Ramsey: TN should spurn Virginia handgun permits

Gun owners and police in the City of Bristol, which straddles the Tennessee-Virginia border, see problems ahead when Virginia in February stops honoring handgun carry permits issued in Tennessee, according to WCYB-TV.

Among those unhappy is Tennessee’s Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who says Tennessee should now stop honoring Virginia handgun carry permits.

State Street divides Virginia and Tennessee (in Bristol). Soon that could mean gun carrying residents on the south side of the street become criminals on the north side.

“This is just the start of the criminalization of gun owners,” said Bristol attorney E. Lynn Dougherty, who said he was legally packing heat under his jacket while talking with News 5. “I take one step to my left and I am a criminal. I go from a law abiding citizen to a criminal.”

Bristol, Virginia Police will be tasked with enforcing the law on the north side of State Street, including during next year’s Rhythm and Roots festival. News 5 talked with Captain Maynard Ratcliff. “It makes it hard for us and it makes it hard for the citizens themselves.”

…Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced the decision Tuesday. (Note: His press release is HERE.) “Virginia law does not allow the accepting of lower standards of other states and I am going to make sure the law is enforced.”

Herring says many states allow convicted drug dealers, and rapists, as well as mentally impaired people to carry guns. This decision prevents them from legally getting permits in other states and bringing them into the Commonwealth. Concealed carry permits will no longer be honored in 25 states, including Tennessee. Virginia will still recognize five states. And six states will no longer honor Virginia’s, because of laws requiring mutual recognition of permits.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey calls it a “slap in the face”. “Put it this way, I won’t be shopping at exit 5 (or) exit 7 anymore,” Ramsey said.

“Obviously reciprocity goes both ways. If they do not recognize our gun permits then we will not recognize Virginia’s gun permits. If that takes legislation, you will see that happen. But I’m not even sure that takes legislation.”

Hat tip: Jeff Woods