Prince William Co. leaders debate plan for free concealed handgun permits

WASHINGTON — A plan to offer concealed handgun permits for free in Prince William County, Virginia, has been turned down by county supervisors.

Board Chairman Corey Stewart made the proposal to eliminate the county’s $50 fee.

“We’re charging individuals to practice their rights that were given to them not by government, but by God,” he said during Tuesday’s meeting.

Supervisor Frank Principi said Stewart has it wrong.

“The Second Amendment does not give us a constitutional right to conceal.  It’s two different things,” he argued.

Prince William County Sheriff Glen Hill is concerned that making the permits free would trigger a big increase in permit applications.

“I would come back to the board and ask for a full-time position or part-time positions, whatever I need to process the applications,” the sheriff told the board.

Other supervisors voiced concerns about replacing the money that the permit fees generate, a good portion of which goes to the sheriff’s department.

Supervisor Martin Nohe supports Stewart’s idea, but said more time is needed.

“I would love to be able to do this, but I don’t believe that we’re ready to do it,” he said.

Stewart’s plan and even a plan to vote on it at a later time, failed.

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