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Thread: Confused new member question

  1. #1
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    Confused new member question

    As the title states, I'm a new member, as well as new to OC'ing, so please forgive any ignorance .

    A few months ago, I turned 21 and purchased my first handgun: a walther pps 9mm. I bought the gun for concealed carry, but have yet to apply for my permit (apparently will have to get one in ohio -my state of residence- due to a bogus drunk in public charge I received as a freshman in college here in virginia which disqualifies me). Any way, while I have been waiting to get one in ohio, I have been open carrying some... which I have really enjoyed.

    However, I am really confused and concerned about the gun free school zone act. I have searched all over this forum and the internet trying to find conclusive data saying about it. So far, all I have found basically tells me I cannot carry almost anywhere in my current city of Richmond (due to schools being all over). After reading the following from wikipedia, I have stopped carrying completely:

    "The GFSZA of 1995 effectively outlaws all forms of unlicensed carry nationwide:

    Nearly every State in the Nation allows some form of unlicensed carry by law-abiding citizens. This may be open-carry, vehicle-carry, or concealed carry without the need for a permit. The Federal GFSZA effectively prohibits any meaningful unlicensed carry by making it a Federal crime for an individual carrying a gun to travel on public sidewalks, streets, or highways that pass within one-thousand (1000) feet of the property line of a K-12 school. The sheer number of K-12 schools in developed areas makes it nearly impossible for an individual to travel any distance without entering a Gun Free School Zone."


    Also it seems even if I get a ohio concealed carry, I would be commiting felonies everyday just while driving in richmond.

    "The GFSZA of 1995 effectively prohibits concealed-carry reciprocity agreements between States:

    Although the Federal GFSZA does provide an exception for an individual licensed to carry a firearm, this exception only applies in the State that physically issued the permit. Forty-eight (48) States have provisions to issue concealed carry permits to citizens. Most of these States also enter into reciprocity agreements with other States where each State agrees to recognize the other's concealed carry permits, just as they recognize an out-of-state driver's license. Because the Federal GFSZA requires the permit be issued by the State in which the school zone is in, it is effectively impossible for a permit holder to travel outside their State of issuance to a reciprocating State without violating the Federal GFSZA. An ATF Letter Explains the Situation."

    From what I understand, "law-abiding" armed civilians are commiting felonies everyday. And I guess its kinda like pot in California where the state may not prosecute you, but the federal government can. If thats the case, I really don't want to hear the "don't worry about it, no ATF agents are going to search you" thing. If I use my handgun in a defensive situation within a 1000 ft imaginary line of a school I may or may not even know exists, I don't want to be prosecuted with a felony.

    So what am I not understanding? Am I being completely stupid ? I feel like I am or else ocdo and VCDL wouldn't have so many events...

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    Regular Member Coded-Dude's Avatar
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    that's about how each of us feel when trying to enlighten ourselves to the rules and regulations of opencarry(unless of course you are fortunate enough to live in a constitutional carry state). They want to make it so convoluted that you are scared to exercise your right without fear of prosecution..... because as we all know, this method will deter criminals and curb crime
    If guns cause crime.....mine must be defective.

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    Exclamation

    The GFSZA is one of those seldom-enforced "accessory" charges.

    Virginia recognizes Ohio's permit, but only if you are an Ohio resident. If you become a Virginia permanent resident you would need a VA permit or Ohio non-resident permit. That may be oversimplifying the issue, as I am not fully-versed on the relationship.

    As to carry within 1000' of a school, the issue is rarely raised and your Ohio permit would permit you the same privileges of Virginia resident or non-resident permit holder. Virginia law explicitly exempts permit holders from the 1000' rule as long as they do not enter ONTO school property.

    In your car, as long as your destination is either private property or further than 1000' from the school zone you are not in violation while you are in transit. Similarly to the Freedom of Movement Act (or Travel, whatever) if whatever you are doing is lawful in your origination and destination, traveling between the two does not terminate the lawfulness of the act, only places it under certain restrictions.

    If a drunk in public charge does not preclude you from owning a firearm then there is no reason to believe it would prevent you from applying for a VA resident permit. Only "habitual drunkenness" can be presented as a potential for denial, and even then it can be argued to the courts.

    I believe you can take your Ohio permit to your local municipal offices and essentially "trade" it for a VA resident permit, provided you verify your residency status and pay the fee.

