RICHMOND, Va. – Concealed handgun permits held by residents of 25 states will no longer be valid in Virginia, the state’s attorney general said Tuesday, drawing swift criticism from GOP lawmakers.
Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, said the state will revoke its reciprocity agreement with the states because their concealed weapon laws don’t meet Virginia’s standards. Those states hand out permits to people who are barred under the Virginia law, like fugitives, convicted stalkers and drug dealers, which undermines the state’s law and puts residents at risk, he said.
“Evenly, consistently and fairly enforcing Virginia’s concealed handgun permit law, as we are now doing, means that it will be more difficult for potentially dangerous individuals to conceal their handguns here in Virginia and that will make Virginians safer, especially Virginian law enforcement,” Herring said.
The move means that Virginians will no longer be able to use their concealed handgun permits in six states that require a mutual reciprocity agreement: Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wyoming.
John Whitbeck, chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, said Herring’s announcement was further proof that Democrats have “declared war on the Second Amendment.”