Our Fairfax Criminal Attorney explains a change in Virginia gun control laws.

Historically, Virginia has had few restrictions on the purchase of guns. The so-called “gun show loophole” is prominent in Virginia and allows purchasers to walk out of a gun show with a gun, with no record check at all.

Has Gun Control Changed in Virginia?

In a step towards gun control in a state with relatively few gun restrictions, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced recently that Virginia will no longer recognize concealed carry handgun permits from 25 states that previously had reciprocity with Virginia.

This decision follows a review by the Commonwealth of the gun laws of the approximately 30 states with reciprocity with Virginia, which revealed that 25 of those states allowed concealed carry permits to individuals to which Virginia would not grant permits.  Accordingly, the revocation of reciprocity with those states seeks to ensure that only individuals who meet the criteria set forth by Virginia law for a concealed carry permit are in fact permitted to carry concealed weapons in Virginia.

In addition to ending reciprocity with more than two dozen states, the attorney general announced that under the new policy, individuals with a history of drug dealing, stalking, or inpatient mental health treatment cannot obtain concealed carry permits.

These policy changes come on the heels of the decision of Governor Terry McAuliffe in October to ban guns in executive buildings in Virginia.  Nonetheless, given the strong reaction of the Republican-controlled state legislature against both measures, it is still unlikely that the Virginia legislature will take up broad gun control measures in the near future. There is little doubt the NRA and gun control advocates will state their respective positions over the upcoming months.

If you have been charged with a crime involving a gun, or have questions about Virginia’s gun laws, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Greenspun Shapiro PC today.

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