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Thread: VA law with church that runs schools ? how to write to AG?

  1. #1
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    VA law with church that runs schools ? how to write to AG?

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-308.1 18.2-308.1. Possession of firearm, stun weapon, or other weapon on school property prohibited.

    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.

    If you go to a church and don't know they run a school could they charge you with gun on school grounds or they can't because of this wording?
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

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    Campaign Veteran roscoe13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-308.1 18.2-308.1. Possession of firearm, stun weapon, or other weapon on school property prohibited.




    If you go to a church and don't know they run a school could they charge you with gun on school grounds or they can't because of this wording?
    It's an either/or. If it's a religious school, it's a school 24/7/365, including the buildings and grounds.
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    Quote Originally Posted by roscoe13 View Post
    It's an either/or. If it's a religious school, it's a school 24/7/365, including the buildings and grounds.
    I do not believe that and I have rep Stole requesting an AG opinion on this very issue.
    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
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    Campaign Veteran roscoe13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gearup View Post
    I do not believe that and I have rep Stole requesting an AG opinion on this very issue.
    Good luck with that. There is absolutely NO ambiguity with the law as it's currently written....

    Roscoe
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    Not so sure...

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoe13 View Post
    Good luck with that. There is absolutely NO ambiguity with the law as it's currently written....

    Roscoe
    The ambiguity exists in the definition of "grounds". For example, at my church, the Pre thru K school has a separate wing of the parish hall and the doors are marked and locked; they also have a fenced in playground. The rest of the parish hall and grounds is NOT part of the school and is used for other purposes during the day; the grounds directly outside the playground fence is the GRAVEYARD. We need a defining opinion on this; if the church grounds are synonymous with school grounds, and every building on those grounds is a "school", then for that church, 18.2-283 essentially has no meaning.

  6. #6
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roscoe13 View Post
    It's an either/or. If it's a religious school, it's a school 24/7/365, including the buildings and grounds.
    Yes, but can they charge you if you do not know if its a school? theres no signs/info telling you theres a school in church. ????
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    If you go to a church and don't know they run a school could they charge you with gun on school grounds or they can't because of this wording?
    There is no question to be answered here. Of course they can charge you. LEOs are notorious for charging people with crimes incorrectly or even crimes that are not on the books.

    The question you want to ask is "can one be convicted of..."

    TFred

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    Regular Member vt357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    There is no question to be answered here. Of course they can charge you. LEOs are notorious for charging people with crimes incorrectly or even crimes that are not on the books.

    The question you want to ask is "can one be convicted of..."

    TFred
    TFRed, remember this post from 4 years ago? This is a story of a bad guy who committed a serious crime in Hopewell, VA. The school zone was an add on charge. This is not about a law abiding citizen getting arrested for carrying at a church that also happens to have a school meet there during the week. But the same principle would apply in that case.

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/showthread.php?52882

    At trial, appellant moved to strike the Commonwealth's evidence, arguing that, at the time of the shooting, the premises leased by the LEAD Center did not constitute "school property" within the meaning of Code § 18.2-280(C) because, based on the terms of the lease, the premises reverted from school property to church property at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 25, 2006, and did not revert back to school property until 7:00 a.m. the following Monday morning. The Commonwealth countered that nothing in the statute required that the school be in session at the time of the discharge for the statute to apply. Finding the premises constituted school property "for the purposes of the statute," the trial court denied appellant's motion and convicted him under Code § 18.2-280(C).

    ...

    Additionally, the adoption of appellant's position that the premises constituted "school property" under the statute only during those times the LEAD Center was contractually permitted to use the premises would result in significant enforcement problems. For one thing, it would require law enforcement personnel to know or be able to easily determine the precise contractual terms of the schools operating in their jurisdiction. And, in the case of schools like the LEAD Center, which was explicitly permitted to use the premises after hours with the church's permission, law enforcement personnel would be required to keep track of when such permission was granted in order to know whether a particular firearm discharge was prohibited under Code § 18.2-280(C).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    Yes, but can they charge you if you do not know if its a school? theres no signs/info telling you theres a school in church. ????
    Tfred's right. However, there is a distinction between crimes "malum in se", evil in and of themselves, in which one ought to know what's right and wrong, and crimes that are "malum prohibitum", crimes that are defined as such and only because they are defined as such. In the latter case, it doesn't matter whether you have knowledge or not, because it's a merely prohibitory regulation. (E.g., violation of a traffic sign is malum prohibitum; it doesn't matter whether you actually saw the sign or not.)

    If the statute uses words like, "intentionally", "willfully", or "knowingly", then it's a "specific intent" offense, and the "mens rea" or "criminal intent" is part of the criminal offense and must be proved. Otherwise, it's a "general intent" offense, so the crime consists in performing the act, whether or not you know it's a crime.

    So in my opinion, you don't have a chance with that "I didn't know there was a school there" defense. However, in my opinion, the "school" is that part which is actually designated as such; the building and grounds are those of the church, not the school, unless so characterized. But here's a wrinkle: on the day for services, lots of congregations have religious instruction, whether designated as "Sunday school" or what. That's school, too.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Numenor's Avatar
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    Hmmm... I think I might have to say "Oops" in this case. Hadn't thought about that one section of the law when regarding my church. Well that's irritating, but thanks for pointing it out.

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