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Thread: Church meeting at a High School

  1. #1
    Regular Member ThunderRanch's Avatar
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    I thought there was another thread for this question but couldn't find it, so if I am duplicating, please just delete this one.

    My Church meets in a high school auditorium and, with the recent increase in Church violence, we have started to develop a security plan. Reading through

    "§ 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.

    As used in this section:

    "Stun weapon" means any device that emits a momentary or pulsed output, which is electrical, audible, optical or electromagnetic in nature and which is designed to temporarily incapacitate a person. "

    The highlighted section of the exemptions would seem to indicate that someone designated as part of a security detail would be able to legally carry while the Church was using the building. I have prepared a letter to the state Attorney General with the same question, but if it has already been answered, I won't waste his time by asking again!

    Does anyone know if there has been legal clarification on this?
    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." - Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist in 1764.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I do not know if there has been any case law upholding your point of view. My guess is that you would have better luck by picking all zoroes for the Lotto than getting a ruling that supports your idea.

    As for contacting the Atorney General - be aware that the AG can only respond with opinionsto inquiries from a limited number of people:
    § 2.2-505. Official opinions of Attorney General.

    A. The Attorney General shall give his advice and render official advisory opinions in writing only when requested in writing so to do by one of the following: the Governor; a member of the General Assembly; a judge of a court of record or a judge of a court not of record; the State Corporation Commission; an attorney for the Commonwealth; a county, city or town attorney in those localities in which such office has been created; a clerk of a court of record; a city or county sheriff; a city or county treasurer or similar officer; a commissioner of the revenue or similar officer; a chairman or secretary of an electoral board; or the head of a state department, division, bureau, institution or board.

    B. Except in cases where an opinion is requested by the Governor or a member of the General Assembly, the Attorney General shall have no authority to render an official opinion unless the question dealt with is directly related to the discharge of the duties of the official requesting the opinion. Any opinion request to the Attorney General by an attorney for the Commonwealth or county, city or town attorney shall itself be in the form of an opinion embodying a precise statement of all facts together with such attorney's legal conclusions.

    (Code 1950, § 2-86; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-118; 1968, c. 414; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 1976, c. 715; 1999, c. 14; 2001, c. 844.)
    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Regular Member ThunderRanch's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, Skid. If it would be better to send it somewhere else, who would you suggest sending it to? We do have a couple LEO's that attend the Church infrequently, so I know they are being considered for this security detail (kind of eliminates this problem!), but they aren't there every Sunday due to work schedules, so we are looking at other alternatives.
    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." - Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist in 1764.

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    You can ask your local Commonwealth's Attorney for his opinion on the matter. He might respond better to an inquiry from a "real lawyer" who was retained by the church than to an inquiry from the pastor/preacher. BTW, as I understand it, $1.00 is the smallest retainer fee you can pay someone because coins are not "legal tender." I might be wromg on that, though.

    You could also ask your local Delegate or state Senator to ask the AG for an opinion on the matter. The AG is required to give them opinions, and it may be easier than getting your local CA to do a lot of research and write his opinion first then ask the AG if he is correct.

    If it were me, I'd pick Door #2 via my local Delegate. But that's just my opinion.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    In Richmond the CA says attending neighborhood meeting while carrying concealed held in a private school after school is a no go. After all a school is still a school. I understand your concern. Personally I'd be more concerned if they started passing around kool-aid.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    skidmark wrote:
    coins are not "legal tender." I might be wromg on that, though.
    Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues


    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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    Regular Member ThunderRanch's Avatar
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    Update:

    I took Skid's advice and contacted my delegate, Senator Steve Martin ( I still think "I'm just a wild and crazy guy" every time I see that name!) to submit the request for an opinion to the AG. His office has responded that his office will take my request under consideration and will let me know his response. I'll keep you posted on the results.
    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." - Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist in 1764.

