|Action||Promulgation of new regulation banning concealed firearms in executive branch agency offices|
|Comment Period||Ends 1/27/2016|
This regulation should not be approved and the Governor’s emergency regulation withdrawn. It is a solution for which there is no problem. The regulation preamble statement that, “Allowing the carrying of firearms exposes state employees and citizens to unnecessary risk” is pure hyperbole. There is no evidence that private holders of concealed-carry permits are any more irresponsible or a danger with firearms than the police. According to a 2005 to 2007 study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Bowling Green State University, police nationwide were convicted of firearms violations at least at a 0.002 percent annual rate. That's about the same rate as holders of carry permits in the states with "shall issue" laws. Concealed-carry permit holders are law-abiding citizens who make up part of “the over 60,000 Virginians who report to work in state government buildings across the Commonwealth to provide [and receive] services...” Rather than accomplishing the Governor’s stated desire “to protect citizens and state employees from gun violence,” this regulation instead endangers state employees, law abiding citizens, and the innocent by removing a significant means for the right of self-defense. The comment period on this proposed regulation should be extended to provide additional opportunity for continued public dialog.