For Immediate Release: March 12, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Vetoes Bill to Issue De Facto Concealed Handgun Permits

RICHMOND—Governor Northam today vetoed House Bill 2253, which would jeopardize public safety by requiring the Virginia Department of State Police to issue a de facto nonresident concealed handgun permit if the agency fails to complete its review of an application within 90 days. The Governor’s veto statement is below.

March 12, 2019

Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2253, which would create public safety concerns, place an arbitrary and overly burdensome mandate on the Virginia Department of State Police, and irresponsibly utilize taxpayer dollars to prioritize nonresident applications over resident needs.

This legislation has significant public safety implications, as it would require the Virginia Department of State Police to issue a de facto nonresident concealed handgun permit if the agency fails to complete its review of an application within 90 days. This not only places an arbitrary and burdensome mandate on the Virginia Department of State Police, but would also undoubtedly result in ineligible nonresidents obtaining permits. In order to protect public safety, it is critical that the Virginia Department of State Police be afforded the necessary time to review all available criminal history information and fully investigate each application.

Additionally, this legislation would force the Virginia Department of State Police to use already limited staff and taxpayer dollars to expedite processing of nonresident requests to meet this unreasonable requirement. As governor, it is my responsibility to ensure good stewardship of taxpayer dollars and resources.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.

Sincerely,

 

Ralph S. Northam

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