Senator Emmett Hanger's SB 1035 would have allowed concealed weapons in restaurants and bars serving alcohol. The governor noted that this bill would put employees and patrons of these establishments at risk and that many in the law enforcement community opposed it. He also vetoed SB 877 that would have allowed retired law enforcement to carry concealed weapons in restaurants and bars selling alcohol. The governor found no compelling reason for retired officers to do so.
The governor also vetoed SB 1069, HB 2358, SB 961, HB 2638 and SB 1409, all of which expand the capital murder statute to increase the number of offenders who would be eligible for capital punishment. The governor noted that Virginia is already second in the nation (behind Texas) in the number of executions. The most controversial, SB 961/HB 2358 patroned by Senator Mark Obenshain and Delegate Todd Gilbert, would have redefined the triggerman rule so principals in the second degree and accessories before the fact could be charged as principals in certain first degree cases.
The General Assembly reconvenes on April 8 to consider the governor's vetoes and amendments. Contact your legislator and urge him/her to sustain the governor's vetoes of these bad bills.