Valley gun shop owner reacts to Virginia concealed carry bills

Published: Feb. 1, 2017 at 5:00 PM EST
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Several bills making their way through the Virginia General Assembly this session could impact laws surrounding concealed carry permits.

One of those, House Bill 1582, would allow those under the age of 21 serving in the military or honorably discharged from service, to apply for a permit. Currently, Virginia residents must be 21 or over.

Shane Farren, the owner of Shane's Firearm Destination on N. Liberty St. in Harrisonburg, said he can understand the rationale of those supporting the legislation.

"An individual can go fight for the military, go overseas and carry a handgun and then be able to come back into the civilian world and not be able to carry a handgun. It seems ironic that they'd be allowed to do it for their country, yet not come home and do it for themselves," said Farren.

Farren, who has owned his own business for around a year, feels the current process for obtaining a concealed carry permit is strong enough in the Commonwealth to allow the younger applicants with military experience.

"It's the individual that makes the difference, not so much the age," said Farren.

The bill, sponsored by six GOP representatives, passed the house in January by a wide margin: 78-19. For the past two weeks, it has been under review by the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice.

Several other bills have been proposed that would impact concealed carry laws in the Commonwealth: