The Democrat Attorney General for Virginia has announced he is overturning agreements with at least half the U.S. states that allow its citizens to carry a concealed handgun without a Virginia permit.
For years, Virginia has granted reciprocity to licensed concealed handgun permit holders in states such as Wyoming, South Carolina and Pennsylvania to carry in the Old Dominion. But in a move that tracks closely with Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s drive to tighten gun control laws in the state, Attorney Gen. Mark Herring said 25 states with formal reciprocity agreements would be axed from the list.
“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,” he said in a statement provided to The Washington Post, which first reported this turnaround.
The report gave no indication why Herring pulled the agreements, other than to say his staff claims those states had “weaker” requirements for obtaining permits. According to some researchers, concealed carry permit holders are exceptionally law abiding and revocations of permits for crimes are around 7 one hundred thousandths of a percent.
The states now banned from reciprocity in Virginia include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Virginia will still honor out-of-state permits from West Virginia, Utah, Texas, Michigan and Oklahoma.
The bans will take effect February 1.
It is still unclear whether the states banned in Virginia will similarly cancel reciprocity for permit holders from the Old Dominion.
For years, Virginia has had one of the nation’s most liberal gun control policies and enjoys one of the nation’s lowest crime rates — which was America’s third lowest in 2013 and has been trending downward since 2004, according to state statistics.