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    Regular Member ThunderRanch's Avatar
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    kenny wrote:
    In Richmond the CA says attending neighborhood meeting while carrying concealed held in a private school after school is a no go. After all a school is still a school. I understand your concern. Personally I'd be more concerned if they started passing around kool-aid.
    Kenny, I can certainly understand the CA's opinion in the context of someone merelyattending a neighborhood meeting, but I would think that the exemption would apply to someone designated as "security" for that meeting. I think that is where the distinction will lie, but I'll wait for the AG's response if it ever comes!

    To that point point, I may try to query the Chesterfield County CA while I'm waiting.
    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." - Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist in 1764.

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    The lease or rental agreement for use of the school property on Sunday should detail a lot of things including security and insurance. However, the general notion that a school is always a schoolis mistaken. Schools are used as church meeting places on weekends in a lot of areas and not just on Sunday Morning. There are meetings on Saturday and Saturday nights as well.

    Also, schools aren't just schools on Election Day.Election Day is a day that a person might choose to wear a political button, a color of dress with political significance (such as white or black in some Southern towns), or otherwise excercize their rights, including their first and second amendment rights. Of course, open carry to a polling place at a school and itmay result in a test of yourright against illegal siezure, not to mention a lot of other negative things that could discourage your future participation in our democratic processes. Of course, a felony conviction will remove your right to vote and that would solve their problem too. So don't get too far out in front on this one.

    One of the core beliefs of open carry supporters is that there is an unreasonable attitude, even a hysteria about guns. Magnifying the danger of guns is one aspect, but exaggerating the sanctity of empty school houses is another. You can't bring a gun on school property at any time for any reason, butthey'll over-pack your kids into cold, damp trailers and then claim some high moral purpose that you cannot question. The law is unreasonable.






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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    matt605 wrote:
    The lease or rental agreement for use of the school property on Sunday should detail a lot of things including security and insurance. However, the general notion that a school is always a schoolis mistaken. Schools are used as church meeting places on weekends in a lot of areas and not just on Sunday Morning. There are meetings on Saturday and Saturday nights as well.

    Also, schools aren't just schools on Election Day.Election Day is a day that a person might choose to wear a political button, a color of dress with political significance (such as white or black in some Southern towns), or otherwise excercize their rights, including their first and second amendment rights. Of course, open carry to a polling place at a school and itmay result in a test of yourright against illegal siezure, not to mention a lot of other negative things that could discourage your future participation in our democratic processes. Of course, a felony conviction will remove your right to vote and that would solve their problem too. So don't get too far out in front on this one.

    One of the core beliefs of open carry supporters is that there is an unreasonable attitude, even a hysteria about guns. Magnifying the danger of guns is one aspect, but exaggerating the sanctity of empty school houses is another. You can't bring a gun on school property at any time for any reason, butthey'll over-pack your kids into cold, damp trailers and then claim some high moral purpose that you cannot question. The law is unreasonable.




    You can in Virginia.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  11. #11
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    matt605 wrote:
    The lease or rental agreement for use of the school property on Sunday should detail a lot of things including security and insurance. However, the general notion that a school is always a schoolis mistaken. Schools are used as church meeting places on weekends in a lot of areas and not just on Sunday Morning. There are meetings on Saturday and Saturday nights as well.

    Also, schools aren't just schools on Election Day.Election Day is a day that a person might choose to wear a political button, a color of dress with political significance (such as white or black in some Southern towns), or otherwise excercize their rights, including their first and second amendment rights. Of course, open carry to a polling place at a school and itmay result in a test of yourright against illegal siezure, not to mention a lot of other negative things that could discourage your future participation in our democratic processes. Of course, a felony conviction will remove your right to vote and that would solve their problem too. So don't get too far out in front on this one.

    One of the core beliefs of open carry supporters is that there is an unreasonable attitude, even a hysteria about guns. Magnifying the danger of guns is one aspect, but exaggerating the sanctity of empty school houses is another. You can't bring a gun on school property at any time for any reason, butthey'll over-pack your kids into cold, damp trailers and then claim some high moral purpose that you cannot question. The law is unreasonable.




    You can in Virginia.

