Virginia Legislation -- More Fire Missions for Virginia members.

This is a discussion on Virginia Legislation -- More Fire Missions for Virginia members. within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; From a VA-ALERT. [Re-posted with prior approval of VCDL] [First person singular pronouns (I, my, mine, etc) and PVC reference Philip Van Cleave, President VCDL] ...

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Thread: Virginia Legislation -- More Fire Missions for Virginia members.

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    Exclamation Virginia Legislation -- More Fire Missions for Virginia members.

    From a VA-ALERT.

    [Re-posted with prior approval of VCDL]

    [First person singular pronouns (I, my, mine, etc) and PVC reference Philip Van Cleave, President VCDL]

    **
    12 GUN BILLS TO BE HEARD TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25!

    Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25, 1/2 hour after the Senate adjourns, the Senate Courts of Justice is going to hear a bunch of gun bills and I will be there to speak on them. If you can make it to the committee hearing to show support (and put on a "Guns Save Lives" sticker), that would be great! The committee meets in Senate Room B on the ground floor of the General Assembly Building.

    SB 4, Senator Stuart, Castle Doctrine (VCDL is neutral)
    SB 64, Senator Stanley, Castle Doctrine (VCDL is neutral)
    SB 67, Senator Stanley, removes option for localities to fingerprint first time CHP applicants (VCDL Strongly Supports)
    SB 224, Senator Herring, makes it easier to disarm someone for LIFE who is convicted of MISDEMEANOR domestic violence (VCDL Strongly Opposes)
    SB 323, Senator Carrico, repeals One Handgun a Month (VCDL Strongly Supports)
    SB 379, Senator McEachin, makes private firearm sales illegal (VCDL Strongly Opposes)
    SB 429, Senator Ruff, streamlines the Virginia form used for purchasing firearms (VCDL Strongly Supports)
    SB 554, Senator Favola, disarms someone with an emergency protection order without due process (VCDL Strongly Opposes)
    SB 563, Senator Ruff, cleans up some minor issues in the concealed weapon code (VCDL Strongly Supports)
    SB 612, Senator Black, moves long gun to the federal NICS system from the Virginia Instant Check system to improve the amount of time needed to run background checks (VCDL Strongly Supports)
    SB 648, Senator McEachin, adds yet another penalty to a gun owner who is in possession of a gun while intoxicated (VCDL Strongly Opposes)
    SB 670, Senator Garrett, removes option for localities to fingerprint first time CHP applicants (VCDL Strongly Supports)


    ****************************************
    2. URGENT ACTION ITEMS!
    ****************************************

    Here are a bunch of automatic emails that you need to send ASAP in support of key bills that are on the move. Click on the link below each bill to send a message (that you can customize if you wish) to your Senator or Delegate, as appropriate. The system figures out who your legislator is based on your address and zip code.


    SENATE BILLS

    SB 67 and SB 670, Senators Stanley and Garrett, removes option for localities to fingerprint first time CHP applicants:

    VCDL's "Write Your Legislators" Tool

    -

    SB 324, Senator Carrico, state-agency preemption that makes gun laws across the Commonwealth consistent, a concept supported by Attorney General Cuccinelli:

    VCDL's "Write Your Legislators" Tool

    -

    SB 224, Senator Herring, makes it easier to disarm someone for LIFE who is convicted of MISDEMEANOR domestic violence (VCDL Strongly Opposes):

    VCDL's "Write Your Legislators" Tool

    -

    SB 323, Senator Carrico, repeals One Handgun a Month:

    VCDL's "Write Your Legislators" Tool

    -

    SB 379, SB 554, and SB 648, Senators McEachin and Favola, makes private gun sales illegal, disarms person with emergency protection order in residence of victim, and makes open carry while intoxicated yet another crime, respectively:

    VCDL's "Write Your Legislators" Tool

    -

    SB 612, Senator Black, requires that background checks for long guns be done by the federal NICS instead of the Virginia Instant Check System. This helps fix the extremely slow firearms background checks that gun owners in Virginia have been experiencing for the last several years:

    VCDL's "Write Your Legislators" Tool


    HOUSE BILL

    Let's let our Delegates know that we want to protect shooting ranges. Click on the link below to send a message to your Delegate about supporting HB 1114:

    VCDL's "Write Your Legislators" Tool

    -----

    The "Castle Doctrine" debate continues to heat up around the country and also here in Virginia. The Castle Doctrine basically says that a person has the right to defend themselves while in their own home (castle) and provides them special protections should they have to exercise that right.

