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Virginia governor vetoes gun bills

[JURIST] Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe [official website] on Thursday vetoed [press release] two proposed bills that would eliminate restrictions on the possession of firearms in or around state office buildings. House Bill 1096, would have undone the governor's prior order banning firearms in Virginia executive branch office buildings, and House Bill 382 [materials] would strip Virginia government agencies of the power to adopt any regulation or rule that prohibits employees from storing firearms in their automobiles. State employees are currently not allowed to keep firearms in their vehicles unless it is job related when on state premises or conducting state business. The governor stated these proposed bills would have negative effects on workplace violence.

Gun control [JURIST backgrounder] and the Second Amendment continue to be controversial national topics, and gun awareness has risen in the wake of recent shootings across the nation. In December the US Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit vacated [JURIST report] a lower court ruling that found that a DC gun law requiring a concealed carry permit outside of the home may violate the Constitution. In October Maine's revised concealed carry law went into effect [JURIST report] allowing legal gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Earlier that month the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld [JURIST report] the main parts of Connecticut and New York gun control legislation that ban semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. In September the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a mixed ruling [JURIST report] on DC gun laws, ultimately upholding six and striking down four controversial elements of the Firearms Registration Amendment Act and the Firearms Amendment Act of 2012. The laws were created in response to the Supreme Court striking down [JURIST report] a DC law prohibiting firearm ownership in 2008.

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