With the start of the 2016 Virginia legislative session quickly approaching, your NRA-ILA is working closely with legislative leaders in the Virginia General Assembly to address a solution to the political “activism” and complete disregard for law abiding concealed carry permit holders that was recently demonstrated by the Virginia Attorney General.
Last week, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring joined the list of politicians pandering to the anti-gun agenda of Michael Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton by arbitrarily severing concealed carry reciprocity agreements with half of the United States. Speaker William J. Howell was joined by leadership from the Virginia House of Delegates to condemn the Attorney General’s blatant attempt at political grandstanding. In a release Howell said, “Despite promising to take politics out of the Attorney General’s office, Mark Herring consistently seeks to interpret and apply the law of the Commonwealth through the lens of his own personal, political opinions.”
As of February 1, 2016, concealed carry permits from the following states will no longer be recognized in Virginia; Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Non-Virginia residents who currently carry on one of the 25 licenses or permits that will no longer be recognized after February 1, 2016 have a number of alternative options:
• Acquire a non-resident license or permit that is valid in Virginia, including a Virginia non-resident permit or the popular Utah permit
• Individuals who qualify under the provisions of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act will not be affected by the loss of reciprocity and may continue to legally carry in Virginia
• Many activities in Virginia do not require a permit, including carrying a concealed handgun at a place of abode or place of business, carrying a handgun in a container while in a personal motor vehicle, or openly carrying a handgun
In response to Attorney General Herring’s action, NRA-ILA is currently working on legislation for the 2016 Virginia session to address the reciprocity issue. This legislation will require Virginia to recognize valid permits or licenses from every other state. Due to NRA’s past efforts, 18 states already have such a “total recognition” law. The Virginia legislation would further require the attorney general to enter into a reciprocity agreement with any state that requires an agreement in order to recognize Virginia concealed handgun permits. As the legislative session begins to unfold, we expect additional legislation to be filed in response to the Attorney General’s actions as well as the Governor’s previous Executive Order 50; however, we will continue to work with pro-Second Amendment legislators on viable solutions to solve the problems that this administration has caused.
Please contact your legislators and encourage them to support NRA-backed legislation that will address the issues that are threatening your Second Amendment rights and your right to self-defense in the Commonwealth.