Herring: Virginia law prohibits guns near voting locations during early voting

Herring: Virginia law prohibits guns near voting locations during early voting

Virginians will not be allowed to carry firearms near voting locations when early voting is in effect, according to Attorney General Mark Herring’s formal opinion regarding state law. Legislation signed into law this year prohibits the possession of firearms within 40 feet of a voting location beginning one hour before they open and ending one hour after they close. According to Herring’s opinion, this standard does not just apply to election day, but also to any day in which a location is accepting early votes. “It is my opinion that locations such as central absentee voter precincts, voter satellite offices and offices of general registrars that are used as the designated location for early voting are considered ‘polling places’ such that the prohibitions of [this law] apply,” Herring wrote. The attorney general said a polling place, as defined in the legislation, is any structure that contains a place provided for qualified voters to cast their ballots. His formal opinion does not constitute a legal order or amount to that of a judge’s ruling, but it does exist to provide guidance for enforcing the law correctly. Democrats overwhelmingly supported the legislation, arguing that it would prevent voter intimidation, but Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the bill, arguing that it would restrict the right to bear arms and could inadvertently lead to criminal charges against someone who possesses a firearm without knowing he is near a voting location. The law does state a person is only guilty if he knowingly possessed it near […]

Click here to view original web page at Herring: Virginia law prohibits guns near voting locations during early voting

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.