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Thread: Constitutional Carry & Castle Doctrine Committee

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Constitutional Carry & Castle Doctrine Committee

    The GA session ends tomorrow and as promised, I've set up a discussion pipeline to fine tune Bills for next year and meet with members of the General Assembly over the summer and fall.

    We will have a lot to do in the beginning. The initial Leaders have already been selected and much of the framework, including the decision to register as a PAC at some point...or not, will be up to the full leadership.

    I'll notify the initial members tonight and by next week we should have this in motion.

    I've already set aside web space for the group. That will soon be used to post progress bulletins.

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    @ "...fine tune Bills for next year and meet with members of the General Assembly over the summer and fall..."

    Am I understanding correctly that this group will be working outside of the existing VCDL organizational framework? I hope so since the indecision VCDL exhibited this year might very well have resulted in the passage of one or more CD bills which could have had unintended consequences and weakened the protections we already enjoy.

    By all accounts, if not for the near revolt at VCDL's "neutral" CD stance at the Annandale meeting on Valentine's Day, the drum User had been beating would never have been heard in time to stop the train wreck. At least once the breadth and depth of the membership's displeasure with VCDL leadership on the 2012 VA Castle Doctrine initiatives was highlighted, things changed rapidly and we saw the infamous midnight alert...VCDL's CD stance suddenly changed from "neutral" to "strongly opposed." And the rest, as they say, is history...bruised egos and all.

    It sounds like this group is intent on getting an early start on matters, well before the 2013 session, by building a wide base of grass roots support for a properly vetted CD bill (as well as Constitutional Carry) which the VCDL membership will enthusiastically rally behind. I'm hopeful they will be the centerpieces of the 2013 Lobby Day gun-rights demonstration...and draw a larger crowd than we've ever seen.

    Thanks, Peter, for spearheading this effort. Your leadership is appreciated.

  3. #3
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911 Enthusiast View Post
    @ "...fine tune Bills for next year and meet with members of the General Assembly over the summer and fall..."

    Am I understanding correctly that this group will be working outside of the existing VCDL organizational framework? I hope so since the indecision VCDL exhibited this year might very well have resulted in the passage of one or more CD bills which could have had unintended consequences and weakened the protections we already enjoy.

    By all accounts, if not for the near revolt at VCDL's "neutral" CD stance at the Annandale meeting on Valentine's Day, the drum User had been beating would never have been heard in time to stop the train wreck. At least once the breadth and depth of the membership's displeasure with VCDL leadership on the 2012 VA Castle Doctrine initiatives was highlighted, things changed rapidly and we saw the infamous midnight alert...VCDL's CD stance suddenly changed from "neutral" to "strongly opposed." And the rest, as they say, is history...bruised egos and all.

    It sounds like this group is intent on getting an early start on matters, well before the 2013 session, by building a wide base of grass roots support for a properly vetted CD bill (as well as Constitutional Carry) which the VCDL membership will enthusiastically rally behind. I'm hopeful they will be the centerpieces of the 2013 Lobby Day gun-rights demonstration...and draw a larger crowd than we've ever seen.

    Thanks, Peter, for spearheading this effort. Your leadership is appreciated.
    This group is not affiliated with VCDL although most if not all, are Members. We are also not ANTI VCDL, just different. Hopefully VCDL will offer some assistance at some point as will other Pro Gun Groups I've discussed this with.

    The purpose of this is to develope workable bills that both have a chance of passing and do not trade ANY rights of gunowners.

    To organize massive support for these bills.

    To educate legislators a year in advance of the GA session so we're not just throwing a complex matter on heir legislative plate two weeks before it needs o be voted on.
    Your leadership is appreciated.
    No thanks needed. All I'm doing is getting the ball rolling. This group will eventually be ALL pro gun people in this state. I'll step back as soon as the leadership committee is set up, and be just one of the boys.

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    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
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    As a layman as pertains to matter of law, can you explain why we would want to introduce new (or modifying) legislation which would adjust the current common law protections citizens of the Commonwealth enjoy? I'm by no means a litigator nor versed in drafting legal documents, but with the possible exception of civil immunity brought forth by the family members of a bad-guy during an home invasion incident (which User has explained could still be brought forth regardless of having a provision to prevent such in the revised law) I'm not sure what advantages we would have by introducing a tailored Castle Doctrine bill?
    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when you’re serious and when you’re being sarcastic. –Abraham Lincoln

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinChin View Post
    As a layman as pertains to matter of law, can you explain why we would want to introduce new (or modifying) legislation which would adjust the current common law protections citizens of the Commonwealth enjoy? I'm by no means a litigator nor versed in drafting legal documents, but with the possible exception of civil immunity brought forth by the family members of a bad-guy during an home invasion incident (which User has explained could still be brought forth regardless of having a provision to prevent such in the revised law) I'm not sure what advantages we would have by introducing a tailored Castle Doctrine bill?
    1. No "adjustment" is desired. This is why the abrupt turn-about this session. People suddenly realized that the bills were not a true representation of existing Common Law. The goal is to write into the Code of Virginia as close as possible the current protections afforded by Common Law.

