VA Governor Signs Pro-Rights Preemption Bill
Virginia Gov. Mark Warner has signed legislation expanding the states preemption statute, eliminating the liabilities licensed armed citizens faced with a hodgepodge of local ordinances that gunowners said were, at best, confusing.
HB-1516 prevents cities and counties from banning legally-licensed citizens from carrying concealed in parks and other areas. It also prevents enforcement of certain local ordinances against people with concealed pistol licenses (CPLs).
The law will take effect on July 1.
Warners action was hailed by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). In a statement released on the Internet, VCDL President Philip Van Cleave noted, This is the way the gun laws should besimple and uniform.
Joe Waldron, executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, called the legislation a victory for gunowners in the Old Dominion. He congratulated the VCDL for its hard work to pass the bill.
More importantly, Waldron stressed, it is a victory for all Virginians who believe that the fundamental right of self-defense should not be encumbered by local jurisdictions that have passed regulations sometimes contrary to state law.
Under the new law, CPL holders may not be prosecuted or convicted for violating any ordinance regulating the possession, carry or transport of a firearm. It will not prevent local jurisdictions from adopting workplace rules that relate to the terms and conditions of employment.
In his announcement, Van Cleave noted that work on preemption is not finished. There must still be uniformity covering people who carry handguns openly, without having a CPL. He also said that permits to purchase, and waiting periods, must also be rescinded, and he ultimately wants all grand-fathered laws repealed.
Waldron noted that Warner, a Democrat, has so far lived up to his campaign pledges to support gun and hunting rights.
Gov. Warner proved that he is a man of his word, Waldron said. He campaigned as a pro-gun rights Democrat, and so far, hes done nothing to suggest otherwise.