When Virginia became the first state in the nation to authorize concealed weapons permits on a massive scale, conservative legislators and gun lobbyists claimed the new law would protect Joe and Josephine Public from heavily armed criminals. But how much will it cost for Virginia to protect itself from armed citizens? In the case of Alexandria County: $280,000. That’s what the sheriff’s department spent to install two metal detectors and one X-ray scanner in the county courthouse. Fearing that Virginians would show up at the courthouse armed with new legal rights and the weapons to match, sheriffs tightened security a week before the concealed-carry law went into effect. The machines have nabbed several citizens attempting to bring weapons inside the courthouse; the guns are confiscated and returned to visitors to conceal anew when they leave.