    +1

    Matt605's statement as written is not exactly correct legally but I think he was saying it in more of a metaphorical sense. That is if I'm understanding the context of his statement correctly. I'm sure that he knows that there are exceptions to that but he was just saying that as a comparison to the second part about the trailers.
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    ProShooter wrote:
    SouthernBoy wrote:
    matt605 wrote:
    The lease or rental agreement for use of the school property on Sunday should detail a lot of things including security and insurance. However, the general notion that a school is always a schoolis mistaken. Schools are used as church meeting places on weekends in a lot of areas and not just on Sunday Morning. There are meetings on Saturday and Saturday nights as well.

    Also, schools aren't just schools on Election Day.Election Day is a day that a person might choose to wear a political button, a color of dress with political significance (such as white or black in some Southern towns), or otherwise excercize their rights, including their first and second amendment rights. Of course, open carry to a polling place at a school and itmay result in a test of yourright against illegal siezure, not to mention a lot of other negative things that could discourage your future participation in our democratic processes. Of course, a felony conviction will remove your right to vote and that would solve their problem too. So don't get too far out in front on this one.

    One of the core beliefs of open carry supporters is that there is an unreasonable attitude, even a hysteria about guns. Magnifying the danger of guns is one aspect, but exaggerating the sanctity of empty school houses is another. You can't bring a gun on school property at any time for any reason, butthey'll over-pack your kids into cold, damp trailers and then claim some high moral purpose that you cannot question. The law is unreasonable.




    You can in Virginia.

    +1

    Matt605's statement as written is not exactly correct legally but I think he was saying it in more of a metaphorical sense. That is if I'm understanding the context of his statement correctly. I'm sure that he knows that there are exceptions to that but he was just saying that as a comparison to the second part about the trailers.

    Let me ask you if I may. As I understand it, you may not carry onto school grounds or buildings, out of your car that is, while school is in session or school-related activities are in progress (a football game, for example). Is this true? Let's say, it is a Sunday morning and you like flying your kite on the football field and you are armed. Any problem with that? Or a meeting of the Boy Scouts in the school cafeteria?

    And thank you for your response.



    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    No, correct me if I am wrong! Ability to be wrong and stupid is an important part of responsible gun ownership.

    My reading of the text cited above says that carrying a loaded gun on school property at any time by an individual is illegal. Within the context of OpenCarry.org, carrying a gun means a citizen openly carrying a gun just like those shown in the picture at the top of the page... not work, not concealed, not as public security.

    A citizen who wears a gun to church on Sunday morning at a school is committing a felony.

    A citizen who wears a gun to a election polling station at a school is committing a felony. (Of course, there may already be a law prohibiting a citizen from wearing a gun into a polling station, but it may not be a felony with a five-year minimum sentence.)

    These restrictions are unreasonable.

    Wasn't there also a guy who lost his teaching job at Westfields for having a loaded gun in his pickup truck? Then it turn out, he was a teacher at Westfields during the time that Matt Kennedy and the Virginia Tech shooter were both students there!




    "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;"

    Yeah, this part would seem tookay people havingguns at church, and mighteven permitopen carryespecially if open carry were specificallypermitted inthe church's general rules. Alcohol which can be found in communion wine is a something also not permitted in schools generally, but may be part of a religious program. All that is just my unqualified opinion. Factors ultimately determining a school district's policy would be the politics of the school board and the likelihood of the topic getting coverage in the local newspapers.



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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Here is the code section.....

    § 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.

    As used in this section:

    "Stun weapon" means any device that emits a momentary or pulsed output, which is electrical, audible, optical or electromagnetic in nature and which is designed to temporarily incapacitate a person.
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
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    Regular Member ThunderRanch's Avatar
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    I did contact the Chesterfield Commonwealth Attorny's office, who passed me to the Clerk of the District Court, who passed me to the Chesterfield County Police Department........ you get the idea.

    The desk Seargent siad his interpretation of the code was that the exemption I believed to be relevant only applied to a "program" such as a weapons safety course. Not to an organization utilizing the school for Church. He did, however, state that the ruling would have to come from either the AG or the CA stating that, in the event of someone violating the code section, they would NOT prosecute. In that instance, there would be no reason to arrest or detain.

