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Friday, January 27, 2017

Will New 4th Circuit Court Ruling Allow Virginia CHP Holders to be Harassed in States Like Maryland?

Earlier this week, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in an en banc opinion, in U.S. v. Robinson that after a lawful traffic stop, police may frisk a person suspected of having a firearm, regardless of whether that person has a concealed carry permit. VSSA Life Member and Second Amendment attorney and scholar Steve Halbrook told NRATV on Wednesday that the overly broad decision effectively means that armed is dangerous.

In states like Maryland and New Jersey, as well as the District of Columbia, it is not uncommon for someone stopped for a routine traffic violation to be harassed by the police once they learn the individual is a concealed handgun permit holder.  Currently, the Virginia State Police inform out-of-state law enforcement inquiring during a traffic stop if an individual has a CHP. This ruling could make the practice of harassment by anti-gun law enforcement even more frequent.

There is an opportunity to keep this from occurring however. There is currently a bill in the General Assembly that would prohibit the Virginia State Police from sharing information on concealed handgun permit holders with states that do not have CHP reciprocity with Virginia.  A similar bill passed in the General Assembly last year but Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed the legislation.  VSSA will alert members if the bill passes the full legislature this year so you can contact the Governor and urge him to sign the bill.

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