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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure I know the answer to this, so consider this more a frustrated post than really a question.

After speaking with the wife and having her agree that she wouldn't mind me carrying concealed to church (as long as it wasn't exposed...duh!), it occurred to me that I just "won" a moot discussion since my church also has an elementary school attached, within the 1000 feet covered by law. Darn it! Even though it's a Sunday, and no school activities are going on, I can't carry -- correct?
 

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Virginia has no 1000 foot rule. There is a federal 1000 foot rule, but that excludes those authorized by the state to carry a firearm (you).

Virginia does say you can't carry in a church without "good and sufficient reason." There is no definition for good and sufficient.

Carrying without good and sufficient reason is a minor crime punishable by a $100 fine.
 

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The fact that there is a school affiliated with the church is a moot point. VA law prohibits carrying at a place of worship.

Class 4 Misdemeanor ♦ Carrying a firearm into a place of worship without good cause (§ 18.2-283).
 

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The fact that there is a school affiliated with the church is a moot point. VA law prohibits carrying at a place of worship.
so it doesn't prohibit carry in church, you just have to have good and sufficient reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Virginia has no 1000 foot rule. There is a federal 1000 foot rule, but that excludes those authorized by the state to carry a firearm (you).
I thought VA allowed CC only in a car on school grounds, with a permit. If I leave the car, I have to leave the gun unloaded and locked up in the car. If I can't walk around the school grounds (e.g., ball field) with a concealed gun, how can I walk across a shared parking lot and into a building that's within 1000' of the school?

From the NRA site for VA:

"It is unlawful to carry any firearm at any time in
any elementary, junior high, or high school, or on such
school property or discharge a firearm on school grounds
or within 1,000 feet of school property, except as part of
the curriculum or other school-sponsored program of any
organization permitted by the school. Firearms may be
possessed in a vehicle if unloaded and locked in a closed
container or vehicle trunk.

Any person with a concealed handgun permit may
carry a concealed handgun onto school property while in
a vehicle to drop off or pick up a child, only if the permit
holder remains in the vehicle with the handgun completely
concealed."
 

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Discussion Starter #6
so it doesn't prohibit carry in church, you just have to have good and sufficient reason.
And there are plenty of "good and sufficient reasons" in the paper regularly. I am comfortable with that condition.
 

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Contact Your Attorney General

I'm an NJ resident with a valid FL permit. BEFORE I travel to states with reciprocity (I can't carry in my home state of NJ... DUH!) I ALWAYS contact the state's Attorney General. If you have questions about the Law, contact your State AG or contact a lawyer that specializes in firearms law. Don't trust a fellow blogger... He won't be in Court with you... And remember, the AG covers CRIMINAL LAW... someone can always sue you in CIVIL court...
 

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How does CASE LAW define "good and sufficient reasons"? THAT'S the standard... NJ says I can obtain a permit if I have sufficient reasons... Which they define as repeated, reported, documented threats personally against one's life... NOT a history of violence in a neighborhood or newspaper articles... BE CAREFUL or they'll make YOU out to be the criminal...
 

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I only read MN, UT, and FL law. Here in MN it's OK to carry with a permit in a school or day care with written permission from the principal or day care director. This possibly might include a Sunday school director or the pastor, if church schools are lumped in with the meaning of "school." Most churches (minus 3 in MPLS-STP) proper are OK unless they post signs. There is a Sunday school in most churches I know, but MN permit law doesn't mention them at all when it addresses school prohibitions. Study the law in your state, and ask the AG to clarify any questions. You don't want to be party to the court case that tries to sort this out. I will pose this great question to our AG as well.
 

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Good cause

Good cause doesn't mean "sufficient reason". Good cause is a legally sufficient reason, which may not be the same as a sufficient reason. Sadly in this situation the merits of the matter would determine whether there was good cause. If you are being stalked, you have been the target of repeat violence, or you have an injunction out against someone, those may qualify as good cause. while I would argue that wanting to protect yourself qualifies as good cause, based on the language of the statute, it looks like that isn't enough. It is already understood that self-defense is a reason to carry a firearm, and the statute here sill demands good cause. I think that statute should be reconsidered.
 

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does the "private" nomenclature of a church school matter? What about the separation of church and state? the state is here declaring, like in GA and VA, you can't do something in a "church" setting? Violates it to me and I may be willing to fight that one if need be. Also what if you are the pastor, technically that is your place of work? I understand public schools, they are gov't run which explains why the president can shut it down and make a speech but the others are private and may even be title 9?
 