    I will wait patiently for the AG's ruling that, in my naivette, I still believe will come!
    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms..disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one." - Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria, Criminologist in 1764.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    ThunderRanch wrote:
    I did contact the Chesterfield Commonwealth Attorny's office, who passed me to the Clerk of the District Court, who passed me to the Chesterfield County Police Department........ you get the idea. They pass the buck because no one in an official capacity wants to provide you with an answer that may come back to bite them later.
    The desk Seargent siad his interpretation of the code was that the exemption I believed to be relevant only applied to a "program" such as a weapons safety course. Not to an organization utilizing the school for Church. He did, however, state that the ruling would have to come from either the AG or the CA stating that, in the event of someone violating the code section, they would NOT prosecute. In that instance, there would be no reason to arrest or detain. You hit it correctly when you said "his interpretation". He is not permitted to provide legal advice. What's funny is that he said a "weapons safety course" programwhile the Code says "any program".

    I will wait patiently for the AG's ruling that, in my naivette, I still believe will come! That is perhaps your best course of action at this point.
    James Reynolds

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    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

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    I did contact the Chesterfield Commonwealth Attorny's office, who passed me to the Clerk of the District Court, who passed me to the Chesterfield County Police Department........ you get the idea. They pass the buck because no one in an official capacity wants to provide you with an answer that may come back to bite them later. A very valid point, but it is the public hysteria on guns generally that causes public employees to defer. The battle here is a little bit over making it okay for the school board to say it's okay for church leaders and church goers to include 2nd Amendment safety rights into their 1st Amendment reglious program. It's a funny thing about the 1st Amendment --it has little value without the 2nd Amendment.
    The desk Seargent siad his interpretation of the code was that the exemption I believed to be relevant only applied to a "program" such as a weapons safety course. Not to an organization utilizing the school for Church. He did, however, state that the ruling would have to come from either the AG or the CA stating that, in the event of someone violating the code section, they would NOT prosecute. In that instance, there would be no reason to arrest or detain. You hit it correctly when you said "his interpretation". He is not permitted to provide legal advice. What's funny is that he said a "weapons safety course" programwhile the Code says "any program". The desk Seargent doesn't have the experience to parse the meaning. Not surprising that program to him means weapons safety program, not religious worship program. That's just where he's coming from. Local school boards like to rent facilities on the weekends because it's popular and it defrays the cost of custodial staff who have to be there -- to protect the building from vandalism.

    I will wait patiently for the AG's ruling that, in my naivette, I still believe will come! That is perhaps your best course of action at this point. If the school board informally okays it, then the AG and CA will feel it's okayto go along. Since the original law is about preventing gang violence, which everyone deplores, then there should be no real objection. The law wasn't meant to erode the ability of worshippers (Christians, Jews, or Muslims) to protect themselves within existing laws. And lookat the politics of the season -- someone just gunned down the Arkansas State Democratic Party Chairman and no one has said a peep aboutnew gun laws.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    matt605 wrote:
    No, correct me if I am wrong! Ability to be wrong and stupid is an important part of responsible gun ownership.

    My reading of the text cited above says that carrying a loaded gun on school property at any time by an individual is illegal. Within the context of OpenCarry.org, carrying a gun means a citizen openly carrying a gun just like those shown in the picture at the top of the page... not work, not concealed, not as public security.

    A citizen who wears a gun to church on Sunday morning at a school is committing a felony.

    A citizen who wears a gun to a election polling station at a school is committing a felony. (Of course, there may already be a law prohibiting a citizen from wearing a gun into a polling station, but it may not be a felony with a five-year minimum sentence.)

    These restrictions are unreasonable.

    Wasn't there also a guy who lost his teaching job at Westfields for having a loaded gun in his pickup truck? Then it turn out, he was a teacher at Westfields during the time that Matt Kennedy and the Virginia Tech shooter were both students there!




    "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;"

    Yeah, this part would seem tookay people havingguns at church, and mighteven permitopen carryespecially if open carry were specificallypermitted inthe church's general rules. Alcohol which can be found in communion wine is a something also not permitted in schools generally, but may be part of a religious program. All that is just my unqualified opinion. Factors ultimately determining a school district's policy would be the politics of the school board and the likelihood of the topic getting coverage in the local newspapers.

