Sheriff explains that Virginia law does not prevent wearing a mask while carrying concealed
Since Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced
earlier this week to require masks within Virginia's businesses, people have had a lot of questions about it.
Many of those have been related to how
will be enforced by the health department, which the governor and his legal counsel addressed in-depth at
But another relates to how the order affects current Virginia law against wearing masks while carrying concealed weapons.
Shortly after the governor announced Virginia's mask order, a number of people shared posts on social media insinuating that it would be illegal for people carrying concealed to wear a facial covering at the same time.
But that's simply not true, because Virginia is under a state of emergency due to COVID-19.
On Tuesday, the governor extended Virginia's state of emergency from an expiration date of June 10 to make it indefinite, which he said will help the state continue being able to work with the National Guard for testing and continue being able to cover telehealth with Medicaid.
Northam had already addressed earlier in the pandemic that under the public health emergency, Virginia's
would not be enforced by Virginia State Police or local law enforcement.
After receiving numerous questions if wearing a face covering would actually violate Virginia code while carrying a concealed weapon, Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith issued a lengthy statement explaining why that's not the case on Thursday evening.
Sheriff Smith says wearing a face mask that covers your nose and mouth while carrying a weapon is not a violation of Virginia code because it's due to a state of emergency and due to orders from the governor.
Below is the full section of applicable of Virginia Code: