Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill Banning Firearms Near Election Locations 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) vetoed a bill on Tuesday banning firearms near election-related places. 

The Democratic-controlled General Assembly passed the bill on March 5, which banned individuals from knowingly possessing a firearm within 100 feet of entrances to polling places, buildings used by electoral boards to ascertain election results and buildings used to conduct election recounts. Currently, the ban only extends out to 40 feet from these locations.

The law would have extended the firearm ban to additional locations, including voter registration sites, voter satellite offices, absentee voter precincts and election certification meeting sites. Few exceptions would be made, including for law-enforcement officers, people with private property within the 100-foot boundary and certain armed security officers.

Democrats spearheaded the bill, which passed the Senate on March 4 by a one-vote margin and cleared the House on March 5 by just two votes.

Legislation to ban firearms from polling places and other election-related locations has become somewhat of a trend recently. Just two days ago, New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham (D) signed a bill making it illegal to possess a firearm within 100 feet of a polling place in the state. Individuals are also prohibited from doing so within 50 feet of a drop box. In January, a bill was introduced in the Vermont House that would ban the possession of a firearm at polling places.

Just 12 states and Washington D.C. currently have laws expressly banning the possession of a firearm near polling places. 

Read the bill here.

Track the status of the bill here.

This post was updated on Wednesday, March 27 at 1:10 p.m. EDT to reflect the Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s veto.