I’d look at what Everytown is doing and realize just how fickle they are in their support. Alternatively, you could say that they just want their bought and paid for politicians to stay bought.