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Leaders Commemorate Crime Victims in Richmond

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Ceremony commemorating victims' rights in Richmond Ceremony commemorating victims' rights in Richmond
Woman wearing a 'Victims' Rights' ribbon Woman wearing a 'Victims' Rights' ribbon
Governor Terry McAuliffe Governor Terry McAuliffe
RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) -

Governor Terry McAuliffe, members of his administration, and public safety activists are honoring crime victims.

A ceremony was held Tuesday morning in Capitol Square to commemorate victims' rights. Leaders outlined progress made over the years, plus efforts they would like to push forward.

"Strength. Resilience. Justice. This year's theme is an appropriate characterization of survivors, victims and advocates and those who have dedicated their lives to the service of public safety," said Kay Bullock, manager of DCJS Victims’ Services.

The governor said that he is proud of work in the commonwealth to address campus sexual violence. However, McAuliffe pointed out some bills that he's vetoed recently that he thinks would set Virginia back.

With the 10th anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting coming up this month, many speakers recognized the mark that tragedy left on Virginians. That recognition led the Democratic governor to explain his recent veto of a gun bill approved by the Republican-majority General Assembly. That legislation would grant quicker access to concealed handgun permits for domestic violence victims.

"We should not be arming people here in the commonwealth of Virginia in domestic situations. We should not be allowing them or any individuals to be able to get a firearm at a very difficult time," the governor said.

Republicans have argued that protective orders don't go far enough to protect women and families who are vulnerable to an abusive member of the family.

This issue is timely as lawmakers have one final shot to get that bill through.

“Be honest with you folks, it's not that I relish vetoing,” the governor said to the audience.

McAuliffe recently hit a milestone - he has now issued more vetoes than any other governor in Virginia history.

The legislature will meet in Richmond on Wednesday, April 5, for the reconvened session. So far, lawmakers have been unable to override any of McAuliffe's vetoes.

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