Is Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Really Pro-Gun?

Pete Snyder for Governor

Virginia is a state that seems to be in flux. At least, that’s my hope. Otherwise, they’re a state that has gone hopelessly over to the anti-gun side of the equation, and that’s not really good for anyone. More anti-gun states mean more anti-gun laws and more pressure built up on pro-gun states to swing that direction.

However, I’m not convinced the state is really that anti-gun. Not just yet, anyway.

Much of that will come down to the upcoming gubernatorial race in the Old Dominion State, and there are already a number of candidates. Unsurprisingly most are holding up their pro-gun credentials.

But in one case, we have to ask whether the candidate is really that pro-gun or not.

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Snyder, currently polling second in the primary, is campaigning as an ‘absolute’ Trump supporter and has snagged high-profile endorsements from Ken Cuccinelli, Mark Morgan, Sarah Sanders and Kay Coles James. One of his top campaign issues is protecting the Second Amendment, reassuring Virginians that he ‘believes that the Second Amendment is NOT optional’.

But according to meeting minutes from Snyder’s time serving on the College of William and Mary’s Board of Visitors, he once voted for a weapons ban on campus. Then he tried to cover it up.

Snyder was appointed to the W&M Board of Visitors (BOV) in 2011 by Republican governor Bob McDonnell. In September and December of that year, the BOV voted twice to approve a regulation to ban all employees and visitors from carrying weapons on campus, even if they have a valid concealed carry permit.

Minutes from these meetings list Snyder as present and do not indicate that he opposed the ban.

Nearly two years later and shortly before he announced his bid for lieutenant governor, Snyder wrote a letter to the BOV Rector, Jeffrey Trammel, expressing regret that he had not done more to stop the weapons ban.

‘I regret not registering stronger objection at the time this policy was taken up with limited discussion by the Board of Visitors, and I wish to register my objection through this letter,’ Snyder wrote, according to a copy of the letter provided to The Spectator by Snyder’s campaign. ‘I request that the Board revisit this policy in an appropriately open and deliberative way, and hold a recorded vote on this matter at our next scheduled meeting in April.’

Now, Snyder claims he actually voted against the ban. Then he later claimed he wasn’t even there.

That’s troubling, to say the least.

In other words, it sure looks like Snyder was for the weapons ban before he was against it, and he only became against it when he decided to run for statewide office.

While it’s possible there was a legitimate change of heart from Snyder a couple of years later, but it just seems oddly convenient that shortly before he announced his candidacy, he sends a letter to the Board of Visitors to lodge his objections when he could have easily done so two years earlier when this was up for discussion.

He didn’t.

As such, it has to raise doubts about whether Snyder would truly stand up for gun rights in the state if push came to shove. I’m not particularly sure I’d trust him with my rights, that’s for sure.

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Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET