The third full week of the General Assembly is coming to a close and things are moving along.
One of the questions I often get asked is “why can’t the Republicans and the Democrats work together”? Well last week, there was a historic bipartisan agreement.
As many of you know, in late December, Attorney General Mark Herring made a surprise announcement that Virginia would not recognize concealed weapons permits issued by other states. This action severed Virginia’s reciprocity agreement with all but 5 of 30 states. My Republican colleagues and I made reversing this decision one of our top priorities during the 2016 General Assembly Session. Last week the House of Delegates came to a landmark agreement with Governor Terry McAuliffe to restore and expand Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity agreements to all 50 states.
The bipartisan agreement is broken into three bills. Senator Bryce Reeves (SB610) and Delegate Michael Webert (HB1163) will carry companion legislation that will grant universal concealed carry reciprocity for Virginia citizens. Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (HB1386) and Senator John Edwards (SB715) will introduce legislation that will require the State Police to be available at every gun show to administer voluntary background checks for private gun sales. All Federal Firearms Licensed Dealers, who sell professionally at gun shows, will still be required to administer background checks before the sale is final. HB 1391, carried by Delegate Kathleen Murphy will prohibit individuals subject to a permanent protective order for a domestic violence offense from possessing a firearm.
In conclusion this agreement restores the rights of law-abiding citizens while sending a clear message that the House is committed to preventing and combatting domestic violence.
To track the progress of these pieces of legislation or any other, please visit www.lis.virginia.gov.
As always, I appreciate hearing from my constituents. Please stay in touch and let me know your thoughts on issues important to you. You may contact my office by emailing me at [email protected] or by calling (804) 698-1027.