    Virginia's self-defense laws are based on common law developed in case law over the last several hundred years. We have pretty good coverage for self-defense here in Virginia currently (many states who celebrated getting a Castle Doctrine law were not so lucky and desperately needed to improve their laws).

    Here is a summary of the current self-defense law in Virginia:

    Virginia is a stand-your-ground state. But not just in your "castle," but EVERYWHERE you might be. As long as you are not "part of the problem," you can stand your ground and defend yourself. If you end up killing your assailant, it is considered a "justifiable homicide." If you are part of the problem, say you yelled an expletive at someone who cut you off in traffic, and you are attacked, then you must retreat as far as you can, indicate you have given up the fight, and only if the assailant keeps up the attack, may you defend yourself. In that case if the assailant dies, it is considered an "excusable homicide." Also, you can only use deadly force to protect yourself or others when you reasonably fear death OR grievous bodily injury. You CANNOT use deadly force to protect property or against a trespasser.

    You might wonder why you have to retreat if you are part of the problem. That's to prevent someone intentionally murdering someone else and claiming self-defense. Let's say that John wanted to murder Jim. John could get a gun, keep it hidden and antagonize the hell out of Jim to the point that Jim might pickup something to attack John out of frustration or anger. John could then shoot Jim claiming "self-defense" since Jim had come at him with a baseball bat.

    Problem is that John had intentionally set up Jim to be murdered. By requiring the co-aggressor to retreat, the Commonwealth is trying to eliminate such a scenario.

    The push is to change the above into an actual hard-coded law. And that can be very tricky.

    Previous attempts to pass a Castle Doctrine bill have mostly centered around protecting someone in a dwelling from being sued if they have to defend themselves. The problem is that no one is being sued for such a thing. Why? Because lawyers would generally do that on contingency, most likely will lose the case under Virginia law, and they will then lose their investment. So there is no monetary incentive for lawyers to "ambulance chase" legitimate self-defense cases.

    An all-encompassing Castle Doctrine bill has been hashed around by the battery of lawyers who volunteer their time to VCDL. The bottom line is that it is hard to draft such a bill in a way that doesn't goof up our current legal protections. In that case we are better to do nothing than to make current law worse.

    Senator-elect Dick Black has been working with VCDL to draft a solid Castle Doctrine bill for the last couple of weeks. After much time spent going back and forth, Dick and I concluded that the best way to do a Castle Doctrine bill correctly is as follows:

    1. Draft a solid bill and put it on the VCDL website
    2. Encourage prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, Delegates, Senators, and any other legal professional to look at the bill and try to shoot holes in it
    3. Correct the daft for any found deficiencies and repost to the VCDL website
    4. In the fall of 2012, prepare the final, fully vetted bill to be drafted by Legislative Services and pre-filed for the 2013 General Assembly session

    There are going to be some Castle Doctrine bills put in by others. VCDL will support them, or stay neutral, as long as the bills do no harm. If they do have the potential to harm our current protections, then we will oppose them.
    **


    VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL).

    VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

    VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org [http://www.vcdl.org/]
    DC likes this.
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    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    I already sent my emails. Thanks for posting it for others tho. I hope they all fall in the way we want them to fall.
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    Crap! Just getting to read this thread, and had nothing to do today...could have showed up and supported.
    E-mails on the way...probably too late.

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    OGAM repeal advances.

    Virginia Senate panel backs repeal of one handgun a month restriction - wdbj7.com

    **
    Virginia Senate panel backs repeal of one handgun a month restriction

    Larry O'Dell Associated Press
    7:27 p.m. EST, January 25, 2012


    RICHMOND, Va. (AP)—
    A Senate committee has endorsed legislation to repeal Virginia's one-handgun-a-month law, but two other measures supported by gun-rights advocates have been carried over until next year.


    The Courts of Justice Committee voted 8-6 Wednesday to send Sen. Bill Carrico's one-handgun-a-month repeal to the Senate floor. The law was enacted nearly 20 years ago to curb illegal gun-running, but Carrico said it limits the exercise of law-abiding citizens' constitutional rights.


    SNIP
    **



    -----

    OTOH: Carrico's bill prohibiting colleges and other government bodies from regulating gun possession and the bill to exempt rifle and shotgun sales from State background checks were carried over until next year.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    DC
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    Thanks for the info. I've been sending those emails where it counts. There's much more work to be done.

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    I hope they don't repeal this...... Otherwise my credit cards will be maxed out!!!!!

    I hope you sense my sarcasm!
    Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room?--Chuck Swindoll

    Its not about guns...Its about Freedom!

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    1/25 update

    From a VA-ALERT.

