Democrat Terry McAuliffe is trying his best to stay away from talking about issues relating to the second amendment as he makes his run for the Governor’s office in Virginia. McAuliffe, a supporter of the Assault Weapons Ban, revealed disdain for the push in the commonwealth to allow conceal carry permit holders more rights during his last campaign for governor in 2009.
At that time, he spoke to an NBC radio reporter during the Democratic primary for the governor’s race about the issue of gun control. He explained he was better than the front-runner at the time and eventual Democratic nominee, Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds, to take on Republican Bob McDonnell in the general election. McAuliffe claimed that a problem with Deeds was that he was as conservative on the gun issue as McDonnell.
“People know where I stand. I’m the jobs guy. And we’re also talking about–I’m the guy who can beat Bob McDonnell. For a lot of the last minute voters, they’re trying to decide, ‘Who is it can that beat Bob McDonnell? Because you know Bob already beat Creigh once and beat him on the gas tax,” McAuliffe said.
McAuliffe explained, “And they’re very similar on the issue of guns. Both of them think you ought to have guns–concealed guns at bars. So we’re just making the final arguments that I can beat Bob. They can’t and I’ve put together the largest grassroots campaign ever seen here.”
In 2010, the Republican Virginia legislature passed a bill which was signed into law by Governor Bob McDonnell to allow concealed carry permit holders to bring guns into bars and in restaurants that serve alcohol. However, the holder of the permit is not allowed to drink alcohol if he or she is carrying in such locations. In 2008, then-Virginia Democratic Governor Tim Kaine had fought with the Republicans in the legislature over the issue, saying he was “very nervous about the public safety impact” of a bill, which he later vetoed, that would allow permit holders into establishments that served alcohol.
According to the Cato Institute at the time the law was being debated in Virginia:
Of 48 states with concealed handgun permit regimes, only nine put restrictions on carrying in establishments that serve alcohol for on-premises consumption. Only Virginia and Montana require open carry, and Arizona requires concealed carry.
McAuliffe told the NBC reporter the voters of Virginia were “really not sure where Creigh has been on the issue of guns. I don’t think they know that he wants to take concealed weapons into bars. He’s voted for it four times. He voted to override Governor [Tim] Kaine twice and I just think these are big important issues.”
Three years after Governor Bob McDonnell signed the bill allowing conceal carry permit holders into places that served alcohol, reports revealed that crime was down as gun sales soared. McAuliffe scoffed at the numbers, telling Breitbart News, “Gun violence going down–that’s not the issue.”
It should be noted Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) reflected on his time as governor of the commonwealth in a January 2013 Washington Post op-ed. When it came to his advocacy of his gun control policies, he made no mention of his previous dire predictions about gun permit holders with concealed weapons being allowed into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol.