Virginia Court of Appeals: Circuit Courts Cannot Require a Photo ID with a Concealed Handgun Permit Application
December 5th, 2016
AUGUST 14, 2017, UPDATE: Please see this blog post for the most recent change in photo IDs and CHP applications.
VIRGINIA BEACH — DECEMBER 5, 2016: Robert Herron Law, P.C., is proud to announce that the Virginia Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of our client in a case challenging whether the Norfolk Circuit Court can require a photo ID as part of a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) application. The Court of Appeals held that circuit courts cannot require a photo ID to be submitted with a completed CHP application.
This case is significant because several circuit courts across Virginia continue to impose additional requirements on CHP applicants, even though Virginia law specifically prohibits courts from requiring applicants to produce anything other than what is required by the code and on the application.
The case started when Kenneth Richards attempted to renew his concealed handgun permit with the Norfolk Circuit Court. After Richards submitted his completed application, the court requested that Richards provide a copy of his photo ID. Richards refused to provide a photo ID, and he even quoted the relevant statute to explain why he would not provide a photo ID.
After the circuit court denied his application, Richards appealed to the Court of Appeals. On October 31, 2016, the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled in Richards’ favor, holding that the Norfolk Circuit Court was not permitted to require a photo ID as part of a completed CHP application. The Court of Appeals also ordered that Richards’ application should be processed without a photo ID, as he originally submitted it.
“Hopefully, this will prevent someone else from having to go through the same thing,” said Richards. “The law is clear. They are not allowed to require additional information. Surely a court should follow the law? It’s that simple.”
Richards’ attorney, Robert Herron, of Virginia Beach, says this case is important because of the principle. “Virginia is a ‘shall-issue’ state,” according to Herron. “The legislature has said courts cannot set their own standards for a concealed handgun permit. A photo ID might not seem that important, but it could get worse and worse, to the point that an individual judge might arbitrarily choose which people can defend themselves. That’s not how it works in Virginia.”
Robert Herron Law, P.C., practices criminal defense and firearms law throughout Virginia.