Right Hooks

Virginia Shoots Itself in the Foot

Concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 25 of 30 states will be terminated.

Jordan Candler · Dec. 22, 2015

Virginia currently has concealed carry reciprocity agreements with 30 states, but beginning Feb. 1, 2016, only five of those agreements will be honored. VA’s Attorney General Mark R. Herring, a Leftist Demo hack, issued his constitutional override decree this week. According to The Washington Post, Herring was justified because “severing the out-of-state agreements can prevent people who may be dangerous or irresponsible from carrying a concealed handgun.” The five states deemed by Herring to have acceptable firearm regulations are West Virginia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. The Post noted, 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.” More than 6.3 million concealed carry permit holders will be affected by the AG’s lawless action. Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, responded, “Plain and simple, this is putting politics above public safety. This decision is both dangerous and shameful. The Attorney General knows that permit holders are among the safest groups of citizens in the commonwealth and the rest of the country.”

If the stench you smell reeks of Barack Obama-style unilateral circumvention, 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 at the ballot box, resort to a 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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