News

Virginia Reciprocity Agreements Have a Shot at a Second Life

Virginia Citizens Defense League logo

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc., (VCDL), an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization defending the right to keep and bear arms in the state, released a statement regarding the pending cancellation of carry reciprocity with 25 other states. Note: The just-passed February 1, 2016 cutoff date for dropping recognition of 25 states has been extended to March 1.

Virginia Citizens Defense League logo VCDL reported that there is a package deal in the works between Governor McAuliffe and the Republicans in the General Assembly dealing with concealed handgun permit (CHP) reciprocity, voluntary background checks at gunshows, and those subject to a permanent domestic violence protection order.

The VCDL release said, “To many CHP holders, CHP reciprocity is a HUGE deal, especially if they travel out-of-state regularly and want to be able to carry discretely. For example, there is no solution to carrying in South Carolina if we don’t have an agreement between our two states.” Gunowners should know the deal is still in the works, and there is no absolute guarantee this will become law — but there’s a reasonably good chance it will.

There are three components that make up the deal, each component represented by matching bills in the House and in the Senate.

Reciprocity Details

Virginia will honor the carry permits from all states, VCDL reported. “This is considerably better than current law and something VCDL has been trying to get for at least seven years now,” the release said.

Because Virginia will honor all other states, Virginia CHPs will be recognized by all the states affected by the reciprocity cancellation, plus three new states will be given reciprocity status: New Hampshire, Georgia, and Colorado.

Solid red background with the a title in white which reads "Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States
John R. Lott is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of the concealed-carry study.

Further, going forward, the State Police and the attorney general will have no say in the new law. If another state requires a formal agreement to honor Virginia CHPs, the new law requires the attorney general to enter into any such agreement.

It’s important to recognize that reciprocity does not mean equal treatment inside all other states, VCDL said. For example, someone from New York will be able to carry in Virginia, but a Virginia resident won’t be able to carry in New York, unless New York is willing to enter into a reciprocal agreement with Virginia.

Voluntary Gun-show Background Checks

Background checks for a private sale are completely voluntary. The State Police shall be at every gun show in Virginia, by law. The gun show promoter shall notify the State Police of the location and times of the gun show at least 30 days in advance, shall provide a free location for the police to set up, and shall have signs letting attendees know of the voluntary background checks at the State Police booth. The State Police may charge a reasonable fee. If a background check is run, the seller receives some special legal protections that are currently not available for private sales. If a background check is not run, the seller doesn’t have any more, or any less, legal protections than under current law.

For those gun owners who would feel safer selling a gun to someone who has had a background check, this provides a new option, in addition to the current option of either asking if the person has a CHP or going through the more laborious and expensive route of letting an FFL do the transfer. It also has no effect on private sales conducted anywhere outside of gun shows, where this voluntary option is not provided.

Persons subject to a permanent domestic violence protection order cannot possess firearms until the order expires.

The only permanent protection order this restriction applies to is one for domestic violence and nothing else. VCDL said, “The subject of the protection order must have had his day in court along with any legal counsel. Temporary protection orders do not affect possession of firearms.”

Do you have a Virginia permit or a permit that requires reciprocity? Share your thoughts on the potential Virginia deal, and how it will affect gun owners, in the comment section.

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Comments (18)

  1. • Except that I am NOT. If you would kindly read that link in my last post, you will see that the equivalency existed centuries before Webster. Webster does not factor in, and the “old English” (actually it is not Old English, which existed only up until about 1150 and had a largely Germanic vocabulary which would be totally incomprehensible to us, but Modern English, which began in the late 14th century and was completed in roughly 1550) meaning is just what I said it was and is quite on par with the 2016 meaning.

    • But apart from semantic issues, where half-millennia-old literature demonstrates that res publica = common weal = commonwealth = state, there is a more serious obstacle to giving credence to your contention that “the State Government can’t Override Local Laws.” You see, Virginia is a Dillon Rule state. Under the Dillon Rule, municipalities have powers that are strictly limited. As the Virginia Supreme Court has repeatedly held, Virginia municipalities have only those powers that are:
    1) Expressly granted; or
    2) Necessarily or fairly implied from those powers that are expressly granted; or
    3) Essential and indispensable.

    Under § 15.2-915, No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute.

    http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/15.2-915/
    https://vacode.org/15.2-915/

    I would urge anyone reading this conversation to carefully consider why they should believe that county or municipal governments would have carte blanche to make up their own rules that fly in the face of well-established Black-letter law that clearly prohibits them from doing so. For those who are fascinated with semantics, the mere artifice of a polity calling itself a tri-syllabic title, rather than monosyllabic, in no way causes it to relinquish its right to preempt local ordinances.

