Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced Tuesday that the commonwealth will no longer recognize out-of-state concealed handgun permits, part of a national push to circumvent legislatures opposed to tightening gun laws.

Herring (D) said 25 states have lax laws compared with Virginia, where a history of stalking, drug dealing or inpatient mental health treatment can disqualify someone from carrying a concealed handgun. The move is in step with actions governors and attorneys general are taking to address gun violence without going through Republican-controlled legislatures.

“While you are here, you are subject to the commonwealth’s gun laws,” Herring said during a news conference.

But Herring’s office could not say how many people are suspected of crossing into Virginia with concealed weapons to commit crimes, and Republican lawmakers sharply criticized the move, which enforces laws already on the books.

Nevertheless, more than 6.3 million people who could legally carry concealed handguns into Virginia today will lose the privilege when the change takes effect next year. An additional 420,000 Virginians with concealed-carry permits will no longer enjoy reciprocity when they travel to six states.

Help me out here folks.  I have no idea what part of this means.    I understand that people with permits from lax states will not have their permits honored in Virginia.

Who are the 6.3 million people who are going to lose the privilege  of concealed-carry?

Why will 420,000 Virginians be cut off from reciprocity?   Is that automatic?

The 420,000 number is just about the same number of uninsured Virginians because the General Assembly won’t approve Medicaid funds.  Perhaps a deal could be struck.  I suppose that is an argument for another post.

31 Thoughts to “Out of staters’ concealed weapon permit no longer recognized by Virginia”

  1. Steve Thomas

    Several of the states on the list have laws that require reciprocity for recognition. So, if Virginia won’t recognize the 2nd Amendment rights of their residents, they won’t recognize the rights of Virginians in their state.

    This move by the AG is crap. CHP holders from other states aren’t committing crimes in VA. Herring just poked the bear, and he will come to regret this.

    1. I don’t have an opinion. I put it up because I figured some of you would like to discuss it.

      Steve, you have returned!!!!!

  2. Jackson Bills

    This was a really stupid move by Virginia Attorney General Red Herring based on absolutely nothing. Like Steve mentioned this will automatically cancel all Virginian residents CHP in all of the other states which have the reciprocity agreement when it becomes effective.

    My understanding is that it is set to be effective 2/1/16.

  3. Cargosquid

    Well…. if this is his concern for Virginian safety, its time to cancel reciprocity with states that have weaker requirements for driver’s licenses.

    This is nothing more than payback for Bloomberg’s millions in donations to Gov. McAuliffe and the Democrats.

    Furthermore, I think that the Gen. Assembly should investigate whether this arbitrary and capricious ruling violates any actual laws.

  4. Steve Thomas

    I posted from Iceland. Just landed. Waiting for my luggage.

    This is yet another move by the anti-gun left to infringe on the law-abiding. Permit holders from other states are not a safety issue. Also, this move will restrict my rights when I travel outside the state.

    1. Welcome home. I want to hear all about your trip.

      Mrs. T and Little T will ward off the ravishing nymphos.

  5. Cargosquid

    @Steve Thomas

    Remember, there are ravishing nymphos behind every tree……
    At least that is what I was told by sailors that had been stationed there.

  6. Steve Thomas

    Didn’t see any ravishing nymphos…nor many trees for that matter. Only 3 hours of daylight. Lots of history, the northern lights and the geothermals. My daughter’s favorite place was the Chuck Norris American style place, dedicated to Chuck. I’ll post a travel report when I get synched back up.

    1. I will gladly host that travel log. I want to see some northern light pics as well as geothermal stuff.

  7. Scout

    What rights do you have, Steve, to carry concealed? (re #6). Why should you not be subject to the lawful restrictions of the jurisdiction in which you are physically present?

  8. Steve Thomas

    Scout :
    What rights do you have, Steve, to carry concealed? (re #6). Why should you not be subject to the lawful restrictions of the jurisdiction in which you are physically present?


    The short answer: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”. George Mason, who wrote the 2nd Amendment, and as well as the other founders who insisted on a Bill of Rights where quite clear that “Keep” meant own/possess and “Bear” meant carry about their person. You are a lawyer. Wouldn’t any proscription constitute an infringement?

