|The Second Amendment Doesn’t Stop at the State Line
On December 22, 2015, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia would stop honoring concealed carry permits from 25 states, including Tennessee. This is absurd, especially for the law-abiding Tennesseans who cross into Virginia often for work or other reasons. This will be particularly confusing for permit holders and law enforcement in Bristol, where you can literally stand in the middle of State Street and have one leg in Virginia and one in Tennessee. Will officers be forced to enforce the law based on what side of your body your holster is on?
On Tuesday, I joined Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith in Bristol to speak out against this misguided and foolish decision. I was pleased that many concerned citizens came to our press conference to express their concern and share how this decision affects them. I strongly believe that your Second Amendment right doesn’t stop at a state line, and Tennesseans with valid concealed carry permits ought to have the right to carry their firearms across state lines.
What’s more, this decision was announced a little over a month before it is effective on February 1. How in the world are law enforcement, concealed carry permit holders and others expected to prepare for a change like this with little notice and guidance? It’s clear to me this decision is purely political, and another attempt to blame law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals.
I’ve long supported reciprocity agreements, which is why I have cosponsored two important pieces of legislation this year: H.R. 986, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 and H.R. 923, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015. H.R. 923 would allow individuals who possess concealed carry permits in their home state to carry in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. H.R. 986 is a similar bill that includes legal protection for law-abiding concealed carry permit holders in states – like the Commonwealth of Virginia – that have worked to undermine the rights of concealed carry permit holders from other states.
A concealed carry permit holder myself, you can rest assured I will continue to defend the Second Amendment, and that I will speak out against and oppose ridiculous measures like the one moving forward in Virginia. If we continue to allow the government to take our freedoms little by little, soon we won’t have any left.
Feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance. My contact information can be found on my website, www.roe.house.gov.