Tim Kaine Once Promised No New Gun Laws

He also signaled he supported so-called reciprocity, where states recognize other state's concealed carry permits, in a 2005 survey.


During his 2005 run for governor, Hillary Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine stated on his issues pages he would "not propose any new gun laws," as governor of the state of Virginia. In radio ads, he boasted the same message and even cited the NRA's Charlton Heston.

At the same time, Kaine, then the state's lieutenant governor, signaled his support for gun rights on a number of his issues. That year, Kaine answered the Virginia Defense League's survey for candidates.

Kaine's survey reveals some interesting answers on gun rights out of step with the modern Democratic Party. He signaled he supported so-called reciprocity, where states recognize other state's concealed carry permits. Kaine signaled he supported repealing the requirement for fingerprinting to get a concealed carry permit. He also said he opposed the government-mandated use of trigger locks.

In 2013, Kaine voted against a Senate amendment in support of reciprocity.

The survey:

1. Current Virginia law includes penalties for anyone carrying a gun while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. However, since 1995, Virginia's concealed carry law has prohibited lawful concealed carry by permit holders (even if they aren't drinking) in ABC licensed restaurants and clubs. For nearly 100 years prior to 1995, permit holders faced no such restriction and there were no problems. Because of this recent (1995) change in Virginia's concealed weapons law, 1) violent criminals know that restaurant patrons are defenseless prey, 2) law-abiding citizens may be at risk not only at dinner, but when walking to and from their car in a dark, secluded parking lot, and 3) law-abiding citizens may be forced to unnecessarily handle and unsafely store their loaded firearm in an unattended vehicle while in a restaurant. In addition, 36 other states with over 2.6 million permit holders do not have this "restaurant ban" and haven't experienced any problems.

Will you SUPPORT legislation to repeal this "restaurant ban" on carrying of concealed handguns by permit holders?

2. Many states have "reciprocity" arrangements where they recognize each other's concealed carry permits. Increasingly, states are unilaterally recognizing all other states' concealed handgun permits or adding a simple provision to their law that automatically recognizes the permits of any state that recognizes their permits. These states have experienced no problems due to the their unilateral recognition of other states' permits. Therefore, as Virginia recognizes more states' permits, more states will recognize Virginia's permits resulting in Virginia concealed handgun permit holders being able to legally carry concealed in more states.

Will you SUPPORT legislation recognizing all other states' concealed carry permits?

3. Virginia law provides for fingerprinting of concealed handgun permit applicants as a local option. Most localities do not require fingerprinting -- only 25% require it. Of those localities that do require fingerprinting, some require it only for the initial application while others require it for both the initial application and for renewals too. This establishes a non-uniform application procedure throughout the Commonwealth.

More importantly, the process of fingerprinting of concealed weapon permit applicants treats law-abiding citizens like common criminals and results in FBI registration of applicants. No matter what the Virginia code requires, the FBI never destroys a finger print record once it is received.

75% of Virginia localities and many other states (Pennsylvania, for example, with over a half million permits issued) do not require fingerprinting of concealed weapons applicants and have not experienced any problems.

Will you SUPPORT legislation to repeal the fingerprint language in Virginia's concealed handgun law?

4. Virginia law generally bans the carrying of guns in both public and private K-12 schools, except for the police (including off-duty, vacationing LEOs from other states). So, an off duty, vacationing game warden from New Jersey can carry a gun into a Virginia school, but a Virginia citizen with a concealed handgun permit may not! This ban 1) infringes the rights of law abiding Virginians, 2) grants special privileges to citizens of other states who know little or nothing of Virginia law, and 3) makes it almost certain that children and school personnel would remain helpless in the face of a Columbine type of attack by a deranged student or stranger who will ignore the law against bringing a gun in the school.

Even the draconian federal Gun Free School Zone Act specifically exempts concealed handgun permit holders from its restrictions and allows permit holders to carry their firearms into classrooms.

Will you SUPPORT legislation to more closely conform school gun policy with federal standards by allowing concealed handgun permit holders to have a gun on their person while on school grounds?

5. Virginia law prohibits the carrying of firearms in courthouses, on K-12 school property, the terminals of certain airports, and in places of religious worship while a religious service is in progress. Other than these restrictions, Virginia does not have any law prohibiting law-abiding citizens from legally carrying a firearm in a public place in open view (open carry). Thus, no permit is required in Virginia to open carry. However, Virginia does require a permit to carry a firearm concealed.