    2. Why is this good? To obtain the protection of Common Law, one must be in a court, which means they have already been charged with a crime, or sued civilly. If we can get these protections into the Code of Virginia, all the key players, namely the citizens of Virginia, the LEOs, the magistrates, the Commonwealth's Attorneys, and the ambulance-chasing litigators can all see up front what is and is not allowed. From that we hope to minimize the cases where charges should not have been filed in the first place, and the extremely low probability of success on the civil side should prevent nearly all frivolous cases taken on contingency fees.

    To sum it up, the desire is to pull the Common Law protections out of the courtroom, and put them into the Code where everyone can see and benefit from them as they live their everyday lives.

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 03-09-2012 at 01:42 PM.

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    1. No "adjustment" is desired. This is why the abrupt turn-about this session. People suddenly realized that the bills were not a true representation of existing Common Law. The goal is to write into the Code of Virginia as close as possible the current protections afforded by Common Law.

    2. Why is this good? To obtain the protection of Common Law, one must be in a court, which means they have already been charged with a crime, or sued civilly. If we can get these protections into the Code of Virginia, all the key players, namely the citizens of Virginia, the LEOs, the magistrates, the Commonwealth's Attorneys, and the ambulance-chasing litigators can all see up front what is and is not allowed. From that we hope to minimize the cases where charges should not have been filed in the first place, and the extremely low probability of success on the civil side should prevent nearly all frivolous cases taken on contingency fees.

    To sum it up, the desire is to pull the Common Law protections out of the courtroom, and put them into the Code where everyone can see and benefit from them as they live their everyday lives.

    TFred
    I agree, and I support this effort. However, it isn't always necessary to be in a court in order to enjoy the protections of common law. There have been a number of self/home/another defense cases which were never brought to court because the weight of these common law protections precluded a successful prosecution. But this prosecutorial discretion is an iffy thing.

    Civil liability in these cases was (likely) mitigated because it is difficult to prove that a justifiable/excusable homicide is also a wrongful death. In many instances, all the rounds fired by the defender don't hit their target, but they do go somewhere. I think that the defender also needs to be held harmless from any and all consequences stemming from those misses.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    What TFred said plus, the door is open now and sooner or later some fool i going to reintroduce CD.

    I'd rather it be a well researched, matter of fact, User Document than a knee jerk Ex NRA lawyer or even worse, new lawyer, bill that takes away rather than preserves.

    I have included a failsafe valve to make sure that type of bill doesn't come out of this group.

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    What TFred said plus, the door is open now and sooner or later some fool i going to reintroduce CD.

    I'd rather it be a well researched, matter of fact, User Document than a knee jerk Ex NRA lawyer or even worse, new lawyer, bill that takes away rather than preserves.

    I have included a failsafe valve to make sure that type of bill doesn't come out of this group.
    Amen to that, Peter.

    The NRA seemed to think that the proposed (and now defeated) bills were not only good, but necessary, at least based on the e-mails I got from them.

    Whatever their stance on any proposal developed here, it will need to be considered at some point. Hopefully, they'll have enough sense to appreciate the difference.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

  9. #9
    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    What TFred said plus, the door is open now and sooner or later some fool i going to reintroduce CD.

    I'd rather it be a well researched, matter of fact, User Document than a knee jerk Ex NRA lawyer or even worse, new lawyer, bill that takes away rather than preserves.

    I have included a failsafe valve to make sure that type of bill doesn't come out of this group.
    THIS, exactly!

    how many CD bills were introduced this session? 6? 8? i lost track, but 2 made it almost all the way to the governor. getting the best, most carefully crafted bill introduced and passed should, hopefully, put the possibility of bad future bills to bed. it's all about education.

    i'm optimistic that when potential sponsors understand it well, they will have little problem getting behind it.
    “For life, liberty and Little Lizzie.” - John Connor (2005)

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Remember that this idea was initially to get a Constitutional Carry bill in that could pass.
    That hasn't changed so it will be just as big a priority as Castle Doctrine.

