Virginia: NRA Fighting Back For Your Right To Fight Back

posted on January 7, 2016

When Virginia’s 2016 legislative session convenes on Jan. 13 in Richmond, your National Rifle Association will be there in force, fighting for legislative remedies to Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring’s executive overreach in revoking Right-to-Carry reciprocity with half of the United States.

If you live in Virginia, we need you to be there with us—in spirit, if not in person. We’ll tell you how in a moment. But first, here’s what we’re fighting for, and why.

Beginning on Feb. 1, thanks to Attorney General Herring’s arbitrary and unilateral action, Virginia residents who possess Right-to-Carry permits will no longer be allowed to carry their right to self-protection with them when they visit 25 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 or Wyoming.

By the same executive decree, the residents of those 25 states will no longer be allowed to bring their Right to Carry with them when they visit Virginia, since reciprocal CCW agreements with those 25 states will be null and void.This isn’t about safety. It’s not about crime. It’s a political consolation prize for Michael Bloomberg and the gun-ban lobby. 

Herring tried to justify his arrogant and overreaching decree by claiming that the states with which he was ending reciprocity had less stringent requirements than Virginia for issuing Right-to-Carry permits. Yet Herring offered no evidence that any permit holder from another state had ever caused a gun accident or committed any crime in Virginia—and his representatives deftly dodged the question when asked to name even a single instance.

The reason is simple: This move isn’t about safety. It’s not about crime.

In fact, it is a consolation prize that Virginia’s attorney general and his boss, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe—who chaired both the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign—are giving to their backer and benefactor, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who just spent a considerable sum of money trying to elect more anti-gun Democrats to Richmond in last November’s elections.

Herring and McAuliffe thought they could dupe Virginia voters with their gun-control gimmicks and ride Michael Bloomberg’s millions straight to victory on Election Day. But their house of cards collapsed—precisely because they’d built it on gun control, as even the Washington Post, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot admitted.

So now, after that bit of gun-ban grandstanding flopped on Election Day, Attorney General Herring is, in effect, saying, “To hell with the legislative process,” and imposing gun control on his own by fiat or diktat.

In so doing, he joins President Barack Obama and a growing list of politicians who, when they can’t achieve what they want through the legislative process, simply do whatever they darn well please—and let the lawyers fight and figure it out.

Help us put the General Assembly on notice that you oppose politicians playing games with your safety.Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell was joined by leadership from the General Assembly in condemning the attorney general’s action. As Howell put it in a release, “Despite promising to take politics out of the attorney general’s office, Mark Herring consistently seeks to interpret and apply the law of the commonwealth through the lens of his own personal, political opinions.”

“Mark Herring is putting politics above public safety,” agreed Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “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 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.”

The good news is that NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action is already working closely with leaders in the Virginia General Assembly to craft a legislative solution to the attorney general’s politically motivated scheme. 

This legislation will require Virginia to recognize valid permits or licenses from every other state in the country. Thanks to NRA’s efforts in the past, 18 states currently have such “total recognition” laws on the books. The Virginia legislation would also require the attorney general to enter into a reciprocity agreement with any state that requires an agreement in order to recognize Virginia concealed handgun permits. 

As the legislative session gets underway, additional legislation is likely to be filed in response to the attorney general’s actions, and NRA-ILA will continue working with pro-Second Amendment legislators to solve the problems that this administration has caused.


With its compressed calendar, once the Virginia General Assembly convenes on Jan. 13, bills, amendments and counter-amendments are sure to come fast and furious—and your state senator and delegate need to know where you stand ahead of time! Let them know that you OPPOSE politicians playing political games with your freedom and your safety, and that you SUPPORT Right-to-Carry reciprocity with the rest of the United States! To identify and contact your state senator and delegate, click here.


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