FRANKFORT – Leaders from both parties came together on the Senate floor today to condemn Virginia’s recent decision to stop recognizing Kentucky concealed carry permits by passing a joint resolution condemning the move.
Senate Joint Resolution 36 urges Virginia, which borders Eastern Kentucky, to restore a so-called reciprocal agreement that allowed Kentucky concealed carry permit holders to legally carry a concealed firearm in Virginia. The resolution passed by a by a 37-1 vote.
“The governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the attorney general have arbitrarily and unilaterally made a determination that the Commonwealth of Virginia would no longer recognize Kentucky’s concealed carry permits,” said Democratic Floor Leader Ray S. Jones II of Pikeville. “Now, this is a significant problem for Kentuckians, particularly those of us from Eastern Kentucky who, when we travel south, have to travel through the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Republican Floor Leader Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown joined Jones as a primary sponsor of the resolution. Eighteen other senators were cosponsors.
“Tens of thousands of Kentuckians, law-abiding citizens, have been trained and permitted to carry firearms for personal protection and defense of their family,” Jones said. “As we see so many mass shooting and terrorist attacks on American soil, I believe it is vitally important that Americans have the right to protect themselves, their families and their friends.”
Jones, a licensed NRA firearms instructor, said Kentucky’s concealed carry law has been a model since its inception and that Kentucky concealed carry holders are not the ones committing mass shootings.
“Gun violence is a problem in this country,” he said. “It is a horrific problem in this country … but the question is how do you address the violence. Do you address it by infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens? I don’t believe that is the answer.”
SJR 36 now goes to the House for consideration.