    These two are big orders and will require a lot of work....but I think they are worth it.

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    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Remember that this idea was initially to get a Constitutional Carry bill in that could pass.
    That hasn't changed so it will be just as big a priority as Castle Doctrine.

    These two are big orders and will require a lot of work....but I think they are worth it.
    i'm interested in which you feel will be the more challenging?

    cd with 400-500 years of common law basis and legal opinion to support it?
    or
    cc as should be a given by clear protection in the constitution, both state and federal?

    to quote Grapeshot: "Castle Doctrine + Constitutional Carry = The Right to Live."
    truer words have never been spoken.
    “For life, liberty and Little Lizzie.” - John Connor (2005)

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mk4 View Post
    i'm interested in which you feel will be the more challenging?

    cd with 400-500 years of common law basis and legal opinion to support it?
    or
    cc as should be a given by clear protection in the constitution, both state and federal?

    to quote Grapeshot: "Castle Doctrine + Constitutional Carry = The Right to Live."
    truer words have never been spoken.
    The carry bill will be the most difficult.

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    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    The carry bill will be the most difficult.
    tough battle, for sure, but one that must be fought!
    “For life, liberty and Little Lizzie.” - John Connor (2005)

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911 Enthusiast View Post
    if not for the near revolt at VCDL's "neutral" CD stance at the Annandale meeting on Valentine's Day, the drum User had been beating would never have been heard in time to stop the train wreck. At least once the breadth and depth of the membership's displeasure with VCDL leadership on the 2012 VA Castle Doctrine initiatives was highlighted, things changed rapidly and we saw the infamous midnight alert...VCDL's CD stance suddenly changed from "neutral" to "strongly opposed." And the rest, as they say, is history
    It was an interesting meeting to say the least. I did quite a bit of leg-work on this too. I think the team should at least have on it:
    Dan Hawes
    Dick Black
    Jim Plowman
    Richard Gardiner
    Mark Mathews
    Philip Van Cleave
    Brian Reynolds
    Glen Caroline
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911 Enthusiast View Post
    I hope so since the indecision VCDL exhibited this year might very well have resulted in the passage of one or more CD bills which could have had unintended consequences and weakened the protections we already enjoy.

    By all accounts, if not for the near revolt at VCDL's "neutral" CD stance at the Annandale meeting on Valentine's Day, the drum User had been beating would never have been heard in time to stop the train wreck. At least once the breadth and depth of the membership's displeasure with VCDL leadership on the 2012 VA Castle Doctrine initiatives was highlighted, things changed rapidly and we saw the infamous midnight alert...VCDL's CD stance suddenly changed from "neutral" to "strongly opposed." And the rest, as they say, is history...bruised egos and all.
    "the indecision VCDL exhibited this year might very well have resulted in the passage of one or more CD bills which could have had unintended consequences and weakened the protections we already enjoy."

    Isn't that interesting. Other groups were PUSHING those bills, we stood neutral to study them out of concerns that we shared publicly. Even at the beginning we took a position that they should be sent to the crime commission for studying (see VCDL's 2012 Gun Bill Analysis document given out on Lobby Day in early JANUARY), and VCDL is part of the problem?! What group beat us to the punch on being concerned about them? I don't remember any other group doing anything but fawning over them at the beginning. A lot of people wanted those bills and VCDL took a brave stand to not fawn over them along with everyone else.

    "By all accounts, if not for the near revolt at VCDL's "neutral" CD stance at the Annandale meeting on Valentine's Day, the drum User had been beating would never have been heard in time to stop the train wreck. At least once the breadth and depth of the membership's displeasure with VCDL leadership on the 2012 VA Castle Doctrine initiatives was highlighted, things changed rapidly and we saw the infamous midnight alert...VCDL's CD stance suddenly changed from 'neutral' to 'strongly opposed.' And the rest, as they say, is history...bruised egos and all."

    So VCDL has a public discussion on the Castle Doctrine bills initiated by VCDL leadership at the Annandale meeting and such a discussion is now considered a revolt? So that alert was because my hand was twisted behind my back by a few people at a membership meeting? You really don't know me very well - I'd wait for my arm to break first. Convince me with logic and reason, that I respond to. The meeting influenced me, sure, but not for fear of a revolt. I heard some good arguments, did some further checking on some issues raised while driving back to Richmond that night, and the decision was made.

