|Action||Promulgation of new regulation banning concealed firearms in executive branch agency offices|
|Comment Period||Ends 1/27/2016|
I am strongly opposed to any restraint on the ability of Virginians to carry firearms -- either openly or concealed -- on taxpayer-owned property, regardless of which state agency may occupy that property.
The regulation(s) under consideration have no beneficial effect. In fact, the impact is the opposite of what backers intend, creating more “victim zones” where terrorists, violent criminals, and the criminally insane may run amok without fear of being countered by a lawfully armed citizen.
Virginia has suffered no shootings in state agencies. A prohibition on carry by law-abiding citizens, including those with a concealed handgun permit -- some of whom face real threats to their lives -- is entirely without justification, and needlessly and recklessly endangers innocent lives.
Disarming good, law-abiding citizens -- by definition, the only ones who will obey a prohibition on carrying guns -- does not make anyone safer. Instead, it merely advertises to the world areas in which easy victims may be found en masse. It should be noted that, since 1950, all but two public massacres have occurred in “gun-free zones,” which are exactly what the proposed regulation would create all around Virginia.
One location where carry of guns will be banned under the proposal is roadside rest stops. I personally have been accosted at interstate rest stops three times in Virginia. Although I did not have to draw my lawfully carried gun, it was reassuring to know that I could have defended myself and my family if necessary -- as police officers were nowhere to be found -- especially in the dead of night, on lonely stretches of highway. If citizen carry of firearms is banned in such places, does Governor McAuliffe plan to staff a full-time, 24/7 police presence there to protect those of us from whom he has taken the right to protect ourselves?
Perhaps more importantly, there is no authority for the Governor to issue this regulation. If the General Assembly wanted the Governor to have such power, it would have granted the Governor that power explicitly, as is required constitutionally. Governor McAuliffe knows this, which is why he is abusing the “emergency authority” provision of state law to enact the preliminary, temporary ban in effect now.
The proposed regulation is a solution for which no problem exists. It endangers state employees, law-abiding citizens, and other innocent people by making state buildings an enablement zone for terrorists, criminals, and the criminally insane to conduct their evil and savage actions. The only benefit of this regulation is to a cynical politician looking to score political points with his anti-gun constituency.
This regulation should not be approved, and the emergency regulation should be withdrawn immediately.
Additionally, please extended the comment period for another 30 days. The initial, short comment period is not sufficient for a proposed regulation of this importance -- especially with part of the comment period being buried in the busy holiday season.