The compromise between Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) and gun rights supporting legislators over concealed carry reciprocity has been consummated. In exchange for voluntary background checks by VA State Police at gunshows and a state prohibition on firearms for those with permanent domestic violence protection orders against them, carry reciprocity agreements that had been abrogated by Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) were restored.
In addition, the Virginia State Police have been ordered to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states as needed so that Virginia carry permit holders can carry in those states. As I read the law, Virginia will now recognize all other state's carry permits so long as the holder is 21 years old or older and the permit can be verified 24 hours a day.
Gov. McAuliffe issued a press release calling the passage of this "public safety" legislation historic.
“The historic bipartisan agreement will make Virginia safer by keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and people who cannot pass background checks,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Virginians elect their leaders to work together to get things done, and today I am proud to say we did just that. This is the most significant step forward on gun safety in 24 years, and I look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly and the public safety community to build on the progress we made this session.”Buried in press release was the important information about reciprocity agreements with the other statements. It is to be expected that a gun prohibitionist like McAuliffe would want to downplay that part of the agreement and play up the minor concessions from gun rights advocates.
The National Rifle Association's statement on the deal went to the heart of the deal - carry reciprocity.
Concealed Carry Reciprocity Deal Signed in Virginia
Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association (NRA) commends Virginia’s leaders for reaching an agreement to secure the rights of law-abiding concealed carry permit holders. H.B. 1163 and S.B. 610 which will restore and promote concealed carry reciprocity for permit holders in the Commonwealth and around the country, were signed into law today.
“Now, more than six million law-abiding gun owners will be free to travel in and out of Virginia with their Second Amendment rights intact," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. "Self-defense is a fundamental right that must be respected."
On Dec. 22, 2015, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring decided to sever concealed carry reciprocity agreements with half the country. The change was set to take effect early in 2016. The decision nullified agreements with the following states; Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
In addition to providing concealed carry recognition for valid permits from other states, the bipartisan legislation signed today requires the Virginia State Police to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states where needed.
“Concealed carry permit holders are among the safest groups of citizens in Virginia and throughout the country. On behalf of the NRA’s more than five million members, we commend this effort to protect public safety and fundamental freedoms. Hopefully this effort will encourage Congress to pass national right to carry reciprocity legislation as soon as possible,” concluded Cox.
Governor McAuliffe signed the legislation earlier today despite a repeated onslaught of attacks from New York City Billionaire Michael Bloomberg and his misguided gun control allies.