Over the last few months, an important drama has played out in the state of Virginia. As leaders of the gun-control movement looked to prove to Democrats that their issue can move voters, they settled on Virginia as their guinea pig. After a failed election and a relatively inconsequential executive action on guns from Clintonite governor Terry McAuliffe, their experiments culminated in a bold move: unilateral action from the Democratic attorney general that broke the state’s concealed-carry reciprocity agreement (in this agreement, Virginia’s concealed-carry permits were honored by 25 other states).
Then, on Friday, that action was undone by a deal between McAuliffe and Republicans.
More embarrassingly for the gun-control advocates, new details Friday revealed that the McAuliffe–Republican deal was more expansive than was first reported. Not only did the deal reverse the Democrats’ unilateral action and restore all 25 of the reciprocity deals; it also mandated that Virginia recognize permits from all states and create reciprocity agreements with every state that wants one. The deal is a leap forward for gun-rights activists. It also undermines Democrats’ effort to present gun control as a winning issue in the state and nationally.