|Action||Promulgation of new regulation banning concealed firearms in executive branch agency offices|
|Comment Period||Ends 1/27/2016|
Gun Free Zones Akin to Fish in a Barrel
The governor's gun ban in government buildings just increases the appeal that those places would have as a target for any deranged individual inclined to engage in violence against citizens or the Commonwealth. It is undeniable that many of the recent mass shooters carefully chose their target specifically because it was a "gun free zone." Why make more targets? It is a bad idea.
Additionally, the ban makes it difficult for many of us to go about our day and complete our errands when one of those errands would take us into any government building. I personally, like to carry wherever I go, it is my right; I also like to walk. I walk into grocery stores, the barber shop, and so on, with my sidearm in my holster. But the proposed regulation now means that if I need to go to a government building, places like the ABC store, the DMV, and so on, I either must travel unarmed, or I must drive so I can lock my sidearm in my vehicle. This is a big disruption, and will encourage more people to drive to places where they would otherwise just walk.
Next, it seems that there is no express grant of authority for this regulation. To the contrary, Article I, Section 13 of the Constitution of Virginia unconditionally recognizes that “…therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed;…” This regulation further erodes that natural right of the people.
Finally, why does the governor and law enforcement get special exemptions? This is hypocritical. The privilege (or rather, the right) of self-defense should be available to all, from the governor all the way down to the lowliest of us peasants. Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution of Virginia clearly states: “That no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services…” However, there is no nexus between being allowed to defend one’s self and performing any governmental duties, i.e., not a factor that would support any exception when construing “in consideration of public services.”