Virginia’s Punishing Gun Bills Show Need For Reciprocity

Opinion By Larry Keane

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Virginia’s Punishing Gun Bills Show Need For Reciprocity

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- The newly minted 2020 Virginia state legislature – led this session by Democrats in the General Assembly and Governor’s mansion – has wasted little time acting to curb their citizens’ Second Amendment rights. Numerous gun control proposals were introduced as legislation, including one particular bill that will lead to widespread confusion regarding the Commonwealth’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements. It’s a move that’s potentially damaging to not just Virginians, but law-abiding concealed carry permit holders who travel to and through the state.

Virginia currently has concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 35 other states, meaning Virginians can carry concealed with their valid Virginia permit across state borders in those states, down through Florida, west to Nevada and north to Ohio and West Virginia. Likewise, valid permit holders from all other states are legally authorized to carry concealed while in the Old Dominion. Virginia is a full reciprocity state, meaning state authorities will honor all other U.S. state and territory valid permits.

Politics with Permits

Reciprocity could be in jeopardy. Virginia Democrats in Richmond are giddily playing politics with the Virginian’s Constitutional rights, and any other valid permit holder who travels in from out of state. The proposal –HB 569, introduced by Democrat Delegate Dan Helmer, would give the Commonwealth’s Attorney General Mark Herring unilateral say over which states to allow reciprocity in Virginia and which states he could now disallow.

The Constitution guarantees the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. Just as free speech does not stop at a state line, or due process rights, our Second Amendment rights shouldn’t be limited to the state in which a person lives or visits. Instead of standing up for his citizens, Delegate Helmer would sacrifice their civil rights to make the already complex patchwork of state gun laws as confusing as rush hour traffic headed through Washington D.C.

Not the First Time

The really crazy thing, however, is this was done before only to face a swift backlash from Virginia voters. Attorney General Mark Herring played politics with Constitutional rights when he discontinued Virginia’s reciprocity agreements, but then agreed to allow them to be reinstated with nearly all states a few years ago under then Governor Terry McAuliffe. It’s no wonder Virginia gun-owners are rightly concerned. There’s so much confusion around the legislature and these proposals which would turn law-abiding citizens into criminals.

This is a glaring example of why Congress must act on The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2019 (S. 69/H.R. 38), introduced by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) to establish common sense, nationwide reciprocity. These national reciprocity bills would ensure that a licensed individual permitted in their home state would have their concealed carry permit treated in the same manner as their drivers’ license. States would still set standards for issuance and rules of carrying, but that permit would be honored as fully legal across a state line. It makes it so a law-abiding citizen wouldn’t be caught in the lurch, unwittingly breaking the law by driving into or through a neighboring state.

The rash of gun control bills now under consideration in Virginia fail to offer real solutions to address the criminal misuse of firearms, accidents and suicides. They only chip away at the rights of those who already follow the law, have endured multiple background checks and proven their trustworthiness. Playing politics with Second Amendment rights is absurd and Congress has the opportunity – and responsibility – to protect the rights of all Americans from these underhanded maneuvers.


National Shooting Sports FoundationAbout The National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. www.nssf.org

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BigJim
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BigJim

I would have thought that September 11th, 2001
Made it crystal clear we will not accept any infringements.

chiefton
Member
chiefton

Not only reciprocity but also no fees for permits. We do not charge folks for voter registration so why should we be charged for our 2nd amendment rights. Do not even tell me it is to cover the costs of the paperwork when elections are far more costly to run when you figure in machines, registering, etc.

RJL
Member
RJL

The Criminal Politicans, are trying to Criminalize the Legal Citizens of the U.S. Jefferson really knew his stuff! A voice from the past to lead us in the future: John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House, with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become… Read more »

Luke
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Luke

More laws will not fix this. A new law granting reciprocity only solidifies the idea that our rights can be granted or removed as the powers that be see fit. The gun laws in our country need to be repealed. Nothing less. A new law would only validate the existence of the old law. Rights are non negotiable, or they aren’t rights to begin with.

Arizona
Member
Arizona

No. We need nationwide Constitutional Carry. I do NOT need a permit (ie, permission) from any governmental body or official in order to exercise my right to beat arms, publicly via open carry, or more discreetly via concealed carry.

Every senator and representative must vote unanimously for Constitutional Carry nationwide. They took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and thus their vote must be forthcoming.

Will
Member
Will

Virginia is a wonderful state with lots of history. Those socialist gun-grabbing son of a bitches in VA. will go. One way or the other they will go!

Finnky
Member
Finnky

Fully agree with concept of this article – however I’d expect national reciprocity to provide immunity from local regulation of gun type, ammo type and magazine size. If a firearm is safe to carry in Texas, it is safe to carry anywhere. Gun owners should not be forced to live in fear of unreasonable and irrational prosecution anywhere. That said – good luck with that in current environment. While I fully support anyone making the effort – after republicans squandered two years of full control, I have no faith in their desire to act on our behalf. Not that I… Read more »