    You ask a good question, though, regarding lawful restrictions: Reciprocity does not give the out-of-state permit holder any right to carry within the Commonwealth GREATER than that of a resident of the Commonwealth. Reciprocity grants them EQUAL rights. The Commonwealth, recognizing the the expressed right to “Bear Arms” in both the US and VA constitutions, issues permits to its residents. Some would argue that the mere requirement of seeking permission to exercise this right, constitutes an infringement. Up until now, I did not agree with this view…but due to the actions of this AG, I am reconsidering.

    Virginia has had reciprocity with these many states for going on twenty years. There hasn’t been any problems with these law-abiding citizens of other states committing crimes in our state. Several studies have shown that permit holders from the individual states commit fewer crimes than even POLICE OFFICERS. That’s right: When comparing how “law abiding” Permit holders are to Sworn Law Enforcement officers, Permit Holders commit fewer crimes.

    If there isn’t a threat to public safety, why has the AG decided to take this action? His “audit” is crap. Not only is he actively restricting the rights of those non-residents present in the Commonwealth, he also is ensuring that the rights of those VA residents are now restricted in other states. For years I have legally carried in PA, NC, SC, FL, . Now I cannot, unless I incur the additional burden of applying to these states for non-resident permits, or apply for one of the “Super Non-Resident” permits, like FL or UT.

    No, this action by the AG has nothing to do with public safety. He cannot demonstrate that a problem with the current system exists, which would justify his actions. This is a clear anti-2A action. Why he’s decided to take this action, and the timing of it (right before a major holiday, when people are otherwise distracted) is suspect.

    What I find ironic is the AG (IMHO, violated his oath of office) in choosing not to defend the VA constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, cited “equal protection” and “full faith” arguments as his justification. He argued that marriage licenses from states that provide same-sex marriage should be honored in Virginia, and Virginians should also have same-sex marriage. In the case of reciprocity, he argues that because, in HIS opinion, the majority of states with which VA currently holds reciprocity have permit laws that aren’t as strict as Virginia’s, so he has decided to end reciprocity. Our marriage standard for issuing a marriage license was too strict, and infringed on implied constitutional rights of those married in other states with more liberal marriage laws, yet the permit qualifications in other states are too lax (which he has not yet demonstrated), and therefore it’s OK to infringe on these non-resident’s EXPRESSED rights, not only under the US Constitution, but the Virginia Constitution as well.

    Let’s go back a year or so, when Virginia not only prohibited same-sex marriage, but refused to recognize the same-sex unions of those married in other states. If a gay or lesbian couple, residents of Virginia or another state, where married in say, Massachusetts, Virginia law refused to recognize this same-sex marriage license. What he’s attempting to do here, with carry permits, goes far beyond what he argued was unconstitutional, in the case of marriage. He’s attempting to have the state refuse to recognize ALL resident and non-resident permits from the majority of other states that issue carry permits as recognition of an expressed constitutional right. Comparing again to marriage, and using our example of someone married in Massachusetts, what he’s arguing here is ALL Massachusetts marriage licenses are invalid in Virginia. Even our most conservative, anti-same-sex marriage advocates never went so far as to argue that because a state issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reciprocal recognition of all licenses issued in that state should be ended.

    Or lets use the driver’s license argument. Even though driving is not a constitutional guaranteed right, the argument is often made by anti-gunners that we should regulate guns like cars (licensing, registration, insurance, etc.), so I think it fair to use this as a point of discussion. States have differing licensing requirements for issuance, with regard to training, renewal, documentation, etc. They have differing rules regarding operation, and differing penalties for infraction and revocation. Some states even issue drivers licenses to illegal aliens. Yet all states recognize the drivers licenses from all other states. What AG Herring is doing here is tantamount to deciding that because this or that state has different licensing requirements for operation of a motor vehicle, residents of those states can no longer drive in Virginia, and he’s doing this with the full knowledge that those other states may then refuse to recognize the licenses issued by Virginia, and Virginians will no longer be permitted to legally drive in their states. Even the most ardent anti-illegal alien politicians haven’t argued that because California issues drivers licenses to illegal aliens, Virginia should cease recognition of California drivers licenses.

