In a stunning move that came just days before Christmas, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) announced the Commonwealth would no longer recognize concealed carry permits from 25 states, claiming those states fail to meet Virginia’s concealed carry standards.
Gun rights groups immediately mobilized against the ban, which was set to take effect on February 1st.
However, last week, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) announced a deal with the Republican-controlled legislature that would rescind the concealed carry ban. According to the Governor’s office, the compromise would grant recognition to “all states with a concealed carry permitting process,” meaning the deal would even extend how many permits Virginia honors.
In exchange, other provisions include preventing those under a permanent protective order for domestic violence from possessing a gun until the order expires, as well as allowing the Virginia State Police to conduct voluntary background checks on private sales.
The Hill reports that gun control advocates are not happy with the deal.
McAuliffe has touted his “F-rating” from the NRA, but Everytown for Gun Safety accused the governor of “caving to the gun lobby’s demands.”
“Terry McAuliffe has been a good friend and strong ally to those of us in the gun violence prevention movement in Virginia,” said Lori Haas, director of the Virginia chapter of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
“Unfortunately, this deal with the NRA and pro-gun politicians is a mistake that, on the whole, would do far more harm than good,” she added.
One of those advocates is Andy Parker, whose daughter, Alison, was murdered on live television while reporting for a local Virginia station in August. Parker joined other gun violence victims in signing a letter criticizing Governor McAuliffe’s decision, denouncing the move as a “dangerous rollback that puts public safety at risk.”
While states must generally recognize licenses and privileges issued in other states, concealed carry permits have traditionally been an exception. NRA-supported legislation in Congress would grant concealed carry reciprocity on a national basis, but it has stalled in the Senate.
The Virginia reciprocity agreement must still be passed by the legislature and signed by Governor McAuliffe to block the ban’s implementation, which has been extended to March 1.