Two states have what is frequently referred to as "Vermont-style carry" for both open and concealed carry -- Vermont and Alaska. These two states recognize that every citizen has the right to carry a gun, openly or concealed, except to commit a crime. Thus, with no government bureaucracy or permit system, the citizens of Vermont and Alaska can legally carry the tools for self-defense.

Will you SUPPORT Vermont-style carry legislation which would eliminate all requirements to pay fees and register gun owners and simply allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms openly or concealed (at the individual's discretion) for any reason except for the commission of a crime?

6. Gun control advocates frequently attempt to discourage gun ownership by creating a patchwork of differing local government ordinances. Most recently, efforts have been made to authorize Roanoke, Richmond, Norfolk, and Fairfax County to enact ordinances restricting the carrying or possession of firearms in certain municipal facilities.

Will you OPPOSE any bill that allows localities to restrict the carrying or possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens in recreation centers, libraries, or other local government facilities?

7. Most firearms experts recognize that mechanical devices, such as trigger locks, create an extremely dangerous condition, whereby a gun can be fired accidentally. These dangerous "lock up your safety" devices may render a handgun ineffective when most needed and leave an individual or family defenseless and vulnerable to attack. Additionally, trigger locks create a false sense of security similar to that created when child safety caps were mandated which resulted in a significant increase in child poisonings when parents came to rely on the "safety" caps rather than education to protect their children.

Will you OPPOSE government mandated use of trigger locks or other such hazardous "safety" devices which have the effect of making it difficult, if not impossible, to have a gun available to defend your home and family?

8. Everyone is concerned for the safety of our children, and education is one of the best means of protecting them. The NRA`s Eddie Eagle gun-safety program is aimed at pre-school children and elementary kids up until third grade, and promotes four simple steps children should take if they see a gun -- Stop. Don`t Touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.

Will you SUPPORT legislation requiring that all 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students receive the NRA’s gun neutral “Eddie Eagle” gun safety program?

9. Most experts agree that "ballistic fingerprinting" is not a valid fingerprinting of firearms but rather just a snapshot in time because the markings on the shell and bullets change over time with use, parts replacement, and/or intentional modifications. Two studies done for the California Department of Justice concluded that ballistic fingerprinting is not a viable methodology. Most recently, a Maryland State Police report on Maryland's ballistic fingerprinting program called it expensive and ineffective. In addition, the head of the Maryland State Police testified before a Maryland House committee that the mandate to collect ballistics information hasn't helped solve any crimes.

Will you OPPOSE any legislation designed to impose these useless "feel good" ballistic fingerprinting schemes in the Commonwealth?

10. Gun control advocates have made a concerted effort to demonize gun shows as a place where criminals have ready access to firearms. In Virginia, the State Police maintain strict control over all gun shows and dealers are required to ensure that all their firearm sales are approved by the State Police whether the sale is consummated at a gun show or at the dealer's place of business.

Will you OPPOSE any legislation designed to limit or curtail gun shows in Virginia?

11. In 1993, Governor Doug Wilder led an emotional and irrational stampede that limited the number of handguns law-abiding citizens may purchase to one every 30 days -- with police permission required for multiple purchases. Today, most Americans realize that: 1) criminals will always find ways of obtaining weapons whether legally or illegally and 2) limiting the legal activities of honest citizens reduces popular support for laws in general and undermines our legal system.

Will you SUPPORT legislation to repeal Virginia's "one-gun-a-month" rationing law?

12. Gun control advocates have attempted to ban various classes of firearms and related items such as semi-automatic copies of military rifles and carbines (strictly due to their cosmetic appearance when they are, in fact, identical in function to standard semi-automatic hunting rifles), inexpensive and affordable handguns (derisively called "Saturday Night Specials"), high-capacity magazines, .50 caliber rifles, etc.

Will you OPPOSE ALL gun bans?

13. During the 2003 Legislative Session, the House of Delegates passed a bill (100-0) to provide criminal and civil immunity to anyone who used a firearm in his own home to protect himself or his family from a violent intruder. The bill later died in the Senate.

Will you SUPPORT legislation to give homeowners immunity from criminal prosecution and civil suit if they use a firearm in their own home to protect themselves or their families from a violent intruder?

Kaine's answers:

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