Today, Attorney General Mark Herring announced that starting February 1, 2016 the Commonwealth of Virginia, that currently recognizes concealed carry permits from 30 states, will no longer recognize CCP’s from 25 of those states.
Liberals applaud, Republicans gnash their teeth
As could easily be predicted liberals are applauding this move. Meanwhile, Republicans in the House issued the following statements:
“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.”
Under what authority?
When faced with government overreach (a common occurrence under AG Herring), the clarion call, BY WHAT AUTHORITY, sounds from the rafters. Well, um, Herring does not have authority…
Absent from the MSM articles is a reference to the statute Herring cites for his decision to nullify the CCP from 5 out of every six currently recognized states. Review the formal press release and you will find the following statute:
Va. Code § 18.2-308.014 which states in relevant part:
The Superintendent of State Police shall (a) in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General determine whether states meet the requirements and qualifications of this subsection [allowing reciprocity]…
Consultation, generally means a discussion but not a requirement.
AG Herring recognizes this in his press release:
To ensure Virginia’s law and safety standards for concealed handgun permits are applied evenly, consistently, and fairly, I have recommended the State Police terminate the reciprocity agreements with 25 states whose laws are not adequate to prevent issuance of a concealed handgun permit to individuals that Virginia would disqualify. The State Police has accepted that recommendation and has begun sending letters to the 25 states informing them that as of February 1, their permits will no longer be recognized by Virginia.
So we are missing a villain here. AG Herring gives the advice, makes the large public pronouncement and tries to take credit for curbing the Second Amendment. The Superintendent of the State Police Colonel W. Steven Flaherty rolls over like a bureaucratic shill for the AG’s office.
Colonel Flaherty has been in office since 2003. For twelve years under the current statute and the previous statute, Va. Code § 18.2-308(P) Colonel Flaherty in consultation with 6 different Virginia AG’s felt no need to curtail these rights like he is doing now. In fact, Virginia has formal written agreements with eleven states that are being unilaterally canceled by Virginia.
There is no press release on the Virginia State Police website and the “glory” of this announcement has been left to AG Herring.
Imagine how much power and influence Herring has when he can convince a career law enforcement officer to renege on 12 years of his accepted policy.
Virginians’ CCP will no longer be honored in Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wyoming as a result of Herring’s bullying, and Colonel Flaherty’s acquiescence.
Elections have consequences. Let’s make sure Herring returns to private practice in 2017…