RICHMOND, VA - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring unilaterally ended concealed carry reciprocity with 25 states
Tuesday, which could effectively deny law-abiding Virginia citizens the right to carry a concealed firearm in those states. Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates criticized the actions of Attorney General Herring, who repeatedly said he would take politics out of the Attorney General's office.
"The House of Delegates will immediately begin a careful review of the Attorney General's findings," said Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). "Unfortunately, I have little doubt as to his true motivations. 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. He is damaging the integrity of the office he holds."
"This is another Washington-style overreach from a nakedly partisan Attorney General," said Delegate Rob Bell (R-Albemarle). "The Attorney General's job is to faithfully interpret and enforce the law of the Commonwealth. Virginians who have concealed carry permits may lose the ability to protect themselves when traveling in 25 states. Instead of doing the job he was elected to do, Mark Herring continues to put the political goals of his liberal supporters ahead of sound legal judgement."
Speaking about today's announcement, Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) said, "Attorney General Herring is endangering the lives of law-abiding Virginians as they travel for work, vacation or to visit their families. Virginia's law on concealed carry reciprocity was created in 1997, when Democrats controlled both houses of the state legislature. This law gives State Police the discretion to determine the states with which Virginia should have reciprocity agreements based on consultation with the Attorney General's office. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that the consultation provided by the Attorney General in this matter is based purely on his partisan, political goal of denying law-abiding citizens the right to protect and defend themselves."
"People who lawfully carry a concealed firearm in Virginia want the confidence that when they travel to another state, that state recognizes the rights of Virginia citizens to protect themselves. The Attorney General's unilateral action likely means that many of the 25 states involved in today's announcement will no longer recognize the legal rights of Virginia citizens," said Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William), Chairman of the House Committee on Militia, Police & Public Safety. "If the Attorney General was truly interested in safety and security, he would have sat down with these states and resolved any potential issues instead of pulling the rug from under the feet of law-abiding Virginia citizens."