*I saw this posted under the GMU section but thought I'd post it here as well.* Dan
VCDL has just learned that George Mason University (GMU) is planning
on putting in place a state *regulation* and not just a school
*policy* to ban students, employees, and VISITORS from possessing
firearms in "academic buildings, administrative office buildings,
student residence buildings, and while attending sporting,
entertainment or educational events."
That is pretty much everywhere except the sidewalks, grass, and parking lots.
According to a document obtained by VCDL, GMU has crafted it's gun
ban regulation "to provide the broadest permissible prohibition
against weapons on campus, to include holders of valid concealed
In addition, GMU is expecting a legal challenge from VCDL (we are
mentioned by name).
It also says that using a regulation, CHP holders can be deprived of
any bona fide right of entry!!! Yes, GMU wrote that they want to
deprive CHP holders of any right to self-defense on GMU property!
Regulations are a part of the Virginia Administrative Code and have
the force of law, as opposed to a school rule or policy, so GMU is
hoping to be able to charge ANYONE (student or non-student, faculty
or non-faculty) with trespass on the spot once this regulation is
posted using "ignorance of the law is no excuse" as their
justification. (With a school rule or policy, the university needs
to make sure that you know of the rule or policy. If you ignore the
rule or policy once told about it, you can be charged with trespass.)
However, to get a regulation put in place, the agency requesting it
is supposed to have a public comment period.
This proposed regulation was apparently slipped in very quietly, as
we are just now learning about it!
Not only that, this proposed regulation was submitted a full MONTH
BEFORE GMU's Board of Visitors even officially APPROVED THE PROPOSED
REGULATION!!! It was published on August 6th.
That is NOT due process. Clearly GMU is trying to slip something by
all of us and the General Assembly.
The GMU document mentioned earlier also states, "With a regulation
the University adopts a prohibition by law." GMU is intentionally
bypassing the General Assembly in their attempt to enact their own
The comment period ends on September 5th at 5 PM!
No matter how you look at it, GMU is pushing this through fast. We
can slow it down as we have the right to request the comment period
by extended by another 30 days and to ask for a public hearing on the
proposed regulation. ***If at least 25 of us request a 30-day
extension of the comment period, they have to grant it!***
WE NEED TO ACT NOW! Two action items follow - one for GMU and one to
contact Delegates, Senators, and the Governor. After the action
items, the text of the proposed regulation is included, along with
candid comments from GMU on their legal strategy to ban guns using a
regulation to target CHP holders.
ACTION ITEM 1 OF 2:
We need to flood the Agency Regulatory Coordinator for GMU, Kenneth
W. Hubble, with emails and calls opposing this regulation and we need
to ask him to extend the comment period by another 30 days and to
have a public hearing.
Kenneth W. Hubble
Phone: 703-993-3091 **give him a call to object to the regulation!**
Suggested email title: I OPPOSE 8VAC35-60! Extend comment period.
Suggested email text:
Dear Mr. Hubble,
I am am OPPOSED to GMU's proposed regulation, 8VAC35-60.
8VAC35-60 is both illegal, as GMU has NO statutory power to ban
lawfully carried firearms, and dangerous, as it serves to protect the
lives of criminals while leaving students, employees, and visitors
helpless to criminal attack!
The General Assembly has reserved control of firearms to itself, with
the only exceptions being for local control of hunting and discharge
of firearms. There is NO law that authorizes the University to
regulate firearms, especially for students and visitors.
Virginia Tech had a ban on firearms and we know how that turned out
for 32 students and faculty members -- the innocent complied with the
ban and died while the criminal wantonly violated the ban, ruining
many, many lives.
GMU students, employees, and guests would NOT fare any better if
forcibly, and illegally, disarmed by the University.
The University's low regard for the lives of innocent students,
employees, and visitors shown by submitting 8VAC35-60 is shocking,
leaving George Mason turning in his grave over such a breach of
liberty and freedom. It is particularly despicable that GMU wants to
attack Virginia's concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders with "A
regulation [that] deprives the CHP holder of a claim to bona fide
right of entry..."
