VA Reverses its Decision on Conceal & Carry Reciprocity

Washington Post
January 28, 2016
ByJenna Portnoy

RICHMOND — Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican leaders will announce Friday they have reached a deal on Virginia’s gun regulations in a surprising moment of compromise on an issue that had threatened to poison the remainder of the governor’s term in office. McAuliffe (D) agreed to legislation that says the state must recognize concealed-handgun permits from nearly all states — a reversal of Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s decision last month to sever the reciprocity rights of gun owners in 25 states.


In exchange, Republicans softened their stances on issues that have long been non-starters in the GOP-controlled General Assembly. Under the deal, the state would take guns away from anyone who was under a two-year protective order for domestic-violence offenses. And State Police would have to attend all gun shows to provide background checks for private sellers if they requested the service.


“This is a bipartisan deal that will make Virginians safer,” McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said.

“It also demonstrates that Democrats and Republicans can work together on key issues like keeping guns out of dangerous hands.”

The agreement marks the first break in a logjam over gun rights and gun control marked by heated rhetoric and could bolster McAuliffe’s legacy as he begins the second half of his term.

“Bipartisanship requires give-and-take by both sides,” said Matt Moran, a spokesman for House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).

“This agreement restores reciprocity for law-abiding Virginians while sending a clear signal about domestic violence. There’s a lot to like here.”

Both sides framed the deal as a win for Herring (D), whose decision on concealed-carry reciprocity motivated both sides to hammer out a deal.

Herring said he was glad to provide the momentum for an apparent compromise but reserved judgment on the legislation, which is still working its way through the General Assembly.

“I’m encouraged to finally see a bipartisan conversation about how we can reduce gun violence and keep guns away from dangerous individuals that shouldn’t have them,”

he said.

“At the end of the day, the measure of success for this package will be whether thefinal product that emerges from the legislative process makes Virginians safer.”