REGULATIONS BANNING CONCEALED FIREARMS IN OFFICES OWNED OR OCCUPIED BY EXECUTIVE BRANCH AGENCIES
The purpose of this chapter is to ban the carrying of concealed firearms in offices occupied by executive branch agencies, with certain exceptions as set forth herein.
A. This chapter applies to all buildings owned, leased, or controlled in whole or in part by or for an executive branch agency. This chapter is intended to be consistent with the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management Policy 1.80 Workplace Violence, which prohibits state employees from possessing, brandishing, or using a weapon that is not required by the employee's position while on state premises or engaged in state business.
B. This chapter applies to the concealed carrying of firearms; the Department of General Services has issued a guidance document elsewhere prohibiting the open carrying of firearms.
C. The prohibition against carrying a concealed firearm does not apply to law-enforcement officers, authorized security personnel, or military personnel when such individuals are authorized to carry a firearm in accordance with their duties and when they are carrying the firearm within that authority. It also does not apply to state employees where the employee's position requires carrying a concealed firearm.
D. This chapter does not apply to individuals who are on public hunting lands, are engaged in lawful hunting, and are in compliance with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries hunting and trapping regulations found in 4VAC15, regarding allowable firearms and hunting license requirements.
"Authorized security personnel" means a natural person who is employed to (i) perform the functions of observation, detection, reporting, or notification of appropriate authorities or designated agents regarding persons or property on the premises he is assigned to protect; (ii) safeguard and protect persons and property; or (iii) deter theft, loss, or concealment of any tangible or intangible personal property on the premises he is assigned to protect.
"Concealed firearm" means a firearm hidden from common observation, including a firearm hidden when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the firearm's true nature.
"Executive branch agency" means any administrative unit of state government in the executive branch, including any department, institution, commission, board, council, authority, or other body, however designated.
"Firearm" means any handgun, pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material.
"Law-enforcement officer" means the same as that term is defined in § 18.2-307.1 of the Code of Virginia. This shall also include retired law-enforcement officers certified pursuant to § 18.2-308.016 of the Code of Virginia.
"State office" means any building or portion of a building owned, leased, or controlled by or for an executive branch agency. This includes that portion of any building open to others and then used exclusively for functions or activities sponsored by an executive branch agency tenant or tenants while such functions are taking place. It shall not include parking facilities, lodges or cabins owned by the Commonwealth and used solely for the public for recreational activities, any buildings that serve as living quarters for Commonwealth employees, or any buildings at a rest area on an interstate highway.
1VAC30-105-40. Possession of firearms prohibited.
Possession or carrying of any concealed firearm by any person is prohibited in state offices. Entry upon a state office in violation of this prohibition is expressly forbidden. This prohibition does not apply to law-enforcement officers, authorized security personnel, or military personnel when such individuals are authorized to carry a firearm in accordance with their duties and when they are carrying the firearm within that authority. It also does not apply to state employees where the employee's position requires carrying a concealed firearm.
1VAC30-105-50. Required lease terms for state offices.
All leases entered into where an executive branch agency is the lessor shall contain a prohibition on concealed firearms consistent with this chapter. All leases entered into for the benefit of an executive branch agency shall contain this prohibition to indicate the lessor's acknowledgment. Exceptions may be allowed where approved in writing by the Governor or his designee.
1VAC30-105-60. Posting of signs.
A. Posting location. Signs shall be posted at all state offices indicating the prohibition against carrying concealed firearms. Where the entire premises are owned or occupied by an executive branch agency, signs shall be displayed at every entrance. Where only a portion of the premises are leased for an executive branch agency, the signs shall be displayed within the leased space. If an executive branch agency is using an office open to others, temporary signs shall be displayed at or near the entry to the office during the time the office is being used exclusively for Commonwealth sponsored functions or activities while such functions are taking place.
B. Size and design. Signs shall be of a size and design approved by the Department of General Services. Agencies shall be responsible for obtaining signage design from the Department of General Services and for posting of the signs.
The occupying agency shall be responsible for enforcing this chapter.
A. A state institution of higher education is exempt from this chapter if the institution has implemented its own policies or regulations governing firearms.
B. Members of the Virginia National Guard (the guard) who possess a valid concealed handgun permit shall be exempt from this chapter while at facilities owned by the guard or under contract or lease to the guard. This exemption may be withdrawn by the commanding officer of any member while such member is participating in any training or other exercises where the commanding officer determines that (i) such possession would interfere with the conduct of such training or other exercises, (ii) such possession may result in mission impairment, or (iii) the member is unfit to carry a handgun.
C. The Governor or his designee may otherwise grant exemptions from the requirements of this chapter. To qualify for an exemption, the applying executive branch agency must show that an alternative policy consistent with the Commonwealth's policy against firearms in state offices is appropriate.