    I'll be Proshooter can clear a lot of your questions up better than I. He does this stuff for a living.
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    The thing about having to have a permit from the state the school is in is nothing more than a BATF opinion. Last time I checked, BATF doesn't concern itself with state carry laws. Local and state law enforcement pretty much only concern themselves with the state K-12 ban, so as long as you don't enter school property, you're fine. The Mason District Gov't Center in Annandale where VCDL holds meetings every month is (IIRC) within 1000ft of a school zone, and is a fricken police station. If they were concerned with the federal 1000ft rule, wouldn't by now it would have been made an issue?


    Lastly, if it still bothers you that much, after you get your Ohio permit, just get a non resident VA permit if you're not a VA resident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post

    As to carry within 1000' of a school, the issue is rarely raised and your Ohio permit would permit you the same privileges of Virginia resident or non-resident permit holder. Virginia law explicitly exempts permit holders from the 1000' rule as long as they do not enter ONTO school property.
    Cite please. Last time I checked, there is no state 1000' rule. Only the actual K-12 property is in the state law, and a VA CHP (or recognized permit) will exempt you from that state law if you remain in your vehicle and it stays concealed.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Reading up on laws is necessary and often a cause of a headache (at least for me). That is why I like conversing here to get a better understanding of how they are interpretted.

    The GFSZ act is in most peoples minds unconstitutional but no one wants to sit in jail for ten years waiting for an appeal to make it through the court system.

    Yes many gun owners have probably unwittingly committed felonies under that federal law because it is too difficult to obey unless you simply disarm. (which is fine by them!)

    With that said, I got my CHP to void GFSZ in my life. Others simply have to try to follow the rules as best they can. Many have stated that enforcement of the GFSZ is only an afterthought of another crime. So if you were shooting people on school grounds they would tack the GFSZ on as one of the charges. Others have said that no VA police officer (sheriff, state police, local police) would charge you with it but I didn't feel comfortable hoping that if I had a traffic stop in a GFSZ that the officer would see it the same way.

    There are several threads around talking about GFSZ and carrying on school property. It is very confusing to say the least. VCDL has worked in the past to pass more bills to allow a relaxing of GFSZ but they have been defeated at least last year. Hopefully more good bills are coming.

    Experiencing the outrage of corrupt laws and corrupt politicians is a good motivation to get involved and lobby for positive change!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    ....
    Yes many gun owners have probably unwittingly committed felonies under that federal law because it is too difficult to obey unless you simply disarm. (which is fine by them!)
    ....
    I would venture to say it's more than just fine by them...it's their goal!

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    "If a drunk in public charge does not preclude you from owning a firearm then there is no reason to believe it would prevent you from applying for a VA resident permit. Only "habitual drunkenness" can be presented as a potential for denial, and even then it can be argued to the courts.

    I believe you can take your Ohio permit to your local municipal offices and essentially "trade" it for a VA resident permit, provided you verify your residency status and pay the fee."


    I was under the impression that it "can" be a disqualifying factor. I'd rather not waste my time and 100 dollars (i'm a poor college student) to end up getting denied when I know 100% sure Ohio will give me one.

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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valter9mm View Post
    (apparently will have to get one in ohio -my state of residence- due to a bogus drunk in public charge I received as a freshman in college here in virginia which disqualifies me).

    I am a little confused do you live in Virginia now? Or do you live in Ohio?

    If you live in Virginia establish residency, and follow the procedures for getting your permit in Virginia. As far as I am aware, and I could be wrong and I am sure someone will clarify. Is that Virginia is a "shall issue" state which basically means if you are not banned from owning a firearm under federal law you are entitled to a permit. Regardless of as you say "Bogus public drinking charge". If you purchased your pistol from an FFL after this conviction I would have to assume that you are not banned by federal law because you would have had to pass the insta check in order for the FFL to sell you the firearm.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Your post covers several major topics.

    On the GFSZA, there have been several threads, some even rather recently on this subject. It is easily one of the most vile and universally hated laws among law-abiding gun owners in the country, at least the ones who know about it and what it really means.

    As the wiki article suggests, I strongly believe that the law makes it almost literally impossible for a "non-permitted" person to legally carry a gun in any urban or suburban area in the United States.

