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Youngkin’s veto pen thwarts Democratic legislation, gun policy

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(The Center Square) – Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has racked up a sizable veto tally after acting on 67 more bills, 30 of which were rejection of gun legislation.

The Republican leader, now working with Democrat majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, has vetoed almost twice as many bills (80) in this year’s session than from the combined previous two years (41).

Youngkin has acted on 261 bills so far this session, having signed 161 and amended 20. In his first two years, he worked with a Republican-majority House of Delegates and a Democratic-majority Senate.

A number of younger, more progressive Democratic legislators replaced older incumbents in part due to redistricting for this session, and most of the legislation that made it to the governor’s desk was sponsored by Democrats.

Speaking of his gun bill vetoes, Youngkin said, “I swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of Virginia, and that absolutely includes protecting the right of law-abiding Virginians to keep and bear arms.”

Of the 31 bills he signed, four were public safety bills he called “commonsense reforms.” He signed two bills (a House and Senate version) that prevent parents from “willfully allowing a child who poses a credible threat of violence” to access any guns they might own. The others (again, House and Senate companion bills) outlaw auto sears in the commonwealth, devices that convert handguns and rifles into machine guns.

He amended six, including ones addressing firearms in hospitals that provide mental health services, altering a gun’s serial number, the sale or manufacture of plastic firearms, and parental notification of safe gun storage practices.

Among his vetoes were House and Senate Bill 2, which outlaw assault firearms in the commonwealth; a bill requiring fingerprinting for a concealed carry permit; legislation slowing down the purchasing process and giving firearm sellers more time to complete background checks; a bill making the purchase of a gun by anyone convicted of assault and battery or stalking within the five years prior a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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