    I have a constitutional right to “bear arms” in the US, affirmed by the Heller and MacDonald decisions of the SCOTUS. I have a right to carry concealed in Virginia. Virginia has recognized the right to carry of non-residents from certain other states for many years. Many of these states have recognized my Virginia permit, and while the patchwork of laws has been inconvenient, I have put up with it, even though I do believe certain “May Issue” states (basically the entire NE and West Coast) do infringe on my constitutional rights, because not only do they refuse to recognize my VA permit, they make no provision for non-resident permitting either.

    Herring is a hypocrite. He’s not doing this to improve public safety, as there isn’t a problem with permit holders from other states violating Virginia concealed carry laws. No out-of-state spree killers, no permit holders committing murder, robbery, etc. This is a bald-faced attempt to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of non-residents, AND Virginians as well. He’s poked the bear, while kicking a hornet’s nest. The backlash has already begun. A full-reciprocity bill passed the HOD last session, but was stopped in the (then) Democrat controlled senate. I predict the HOD bill will be reintroduced immediately when the session starts this year, and a mirror bill will be introduced in the Senate. These will be fast-tracked, and with the current make-up of the Senate, both bills will likely pass. The Governor will likely veto it, and there will be a show-down.

    Why AG Herring, not to mention the entire Democrat party, thinks the time is right for gun-control is beyond me. Polling shows that support for private gun ownership, Concealed carry self-defense, etc. etc. are at an all-time high. Gun sales are booming. Polls show the majority of Americans have a favorable view of the NRA. Every time the President or his surrogates, like our AG and Governor choose to pick these fights, they come out losing. Herring wants to be Governor. OK..if he want’s his political career to end on this hill…let it be so. I’ll be heading to Richmond on January 18th for lobby day, as a VCDL and NRA member, something I’ve never done before.

    1. I would like to see several major issues just decided on a federal level. I hate patchworks of laws.

      Education is not one of them. It should stay at the state level, in my mind.

      Marriage, divorce, gun laws, abortion, insurance, would be issues I would make consistant anywhere in the United States.

  9. Steve Thomas

    Moon-howler :
    I would like to see several major issues just decided on a federal level. I hate patchworks of laws.
    Education is not one of them. It should stay at the state level, in my mind.
    Marriage, divorce, gun laws, abortion, insurance, would be issues I would make consistant anywhere in the United States.

    I think a national right-to-carry law will pass, if the GOP takes the white house in 2016.

    Also, the AG can monkey with concealed carry…which will lead to out-of-staters openly carrying. He can’t do anything to stop that.

    1. I prefer concealed carry to open carry. I do not like open carry at all, except when hunters do it, which is an entirely different issue. I grew up around that.

      I just think it is ridiculous to have one set of laws in one state and another set in another state.

    2. The GOP really needs to get a different “front-runner” for that to happen.

      With each passing day, I continue to be more grossed out by the crass creature in the lead. The abuse of other GOP candidates is horrible also.

      Trump is living proof that money doesn’t always indicate that a person has class. Trump has none.

  10. Cargosquid

    @Steve Thomas
    Hopefully I’ll get to meet you at Lobby Day.

    1. You guys have met before. Also, thinking about that meeting, Rick Bentley was on my left. I was diagonally across from Cargo.

  11. Starryflights

    I support the AG’s’s a good call. We don’t want drug dealers and murderers carrying concealed weapons in Virginia

  12. Cargosquid

    And how does this stop criminals from carrying concealed?

  13. Steve Thomas

    That claim of drug dealers and murderers from other states obtaining permits and then carrying in Virginia is a load of crap. I’ve gone to several of the states official CCW/CHP websites and checked for myself. One example is Florida. Here’s a list of the disqualifiers, and they are equal to those of VA:
    The physical inability to handle a firearm safely.A felony conviction (unless civil and firearm rights have been restored by the convicting authority).Having adjudication withheld or sentence suspended on a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence unless three years have elapsed since probation or other conditions set by the court have been fulfilled.A conviction for a misdemeanor crime of violence in the last three years.A conviction for violation of controlled substance laws or multiple arrests for such offenses.A record of drug or alcohol abuse.Two or more DUI convictions within the previous three years.Being committed to a mental institution or adjudged incompetent or mentally defective.Failing to provide proof of proficiency with a firearm.Having been issued a domestic violence injunction or an injunction against repeat violence that is currently in force.Renouncement of U.S. citizenship.A dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.Being a fugitive from justice.

