McAuliffe strikes deal with VA Republicans on gun reforms

RICHMOND (WSLS 10) - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Friday what he calls a historic step forward for the Commonwealth in gun reform.

He has struck a deal with several house republicans to pass two additional gun laws at the price of dropping the fight against concealed carry reciprocity agreements.

McAuliffe says it means that the two bills he has submitted to reform gun laws in the Commonwealth are going to pass.

In return, he's assuring republicans concealed carry permits from all 50 states will continue to be honored in Virginia.

The first of McAuliffe's bills would put state police at all gun shows, and give them more power.

"Right now, you go to a gun show, if you have a federal license, they can have a background check. If you don't have a license, you cannot get a background check. Now, we will have state police who do background checks for everybody there," said McAuliffe.

The second would take guns away from people with protective orders against them.

"My bill, which requires if you're under a restraining order, you have to hand your firearm in within 24 hours," said McAuliffe.

Not everyone is happy about the agreement.

State Senator Tom Garrett says the fight over gun laws is far from over.

Garrett originally opposed ending reciprocity agreements with other states.

He says he and several other legislators weren't expecting this unprecedented move.

"What I'm doing right now is trying to figure out exactly what the Governor's promising, whether or not he even has the capacity of forcing the Attorney General's hand as it relates to the steps that he's taken," said Garrett.

Garrett currently has a bill waiting to be considered that would take the Attorney General's power of deciding reciprocity agreements away and give it to the Legislature.

He says the Governor's announcement doesn't affect that fight at all.

"My bill is still alive, and my bill would still do that, and if we need to advance that bill based on inaction of changing of the terms by the Governor, then that's what we'll do," said Garrett.

McAuliffe's agreement still has to be voted on in the General Assembly.

Right now, the move to end reciprocity agreements for concealed carry permits with 25 other states has been delayed until March first until that vote occurs.