Why did you veto SB 476 while signing SB 776 into law? You previously stated firearms and alcohol should not be mixed but you are letting them mix for commonwealth attorneys. SB 476 would allow CHP holders to carry concealed in ABC-licensed restaurants with certain provisions. SB 776 excludes commonwealth attorneys from the concealed carry law (§ 18.2-308) so they can carry nearly anywhere in the state.
After SB 776's passage, § 18.2-308 reads as:
- Paragraph A forbids carrying concealed weapons, defines what are weapons, and defines the penalties for violating this section.
- Paragraph B states that, except for subsection J1, § 18.2-308 does not apply to "any attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth, wherever such attorney may travel in the Commonwealth."
- Subsection J1 forbids being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs and establishes the penalties for being so. Note subsection J1 does not define what constitutes "under the influence" so someone could have one glass of wine with dinner and still be legal.
So, Governor Kaine, why is it acceptable for commonwealth attorneys to carry concealed in a ABC-licensed restaurant but unacceptable for regular citizens?
If I am incorrectly reading the revised § 18.2-308, please detail how I am incorrect (to include pertinent VA code).