    The AG is a liar, a hypocrite and a snake.

  14. Starryflights

    An overreaction on guns

    VIRGINIA REPUBLICANS have been instrumental in enacting legislation that would deny concealed-handgun permits to in-state applicants whose records include drunken driving, assault, drug offenses, stalking, restraining orders, serious mental-health problems, illegal immigration or felonies committed as a juvenile, among other disqualifiers. Those are common-sense rules, and plenty of Virginians support them.

    So why would Republicans disregard those rules for someone from Wyoming, Louisiana, Indiana, Wisconsin or any other state who would enter the commonwealth packing heat?

    That question arises from the uproar from GOP lawmakers in response to Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s (D) announcement Tuesday that, starting in February, Virginia would no longer recognize out-of-state permits to carry concealed handguns. Republicans seemed to think Mr. Herring’s move was some sort of trick. In fact, it complies with the clear language and intent of state law that Republicans themselves supported.

    That law explicitly states that Virginia will recognize out-of-state concealed-carry permits unless they are issued to applicants who would be disqualified by Virginia’s own laws. Mr. Herring’s move, which he made in conjunction with and with the backing of the state police, does nothing more than enforce the existing statute. The effect is that Virginia will no longer honor concealed-carry permits issued by 25 states whose laws are more lenient than the commonwealth’s but will continue to honor those issued by five other states.

    Republicans have been on a losing streak in statewide races in Virginia, which seems to feed their hair-trigger outrage whenever incumbent Democrats, especially Mr. Herring and Gov. Terry McAuliffe, exercise their power. In this case, however, Mr. Herring’s move clearly comports with state law, albeit state law that has been ignored for some time.

    Beyond the Richmond Republicans, the overreaction to Mr. Herring’s announcement from some gun rights advocates was instructive. One of them is Philip Van Cleave, president of the ardently pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League, who told The Post that Virginia’s new rule will cripple tourism in the state — as if out-of-state visitors to Williamsburg or Mount Vernon will cancel en masse when they learn they can’t tuck a Smith & Wesson into their waistbands.

    A half-dozen other states will now bar Virginians from carrying concealed weapons when they visit, because they require mutual recognition of permits; the closest is Pennsylvania. We’d be surprised if many Virginians changed their travel plans on that account. (An exception is Mr. Van Cleave, who says he refuses to visit New York or New Jersey, “where you really need a gun,” because his concealed-carry permit isn’t honored there.)

    Republicans have held sway in one or both houses of Virginia’s legislature for years. They have enacted generally pro-gun laws along with some sensible rules to promote public safety. Mr. Herring is doing no more than ensuring that visitors as well as state residents observe those rules — just as they must observe Virginia’s rules on loitering, check-kiting, paying sales tax, and drunk and disorderly conduct.

    The AG’s announcement is consistent with state law. As the WaPost notes, many states have more lenient concealed carry laws. The AG’s initiative will keep us safe from violent criminals since many of them are okay with allowing violent crooks to carry concealed weapons

  15. Cargosquid

    You didn’t answer the question.

    How is this supposed to stop criminals from carrying a concealed weapon?

    We should have constitutional carry.
    AG Herring should be ashamed of himself, denying people the right to carry safely and concealed legally.

    1. Suggestion: you are using inner circle words to express yourself. That’s cool if you are talking to inner circle people. It’s a problem if you are talking to “others” because they don’t actually know what you are talking about. Then you bitch that we use the wrong terminology.

      If you truly want to educate people, my suggestion is something to consider. Or you can just walk around with an AK-47 in Walmart and ask us what we are going to do about it.

      I can only guess what “Constitutional carry” means. My guess would be that means the “bear” part of the arms. Then I could come back and say but you don’t have a right to brandish…and you would yell at me, I would yell back at you and we would have solved nothing. Kapeesh?