    I also strongly disagree with the opinion of the BATF which states that the permit must be issued by the home state. A permit is a license, which is a non-tangible status of being, not a piece of paper or a card. If Virginia recognizes an out-of-state permit for me to carry concealed, then it is Virginia that is "licensing" me to carry concealed (in deference to Virginia's laws), based on the status granted by that other state. Who did the background check, and mailed me the piece of paper that documents this status of license is not relevant.

    Of course, I am not a lawyer, and as previously posted, I would not go looking for the opportunity to test my opinion in court either.

    As far as qualifications for the CHP, you are correct, you may not be eligible at this time, depending on how long ago your DIP charge took place.

    You can look up the requirements and the disqualifications for a Virginia CHP here. Go ahead and bookmark that page, I'm sure most of the rest of us have already.

    Scroll down to Paragraph E. 9, which is the section on DIP:

    9. An individual who has been convicted of a violation of 18.2-266 or a substantially similar local ordinance, or of public drunkenness, or of a substantially similar offense under the laws of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or its territories within the three-year period immediately preceding the application, or who is a habitual drunkard as determined pursuant to 4.1-333.

    So you may be eligible soon, all depending on how long ago it happened.

    TFred

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    Regular Member Jay's Avatar
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    Tfred thanks I was not aware of this good to know

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    [QUOTE=Jay;1417036]I am a little confused do you live in Virginia now? Or do you live in Ohio?

    I live in Virginia as a full time student, and as such cannot apply for residency. I am a resident of Ohio.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova View Post
    Last time I checked, there is no state 1000' rule.
    There is none. The permit exempts under VA law from the FEDERAL law.
    Only the actual K-12 property is in the state law, and a VA CHP (or recognized permit) will exempt you from that state law if you remain in your vehicle and it stays concealed.
    Yes. Thanks.

    Cite: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/44/922 18 USC 922 (q)(2)(A)(B)(ii)

    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do
    so by the State in which the school zone is located or a
    political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or
    political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains
    such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or
    political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified
    under law to receive the license;

    Which says that VA's permit is, by definition, a qualifying event for exemption. So, no. It is no written into VA law, it is proxied from federal law.

    Clear as mud, ain't it?
    Quote Originally Posted by valter9mm View Post
    I was under the impression that it "can" be a disqualifying factor. I'd rather not waste my time and 100 dollars (i'm a poor college student) to end up getting denied when I know 100% sure Ohio will give me one.
    It "can" but I believe it rarely (if ever) is.

    Also, the most they can charge you is $50 total and I believe you can use your Ohio permit to satisfy the education requisite.

    How long ago was your "bogus" drunk in public? If it was outside of three years, then you're OK (See 18.2-308(E)(9) http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-308)
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    So basically what I am gathering from all of you is that my concerns were legitimate. It sounds like no one thinks the probability of getting prosecuted on this law is likely, but that it is still a law. Plus, I personally don't want to spend jail time while I go through a massive appeal process to vindicate me.

    So just carry anyway? Ignore the fact that I'm driving within 1000 feet of a school zone while armed practically every day?

    I guess the real questions here: if I get pulled over in my car OC'ing or concealed (with a permit) while driving through a school zone, can a local LEO arrest me for GFSZA violation? How bout walking in public?

    And if I should have to use my weapon to defend myself within this zone will I be prosecuted?

    Can anyone find or think of an actual case in VA or elsewhere involving a defensive shooting or a person arrested for GFSZA while not on the school grounds and not violating any other laws?

    The joke is that apparently you can own a gun in your own home, but not take it outside of that home if your home is within 1000 yards of a school. The NRA should sue that this violates an individuals 2nd ammendment rights by forcing them to commit a crime to move their weapon (think if said person has to move houses). Its also obviously a 10th ammendment violation as this is a major overstretch of government power... commerce clause was never meant to regulate daily transportation of personal property. I'm not a lawyer by any stretch but it also seems that it is entrapment to not be able move your personal property without commiting a crime.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    See much more information at these sites:

    http://www.gunlaws.com/Gun_Free_School_Zones.htm
    http://www.gunlaws.com/Gun_Free_School_Zones_Nx1.htm

    According to the second page, there have been no prosecutions under the revised GFSZA, which was signed into law in 1995.

