Effective Feb. 1, 2016, the Commonwealth of Virginia will no longer recognize concealed carry permits from half the states in the country.

The state 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 as reported by the Washington Post.

The pool of acceptable out-of-state permits was drained, according to Herring, because other states did not have issuing criteria as strict as Virginia’s.

“To me, this is a commonsense step that can help make Virginians and our law enforcement officers safer by ensuring that Virginia’s laws on who can and cannot carry a concealed handgun are applied evenly, consistently, and fairly,” said Herring, a Democrat who won a razor thin margin of votes in 2013 to obtain his office.

“Our General Assembly has already identified who can and cannot conceal handguns in Virginia, and we cannot have that decision undermined by recognizing permits from other states with more permissive standards,” Herring said.

When the new policy takes effect in six weeks, the only permits recognized in the state besides their own will be from Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. States are not bound to honor any other permits other than their own though few, for instance Illinois, take such an extreme stand.

Among the 25 states that will no longer be recognized are Virginia’s neighbors Kentucky,…

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