    Again, Your ≠ you’re. I would think that someone who engages in a debate about semantics should know that one, plus know the difference between Old, Middle and Modern English!

  2. Except that I am NOT. If you would kindly read that link in my last post, you will see that the equivalency existed centuries before Webster. Webster does not factor in, and the “old English” (actually it is not Old English, which existed only up until about 1150 and had a largely Germanic vocabulary which would be totally incomprehensible to us, but Modern English, which began in the late 14th century and was completed in roughly 1550) meaning is just what I said it was and is quite on par with the 2016 meaning.

    But apart from semantic issues, where half-millennia-old literature demonstrates that res publica = common weal = commonwealth = state, there is a more serious obstacle to giving credence to your contention that “the State Government can’t Override Local Laws.” You see, Virginia is a Dillon Rule state. Under the Dillon Rule, municipalities have powers that are strictly limited. As the Virginia Supreme Court has repeatedly held, Virginia municipalities have only those powers that are:
    1) Expressly granted; or
    2) Necessarily or fairly implied from those powers that are expressly granted; or
    3) Essential and indispensable.

    Under § 15.2-915, No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute.

    http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/15.2-915/
    https://vacode.org/15.2-915/

    I would urge anyone reading this conversation to carefully consider why they should believe that county or municipal governments would have carte blanche to make up their own rules that fly in the face of well-established Black-letter law that clearly prohibits them from doing so. For those who are fascinated with semantics, the mere artifice of a polity calling itself a tri-syllabic title, rather than monosyllabic, in no way causes it to relinquish its right to preempt local ordinances.

    * Again, Your ≠ you’re. I would think that someone who engages in a debate about semantics should know that one, plus know the difference between Old, Middle and Modern English!

    1. Historical footnote. Tombstone, Arizona Territory, had Ordinance Number 9 in 1881 – basically no guns in town – courtesy of City Marshall Virgil Earp. Today, Ordinance 5.1.1, apparently adopted in 1977, effectively says the same thing: only law enforcement officers on duty may carry firearms. Completely unenforceable, but from the historic standpoint, a nice touch.
      Even in 1881, permits were issued to those who wanted them – see “A Tenderfoot in Tombstone”. A recent new ordinance tightens the rules relating to re-enacted gunfights on the streets. It does involve a record being kept by the Marshall’s office of the various Safety Officers. Will it be challenged in court? We’ll see…..

    2. Gabby, that’s true, and it’s delicious irony whenever opponents of our 2nd Amendment rights criticize any expansion of our freedom such as legalizing open carry by saying it will lead to the “Wild West” or the “Old West.” Gun control is nothing new.

    3. I finally remembered the title of the article on the “mild-mild west”. Did a Google search and found it at: www (dot) perc.org/articles/mild-mild-west Well worth a read.

  3. Not being a lawyer either, but here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Louisville/Jefferson county wants to enact a 1% tax to pay for special projects, and has had to go to the state legislature for approval. But when Hardin county passed a right to work ordinance, naturally the unions challenged it resulting in an Obama appointee ruling the county can’t pass such a law. On appeal, Hardin county will cite Louisville and Lexington’s passing city wide minimum wage laws differing from state wage laws.
    My non-lawyer mind and experienced observations says local governments within the commonwealth can pass pretty much whatever they can get away without being sued. And after being sued, it depends on the whim of the state and ultimately the US Supreme court’s particular whim on any particular day.

  4. “Virginia will honor the carry permits from all states”. So what about those States that no longer require their residents to obtain a permit for concealed carry? I believe there’s five such States now. Arizona is one of them.
    However, classes are still being conducted, and Concealed Weapons Permits are still being issued and/or renewed. Helps if one is planning any out of state travel. Note that the Arizona permit card does not have a photograph, just full name and the usual height, weight, hair, eyes etc description. Six years ago it was only recognized in 28 other States due to the lack of a photo.
    In as much as most State drivers licences are now actually Federal ID cards, something at the Federal level might be possible. Just so long as the Feds don’t want to compile a data-base.

