Once again, a bill has been introduced to repeal the prohibition against civilian CHP holders from CC in restaurants that serve alcohol. For several years, the legislature has approved similar efforts, only to have the Governor veto them. We have anticipated that this measure would pass with the continued support of the legislature and a new, more sympathetic Governor.
Virginia law also prohibits carry, open or concealed, "without good and sufficient reason," in a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held. Good and sufficient reason is not defined. This year, the effort to allow CC in restaurants has been tied to an ill-crafted effort to allow CC in churches.
The proposed change to the law on carry in churches is in italics.
Currently, if my non-religious group is meeting in a classroom at a church while a religious meeting is occurring anywhere else in the church, I'm not supposed to carry without "good and sufficient reason" (whatever the law determines that to be, after the fact).If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit from carrying a concealed handgun during a meeting for religious purposes with permission of the leader of the meeting.
If this poorly written measure were to take effect, then, my situation would not change, but someone with a CHP who was attending the religious meeting could CC with the permission of that group's leader.
Sigh. I hate it when people combine separate measures into one bill. A friend of mine is a lobbyist for gun rights, here, and I know for a fact that a number of legislators support allowing CC in restaurants, but do not think guns have any place in church.
It ticks me off that a near certain victory would be tied to something that is much less likely to pass. It also ticks me off that a legislator would introduce something so narrowly defined and myopic. I really wish these had been introduced separately. Further, I wish, if they were going to change the law on carry in church, that they had eliminated it, entirely, as they propose to do with the law on CC in restaurants. As far as I know, churches are private property, and the decision to allow or disallow carry on church property should be up to each private church, not the government.
Next Monday is Lobby Day, and I intend to submit two proposed bills to my legislators - one to eliminate the prohibition against CC in restaurants, and another to get government out of the churches. I hope it is not too late to introduce new bills for this session.