The State of Virginia recently announced it will, beginning February 1, 2016, no longer recognize carry permits from many states.
There have been responses from other state governments that suggest tit-for-tat, thus removing Virginia recognition from those states. For some states, their reciprocity agreements mean automatic cancellation of Virginian's privilege* to carry. There are threats, too, by the Virginia legislature, to overturn this ruling legislatively, and to de-fund Governor Terry McAuliff's security detail.
BUT, what is a practical response for non-Virginian's who want or need to visit the Commonwealth? I see two options. Open carry while in Virginia or get a non-resident Virginia permit.
For the sake of this article, I choose to not discuss open carry other than to say there are some traps to be aware of, such as the Gun Free School Zones Act (do your own research; choose your risks).
Turning now to non-resident permits issued by Virginia. Instructions can be found at their web site.
The fee is $100.00
You must follow the instructions on the web site, and provide certain documentation, including documentation of competence with a handgun. For veterans, a DD-214 is sufficient. If it is worth a C-note for peace of mind, give it a try. Let me know how it goes.
Documentation of Competence with a Handgun
The applicant shall demonstrate competence with a handgun by one of the following:
- Completing a hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or a similar agency of another state.
- Completing any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course.
- Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services or a similar agency of another state.
- Completing any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement.
- Presenting evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition approved by the Department of State Police or current military service or proof of an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed services. (DD-214)
- Obtaining or previously having held a license to carry a firearm in this Commonwealth or a locality thereof, unless such license has been revoked for cause.
- Completing any firearms training or safety course or class, including an electronic, video, or on-line course, conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor.
- Completing any governmental police agency firearms training course and qualifying to carry a firearm in the course of normal police duties.
- Completing any other firearms training that the Virginia Department of State Police deems adequate.
*The term privilege is used here because most states require licenses or permits, which reduces the right to keep and bear arms to a paid-for privilege.
h/t to Handgunlaw.us for up to date information on state carry laws.