Friday, January 8, 2010

CCW Holders To Get "Express Lanes"

In Virginia, the General Assembly is in session. Firearms are allowed in the state capitol (everywhere except the executive mansion) and the Virginia Citizens' Defense League is ramping up for "Lobby Day", when VCDL members by the hundreds take the day off and travel to Richmond to tell their representatives their views on the issues. This year, according to the email I just received from VCDL President Philip Van Cleave, everybody but CCW holders will have to pass through metal detectors:

I talked to the Capitol Police today and they confirmed that concealed handgun permit holders who do not have large items that need to be scanned will have an express entrance to the General Assembly!

Those who qualify for the express entrance will use the entrance on the west side of the building (facing 9th street). Have your permit and photo ID ready when you enter by that door. If you have items that need to be scanned, they request you use the normal south side entrance.

This is the way the world should work!


Old NFO said...

Neat! For once we won't be second class citizens... :-)

Newbius said...

See you there!

James E. Griffin said...

The Virginia legislature and Capitol Police have, in my experience, been very decent to gun-toting citizens.

I'm rather well known in legislative sessions, and one of the Brady Bunch, years ago, trying to cause trouble, reported me as "A man with a gun." Capitol sergeant comes over with a couple of officers, checks me out, dispatch over the radio says the immortal words, "Concealed carry permit confirmed." Off I go, doing the political thing, waving to the Brady Bunch every time I saw them.

After that, which had to be 15 years ago and more, Capitol Police are more likely than not to ask me about what's the best concealment options for different guns, why I carry what I carry, can I get them better body armor, and will I show them how I carry and conceal mine.

One day, back when George Allen was Governor, I'm standing at one of the capital building side entrance metal detectors, surrounded by Capitol Police. We're discussing clothing options for concealed carry, and what we're each carrying. We're all trying to out-do one another in safe gun handling procedures, while a sergeant is checking how my now unloaded custom 1911 fits his hands, when a Very senior legislative member comes over to see what's up. Sergeant hands him my 1911, slide locked back, with my permission. Legislator properly checks the chamber, no magazine, and eases slide into battery, then checks the trigger job. To this day, I remember the smile on his face when the gun went click. He hands me my .45, and promptly shows us a classic Smith that he carried, while telling all of us stories of when he carried a 1911a1 in WWII.

A few years later that legislator reminded me of what I did afterward. As I was getting ready to re-load my carry gun, right there in the corridor of the Capitol Building, I started looking around, and said "Hmm, safe direction... safe direction - AH, baseboard." The cops and the legislator respected my safe gun handling, but expected no less.

A couple of years later, one of the legislators had a negligent discharge in his office. Thankfully, only the coat rack was hit. While the media made a big deal out of it, I and several others quietly talked to said legislator on safe gun handling procedures. He hasn't had one since.

I'll assure folks that, during our legislative sessions, the Capitol Building, and the legislative office building are among the safest places places a body could be.