    [Re-posted with prior approval of VCDL]

    **
    ****************************************
    1. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
    ****************************************

    Today the Senate Courts of Justice Committee heard a bunch of gun bills and some important ones, like the repeal of One Handgun a Month and repeal of Fingerprinting for CHP applicants, passed out of committee. Unfortunately, a few bad bills passed out, too, and a few good bills were moved to next year:

    SB 4, Senator Stuart, Castle Doctrine - Passed out of committee by 8 to 7!
    SB 64, Senator Stanley, Castle Doctrine - Rolled into SB 4, above.
    SB 67, Senator Stanley, removes option for localities to fingerprint first time CHP applicants - Passed out of committee by 8 to 6!
    SB 224, Senator Herring, makes it easier to disarm someone for LIFE who is convicted of MISDEMEANOR domestic violence - Passed out of committee. We will have to kill this bill on the Floor.
    SB 323, Senator Carrico, repeals One Handgun a Month - Passed out of committee by 8 to 6!
    SB 324, Senator Carrico, state agency preemption - Carried over to next year
    SB 379, Senator McEachin, makes private firearm sales illegal - passed by for the day.
    SB 429, Senator Ruff, streamlines the Virginia form used for purchasing firearms - passed by for the day.
    SB 554, Senator Favola, disarms someone with an emergency protection order without due process - Passed out of committee 9 to 6. We will have to kill this bill on the Floor.
    SB 563, Senator Ruff, cleans up some minor issues in the concealed weapon code - Passed by for the day.
    SB 612, Senator Black, moves long gun to the federal NICS system from the Virginia Instant Check system to improve the amount of time needed to run background checks - Carried over to next year.
    SB 648, Senator McEachin, adds yet another penalty to a gun owner who is in possession of a gun while intoxicated - passed by for the day
    SB 670, Senator Garrett, removes option for localities to fingerprint first time CHP applicants - Rolled into HB 67, above

    **

    VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL).

    VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

    VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org [http://www.vcdl.org/]
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    RTD article and poll re: OGAM

    http://tinyurl.com/6oq5n3t

    I voted. We are winning. Join in.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    Last Wednesday's Senate bills will have to be "reheard/revoted on"

    From a VA-ALERT.

    [Re-posted with prior approval of VCDL]

    [First person singular pronouns (I, my, mine, etc) and PVC reference Philip Van Cleave, President VCDL]

    **
    All the gun bills considered in the Senate Courts of Justice last Wednesday will have to be **reheard/revoted on** again!

    There is both danger and opportunity in this. A couple of bad bills got through that I would like to try killing again. And, of course, the pro-gun bills could be put in jeopardy.

    Senator Mark Obenshain sent this alert out:

    "An inadvertent breach of Senate Rules basically nullified everything the
    Courts of Justice Committee took up in a six hour marathon meeting on
    Wednesday, and we're still trying to sort out the carnage. The bills have to be
    taken up again, and some hard-fought victories will be revisited.
    One of those now-jeopardized victories dealt with repealing Virginia's
    constitutionally suspect "one gun a month" law, which interferes with the
    right of law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms. I certainly hope that, when
    we take the bill up again, we'll get another favorable committee vote -
    but I'd certainly rather not be doing this all over again. Plenty of people
    are upset right now, and understandably so. But that's life in the Senate of
    Virginia: never a dull moment."

    I will keep everyone posted as this mess works its way through the systems. This is the first time I've seen this happen.

    **

    VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL).

    VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

    VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org [http://www.vcdl.org/]
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    DC
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    RTD article and poll re: OGAM

    Senate panel backs repeal of one gun a month law | Richmond Times-Dispatch

    I voted. We are winning. Join in.
    Thanks and I did. 81% to 19%

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    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    Why in the heck is the VCL neutral on the Castle Doctrine? There are other laws that also need to be reformed such as not allowing CCing in churches or places of religious worship. It's disheartening to go to church while disarmed and difficult to focus on a religious service while unarmed. And the wording about good and sufficient reason is too vague to understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Storm View Post
    Why in the heck is the VCL neutral on the Castle Doctrine?
    Did you read the explanation on the OP in this thread?

    As I expanded elsewhere on this forum, this issue is a tricky issue here in Virginia.

    Our current self-defense "laws" are based on Common-law and case-law -- not statutory law. Some folk want to see it written out as approved. Here "if it ain't made illegal then it is Legal." That is especially true of a well established common law right.

    We have pretty good coverage for self-defense here in Virginia already.

    We are stand-your-ground Commonwealth.