    I was getting conflicting information from a variety of attorneys from the beginning on this bill. VCDL is representing thousands of gun owners and we have to step carefully and methodically. If the bills would have moved the ball forward, then they would have deserved support - some of our attorneys thought they did. If they moved the ball backwards, then they deserved opposition - some of our attorneys thought they did. You make it sound oh, so easy - of course armchair quarterbacking usually is.

  16. #16
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    It was an interesting meeting to say the least. I did quite a bit of leg-work on this too. I think the team should at least have on it:
    Dan Hawes
    Dick Black
    Jim Plowman
    Richard Gardiner
    Mark Mathews
    Philip Van Cleave
    Brian Reynolds
    Glen Caroline
    I began choosing the core team about a month ago Ed. They were chosen as the most even tempered and intelligent people with a few specialties, I could find. They were also chosen for location (North, South and Central Va), lack of attachment to other groups and ability to deal with members of the legislature and ALL gunowners rather than a select few.

    Your list includes some fine people, but unfortunately none were chosen. Philip will of course be consulted but as far as lawyers, too many or lawyers with agendas, only cause poorly written bills.

    As of yesterday, the core group of leaders took over. It's a democratic process now and while we may still bring in a couple more core members, that's a group decision. We've made the decisions about Advisers also and that niche is fully staffed.

    Since Constitutional Carry is one of our two goals, I'm surprised your list didn't include John Pierce who penned this years bill. I did consider him but felt he just couldn't give the time necessary at this point in his life.

    To sum it up, there were a lot of people to choose from to spearhead this, and I chose the ones that fit the mold the best. We are looking forward to working closely with other groups but the bottom line is every gun owner in this state needs a say because they are the one's who have to live with the consequences and they are the real power to drive this through.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by VCDL President View Post
    "the indecision VCDL exhibited this year might very well have resulted in the passage of one or more CD bills which could have had unintended consequences and weakened the protections we already enjoy."

    Isn't that interesting. Other groups were PUSHING those bills, we stood neutral to study them out of concerns that we shared publicly. Even at the beginning we took a position that they should be sent to the crime commission for studying (see VCDL's 2012 Gun Bill Analysis document given out on Lobby Day in early JANUARY), and VCDL is part of the problem?! What group beat us to the punch on being concerned about them? I don't remember any other group doing anything but fawning over them at the beginning. A lot of people wanted those bills and VCDL took a brave stand to not fawn over them along with everyone else.

    "By all accounts, if not for the near revolt at VCDL's "neutral" CD stance at the Annandale meeting on Valentine's Day, the drum User had been beating would never have been heard in time to stop the train wreck. At least once the breadth and depth of the membership's displeasure with VCDL leadership on the 2012 VA Castle Doctrine initiatives was highlighted, things changed rapidly and we saw the infamous midnight alert...VCDL's CD stance suddenly changed from 'neutral' to 'strongly opposed.' And the rest, as they say, is history...bruised egos and all."

    So VCDL has a public discussion on the Castle Doctrine bills initiated by VCDL leadership at the Annandale meeting and such a discussion is now considered a revolt? So that alert was because my hand was twisted behind my back by a few people at a membership meeting? You really don't know me very well - I'd wait for my arm to break first. Convince me with logic and reason, that I respond to. The meeting influenced me, sure, but not for fear of a revolt. I heard some good arguments, did some further checking on some issues raised while driving back to Richmond that night, and the decision was made.

    I was getting conflicting information from a variety of attorneys from the beginning on this bill. VCDL is representing thousands of gun owners and we have to step carefully and methodically. If the bills would have moved the ball forward, then they would have deserved support - some of our attorneys thought they did. If they moved the ball backwards, then they deserved opposition - some of our attorneys thought they did. You make it sound oh, so easy - of course armchair quarterbacking usually is.
    +1 These are facts pretty much already known and understood by VCDL attendees at the Annandale meeting and readers of the VA-Alerts.

    Yes, the shift from neutral to opposed occurred coincident with the Annandale meeting. I was there. I heard the concerns. There was no "revolt." Leadership wasn't forcing a position on members against which members could "revolt." My guess is that leadership responded to the voiced concerns. Seems to me that is part of what a membership meeting is about.

    "Infamous midnight alert?" Really? Infamous? Enough of the hyperbole, thank you.

  18. #18
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Reading over Philip's reply I think I should clarify a few things. A year ago I said something about introducing a Constitutional Carry bill if no one else did. I have no idea if Philip read that or not but VCDL did introduce one and a darn good one at that. It didn't go anywhere and Philip is probably more aware of the reason why, than I am. It had nothing to do with the quality of the bill though.

