Saturday, August 6, 2011

Open Letter to Speaker Howell

Speaker Howell,

Thank you for your many years of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the residents of Stafford County. Your tireless efforts securing our gun rights places you in the vanguard of state Legislators in supporting Liberty.

As you travel your district this campaign season, take note of the state of the economy, and also the developing need for citizens to defend themselves. Budgets are being cut, crime is rising, and the People are becoming prey to gangs and other criminals more frequently. I mention this because there is a small change in our laws that you can initiate, which would enable more citizens of the Commonwealth, and especially those visiting here from out of state, to be self-sufficient in their defense: Loosen the reciprocity requirements with other states.

The current text of the Code of Virginia that deals with reciprocity is in Section 18.2-308, Subsection P, and reads:
P. A valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state shall authorize the holder of such permit or license who is at least 21 years of age to carry a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth, provided (i) the issuing authority provides the means for instantaneous verification of the validity of all such permits or licenses issued within that state, accessible 24 hours a day, and (ii) except for the age of the permit or license holder and the type of weapon authorized to be carried, the requirements and qualifications of that state's law are adequate to prevent possession of a permit or license by persons who would be denied a permit in the Commonwealth under this section. 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 section, (b) maintain a registry of such states on the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), and (c) make the registry available to law-enforcement officers for investigative purposes. The Superintendent of the State Police, in consultation with the Attorney General, may also enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition with any state qualifying for recognition under this subsection.
I propose amending this section to instead read:
P. A valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state shall authorize the holder of such permit or license who is at least 21 years of age to carry a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth, provided (i) the issuing authority provides the means for instantaneous verification of the validity of all such permits or licenses issued within that state, accessible 24 hours a day, and (ii) except for the age of the permit or license holder and the type of weapon authorized to be carried, the requirements and qualifications of that state's law are adequate to prevent possession of a permit or license by persons who would be denied a permit in the Commonwealth under this section. 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 section, (b) maintain a registry of such states on the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), and (c) make the registry available to law-enforcement officers for investigative purposes. The Superintendent of the State Police, in consultation with the Attorney General, may also enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition with any state qualifying for recognition under this subsection.
This change would make the minimum standard for reciprocity with another state be only our own standards for issuance of a permit. It does away with the unfunded mandate that another state initiate and maintain an online database, and staff it for our convenience.

Speaker Howell, in making (or sponsoring) this change, you enable law-abiding residents of another state to protect themselves while traveling to Virginia, and you enable Virginians to carry their firearms in places which currently do not recognize our permits today. Places whose only objection to our permits is that we do not recognize theirs.

Please consider this proposal, for the good of the Commonwealth and her citizens.

Respectfully submitted,

Newbius

3 comments:

John Richardson said...

Virginia could do like it's neighbor to south - North Carolina. Effective December 1st, if you have a valid CCW permit from another state, it will be recognized in NC. Note, it doesn't say if it is the same as NC's we will recognize it. It says if you have a permit we recognize it.

Newbius said...

One step at a time...

CTone said...

Not a bad idea. I may have to hit up Staples and send Speaker Howell a big box of Sharpies to make the task easier for him. There has to be other stuff in the VA code as well that could use some of that sort of touch up.