I’m sure veins are throbbing in the foreheads of gun control activists this morning as details of the deal between Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and the commonwealth’s Republican legislature shows just how far the Clinton ally was forced to retreat after first ordering Attorney General Mark Herring to sever concealed carry reciprocity with most of the country, only to encounter tremendous blowback:
New details revealed on Friday show the gun carry deal between Virginia Republicans and Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) is more expansive than first reported.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), one of the state’s leading gun rights groups, said in an email to its members that the deal would not only restore the 25 reciprocity deals Attorney General Mark R. Herring (D.) had planned to eliminate but also expand Virginia’s recognition of gun carry permits to all states.
The deal also pushes back the attorney general’s reciprocity deadline from Feb. 1 to March 1 and will require the attorney general’s office to enter into any reciprocity agreement offered by any other state, removing the discretion that allowed Herring’s unilateral action.
Though the deal requires Virginia to recognize gun carry permits from all states, it does not mean that all states will honor Virginia’s permits: Some states require a formal agreement for them to honor another state’s permits. The deal’s requirement that these agreements be granted to any state seeking one would make Virginia’s permit one of the most widely recognized in the country with at least 33 states honoring it, including New Hampshire, Georgia, and Colorado for the first time.
“To many CHP holders, CHP reciprocity is a HUGE deal, especially if they travel out-of-state regularly and want to be able to carry discreetly,” Philip Van Cleave, president of the VCDL, said in the email. “For example, there is no solution to carrying in South Carolina if we don’t have an agreement between our two states.”
Follow the link to the article to see the anger of Moms Demand Action, who clearly feel betrayed by McAuliffe’s reversal (and Herring’s effective neutering).
Mike Bloomberg was a major campaign contributor to both Herring and McAuliffe, and so it is likely that Herring’s severing of reciprocity was a bit of quid pro quo. Clearly, neither McAuliffe nor Herring expected the massive flood of anger that resulted from Herring’s stunt, and which apparently necessitated not just a partial retreat, but a full surrender on the issue.
The revelation of how far these anti-gun Democrats were forced to retreat comes on the day of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, were Republicans and Democrats will see the first voting take place in the 2016 primaries.
Importantly, Hillary Clinton has been pushing gun control as a central focus of her campaign leading into tonight’s caucuses, and seems to believe internal polling that pushing for extensive gun control is her path to victory over both socialist rival Bernie Sanders in the primaries and the eventual Republican nominee in November.
Tonight’s caucuses may give some indication whether Hillary has miscalculated her position in Iowa as poorly as McAuliffe and Herring clearly did in Virginia.
We’ll have Iowa caucus results posted live as they come in at our sister site, Townhall.com, here.