House Republican leaders critical of McAuliffe executive order on guns

state-capitol2Virginia House of Delegates Republican leaders responded Thursday to Executive Order 50, released by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

“For years, we have consistently said the best way to keep Virginians safe is to enforce existing law,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “We will monitor the work of the task force. The Governor’s policy on firearms in state buildings will not apply to the State Capitol or the General Assembly Building. Most importantly, the House of Delegates will continue to focus on investing in mental and behavioral health care improvements that will have a meaningful impact on individual lives and our communities as a whole.”

“It is curious that the Governor and Attorney General are putting such special emphasis on enforcing Virginia’s gun laws when they have been so eager to ignore other laws in the past,” said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights).  “We are confident that our local law enforcement officers and Commonwealth’s Attorneys are enforcing all of Virginia’s laws to their full extent. The Governor and Attorney General should take extra care before interfering with their work.”

“The Governor’s decision to prohibit firearms in state buildings is shortsighted. As we have seen again and again, such policies leave law-abiding citizens vulnerable to acts of senseless violence rather than protecting people from such tragedies,” said House Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). “We will review this policy during the 2016 legislative session and take the appropriate action to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

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