|September 25, 2002, 11:21 PM||#1|
Join Date: June 29, 2001
Location: Alexandria, VA
(VA) Gov. Warner overturns CCW ban in state parks
Our Democratic governor continues to prove his pro-gun stance wasn't just election hype. (I'm still amazed.) There's a story in the Daily Press which quotes the VCDL:
Here's the AP story which includes some Brady Bunch whining:
Warner accepts Kilgore ruling allowing concealed weapons in parks
Associated Press Writer
Sep 25, 2002
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Mark R. Warner has signed off on a state attorney general's opinion that the Department of Conservation lacks the authority to bar people with concealed weapons permits from carrying firearms into state parks.
In a letter Monday to Conservation and Recreation Department Director Joseph H. Maroon, Warner deferred to Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore's opinion that holders of valid permits should be allowed to go armed in the parks.
Kilgore's opinion, issued earlier this month, held that Virginia's concealed weapons law permitted firearms to be banned only at schools, churches, courthouses, establishments that hold alcoholic beverage licenses and private property where owners object.
There's no statutory concealed weapons ban for parks, and a state agency can't put one in place through a regulation, the attorney general's office reasoned.
While Warner told Maroon he could no longer enforce the firearms ban, he said he expected aggressive enforcement of laws against pointing or brandishing a gun in a reckless or menacing way, or shooting a gun in a public gathering.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence promptly criticized the Democratic governor's order.
"If Mr. Warner thinks parks are bound by the attorney general's opinion, then we expect him to use the power of his office to change that through the Legislature, and we remind him that not doing so will alienate a lot of his base, especially here in northern Virginia," said Nancy Hwa, a spokeswoman for the Brady Campaign in Washington.
Kilgore, a Republican, issued his opinion after Del. Richard H. Black, R-Loudoun, asked him in May to reconsider an opinion interim Attorney General Randolph A. Beales issued in July 2001 upholding the department's ban on guns in state parks.
"I felt it was so obviously incorrect that I asked for reconsideration," Black said.
Should Warner or anyone else try to amend the law to ban guns in parks, Black said he would have plenty of help killing it in a strongly pro-gun House of Delegates next winter.
The National Rifle Association praised Kilgore's ruling and Warner's decision to not contest it.
"Just because an individual or a family may be in a state park, it doesn't mean they're more immune to an attack. It's important for any law-abiding individual to defend himself and his loved ones whenever or wherever the need may arise," said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.
Libertarian for Bush '04