With the stroke of his pen, Governor McAuliffe has taken executive action to limit your rights as Virginians under the Second Amendment. Among other things, he has banned the open carry of firearms other than by law enforcement on all buildings "occupied by executive branch agencies". He has also created a Joint Task Force to prosecute gun crimes. This task force will ostensibly join state and federal law enforcement agencies together to ensure enforcement of existing gun laws. You may rest assured that as a gun rights attorney I can tell you that state and federal agencies are already aggressively prosecuting all manner of gun crimes, so the creation of this task force is nothing more than unnecessary pandering. But more ominously, the text of his press release strongly suggests that the governor opposes not only open carry in public places, but also the freedom that Virginians enjoy to sell or trade firearms on the private market, saying "without appropriate safeguards, this large gap in our firearm regulatory scheme gives criminals an other persons incapable of passing a background check easy access to firearms." Stay tuned for his next action to address this perceived "gap" in government intrusion.
Our governor, for those of you who don't know, is from New York; and he shares the virulent anti-gun sentiments of so many of his fellow New Yorkers. That state has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and yet gun violence in places like New York City is off the charts. Our governor would seek to impose the sort of government intrusion of his native state upon Virginia, thereby ensuring that, as in New York, only the criminals are armed.
Fortunately our legislature is fighting him at every turn. House Speaker William Howell stated under no uncertain terms that the governor's ban on open carry does not apply to the state capitol or the General Assembly. Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert took it one step further, stating "as we have seen time and time again, such policies leave law-abiding citizens vulnerable to acts of senseless violence rather than protecting people from such tragedies." Certainly the ominous take away from the governor's announcement is the knowledge that if a prospective criminal were to go into an executive branch building in Virginia armed, he will be the only person who is.
We must all recognize now that our Second Amendment rights are under attack. I am YOUR gun rights attorney! If you have lost your gun rights due to a felony conviction or a previous mental health issue, the time to restore them is NOW! Governor McAuliffe is not alone in his fervent desire to disarm the citizenry. He is part of a powerful movement that seeks to gradually deny all of us of the right to bear arms. Get your gun rights back while you still can. Call us right away!
And, as always, if you have been charged with a gun offense of any kind, whether it be unlawful possession of a firearm, brandishing a firearm, or any other offense involving a firearm, call the office and we will fight for you!