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PilotOnline.com: Memo: No guns allowed at McAuliffe inauguration Print


Created:  Monday, January 6, 2014  11:48AM


Virginia legislators who lawfully carry concealed handguns at the state Capitol can't bring them to Virginia's inauguration Saturday due to stricter U.S. Secret Service security protocols due to the attendance of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

As The Virginian-Pilot reported Saturday, the former president and his wife, a past U.S. senator and secretary of state, plan to be at the Jan. 11 ceremony in Richmond for the swearing in of their longtime friend, Terry McAuliffe, as the state's 72nd governor.

Because of that, House of Delegates Clerk G. Paul Nardo in an email Friday advised members of the100-seat House of "special, one-time security arrangements" similar to those when Queen Elizabeth II visited the Capitol in 2007.

Those arrangements include a ban on all weapons.

Other prohibited items are: biological, chemical, radiological or other hazardous materials; toy weapons; fireworks; pepper spray or mace; multi-purpose tools; screwdrivers; needles or razor blades; laser pointers or air horns; and soda cans.

Nardo's email noted a restriction on umbrellas could be lifted depending on the weather.

Normally, lawmakers and citizens are permitted to legally posses firearms on the state grounds; many gun rights advocates take advantage of that policy when they visit the Capitol for rallies and legislative hearings.

While it's unclear how many lawmakers carry concealed handguns at the Capitol, one lawmaker wants to prevent them from bringing them into the House Chamber.

The Virginian-Pilot editorial board recently wrote about a bill from Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington County, to prohibit that. Hope's measure is unlikely to find much traction in the Republican-controlled House.