  5. I live in Colorado where we have background checks for purchases. transfers and gun shows and have never had a problem with any of them. The only reason I oppose Obama Gun control is because I don’t trust someone who does not respect the laws of the land and Constitution which he swore to uphold. But then again being a Muslim he does not have to tell the truth to the rest of us infidels so his credibility is zero and no one should believe anything he says. Not sure how many times he lies and breaks the law before more people finally catch on. At least those who care should catch on as the rest of the morons who support him could care less.8

  6. Every CCW permit holder should be writing their state and federal representatives and senators respectfully asking for their support of the Second Amendment and permit state to state reciprocity.
    And if your representatives and senators already support CCW permits! Thank them for their support.
    Be respectful, do not threaten, and ask for a reply. A hand written note or individual email gets more attention than signing petitions.
    We are in the constitutional fight of our lives for concealed carry and maintaining the Second Amendment. Write your reps, register to vote and vote in every election. Lastly, join the NRA

  7. The only REAL Problem I can see, is the Fact that Virginia is a “Commonwealth” State. While the Virginia State Police will Honor the Reciprocity Laws. Local State Jurisdiction’s MAY NOT. And under Commonwealth Law, the State Government can’t Override Local Laws…

    1. Secundius, are you sure? I’m not a lawyer, so I’m guessing I know as much, or as little, as you. I live in Pennsylvania which is also a Commonwealth. My understanding is that state law trumps local law in that state. Previously it was illegal for us to carry a firearm while bowhunting. Since the advent of statewide CCW we are now able to carry our pistols with us while bowhunting. Maybe it’s different in Virginia, but you might want to get a legal opinion to be sure.

    2. @ Petey Raymond.

      There are Four “Commonwealth” States in the United States: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Which ALL have Similar LAW’s Emplaced within their State Constitution, which give Local Governments. Like Townships, Towns, Hamlets, Burgs, Cities and even Counties. Independent Fiefdoms with their own Right’s to Make Laws, Independent of that of the Host State. Examples in Virginia, are Fairfax City/Fairfax County, the City of Falls Church/Municipality of Falls Church ( I live in the Municipality of Falls Church in the County of Fairfax), City of Vienna/Municipality of Vienna, and So Forth

    3. The meaning of the word “commonwealth” is merely titular in these four states, and it does not affect their legal status or rights, nor that of the local governments within. Some states (Vermont and Delaware), although the word is not in their title, use the word sporadically and synonymously in their Constitutions.

      Other than in non-state territories like Puerto Rico and Northern Mariana Islands, the word has no legal meaning, and in all 50 states, local governments have the right to make their own laws independent of the state (AKA commonwealth), although their laws and regulations cannot preempt state law. And in some states, the state can preempt local ordinances if they are in conflict with state statutes. This can be helpful to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of gun owners against overzealous local governments and local officials.

      Basically the term was adopted during Colonial and Revolutionary times to give notice that government exists for the purpose of serving the well-being of the community and not the interests of royalty or nobility.

      So it’s the Commonwealth of Virginia, but the Virginia State Police (because Commonwealth Police would just sound silly)…ditto Massachusetts.

    4. @ littlemike.

      Then It Remains To Be Seen! If the State Supreme Court or the State Assembly, DOESN’T Overturn the “Local Law”. Then the Word “Commonwealth”, DOES HAVE A MEANING…

    5. SCOTUS does not decide rulings contingent on what a state calls itself. Sure the word “commonwealth” has a meaning. It means “state.”

    6. @ littlemike.

      The world “Commonwealth”, as in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Is defined by the 17th Century Word Commonwealth, which dates back to the 14th Cenury Definition “res Publica” or Common Weal or Public Weal. Your trying to give the “Word” New Meaning by using the Modern Definition of the Same Word. Webster didn’t Publish the First Modern Dictionary until 1826, 50- years after the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Constitution was Created…

    7. I thought we were done here, but here we go again. FYI, I am very well aware of the etymology of the word and words. In the interest of brevity, I didn’t bother itemizing it just to show off that I knew. My point is and always was that the mere name of a political entity does not change how the Supreme Court rules on it, and its chosen naming convention does not make it one iota different legally from the 46 others who do not use that word in their names. All 50 polities in the USA have equal and identical relationships with each other and with the federal government.

      From the 1590s on, the use of the term “state” referred to the condition of “res publica,” AKA common weal, commonwealth, etc. Webster’s timing is irrelevant. You are creating a distinction that does not exist. https://books.google.com/books?id=TYyac_63VdYC&pg=PA148&lpg=PA148&dq=%E2%80%9Cres+Publica%E2%80%9D+or+Common+Weal+or+Public+Weal&source=bl&ots=r6t3RW-1rp&sig=5HNqMqtskux6mVK4qCGFttk1U9U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi__p_6gPDKAhXLJCYKHSNMDz0Q6AEIJjAC#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9Cres%20Publica%E2%80%9D%20or%20Common%20Weal%20or%20Public%20Weal&f=false

      * Your ≠ you’re. (I would think that someone who engages in a debate about semantics should know that one.)

    8. @ littlemike.

      Actually, it’s QUITE “Relevant” SIR. One is is Written in “OLD ENGLISH”, and your giving it A “NEW ENGLISH” Meaning…

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