Lead Fairfax Co. prosecutor calls Gov. Youngkin ‘boneheaded’ over gun vetoes

The lead prosecutor in Fairfax County, Virginia, slammed Gov. Glenn Youngkin on guns, using the word “boneheaded” when describing the governor’s recent vetoes.

It came after Youngkin announced earlier this week that he’d vetoed 30 pieces of gun-related legislation.

While Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, a Democrat, said he was pleased that the Republican governor did not veto a bill that would create new restrictions related to firearms that have a serial number that has been scratched off. He told WTOP that Youngkin “did make a lot of, in my opinion, boneheaded decisions when it comes to common-sense gun laws.”

Descano said he felt that the governor “made really, really poor decisions” related to firearms.

The governor’s office fired back.

“The commonwealth’s attorney in Fairfax County routinely sides with criminals over victims in Virginia and undermines public safety in Fairfax,” said Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter. “The governor signed public safety bills that will make it harder for criminals to use guns in the commission of a violent act and protect the right of law-abiding Virginians to keep and bear arms.”

Specifically, Descano took issue with Youngkin vetoing legislation that would allow a judge to prevent someone’s significant other from possessing a gun if that person is convicted of assault and battery.

Under current law, only spouses or direct family members can be banned from having a gun due to domestic abuse.

Descano and others who want to change the law have labeled it “the boyfriend loophole.”

Another one of Youngkin’s vetoes Descano took issue with involved a bill that would create a program meant to train law enforcement on proper procedures when it comes to carrying out the red flag law.

The red flag law gives police and the courts the authority to remove guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others.

“I’m concerned that the governor vetoed some common-sense gun bills that are public safety-focused, that would really help prosecutors like myself build safer communities and get guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” Descano said.

In a statement, Youngkin said the bills he signed would help protect public safety and the bills he amended have the potential to make it harder for criminals to use guns.

The ones he vetoed would trample on citizens’ constitutional rights, the governor said.

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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