Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam blasted a decision by the state of Virginia on Tuesday to no longer recognize concealed weapons permits from Florida and 24 other states.
Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring, a Democrat, said effective February 1, 2016, his state will no longer recognize concealed weapons permits from 25 states that they previously recognized. That is because laws in those states “are not sufficient to prevent someone who is disqualified under Virginia law from receiving a concealed handgun permit,” Herring said.
Because Virginia will no longer recognize permits from Florida, Florida legally will not be able to recognize permits from Virginia. It all means Floridians wanting to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia would have to apply for a permit in that state to do so.
Putnam, a Republican who has jurisdiction over the issuances of Florida’s concealed permits doesn’t like the decision by Virginia. Florida has issued more than 1.4 million concealed weapons licenses.
“The real losers of the Virginia Attorney General’s decision are law-abiding gun owners in half the states in our country” Putnam said. “The Virginia Attorney General’s politically expedient decision to end reciprocity for concealed weapon licenses is a knee-jerk reaction that tramples on people’s Second Amendment right.”
He had company in blasting the decision. The National Rifle Association slammed Herring shortly after he held a press conference in Virginia announcing his decision.
"Plain and simple, Mark Herring is putting politics above public safety,” said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This decision is both dangerous and shameful.”
Virginia bans people with a history of stalking, drug dealing or inpatient mental-health treatment from obtaining obtain a permit. They also bar people who have been convicted of two misdemeanors in five years or someone who is an “unlawful user” of marijuana or other controlled substances.