Virginia will once again allow out-of-state concealed carry permits

Published 10:46 am Saturday, January 30, 2016

One month after Attorney General Mark R. Herring said that the Commonwealth of Virginia would no longer recognize concealed carry permits from 25 states, Gov. Terry McAuliffe agreed to legislation on Friday that lifted the restriction. In exchange, Republican lawmakers agreed to pass bills that would prohibit the ownership of weapons for someone under a two-year protective order for domestic violence and require state police to attend gun shows to provide background checks for private sellers.

“This bipartisan deal to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and people who cannot pass background checks will save lives,” McAuliffe said. “Give and take is essential to every negotiation, but the balance of this deal changes Virginia law permanently in ways that will keep guns away from people who would use them for harm. I want to thank all of the leaders who put politics aside and stood up for this bipartisan compromise to make our families safer.”

The compromise is an early settlement of the gun-control issue that was an expected to logjam the legislative session.

“Bipartisanship requires give-and-take by both sides,” said Matt Moran, a spokesman for House Speaker William J. Howell (R-28). “This agreement restores reciprocity for law-abiding Virginians, while sending a clear signal about domestic violence.”

As part of a national push to sidestep the Republican-controlled legislatures opposed to tightening gun laws, Herring in December enforced a law that states that the attorney general can review reciprocity agreements with other states. It was determined that 25 other states have more lenient laws than Virginia, and therefore their concealed carry permits would no longer be recognized in the commonwealth.

“I’m encouraged to finally see a bipartisan conversation about how we can reduce gun violence and keep guns away from dangerous individuals that shouldn’t have them,” Herring said. “At the end of the day, the measure of success for this package will be whether the final product that emerges from the legislative process makes Virginians safer.”

Corinne N. Geller, Public Relations director for the Virginia State Police, could not comment in regard to the legislation that would require state police to attend gun shows, as their policy does not allow for it.