In Virginia you don’t need a permit to own or purchase a gun and you don’t have to go through a background check if you buy from a private seller, but you do need a permit if you want to conceal that weapon.
“The whole concept at some point needs to be thrown out and some states are doing that,” said Phillip Van Cleave with the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Cleave says they’re now working with lawmakers on a bill that would allow anyone who legally purchases a gun to carry it concealed without a permit.
“If you’re allowed to own the gun, who cares how you carry it, you’re allowed to own it,” said Van Cleave.
Cleave points to seven states across the country who already have what gun rights advocates are calling “constitutional carry” including Arizona, Kansas, and Maine.
“You’re a law abiding citizen so therefore how you carry it is irrelevant,” said Cleave.
“Well it makes no sense,” said Lori Haas with Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws.
Haas says without permits it will make it harder to tell who should and shouldn’t have a gun.
“There is no guarantee that the person carrying a firearm did or did not legally purchase that firearm,” said Haas.
Haas says it will not only make it more dangerous for the public, but for law enforcement officers as well.
“We have no way of knowing if persons who own and carry a firearm have or have not had a background check. I think our law enforcement deserve at least a layer of safety,” said Haas.
Cleave says gun owners could still get a permit for reciprocity purposes, allowing Virginia gun owners to carry concealed in states where concealed carry without a permit is already legal.