Gun-safety activists reacted angrily to a deal Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe struck with Republicans to recognize most out-of-state concealed-handgun permits, the Washington Post reports. They fanned out across the Capitol, placed hundreds of calls and wrote to the governor who won office bragging about his “F” rating from the National Rifle Association. “Governor McAuliffe should reconsider this dangerous gift to the gun lobby,” said John Feinblatt of Everytown for Gun Safety, which last year spent more than $2 million in two state Senate races at McAuliffe's request. The gun agreement, which needs General Assembly approval, would reverse Attorney General Mark Herring's decision last month to sever reciprocity rights of gun owners in 25 states with standards looser than Virginia's.
The deal nearly fell apart Friday after a senior Republican said on a radio program that the agreement was “a huge expansion of gun rights.” Delegate C. Todd Gilbert said, “When they laid it out to me, I'd make that deal every day of the week and twice on Sunday.” McAuliffe and his secretary of public safety, furious because negotiators had agreed to portray the deal as a win for all sides, told Republicans the deal was off. The deal came back together hours later after each side coughed up one more concession. The gun rights side agreed to raise the penalty for possession of a gun by someone subject to a two-year protective order, upping it from a misdemeanor to a felony. The gun-safety side agreed to make sure the attorney general, who would be directed by the deal to enter into reciprocity agreements with every state that offers them, moves quickly on the agreement.