    Common Law Elements for Use of Deadly Force in Self-defense:

    (1) unlawful threatener, i.e. aggressor is wrongdoer and you are innocent agent;

    (2) honest and reasonabe belief that you are subject to imminent harm, (reasonable because you need to be innocent and if not reasonable then negligent; imminent because if not you have a chance to get away. Subjective approach would allow everyone to claim justification at all times.);

    (3) force used must be proportionate (because the balance of evils must be positive)

    (4) Actor is not the original aggressor.
    Classic common law says if you are initial provoker you lose self-defense unless you communicate withdrawal.

    (5) No retreat requirement in most jurisdictions.
    Where retreat requirement exists it only holds if actor knows of a place to which he could retreat in complete safety.

    Note that there is no situs requirement.

    Existing Case-law establishes self-defense rules apply anywhere you are, not just in your home -- as long as you are not "part of the problem," you can stand your ground and defend yourself.

    We need to be very careful that each particular "Castle Doctrine" bill/statute does not diminish our right to self-defense outside the home or to any degree in the home for that matter.

    There are States that have very arbitrary boundaries to what is your "Castle" -- e.g., the perp is coming through the window but falls out-side when shot other States courts find that he was not all the way in your castle and therefore you could be in very deep Kimchi. Or say three perps are breaking into your house. One comes through the busted down front door. You open fire killing or injuring all three. In some States you are OK on the one actually inside but not for the two still outside (because the situs requirement of the statutory "Castle Doctrine" was not met) as they had not yet "unlawfully entered" your dwelling. Etc. Etc. ETC.

    FWIIW, I am personally concerned about the "unlawfully entered the dwelling AND committed an overt act" wording in some of the bills being considered.

    Under current Virginia Common-law and case-law I could have invited someone into my home. He/they subsequently went ballistic. If I reasonably fear death or grievous bodily injury to myself or others I am protected, were I to defend myself or someone else.

    However, the "and" in the "unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act" raises more than a little concern, IMHO. The courts interpret and's v. or's of statutes very literally. Aso, Courts do tend to look at new statutory law as "fixing" a problem in Common-law or case-law, redefining Common-law and case-law, etc. Hence, you might find that some of the bills, which happened to be improvements in other States are actually retreated here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    In fact some of the antis might well be looking forward to sme of these bills passing in anticipation of such a restraint on our rights to stand-your-ground,

    IMHO, there is no way the Virginia Legislature will follow the Texas model to allow the use deadly force to protect property or against a trespasser. Not for a few years anyhow. So if that is what you are talking about it is DOA, for now. Not likely in my lifetime. It would be a major expansion of Common law that I cannot see being signed into law, anytime soon.

    Here we can only use deadly force to protect ourselves or others when we reasonably fear death OR grievous bodily injury. However, as I said above, that applies anywhere -- in your Castle or in the yard, at the store, in the Wal~Mart parking lot, etc. etc. ETC.

    If you know of any cases, here in Virginia, where this Common law approach was not the decisions of the courts, please let me know.

    ----

    There are other laws that also need to be reformed such as not allowing CCing in churches or places of religious worship. It's disheartening to go to church while disarmed and difficult to focus on a religious service while unarmed. And the wording about good and sufficient reason is too vague to understand.
    The AG has opined that self-defense is good and sufficient reason in the meaning of:

    **
    18.2-283. Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship.


    If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
    **

    If it is not posted otherwise, carry is legal. I do.
    Last edited by DaveH; January 30th, 2012 at 03:29 PM. Reason: typos / reado proofos
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    Did you read the explanation on the OP in this thread?

    ----



    The AG has opined that self-defense is good and sufficient reason in the meaning of:

    **
    18.2-283. Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship.


    If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
    **

    If it is not posted otherwise, carry is legal. I do.
    I think this is an iffy issue and it would be best to consult a criminal lawyer on this. I can't assume I can carry and not willing to get caught and risk getting arrested by a sharp-eyed off-duty cop. It's also a complex issue if the church is part of and near a school property.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Storm View Post
    It's also a complex issue if the church is part of and near a school property.
    If the " place of worship" is in otherwise restricted situs, then the second restriction still applies. One OK for "x" doesn't trump an applicable "NO WAY" for "y."

    So don't expect to carry in / on most federal agency lands, State Forests, Wildlife Management Areas, a growing number of Universities, a Courthouses , a Detention Facilities, any K-12 school grounds or buildings or property used exclusively for K-12 school-sponsored functions, in Air carrier airport terminal buildings, or on private property when prohibited by owner (including a Church) -- even if you are there to attend a worship service.

    Not very complicated, IMHO.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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