  16. Steve Thomas


    Like a Mina Bird, all you did was post a news article. Think, please. Under federal law, someone convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor for which the maxim penalty is three years in jail, has been adjudicated and involuntarily committed for mental illness, or is the subject of a restraining order, cannot purchase, own, or be in the possession of a firearm. Every state I checked, including FL, TN, PA, and NC, has these disqualifiers for obtaining a concealed carry permit. I posted Florida’s above. Florida is one of the states the AG plans to end reciprocity with, but his claims are false. The article you posted merely repeats the false claims. Those convicted of dealing drugs, domestic abuse, or felony DUI, or all the other criminals activity the AG falsely claims wouldn’t disqualify an individual from obtaining a permit in those states he listed, would in fact be disqualified, under federal law. I’ve checked the actual government websites for about half of the states, now. In each case, what Herring claims, is demonstrably false. Notice, everything reported has been some general statement. No examples have been given. Why is this? Could it be that the AG knows that once he starts giving examples, like ” In Florida, you can be convicted of murder or manslaughter, have multiple DUI, distribution of narcotics conviction, and obtain a permit, or not face revocation” his claim will immediately be proven false?

    You can check for yourself, or you can just post articles that repeat falsehoods. I don’t want criminals carrying with a permit in my state..but I know that criminals can’t get permits in their home states, so this isn’t happening. This is a lie. I know he’s lying, because I checked for myself. I’m also quite familiar with the AG’s anti-concealed carry/anti-2A voting record from his time in the senate. I can only conclude that Mark Herring hates my Second Amendment rights, and will do anything he can to infringe upon the. He will even lie to do this.

  17. Steve Thomas

    The term Constitutional Carry refers to carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, without the requirement to hold a permit. Several states have enacted this, Vermont and Alaska having been the first and second. The legal premise is, if you are not a prohibited person under federal law, can legally purchase, own or possess, then you are free to carry within the state, without first having to seek permission. You must be compliant regarding with federal law, regarding age, citizen or legal residency, mental health, have never renounced your citizenship or not be otherwise disqualified, etc. But, retaining a legal right to keep and bear is all that is needed to carry, in a constitutional carry state. Federal and state laws must still be observed as to where you can carry, and where you can’t, like schools and such, or what activities would preclude carrying, like consuming alcohol. It the whole permit process that has been done away with.

    I am still not there on constitutional carry, as there’s no “well regulated ” provision. For those unfamiliar with this term, “well regulated” means individually trained. I still think a basic proficiency should be demonstrated. Recognizing this, Constitutional Carry states will offer permits to those residents who wish to demonstrate this proficiency, so that states like Virginia will recognize their right to carry, when visiting.

    1. Thank you for the explanation, Steve. It’s actually a very complicated issue. There is often an assumption that everyone knows this stuff. Most of us don’t.

  18. Frequency

    This really doesn’t have anything to do with guns. The Governor and his AG are manufacturing political capital. Capital to be spent in pursuit of his agenda in the spring. Sure, they don’t appear to be very sympathetic to the 2A agenda but, just as the republicans did with the I-66 toll issue, the democrats are doing with the CWP reciprocity. Those electeds who ran on the I-66 issue do not, by and large, have any plan to fix the 66 problem, they just needed an election issue. Same with this. The Dems know that their actions on the CWP reciprocity will create turmoil in the republican caucus….and maybe drive them to the bargaining table on Medicaid or other issues. It’s a risky move by T-MAC and his folk but that’s how I see it.

    1. You are probably right. I have a bad habit on gun issues (and other issues) of asking myself, how is this going to cut down on gun deaths. For the life of me, I really couldn’t find anything legitimate.

  19. Cargosquid


    Constitutional carry means no permit required for concealed carry. It would have the identical requirements that we have for open carry now.

  20. Steve Thomas

    If Democrats were really interested in stopping criminals from getting guns and using them to commit crimes, they’d focus on criminals, instead of stomping on the rights of those who haven’t committed any crimes. A woman buys a gun for her felon boyfriend (straw purchase). The felon boyfriend uses the gun to shoot a cop. The cop dies on the day she’s to begin her maternity leave, as her premie daughter just left the hospital. What is the straw-purchaser’s punishment? A years probation.

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