|Action||Promulgation of new regulation banning concealed firearms in executive branch agency offices|
|Comment Period||Ends 1/27/2016|
This proposed political, unilateral, anti-Second Amendment move by the Governor will only serve the purpose of endangering the law abiding Virginia citizenry and embolden terrorist and criminal elements seeking to operate within the state. There is absolutely no precedent in terms of individuals inflicting harm or violence in state offices for this type of Executive Action to be initiated. If enacted, this would have the opposite of the intended effect by playing into the hands of those potentially seeking to do violence by emboldening them through the knowledge that other private citizens would be forcibly unarmed in these locations. We have had no shootings in state agencies and this prohibition on those especially with a concealed handgun permit is entirely without any justification outside the aggressive political anti-gun agenda of the Governor and Attorney General and needlessly and recklessly endangers innocent lives.
If recent gun related violence events are the genesis for the Governor's intended action, then he needs to take a closer look at what state and local government "gun free zones" have accomplished - the ability for those intent on inflicting violence free reign to succeed, innocent citizens unable to defend their lives, and emboldening those who would emulate violent actions. All but two of the public mass shootings since 1950 had been committed by criminals/ terrorists in government enacted “gun-free zones,” which is exactly what this regulation creates. This intended action would also prevent off-duty police officers from carrying firearms. There is no provision or stated gubernatorial fiscal proposal to provide additional security to protect all Virginia citizens and especially those who have been restricted in the exercise of their federal Second Amendment right.
The Governor has no authority for this regulation. If the General Assembly wanted the Governor to have such power, they would have granted it to him explicitly, as is required constitutionally. The Executive Action will not hold up under legal scrutiny due to lack of authority in this matter by the Governor and will result in the ineffective expenditure of limited State fiscal resources.
As a federal antiterrorism expert, I wholeheartedly state that these regulations should not be approved and the emergency regulation withdrawn.
Please extended the comment period on this proposed action for another 30 days.