Virginia Now Recognizes Gun Licenses From Every State

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the six-bill package last week. photo from guns.com.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a packet of legislation, dubbed the "Virginia Compromise," that expands concealed carry recognition in his state while taking guns away from domestic abusers, according to this story on guns.com.

The bipartisan deal, announced less than a month ago, is represented by six bills in total, including HB 1163 and SB 610 and overrides a plan by Attorney General Mark herring to no longer recognize concealed carry permits from 25 states, that would have began March 1.

Instead, the office will enter into a reciprocity agreement with any state open to it and recognize all valid permits from 48 other states as well as the District of Columbia (Vermont has constitutional carry and doesn’t issue permits).

As a sort of exchange of ideals, Virginia State Police will now send troopers to gun shows to provide voluntary background checks for private sellers who wish to utilize their services. Also, gun owners with certain protective orders filed against them will have to surrender their firearms within 24 hours of being served. They will be prohibited from possessing firearms for the length of the order, the story says.

"The historic bipartisan agreement will make Virginia safer by keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and people who cannot pass background checks," said McAuliffe in a statement quoted by the story. "Virginians elect their leaders to work together to get things done, and today I am proud to say we did just that. This is the most significant step forward on gun safety in 24 years, and I look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly and the public safety community to build on the progress we made this session."

McAuliffe held the signing in the 203-year-old governor’s mansion, the first time he’s ever done so.

"The debate on gun safety has had sharp edges that have kept all of us apart for so many years," McAuliffe said in this story from richmond.com. "But we braved those sharp edges together this year. And we can be proud of the accomplishments."

The NRA has praised the passage of the legislation, after loudly condemning the anti-reciprocity plan that preceded it.

“Now, more than six million law-abiding gun owners will be free to travel in and out of Virginia with their Second Amendment rights intact,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action in an email to Guns.com. “Self-defense is a fundamental right that must be respected.”

He added: “Hopefully this effort will encourage Congress to pass national right to carry reciprocity legislation as soon as possible.”

Gun control advocates weren’t pleased with the signing.

"Governor McAuliffe cut a backroom deal with the NRA that betrays gun violence survivors and endangers the safety of all Virginians. We expected more from him," said John Feinblatt, president of Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety.