Virginia Shoots Itself in the Foot

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Virginia Shoots Itself in the Foot

By Jordan Candler

Virginia currently has concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 30 states, but beginning Feb. 1, 2016, only five of those agreements will be honored. A new crackdown was announced by Attorney General Mark R. Herring, who, in the words of The Washington Post, claimed “severing the out-of-state agreements can prevent people who may be dangerous or irresponsible from carrying a concealed handgun.” Only five states deemed by the attorney general not to have substandard firearm regulations made the cut — West Virginia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. However, “The move also means several states will no longer recognize Virginia’s concealed carry permits because they require mutual recognition of permits. Those include Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wyoming.”

If the stench you smell reeks of Barack Hussein Obama-style unilateral 2015-07-01-a5e265f1_largecircumvention, that’s because it is. The Post notes, “The move is part of a broader effort by gun control advocates to tighten restrictions without going through GOP-controlled legislatures.” In essence: When you can’t win through the electorate, what’s a little diktat by fiat? Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell observed, “Unfortunately, I have little doubt as to his true motivations. 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.” We’ve seen plenty of that from Gov. Terry McAuliffe. And as the saying goes, birds of a feather…

In the end, however, Herring’s ill-advised decision is going to hurt Virginians more than it hurts visitors. Once states begin voiding their reciprocity agreements with Virginia (it’s called reciprocity for a reason), the only thing the AG will be saying is: I’ve made a huge mistake. As for what to do about it, University of Tennessee professor Glenn Reynolds suggests, “This is why we need national carry legislation.”

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From the Virginia State Police Web –

May I “open carry” a firearm in Virginia?
A firearm may be carried openly in Virginia except where prohibited by statute.  Please refer to Sections 18.2-279 to 18.2-311.2. The Code of Virginia may be searched at

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