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Is this 1,000' law you refer to something Virginia has on the books because the one passed in 1990 was almost immediately challenged and overturned. I would doubt that any state has one if the federal law was struck down.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I only read MN, UT, and FL law. Here in MN it's OK to carry with a permit in a school or day care with written permission from the principal or day care director. This possibly might include a Sunday school director or the pastor, if church schools are lumped in with the meaning of "school." Most churches (minus 3 in MPLS-STP) proper are OK unless they post signs. There is a Sunday school in most churches I know, but MN permit law doesn't mention them at all when it addresses school prohibitions.
Just to clarify, there is a "private" elementary school, K-6th, associated with the Parish...so it's not just Sunday School.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Is this 1,000' law you refer to something Virginia has on the books because the one passed in 1990 was almost immediately challenged and overturned. I would doubt that any state has one if the federal law was struck down.
I believe the way the VA law as written, per the NRA link and a couple of statutes I have found, is based on "school property." So, if an elementary school is located on church property, does "school property" extend to all the church grounds and buildings? Is the shared parking lot (school & church) considered school property (I suspect so)?

I don't know if the 1000' rule applies, but I have seen a bunch of discussion about open carry (legal in VA), off of school property but within 1000' of school properrty. Even to one reference where a car broke down within 1000', the person left the vehicle with his gun locked inside to find a gas station, and was later brought up on charges when police found the vehicle and the gun (forget the details of how that happened).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I appreciate all the sage advice about contacting the AG, and I agree with getting the correct answer straight from the horse's mouth, but really, given the clause of "good and sufficient" I won't get halfway through my question before they tell me that I can't carry in church anyway, so it's a moot question.

I believe I have sufficient reason, but I want to make sure it is legal from the school grounds aspect. However, I doubt the AG will only restrict their opinion to that aspect.
 

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The "reason" for the church part is undefined, and I agree with you about there being plenty enough reason to take such action.

The school part, though, seems definitive. I don't see any way around that. If you discover anything solid on one being able to carry in a church portion of a church-private school combination property, PLEASE post it here. I'm afraid I already have enough support saying one cannot:

§ 18.2-308.1. Possession of firearm, stun weapon, or other weapon on school property prohibited.

A. If any person possesses any (i) stun weapon as defined in this section; (ii) knife, except a pocket knife having a folding metal blade of less than three inches; or (iii) weapon, including a weapon of like kind, designated in subsection A of § 18.2-308, other than a firearm; upon (a) the property of any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds; (b) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or (c) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. If any person possesses any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material while such person is upon (i) any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds; (ii) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or (iii) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony; however, if the person possesses any firearm within a public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school building and intends to use, or attempts to use, such firearm, or displays such weapon in a threatening manner, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years to be served consecutively with any other sentence.

The exemptions set out in § 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of the school's curriculum or activities; (ii) a person possessing a knife customarily used for food preparation or service and using it for such purpose; (iii) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of any program sponsored or facilitated by either the school or any organization authorized by the school to conduct its programs either on or off the school premises; (iv) any law-enforcement officer; (v) any person who possesses a knife or blade which he uses customarily in his trade; (vi) a person who possesses an unloaded firearm that is in a closed container, or a knife having a metal blade, in or upon a motor vehicle, or an unloaded shotgun or rifle in a firearms rack in or upon a motor vehicle; or (vii) a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school. For the purposes of this paragraph, "weapon" includes a knife having a metal blade of three inches or longer and "closed container" includes a locked vehicle trunk.
Intriguingly, I see the phrase, "The provisions of this section shall not apply to... (iii) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of any program sponsored or facilitated by either the school or any organization authorized by the school to conduct its programs either on or off the school premises;" - this suggests that if your church/school leadership appoints you to their Security team, you may be in the clear at least for the hours that they suppose a security team would be active. I would chat with a lawyer about this if you're interested: my post here is certainly not legal advice!
 

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The fact that there is a school affiliated with the church is a moot point. VA law prohibits carrying at a place of worship.
Class 4 Misdemeanor ♦ Carrying a firearm into a place of worship without good cause (§ 18.2-283).
buckley; said:
Good cause doesn't mean "sufficient reason".Good cause is a legally sufficient reason, which may not be the same as a sufficient reason. ...while I would argue that wanting to protect yourself qualifies as good cause, based on the language of the statute, it looks like that isn't enough.
Actually, the law reads:

§ 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.
Buckley may be right in warning us that the decision may rest with others who see things differently, but his argument should not turn on the use of the word "cause" in the first quote, which was probably taken from some other reference incorrectly citing the actual law.

(Note - I also recommend verifying well-intentioned Bibilical quotes, too: the classic example is "Do no murder" being mistranslated and misquoted as "Do not kill".)
 
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