I am formally requesting that the comment period be extended by an
additional 30 days (to October 5th) to solicit additional public
I am also formally requesting a public hearing on the proposed regulation.
Please let me know what the University is going to do.
ACTION ITEM 2 OF 2:
We need to ask our Delegates, Senators, and Governor to suspend the
active date of the regulation until the END of the next General
Assembly session, thus giving VCDL time to get the laws
changed/clarified. The General Assembly and the Governor have the
legal power to do this.
To send a pre-written message (that you can edit) to your Delegate
(the message will be sent to the correct Delegate automatically),
To send the same pre-written message (that you can edit) to your
Senator (the message will be sent to the correct Senator
automatically), click here:
To send a message to the Governor via his web form, click here:
Suggested text to the Governor:
I urge you to OPPOSE George Mason University's attempt to rush
through a sweeping gun ban regulation, 8VAC35-60!
The ban, which would make it illegal for even concealed handgun
permit holders to have a gun in "academic buildings, administrative
office buildings, student residence buildings, and while attending
sporting, entertainment or educational events" has no statutory
authority behind it.
Such a regulation is dangerous as Virginia Tech showed us. Everyone
but the police are left totally helpless at the hands of a murderer!
The government should NEVER interfere with the protection of innocent
life through self-defense. Life that is valuable off-campus should
be just as valuable on-campus.
It is particularly despicable that GMU wants to attack Virginia's
concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders with "A regulation [that]
deprives the CHP holder of a claim to bona fide right of entry..."
George Mason is turning in his grave!
At a minimum, the regulation should be postponed until after the next
General Assembly Session, so that the whole issue can be properly
addressed and debated next year, not rushed through without time for
debate or public comment.
I also request a public hearing on the proposed regulation.
-------- end of suggested text to the Governor -------
Here is GMU's proposed regulation for those interested:
TITLE 8. EDUCATION
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: George Mason University is exempt from the
Administrative Process Act in accordance with §2.2-4002 A 6 of the
Code of Virginia, which exempts educational institutions operated by
Title of Regulation: 8VAC35-60. Policy Prohibiting Weapons (adding
8VAC35-60-10, 8VAC35-60-20, 8VAC35-60-30).
Statutory Authority: §23-91.29 of the Code of Virginia.
Public Comments: Public comments may be submitted until 5 p.m. on
September 5, 2007.
Agency Contact: Kenneth W. Hubble, Agency Regulatory Coordinator,
George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030,
telephone (703) 993-3091, or email email@example.com.
The proposed regulation establishes the weapons prohibition policy at
George Mason University.
POLICY PROHIBITING WEAPONS
The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have
the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Police officer" means law-enforcement officials appointed pursuant
to Article 3 (§15.2-1609 et seq.) of Chapter 16 and Chapter 17
(§15.2-1700 et.seq.) of Title 15.2, Chapter 17 (§23-232 et seq.) of
Title 23, Chapter 2 (§29.1-200 et seq.) of Title 29.1, and Chapter 1
(§52-1 et seq.) of Title 52 of the Code of Virginia and sworn federal
"University property" means any property owned, leased or controlled
by George Mason University.
"Weapon" means any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or
intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife,
switchblade knife, ballistic knife, razor slingshot, spring stick,
metal knucks, blackjack, or any flailing instrument consisting of two
or more rigid parts connected in such manner as to allow them to
swing freely, which may be known as nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku,
shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration,
having at least two points or pointed blades that is designed to be
thrown or propelled and that may be known as throwing star or
8VAC35-60-20. Possession of weapons prohibited.
Possession or carrying of any weapon by any person, except a police
officer, is prohibited on university property in academic buildings,
administrative office buildings, student residence buildings, and
while attending sporting, entertainment or educational events. Entry
upon university property in violation of this prohibition is
8VAC35-60-30. Person lawfully in charge.
In addition to individuals authorized by university policy, George
Mason University police officers are lawfully in charge for the
purposes of forbidding entry upon or remaining upon university
property while possessing or carrying weapons in violation of this
VA.R. Doc. No. R07-815; Filed July 19, 2007, 11:19 a.m.