    You can CC while in your car, dropping off or picking up someone at a school if you have a valid carry permit in Virginia. You may also walk or drive past a school while carrying open or concealed as long as you do not enter the grounds (none of that silly 1000 feet stuff here).

    As for churches, I think you can CC in a church IF there is a specific need or requirement (not at all sure of the legal verbiage) during worship services. This would seem to indicate that other instances are fine, such as church suppers or similar gatherings.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  19. #19
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    § 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.

    (Code 1950, § 18.1-241; 1960, c. 358; 1962, c. 411; 1975, cc. 14, 15.)

    I don't know how to parse "good and sufficient reason." If it is a constitutional right, then that should be good and sufficientreason enough. As a routine part of a church safety program, then carrying a gun to a church meeting at a school on a weekend would certainly be good and sufficient reason.

    However, the fulllist of "good and sufficient reasons" that generally existed in 1950 in Virginia would embarass most average citizens today. Beyond all the race segregation that was considered good and sufficient, things like liquor by the drink in restaurants and reading a suspect his or her Miranda Rights would be excluded.

    In fact, I don't how to determine if this section of law is still effective in Virginia.



  20. #20
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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    matt605 wrote:
    No, correct me if I am wrong! Ability to be wrong and stupid is an important part of responsible gun ownership.

    My reading of the text cited above says that carrying a loaded gun on school property at any time by an individual is illegal. Within the context of OpenCarry.org, carrying a gun means a citizen openly carrying a gun just like those shown in the picture at the top of the page... not work, not concealed, not as public security.

    A citizen who wears a gun to church on Sunday morning at a school is committing a felony.

    A citizen who wears a gun to a election polling station at a school is committing a felony. (Of course, there may already be a law prohibiting a citizen from wearing a gun into a polling station, but it may not be a felony with a five-year minimum sentence.)

    These restrictions are unreasonable.

    Wasn't there also a guy who lost his teaching job at Westfields for having a loaded gun in his pickup truck? Then it turn out, he was a teacher at Westfields during the time that Matt Kennedy and the Virginia Tech shooter were both students there!




    "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;"

    Yeah, this part would seem tookay people havingguns at church, and mighteven permitopen carryespecially if open carry were specificallypermitted inthe church's general rules. Alcohol which can be found in communion wine is a something also not permitted in schools generally, but may be part of a religious program. All that is just my unqualified opinion. Factors ultimately determining a school district's policy would be the politics of the school board and the likelihood of the topic getting coverage in the local newspapers.


    style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f8f8f8"
    You can CC while in your car, dropping off or picking up someone at a school if you have a valid carry permit in Virginia.
    Just a point of clarification - The section of the Code reads "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. - to be exempt, you have to have a concealed permit and keepthe handgun concealed.i.e. - it must remain concealed.
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
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  21. #21
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    ProShooter wrote:
    Just a point of clarification - The section of the Code reads "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. - to be exempt, you have to have a concealed permit and keepthe handgun concealed.i.e. - it must remain concealed.
    And, you must remain in your vehicle
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

  22. #22
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    "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."

    Yes, it is a strange and complex exemption.My thought has always been that the complexity of the laws acheive the goal of destroying the citizen's right because people become unsure of what their rights are and then they are intimidated into not using their rights when they should.

    For example, a Muslim who might want to wear a gun to prayers on any given day could be found in violation of the Virginia law that prohibits carrying a weapon to a place of worship, except for a good reason. Well, his reason may be that he had a nightmare of being attacked for being a Muslim or by another Muslim. If he were arrested at his mosque then he would become embroiled in a confusing, expensive,and stressful process where the outcome would likely hinge upon the mood of a localjudge. The complexity and confusion of the restrictions and conditions on the Muslim's2nd Amendment right prevents him from using it in a situation where it is completely valid that he should.

    Laws becometoo complex for the average citizen to understand, and the penalties are very harsh due to gun hysteria. So the public's 2nd Amendment right is removed through fear and intimidation.





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