McAuliffe defends ban on guns in state buildings

WASHINGTON — After gun rights supporters criticized Virginia’s ban on guns in state office buildings at a public hearing this week, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the change he announced last year will remain in place.

“Of course it’s going forward, I did an executive order a year ago. We need to do everything we can to keep our communities safe. In our state office buildings, nobody needs to walk in with a firearm,” he said after WTOP’s “Ask the Governor.”

While some gun control advocates spoke in favor of the ban, other speakers at the public hearing raised concerns about leaving their guns in their cars.

“You do not need a firearm in our state office buildings. I had many complaints from individuals who were concerned that people were carrying firearms into the building, they just don’t need it and it’s a good policy,” McAuliffe said.

Asked whether the policy could be applied differently in more urban, suburban or rural parts of the state, McAuliffe said “the Commonwealth of Virginia is one commonwealth. What effects state buildings in Bath County, effects state buildings in Richmond, effects Northern Virginia.”

The Department of General Services is accepting comments on the permanent proposed regulation through Oct. 21.

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