|Action||Promulgation of new regulation banning concealed firearms in executive branch agency offices|
|Comment Period||Ends 1/27/2016|
The preamble of the governor's regulation says:
...it is the Governor's desire to protect citizens and state employees from gun violence...the Governor has determined there is a need to take every precaution to protect citizens and state employees from gun violence. Every day, over 60,000 Virginians report to work in state government buildings across the Commonwealth to provide services to their fellow Virginians. Citizens rely on open access to these facilities to allow citizens to access government representatives and address personal and professional needs. Allowing the carrying of firearms exposes state employees and citizens to unnecessary risk.
Why does it seem incredibly naive to me to think that posting a "no firearms" sign at the entrance of government buildings will prevent those who intend to do harm from bringing firearms into those locations? It seems incredibly naive because it is incredibly naive. If we were talking about implementing airport-style security in these locations, that would be a different story, because instead of simply asking people to leave their firearms behind, the metal detectors and personal screening would ensure that no weapons would make it past the front door.
But there will be no screenings...no metal detectors...no assurance at all that the people who would do harm with a weapon will obey the signs saying "no firearms." In fact, it should be obvious to all that a person intent on doing harm with a weapon has already accepted that they will be committing a very serious crime. Are we foolish enough to think that the "no firearms" sign at the door will somehow change their mind? Of course not. To the contrary, it will embolden them to know that there will be little if any resistance to their criminal intents once inside. Because those law-abiding, law-honoring citizens inside who might otherwise have availed themselves of their legal right to carry a concealed firearm as provided by their state-issued Concealed Handgun Permit will be virtually defenseless against the criminal who unlawfully brings their weapon inside to wreak havoc.
We should ask ourselves this: "Why do airports and courthouses employ metal detectors and screening procedures to protect against the presence of weapons, when "no firearms" signage alone is deemed sufficient elsewhere?" The answer is simple. It is obvious that signs alone do nothing to prevent those with criminal intent from breaking the law. And it should be obvious that the only people these kinds of laws restrict are those who seek to obey the law in the first place...those who would be an asset with a legally carried concealed weapon...not the opposite.
Governor McAuliffe, I strongly urge you to reverse this measure and acknowledge not only the rights of CHP holders to carry their weapons legally in all public places for the benefit of all, but also to acknowledge the futility of believing that unenforced weapons restrictions will make public spaces safer for anyone but the criminals who intend to violate those restrictions anyways.
Thank you for your consideration,