Here is part of a document outlining GMUs plans to disarm everyone
but the police, robbing us of our right to self-defense. Notice how
they are planning on VCDL suing them! They don't care - it's just
the public's money that will be wasted fighting VCDL's legal
GMU's Board of Scoundrels, er, Visitors salivating over finding a way
to arrest CHP holders is a disgrace: "A regulation deprives the CHP
holder of a claim to bona fide right of entry..."
This document shows GMU's contempt for law-abiding citizens and VCDL
will make sure that quotes like that are presented to the General
Assembly in January!
The original document is located at:
Proposed Weapons Regulation
The proposed weapons regulation (Tab A) is crafted to provide the
broadest permissible prohibition against weapons on campus, to
include holders of valid concealed handgun permits. A challenge to
this University's weapons prohibitions by the Virginia Citizen's
Defense League (VCDL) is anticipated. The leadership and membership
of VCDL appears concentrated in the Fairfax area (their mailing
address is a Post Office Box in Newington). We have received queries
regarding our weapons policy from identified members of VCDL. There
is also an on campus group - George Mason University Students for
Concealed Carry - which may work in concert with VCDL.
The ultimate remedy for violation of the proposed weapons regulation
- assuming all other conduct is lawful - is a successful prosecution
under the trespass statute. That statute, §18.2-119, makes it a crime
for one who "without authority of law" goes upon or remains upon the
property of another "after having been forbidden to do so." Notice
that one is forbidden is communicated in one of three manners 1)
"either orally or in writing, by the owner, lessee, custodian or
other person lawfully in charge thereof," 2) by posting, or 3) court
The Courts of this Commonwealth have imposed two other elements, in
addition to the statutory language, in order to obtain a trespass
conviction. First, no conviction will lie where one enters or stays
"under bona fide claim of right" which is a "sincere, although
perhaps mistaken, good faith belief that one has some legal right to
be on the property." Reed v. Commonwealth, 6 Va. App. 65, 71 (1988).
Second, though "silent as to intent, the case law in Virginia has
uniformly construed the statutory offense of criminal trespass to
require a will trespass." O'Banion v. Commonwealth, 33 Va. App. 47,
University policies are binding on persons with whom there is some
type of contractual relationship, i.e., faculty, staff and students.
Adherence to policy is a condition of employment or admission. I am
aware of no authority that binds outside unrelated third parties,
i.e., the general public, to University policies; or, even that a
University policy provides some type of constructive notice for
purposes of implied conditions for entry. University policy can be
the basis for ordering one to leave the premises, but becomes
problematic for a trespass conviction.
A Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) is a statutory privilege granted by
Circuit Court Order allowing the individual to carry anywhere unless
"such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or the owner of
private property" §18.2-308.O. As George Mason University is not a
private property owner, the holder of a CHP has both a reasonable and
good faith belief absent a regulation that armed entry on campus is
lawful. With a regulation the University adopts a prohibition by law.
Regulation, having the force of law, invokes the traditional rule
that ignorance is no excuse. A regulation deprives the CHP holder of
a claim to bona fide right of entry, as armed entry is then "without
authority of law." A regulation arguably makes armed entry
intentional and willful, willful being characterized as "a thing done
without ground for believing it is lawful." Richardson v.
Commonwealth, 21 Va. App. 93, 99 (1995). The two case law elements
essential to a trespass conviction are satisfied to the greatest
degree by a regulation.
The Attorney General has opined that Universities "may not impose a
general prohibition on carrying of concealed weapons by permitted
individuals" but may limit "persons attending events on campus,
visiting dormitories or classroom buildings, attending specific
events as invitees." Opinion to The Honorable R. Creigh Deeds of
January 4, 2006. The language in §2 of the proposed regulation is
adopted from Virginia Tech and represents the broadest scope of
prohibition permissible under the Deeds opinion. While the language
encompasses most University activity, possession of weapons outside
of the specified buildings and events would not be prohibited.