Posted by 16 February 2017
The issue of gun control is a hot topic in many states, and Virginia is no exception. With its Republican-dominated legislature, the Commonwealth’s lawmakers have advanced legislation in recent years that would expand the rights of gun owners. This has met some resistance from Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, although the two branches of government have found some common ground on this issue.
The beginning of the 2017 legislative session has already seen action on firearms legislation. For the most part, these bills are aimed at expanding the right for Virginians to carry concealed firearms:
House Bill 1582, Lower age for concealed handgun permit for military members: Passed 78 to 19 in the state House on January 18, 2017
To allow an active duty military member or a military member who has received an honorable discharge to obtain a concealed handgun permit at the age of 18. Current law allows concealed handgun permits for anyone 21 years of age or older.
Senate Bill 1362, Allow non-duty military personnel to carry concealed weapons: Passed 22 to 18 in the state Senate on January 24, 2017
To allow members of the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Defense Force, Armed Forces of the United States, or Armed Forces Reserves who is on non-duty status to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
Senate Bill 1299, Allow concealed carry with protective order: Passed 27 to 13 in the state Senate on January 24, 2017
To allow anyone who is protected by a protective order to carry a concealed weapon without a permit for 45 days after the protective order is issued. Only Virginians eligible under state law to carry a concealed weapon would be permitted to do this.