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Guns: Open Carry Now Legal in Virginia State Parks

Thirty-five state parks, millions of annual visitors.

A long-standing ban on openly carrying guns in state parks is being lifted today, which means that visitors at Mason Neck State Park no longer have to conceal their firearms.

Concealed carry (with a permit) has been allowed for some time.

According to WTOP, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell wrote a legal opinion on the matter in 2008 when he was the Virginia Attorney General. He argued that "the state Department of Conservation and Recreation doesn't have the authority to enforce a ban on openly carrying guns in parks."

Gov. Tim Kaine was in office at the time of the opinion and disagreed with McDonnell. “Through its explicit authority to maintain the safety of its parks and the power to prescribe rules ‘necessary and incidental’ to such authority, DCR has implicit authority to prohibit the open carrying of firearms,” he wrote in a 2009 letter to Joseph H. Maroon, then the director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, according to the Washington Times

So, what do you think? Tell us in the comments and vote in our Patch Poll. 

MIke May 09, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Wow, Anti gun folks still reference Kellerman's "study" even after the rest of acedemia disqualified it? http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/kellerman-schaffer.html M-Squared, maybe you should pick better, more factual sources to reference. I understand it will be difficult since they tend to prove that when gun laws like this come off the books people are safer. As for your AK47 comment, ANY gun can be used to hunt with, they all do the same thing. Some just have larger capacities... But I think the point that you were attempting to make was that AK47's are not ideal for hunting, and you are correct. They are ideal at protecting your right to criticize guns, and firearm owners from those in government who would infringe on either right. Keep the hoodies for yourself, we'll keep our rights, and liberty.
Locally Involved May 09, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Actually, what I was saying is that hunting is a skill. You don't need skill when plastering Bambi with thousands of rounds of ammunition to bring down the animal. It takes skill to use a hunting rifle, bow & arrow, whatever. I do feel such pity for those that live in such fear as to feel it necessary to feel secure with a firearm for no other reason than to take another life. I've travelled many countries and just about every state in the US. Every type of economic environment and have yet to find a need to carry a firearm as a private citizen. Sad that those that proclaim that more guns, more nukes, more war makes for more safety, less crime - whatever the justification is - just comes down to what makes each of you feel safe, irrelevant of the actual outcome. There is no definitive argument on either side that has come out. We choose our facts based upon our beliefs rather than allowing facts to shape our beliefs. None of you have yet to present any data that proves to me that my life is safer because you own a gun. I do not feel safe because of a firearm at the ready of anyone who is not a trained professional (military, police). Just because you've had a lesson, doesn't mean you're trained. Just means you can shoot. Sad. Really just makes me want to buy you all hoodies.
MIke May 09, 2012 at 08:18 PM
M-Squared.. If I'm hunting Bambi (which I enjoy doing) then why would I put thousands of rounds into an animal which I intend on consuming? All those rounds would ruin the meat. But you knew that of course, being aware of that hunting takes skills ;) I'm sorry you feel 'pity' for those that live in 'fear', but, I'll be honest with you, I carry a firearm every day (most of the time openly) and in reality, I don't live in fear, BECAUSE I carry a handgun. Now, don't take that statement and think that I go around 'cocky' with a firearm. I still stay out of bad neighborhoods, don't go to places that I know are visited by criminals, and don't hang out with people that make poor judgements. I carry a firearm, and hope to never need it. I don't feel any pity for anyone that keeps a fire extinguisher in their kitchen, even though of all the kitchens I have ever been in, and cooked in, I've never had a fire. I don't feel pity for all those people that drive around in their cars equipped with airbags, wearing seat belts, that never once crash into anything, or have anything crash into them. I don't feel pity for all those cruise ships, and boats that have life vests on board, and never sink. Just because you have never needed a firearm in your travels, and have been fortunate enough to have never been a victim of a violent crime does not mean that you should think others would not need a firearm to protect themselves.
MIke May 09, 2012 at 08:33 PM
M-Squared.. I've never said 'more war makes for more safety' and I've reference several sources for you to educate yourself with the facts. It does not come down to what 'makes me feel safe' it boils down to FACTS and facts show that more citizens legally carrying firearms = less crime. You say you do not feel safe if you see a firearm in the hands of anyone that is not a trained professional? How about this trained professional... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7ufT_6Kgy0 Now, I'm not cop bashing, but when a 'trained' DEA agent ends up shooting himself in a classroom full of students, it invalidates the argument that only the police and military should have guns. Lets not get into what can happen to our freedoms when only the police and military have guns, or shall we ask the Jews that survived the holocaust about how the Nazi's seized their guns, and then packed them like sardines onto boxcars to be shipped off like cattle. Whats sad is, even after giving you references (which you ignored) you still press your failed argument, and your 'hoodie' reference.
230 Grains of Therapy May 13, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Section 13 of the constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia guarantees/acknowledges the right to keep and bear arms. It does not say we have the right to keep and bear arms except where government officials decide otherwise.

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