Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring (Dem.) announced concealed-carry permits from 25 states currently honored in the Old Dominion will no longer be recognized by the state as of Feb. 1. The Washington Post broke the news this week and the list of states no longer on its reciprocity list includes neighboring Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
He claims the other permits don’t have requirements as stringent as Virginia. I beg to differ. There’s a CCW for North Carolina in my wallet, I had one in Virginia, and remember well the additional legal lessons and range time I put in before I could carry south of that border as a resident.
The move will undoubtedly affect tourism. I know for a fact I’ll think twice before heading north, unarmed. Yes, you can still open carry in Virginia, but the plethora of places where it’ll garner multiple 9-1-1 calls makes it a dubious option, at best.
Consider, too, annual events like Rolling Thunder. Last year, more than a million attendees rode their Hogs into Northern Virginia on Memorial Day Weekend in an effort to heighten prisoner-of-war and missing-in-action awareness. They rolled past the Pentagon, walked Arlington and peacefully—in coordination with law enforcement without disrupting traffic—reminded us we should never forget. Many of these men and women came from the other side of the country, and (at least for me) that’s a long trip to make in the open air with no means of self-defense.
The only states that remain on Virginia’s reciprocity list are West Virginia, Utah, Texas, Michigan and Oklahoma. Gun owners in the other states can still apply for non-resident carry permits in the Old Dominion for a fee and another round of background checks if the state is on their 2016 itinerary.