BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today commended Virginia Gov. Mark Warner for signing a bill that expands Virginia’s state pre-emption law, eliminating a checkerboard of inconsistent local regulations that caused undue confusion for legally-licensed citizens.

“Gov. Warner proved that he is a man of his word,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “He campaigned as a pro-gun rights Democrat, and so far, he’s done nothing to suggest otherwise.

“This legislation,” Waldron continued, “is a victory for gun owners in the Old Dominion, and particularly for the hard-working activists in the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League. More importantly, though, it is a victory for all Virginians who believe that the fundamental right of self-defense should not be encumbered by local jurisdictions that have passed regulations sometimes contrary to state statute.”

Under House Bill 1516, citizens licensed to carry concealed handguns in Virginia will not face prosecution for violating local ordinances that regulate the possession, carrying or transport of a firearm. The legislation does not prohibit the establishment of local workplace rules, nor will it keep a peace officer from carrying out his duties.

“It is so important for law-abiding, licensed gun owners to know that they will not be violating any local ordinances,” Waldron observed. “Gov. Warner’s signature on HB 1516 will assure that.

“Many Virginia gun owners were admittedly skeptical about Gov. Warner’s campaign pronouncements regarding gun rights,” Waldron recalled. “Too often, politicians have claimed to support the right of citizens to hunt and own firearms for self-defense, only to forget those pledges once the election is finished. Happily, Gov. Warner is not among them.

“HB1516 is a sensible measure, and signing it was the responsible thing to do,” Waldron concluded. “It is just plain common sense to have uniform statewide law, and time will prove the governor’s action to have been right.”