*Update 1/29/16 The Governor has made the decision to restore reciprocity after striking a deal with the gun groups.
Virginia’s Attorney General announced today that his state will no longer be recognizing concealed carry permits from 25 states like it has for years.
The move comes on the heels of stronger pushes from the White House for more gun control.
AG Mark R. Herring (D) says that accepting out-of-state concealed carry permits makes Virginia a more dangerous place. According to the Washington Post,
Herring said severing the out-of-state agreements can prevent people who may be dangerous or irresponsible from carrying a concealed handgun.
“While you are here, you are subject to the commonwealth’s gun laws,” Herring said in a news conference. The change means Virginia’s standards for obtaining a concealed weapon are applied “evenly, consistently and fairly,” he said.
The move is part of a broader effort by gun control advocates to tighten restrictions without going through GOP-controlled legislatures.Virginia Republicans reacted angrily to Herring’s action, accusing him of politicizing his office to erode Second Amendment gun rights.
“Unfortunately, I have little doubt as to his true motivations,” Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said. “Mark Herring consistently seeks to interpret and apply the law of the commonwealth through the lens of his own personal, political opinions. He is damaging the integrity of the office he holds.”
This move reveals how strong the need is for national reciprocity legislation even while some state consider loosening restrictions on concealed carry permits.
If Virginia’s Attorney General thinks this move will make residents of the common wealth state safer does he think criminals will respect this legislation and leave their guns at home when they move across state lines?
This decision may affect Herring’s ability to get re-elected should the voters of VA remember how he bowed to the political pressure of senseless gun control.
Del. Robert B. Bell III (R-Albemarle), a former state prosecutor, is the only declared Republican challenging him in 2017.
“This is another Washington-style overreach from a nakedly partisan attorney general,” Bell said. “Instead of doing the job he was elected to do, Mark Herring continues to put the political goals of his liberal supporters ahead of sound legal judgement.”
Don’t forget, Virginia.