The problem with “broken clock” politicians like Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is that though they might get things right on rare occasions, there are still those other 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 58 seconds of the day that they’re wrong.
McAuliffe’s latest screw up (and assuredly not his last one) is the veto of Virginia House Bill 766, which would have granted immediate concealed carry permits to victims of domestic violence with the issue of a protective order.
Carrying concealed handguns; protective orders. Authorizes any person 21 years of age or older who is not prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm and is protected by an unexpired protective order to carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the protective order was issued. The bill provides that if the person issued the protective order applies for a concealed handgun permit during such 45-day period, such person will be authorized to carry a concealed handgun for an additional 45 days and be given a copy of the certified application, which shall serve as a de facto concealed handgun permit. The bill requires such person to have the order or certified application and photo identification on his person when carrying a concealed handgun and to display them upon demand by a law-enforcement officer; failure to do so is punishable by a $25 civil penalty. This bill is identical to SB 626.
This is what sane people call a “common sense” bill.
It allows people most at risk of being attacked a 45-day time period where they can carry a concealed weapon. If they decide that they will need a concealed carry permit past that 45-day window, an additional 45-days is added if they apply for a Virginia concealed carry permit to allow time for the permit to process.
Sadly, it comes too late for Christina Fisher, who was murdered just days ago by her ex-boyfriend. Darrick Lee Lewis walked right through that paper order eleven days after Fischer was granted her not-so-protective order, and murdered her in cold blood.
Lewis is accused of shooting Fisher multiple times at her home in Leesburg, Virginia on Saturday night. Her 15-year-old child called police. Fisher was air-lifted to the hospital, but died soon after.
A permanent protective order barred Lewis from any face-to-face contact with Fisher or the children, Carey reports.
Fisher described multiple attacks in the order’s documents, saying, “Darrick has shoved me and choked me to the point I could not breath…He also slashed my seats in my car and cut all of my tires…He punched and stomped me in the face.”
Abused people like Fisher and countless other domestic violence victims should have the ability to carry concealed weapons, especially in the critical first few days and weeks after an order is put into place and the hot-headed abusers are most likely to strike.
McAuliffe rejected the bill because he wanted these abuse victims to have to undergo firearms training courses before being able to carry a gun for their self defense.
This is self-evidently nuts.
McAuliffe would require abuse victims to file a protective order, then find a firearms trainer, and then schedule a class for some point in the future. In the first few days and weeks where an abuse victim is most at risk, McAuliffe would require abuse victims to stare at a calendar, hoping that they can get their course completed before they are murdered.
I understand Governor McAuliffe’s concerns about firearms training, but reasonable people have to take a look at the overall threat profile and determine whether the greater risk to society is a person who may or may not have training carry a concealed firearm (“concealed carry training” requirements in Virginia, by the way, are a joke, with no actual training required),or you know, the abuser with a documented history of violence.
Is an abused person more likely to have a negligent discharge of a firearm in the days after filing a protective order, or more likely to be attacked by their enraged abuser? It seems self-evident to me that the far greater risk to society here is the risk posed by the abuser to the abused.
I hope that the House and Senate quickly garner the voted to override McAuliffe’s veto, and get these people the protection they deserve.