    I've said before that there are a couple of things VCDL could do that would make me drop my membership. I never said what they were though. I'm still not going to except for one. There are a few board members including Philip, that if they were to be removed, I'd probably not renew.

    Philip works extremely hard for Virginia's gun owners, granted more so in NOVA than anywhere else and more with CHP's than I like, but the work has benefited every one of us.

    I hate to see him insulted.

    What we are trying to do is prepare a Castle Doctrine and Constitutional Carry bill that is workable, beneficial and can be passed....and educate the Legislature of the merits long before the session starts.

    It doesn't matter if we have a Patron introduce them, if VCDL introduces them or GOA or anyone else. It's the results that count and I don't want to even hint that we are somehow anti VCDL or competing with them.

    My most sincere hope is that when these are introduced, VCDL is solidly behind them. I'm not a gun lobbyist, I represent farmers and more than that, I kill bills, not pass them. I try to find the button that sets things in motion to keep offending bills from becoming law. There's a world of difference between the two and VCDL is an old hand at pushing bills forward.

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    Lone Star Veteran DrMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    What we are trying to do is prepare a Castle Doctrine and Constitutional Carry bill that is workable, beneficial and can be passed....and educate the Legislature of the merits long before the session starts.
    ...and I expect that those are things that we all strongly support.

    Thanks Peter Nap & Co.

  20. #20
    Regular Member BillB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I began choosing the core team about a month ago Ed.
    Peter the "I" man knows!

  21. #21
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Philip works extremely hard for Virginia's gun owners, I hate to see him insulted.
    While, I may disagree with how somethings are done, I have the utmost respect for this gentleman.

    ...and I expect that those are things that we all strongly support.

    Thanks Peter Nap.
    1+

    Peter the "I" man knows!
    Peter is effective and without his tireless help things would be alot different (WORSE)

    We all have our differeneces, it's what brings us together that makes us powerful.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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  22. #22
    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    What TFred said plus, the door is open now and sooner or later some fool i going to reintroduce CD.

    I'd rather it be a well researched, matter of fact, User Document than a knee jerk Ex NRA lawyer or even worse, new lawyer, bill that takes away rather than preserves.

    I have included a failsafe valve to make sure that type of bill doesn't come out of this group.
    Hopefully your "fail-safe" provision will allow for the possibility that current case-law/common law cannot be improved with a CD bill. Not an easy conclusion to make, though.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

  23. #23
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    "Castle Doctrine" or "Stand your Ground"

    A question.

    Should the emphasis continue to be "Castle Doctrine" or should the scope be enlarged to "Stand your Ground" legislation as some other states have done?

  24. #24
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post

    There are a few board members including Philip, that if they were to be removed, I'd probably not renew.
    What about the opposite? Are there any Board members, if they were replaced, would cause you to be more likely to renew?

  25. #25
    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    A question.

    Should the emphasis continue to be "Castle Doctrine" or should the scope be enlarged to "Stand your Ground" legislation as some other states have done?
    a couple passages from Dan's most current version:

    SELF DEFENSE AND DEFENSE OF OTHERS, GENERALLY:
    A person in any place who is not at fault in bringing about a conflict
    such appropriate force up to and including deadly force that he
    deems necessary to protect himself whenever he has a reasonably
    faith belief, based on objective fact, that he or another innocent person
    with an imminent and immediate threat of serious bodily injury.
    JUSTIFIABLE AND EXCUSABLE USE OF FORCE
    Any person having a reasonably held, good faith belief, based on objective fact,
    that a situation warrants a lawful defense, and if such person is free from fault
    in creating the situation, engaged in lawful activities, and in any place where
    he may lawfully be present, then he shall have absolutely no duty to retreat,
    break off contact, or attempt to flee, but shall be entitled to remain where he is

    and take such action, become the aggressor, and use such appropriate force,
    as he reasonably deems necessary in order to defend himself, his family, his
    home, and innocent third parties.
    and the title is:

    A BILL TO CODIFY THE COMMON LAW RIGHTS OF PERSONAL DEFENSE
    all seems to pretty much cover 'stand your ground'.

    reading the document and working through the extensive commentary have been very educational for me. i have a new appreciation about how complex the common law is and how carefully it must be codified if it's to be taken to statute.
    Last edited by mk4; 03-10-2012 at 01:49 PM.
    “For life, liberty and Little Lizzie.” - John Connor (2005)

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