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Governor vetoes bill that would’ve allowed domestic violence victims to carry gun without permit

Posted at 10:12 PM, Apr 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-07 23:14:17-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed legislation Thursday that would have allowed anyone who takes out a protective order to carry a concealed handgun for up to 90 days without a permit.

Nearly 11 months ago, Sonja Holt mourned the death of Morgan Rogers and her one-year-old daughter Leah.

Police said Morgan’s estranged boyfriend Stafford Shaw violated a protective order and killed them both before leading police on a chase that ended in a fiery crash.

Shaw died in the crash.

Morgan Rogers and Leah

Morgan Rogers and Leah

Holt dated Shaw for 11 years prior to his relationship with Morgan and said she endured years of abuse before ending the relationship.

“That was actually right when I left, I took out the protective order,” Holt said.

She said the protective order did keep him away from her, but Delegate Todd Gilbert, a former prosecutor, said too often it fails to protect a survivor from their abuser.

Sonja Holt

Sonja Holt

That’s why he introduced legislation to allow anyone who takes out a protective order to carry a concealed handgun for up to 90 days without a permit.

“It’s at that moment of crisis where you've had this protective order issued where the danger really lies, so at that moment somebody really shouldn't have to wait in line at the courthouse to protect themselves,” Gilbert said.

But, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed the legislation Thursday.

“The governor`s belief is that introducing more firearms into that situation does not make that situation more safe it actually makes it less safe,” Brian Coy, the Governor’s spokesperson, said.

Holt said she appreciates efforts to protect domestic violence victims, but said she agrees with the governor on this one.

“The gun being there makes it more susceptible that there possibly could be an act of violence or something worse,” Holt said.

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