Gun owners from out of state will find it harder to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia, beginning this February.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says the state will no longer recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states whose standards aren't as strict as Virginia's.
North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee -- Those states all border Virginia, and it used to be that if you had a concealed carry permit issued from them then Virginia would automatically recognize it as valid within its borders too.
But now, out-of-staters will have to apply specifically for a permit from Virginia, says Attorney General Mark Herring.
"Our general assembly has already identified who can and cannot conceal their handguns in Virginia,” Herring said during a press conference. "Those standards should apply to everyone in Virginia equally at all times. They should not be undermined by wrongly recognizing permits from other states with more permissive standards."
According to Virginia law, someone can be disqualified for a concealed carry permit for a number of reasons, including having received mental health treatment, or being convicted of a DUI or stalking.
"But that person with stalking or assault convictions could receive a permit in their home state, one that has lower safety standards and then conceal their handgun while in a Virginia restaurant, or rest area or grocery store or wherever,” said Herring.
The announcement comes after a months-long review of other state's laws. The Attorney General has the power to do that audit, but it hasn't been a regular process in the past.