Powerless No CCW Policy? VA University

This is a discussion on Powerless No CCW Policy? VA University within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm a student at Eastern VA Medical School in Norfolk and live in a relatively dangerous area. I'm not so much concerned with protecting myself ...

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    Member Array abigno99's Avatar
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    Powerless No CCW Policy? VA University

    I'm a student at Eastern VA Medical School in Norfolk and live in a relatively dangerous area. I'm not so much concerned with protecting myself at school, we have a very small campus and have our own police force with every entrance either locked or guarded. I am, however, concerned with walking to my house and to our parking garage. Both are a good distance from my main building with plenty of opportunity for BGs. Also note that I am often walking home or to the parking garage late at night, anywhere in the neighborhood of 10pm to 2 am, after a day of studying. My school has a weapons policy, but does NOT have a regulation.

    The policy states:
    It is the policy of EVMS that the possession, discharge, use, or storage of any weapon by students, employees, patients or visitors is strictly prohibited while on EVMS Premises.

    Please note the possession of a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon, does not exempt any person from this policy.
    www.evms.edu/media/evms_public/departments/police_and_public_safety/Weapons_-_Approved_5-8-12.pdf


    However, here is the opinion of VA AG Cuccinelli in 2011 regarding the University of Virginia's weapons policy:
    Under 18.2-308(0), persons with valid concealed carry permits may not, through a policy, as opposed to a regulation, be prohibited
    from exercising their right to carry a concealed handgun.
    oag.state.va.us/Opinions%20and%20Legal%20Resources/Opinions/2011opns/11-078-Hanger.pdf

    It would seem to me, that based on the opinion of the AG, I cannot be barred from carrying on school premises. Am I missing something? Or can I simply just ignore what seems to be a non enforceable policy.

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    Member Array CPO 15's Avatar
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    As a Va. Chief Parole Officer, I would mention an AG's opinion from time to time on sundry issues to my Circuit Judges and always got the same reply: "That's just another lawyer's opinion." It is advisory information at best, nothing to stake your future on. Carry at your own risk.

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    Member Array mjbeam's Avatar
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    My guess (and that's all it is) is that if caught carrying on the campus, you would probably not be charged with a crime (if there is no regulation) but you could be expelled from the school

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abigno99 View Post
    My school has a weapons policy, but does NOT have a regulation.

    The policy states:

    www.evms.edu/media/evms_public/departments/police_and_public_safety/Weapons_-_Approved_5-8-12.pdf
    Policy, regulation, edict, demand, whatever you want to call it ... Despite what the AG might say, the school almost certainly retains the right to eject you from the school if found with "weapons." Unless you can find a specific exception in the school's policies or the state law that bars such a school of this type from ejecting students under these conditions, I would only carry under that assumption: that if you get caught you'll likely be expelled for cause.

    Agree with the opinions that it likely wouldn't be criminal. But you'd likely no longer be in school. You'll need to determine if that's worth it to you, or whether some other defensive tools might be more suitable for the walk to/from campus from your car. You can have a lock-box inside your car, which might be enough for you to secure your firearm.
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    Member Array abigno99's Avatar
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    That's what I assumed. It's legal, but I could get kicked out. While the hospital certainly attracts all sorts of shady characters, it's only about a mile walk to my house and it's fairly safe. We have a crime viewer thing and in the past three months, there has only been a robbery and 3 larcenies in the area. It's definitely not worth getting expelled, so I will just make it a point that when I'm going somewhere other than school, I'll go home first and get my EDC. That shouldn't be hard since it's so close.

    Keeping it in a lockbox in my car is also another option. But I think the school might also own the parking garages. Would that be an issue? Of course it would be very hard to get caught there.

    It's frustrating, but there is certainly no hope of changing it.

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    Per the AG letter, if it is a policy of the school, it does not have the force of law. If caught, you can expect to be kicked out of school, but there is no criminal charges associated with it. If however the school makes it a regulation, then it does have the force of law and you can be prosecuted for it.
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    "If however the school makes it a regulation, then it does have the force of law and you can be prosecuted for it. "

    Since when did a school make legal statutes? VA legislature doesn't have a handle on that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    "If however the school makes it a regulation, then it does have the force of law and you can be prosecuted for it. "

    Since when did a school make legal statutes? VA legislature doesn't have a handle on that?
    It's a Virginia thing....no one understands.

