Virginia. The commonwealth’s attorney general, Mark Herring, said this week that Virginia is revoking its reciprocity agreements with 25 states who have fewer handgun permit requirements. Ending the agreement also means that Virginia’s concealed carry permits would automatically be rejected in most of the 25 states.
Gun owners and Second Amendment advocacy groups say Herring has his eye on political prizes this election year. Herring is being challenged by Republican Del. Rob Bell, millions of out-of-state money is flowing into the state’s campaigns at all levels, and Virginia has a one-term limit on the governor’s mansion. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s term ends in 2018.
“Plain and simple. Mark Herring is putting politics above public safety,’ said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “The attorney general knows that permit holders are among the safest group of citizens in the commonwealth and the country. At a time when people are scared and desperately need the ability to defend themselves, Herring has chosen the path of making self-defense harder.”
Despite the political climate, Herring says he simply made the list of states after study of other state’s gun laws, denying reciprocity to those issuing concealed carry permits to people who would not have qualified for them in Virginia.
“Under state law, the Virginia State Police can agree to recognize permits issued in another state if that state’s laws, disqualifiers, and safeguards are adequate to prevent possession of a permit by persons who would be denied a permit in the commonwealth…. This has been a deliberate, thorough, professional review of the states which supposedly meet or exceed Virginia’s standards,” said Herring in a statement on the Virginia commonwealth’s website.
The change takes effect Feb. 1.