Last year, Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an emergency executive order banning concealed handguns from state offices. On Wednesday, a public hearing on the matter was held as part of the regulatory process necessary to enact that order, and gun-rights advocates had a chance to speak out.
“It’s political overreach,” said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. “This does not make the public safer.” Van Cleave pointed out that public opinion is overwhelmingly opposed to the proposal.
“The criminal element doesn’t pay attention to signs. They don’t pay attention to laws,” argued Cory Brown of Chesterfield County. “That’s why they’re criminals. They don’t care.”
The handful of gun-control advocates who attended were outnumbered by pro-gun speakers, many of whom had empty holsters on their hips in protest. And while several speakers asked officials to halt the ban completely, McAuliffe is unlikely to change his mind.