Back in January I reported that the Virginia Attorney General was playing politics with concealed carry reciprocity. At that time, the VA AG made it clear he would rescind Virginia’s recognition of 25 States’ CWPs. Unfortunately South Carolina’s CWP was one of those that would not be recognized.
As expected, this announcement sent the Republican controlled VA legislature into action, and they began looking for a way to force the AG’s hand on the issue. The VA legislature worked ‘across the aisle’ with the Democrat Governor of VA to pass ‘bi-partisan’ legislation that restores Virginia’s recognition of out-of-state CWPs.
Effective July this year, Virginia will start recognizing all out-of-state CWPs as long as i) the permit holder is 21 years or older, ii) carries a government issued photographic identification, iii) the license or permit is displayed upon demand by a law enforcement officer, and iv) the person has not had a Virginia CWP revoked.
This is unequivocally a good law for out-of-state permit holders traveling to Virginia, and it will open Virginia up to CWP carry by permittees from states, such as Georgia, who could not carry there before.
This saga is a fine example of why you should always check the most recent map or list of reciprocity for your concealed weapon permits before traveling. Until CWPs receive the same respect and acceptance as driver licenses, we will always have to be cautious when carrying in another state.