Legislation that took effect this week, known as the “guns in bars” measure now allows Virginians to carry their firearms into bars as long as they aren’t drinking. Just one in many gun laws taking effect across the country, this one has almost made it on the books several times before only to be vetoed.
Governor Mc Donnell made it official after his predecessor had stopped the measure in its tracks twice before. According to the Washington Post, former Governor Timothy Kaine, a Democrat, vetoed the “guns in bars” measure two times in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007.
Now, however, Virginians can carry their weapons with them, even in to bars and restaurants, as long as they aren’t drinking. Gun rights advocates did just that when the law went into effect, taking to bars and restaurants across the states with their weapons on their hips.
This move towards more lenient gun laws comes in the wake of the landmark Supreme Court decision of McDonald v. Chicago, decided last month. This case found the Chicago hand gun ban to be in violation of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and opened the flood gate to more lenient laws across the country.
The Supreme Court decision said that such bans were an unreasonable infringement on the right to bear arms. While states and cities can enact reasonable regulations, they cannot restrict the right altogether. The “guns in bars” law in Virginia is, no doubt, one of many to come across the country.
This doesn’t mean, however, that anyone can carry any weapon at any time. Virginia still has plenty of laws on the books that regulate just how citizens can exercise their right to bear arms. And it’s still quite easy to run afoul of these laws and face criminal charges.
Whether you are charged with carrying a concealed weapon or being in possession of a firearm as a felon, you are facing some serious penalties. Months behind bars and a permanent criminal record can follow you for discharging a firearm on accident or carrying a weapon where you weren’t supposed to.
If you are facing criminal weapons charges, our attorneys can help. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case and how we can go about getting you the best results possible in court on any criminal charge.