    This was an issue in the past year, one of the bigger universities there changed its no gun rule from policy to regulation, and now it's a crime to carry.
    ~~~~~
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    Member Array mjbeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdprof View Post
    It's a Virginia thing....no one understands.

    This was an issue in the past year, one of the bigger universities there changed its no gun rule from policy to regulation, and now it's a crime to carry.
    Wow. What other powers do the schools in Virginia have? Can they make it a capital offense?

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    Member Array thebucketeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abigno99 View Post
    That's what I assumed. It's legal, but I could get kicked out. While the hospital certainly attracts all sorts of shady characters, it's only about a mile walk to my house and it's fairly safe. We have a crime viewer thing and in the past three months, there has only been a robbery and 3 larcenies in the area. It's definitely not worth getting expelled, so I will just make it a point that when I'm going somewhere other than school, I'll go home first and get my EDC. That shouldn't be hard since it's so close.

    Keeping it in a lockbox in my car is also another option. But I think the school might also own the parking garages. Would that be an issue? Of course it would be very hard to get caught there.

    It's frustrating, but there is certainly no hope of changing it.
    You need to be careful there too, I think. If the school owns the garage, then you would be subject to the same policies. Here in NE, storage in a locked container in a publicly accessible parking area is allowed in otherwise prohibited areas. That said, they are also clear that that doesn't exempt on against workplace policies. For example, I can go to a school and park in the lot with my weapon locked up in the car, but a teacher could be fired for having a weapon in the car since it violates the schools employment policy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbeam View Post
    My guess (and that's all it is) is that if caught carrying on the campus, you would probably not be charged with a crime (if there is no regulation) but you could be expelled from the school
    What exactly is the penalty if you're caught carrying? You didn't quote anything from the school regarding consequences.
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    Member Array abigno99's Avatar
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    It's very vague. So I'm lead to believe the consequences can be as severe as they so desire.

    Compliance is required by all students, employees, patients, and visitors. Students and
    employees who violate the policy will be required to remove their weapons from EVMS premises
    and are subject to disciplinary action. Visitors and patients found carrying weapons at EVMS will
    be asked to leave the premises with their weapons. Anyone refusing to leave will be subject to
    arrest and prosecution.
    Also note that according to the policy knives are forbidden. So a knife for the purposes of self defense would also not be allowed as far as I can tell.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abigno99 View Post
    It's very vague. So I'm lead to believe the consequences can be as severe as they so desire.

    Compliance is required by all students, employees, patients, and visitors. Students and
    employees who violate the policy will be required to remove their weapons from EVMS premises
    and are subject to disciplinary action. Visitors and patients found carrying weapons at EVMS will
    be asked to leave the premises with their weapons. Anyone refusing to leave will be subject to
    arrest and prosecution.
    Also note that according to the policy knives are forbidden. So a knife for the purposes of self defense would also not be allowed as far as I can tell.
    Well, that policy text isn't much different, really, than any state's basic statutes on pretty little signs and policies having no force of law. In most states that have such a stance in the statutes, employees/students are at risk of termination or expulsion, but visitors are simply asked to leave (who'll then be subject to criminal trespass charges if they refuse). Doesn't sound too bad, actually; not really out of line with other states.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Member Array mjbeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenGoodLuck View Post
    What exactly is the penalty if you're caught carrying? You didn't quote anything from the school regarding consequences.
    I don't generally include a lot of quotes when I am making a wild assed guess.

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    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    If you are caught carrying you can not be charged with a crime because it is not listed as a regulation as is UVA's. The downside is they can expell you. Right now you need to decide which is more important, your education or your carrying a firearm. Personally I would go with a police grade pepperspray or a personal taser or some other type of defensive weapon. You could also consider transferring to another school that will allow concealed carry but good luck with that one.

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