Outcry is building both within and outside Virginia after officials announced they would no longer recognize concealed carry permits from half the states in the country.
The Commonwealth currently has either agreements or defacto recognition with 30 other states to honor permits issued to individuals. After review by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and with agreement with the state police, this number will shrink to just five states. The pool of acceptable out-of-state permits was drained by over six million permit holders, according to Herring, because other states did not have issuing criteria as strict as Virginia’s.
This has officials in some of the affected states crying foul who call the move more about partisan politics than safety.
“The real losers of the Virginia attorney general’s decision are law-abiding gun owners in half the states in our country” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who has jurisdiction over the Sunshine State’s 1.4 million permit holders. “The Virginia attorney general’s politically expedient decision to end reciprocity for concealed weapon licenses is a knee-jerk reaction that tramples on people’s Second Amendment right.”
Inside Virginia, Republican lawmakers, who control the state senate and hold a strong minority in the house, blasted Herring’s move.
“Mark Herring consistently seeks to interpret and apply the law of the commonwealth through the lens of his own personal, political opinions,” Virginia House Speaker William Howell, R-Stafford, said. “He is damaging the integrity of the office he holds.”
A house bill backed by Delegate Lee Ware (R),…