|Action||Promulgation of new regulation banning concealed firearms in executive branch agency offices|
|Comment Period||Ends 1/27/2016|
I am writing to voice my opposition to the proposed ban on concealed weapons in Virginia Government buildings. This ban is in my opinion driven by the liberal political agenda of the current Governor, and not by rational thought. This regulation was not proposed because of numerous shootings in our government buildings. In fact, the exact opposite is the case. There have been NO shootings by concealed carry licensees. This would seem to indicate that we already are doing something right. Changing the rules might bring shootings to government buildings. Almost all major shooting incidents over the past decade have happened in 'Gun Free Zones" which allow criminals and terrorists to kill without immediate fear of retribution.
It appears that this proposal is the first round of trying to restrict gun owners. This is the wrong direction. For example, simply look across the Potomac River to Washington, DC. It is located only a few miles from Fairfax County. Washington restricts gun ownership, carrying, ammunition and just about everything they can. The result is that Washington DC has a murder rate of over 22 per 100,000 residents at last tally, and Fairfax, for 2014 had a rate of 0.90.
Concealed carry license holders have repeatedly been shown to be much more law abiding, and despite suggestions to the contrary, the rate of revocation of these licenses for any reason has been only a fraction of a percent throughout the United States.
Police officers themselves agree that concealed carry is an important deterrent to crime. A survey of more than 15,000 officer's by PoliceOne in 2013 revealed the following opinions. 1. Eighty-six percent (86%) of officers believe legally armed citizens would reduce or prevent casualties in mass shooting events. 2. Over eighty percent (80%) support arming teachers and other responsible staff in schools. (Aren't these government buildings?) 3. Among eight categories of methods to reduce gun violence, these officers' number one selection was "MORE PERMISSIVE CONCEALED CARRY POLICIES FOR CIVILIANS!"
Given these facts, someone would have to be a fool to institute polices that restrict concealed carry policies for civilians. For these reasons, I respectfully request you carefully consider the potential damage that may be caused by this legislation and respect the time-honored traditions of Virginians to bear arms in defense of themselves and one another.
Merwin W. Jones, PE