    Seems like a statement such as that would be easy enough to refute, if it were not true.

    Most people believe that the US Government is acutely aware of the fact that this law will not hold up, and the status quo exists right now that it is a much bigger stick just sitting there than if they actually tried to use it on someone. They know as well as we do, that nobody wants to be the test case, so as long as they don't pull it out, it stays there waiting for the first person to use it on.

    I'd say it's probably used as a "plea bargain hammer" more than anything, for when other Federal crimes are committed.

    Our Founding Fathers are no doubt spinning in their graves at the prospect of their country being run in this manner.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    Clear as mud, ain't it?It "can" but I believe it rarely (if ever) is.
    Also, the most they can charge you is $50 total and I believe you can use your Ohio permit to satisfy the education requisite.

    How long ago was your "bogus" drunk in public? If it was outside of three years, then you're OK (See 18.2-308(E)(9) http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-308)
    Its 100 dollars, maybe because its a non-resident and its different, but I have the application package which requests a 100 dollar money order/casheirs check.

    And 2 years ago. I plan to get my ohio one next month anyway. It does seem like its a bit silly that a non-violent, non-drug related, class 4 misdemeanor can disqualify me from a permit and the state is called "shall-issue"? I can buy a gun, but I can't carry it in a shall-issue state? hmmmm

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    Thanks for all the great input so far guys. I am pretty impressed with this forum and opdo in general.

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    ...persons who would be denied a permit in the Commonwealth...

    Quote Originally Posted by valter9mm View Post
    A few months ago, I turned 21 and purchased my first handgun: a walther pps 9mm. I bought the gun for concealed carry, but have yet to apply for my permit (apparently will have to get one in ohio -my state of residence- due to a bogus drunk in public charge I received as a freshman in college here in virginia which disqualifies me). Any way, while I have been waiting to get one in ohio, I have been open carrying some... which I have really enjoyed.
    I guess I'm playing devil's advocate here, but maybe someone could explain that I'm wrong...

    If you can get a license in Ohio, then that unfortunately brings Virginia's reciprocity agreement with Ohio into question.

    Virginia Code Section 18.2-308(P):
    P. A valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state shall authorize the holder of such permit or license who is at least 21 years of age to carry a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth, provided (i) the issuing authority provides the means for instantaneous verification of the validity of all such permits or licenses issued within that state, accessible 24 hours a day, and (ii) except for the age of the permit or license holder and the type of weapon authorized to be carried, the requirements and qualifications of that state's law are adequate to prevent possession of a permit or license by persons who would be denied a permit in the Commonwealth under this section.<snip>

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by virginiatuck View Post
    I guess I'm playing devil's advocate here, but maybe someone could explain that I'm wrong...

    If you can get a license in Ohio, then that unfortunately brings Virginia's reciprocity agreement with Ohio into question.

    Virginia Code Section 18.2-308(P):
    P. A valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state shall authorize the holder of such permit or license who is at least 21 years of age to carry a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth, provided (i) the issuing authority provides the means for instantaneous verification of the validity of all such permits or licenses issued within that state, accessible 24 hours a day, and (ii) except for the age of the permit or license holder and the type of weapon authorized to be carried, the requirements and qualifications of that state's law are adequate to prevent possession of a permit or license by persons who would be denied a permit in the Commonwealth under this section.<snip>
    There are two possibilities.

    1) Ohio wouldn't know about the VA DIP conviction (misdemeanor), so unless the Ohio application asks about it (i.e. have you been convicted in any jusrisdiction), you might be able to get your Ohio permit. If they do ask, don't lie!

    2) Even though you end up with a valid Ohio permit, it may be considered void here until the 3 year clock has run its course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    There are two possibilities.

    1) Ohio wouldn't know about the VA DIP conviction (misdemeanor), so unless the Ohio application asks about it (i.e. have you been convicted in any jusrisdiction), you might be able to get your Ohio permit. If they do ask, don't lie!

    2) Even though you end up with a valid Ohio permit, it may be considered void here until the 3 year clock has run its course.
    1) ohio doesn't ask for any conviction record other than felonies or violence related misdemeanors. It is also not listed as a disqualifying factor.

    2) There would have to be some sort of clause for that. While it may be a loophole in the system, an ohio permit would be valid either way.

    The other possibility is maybe they don't actually deny you in virginia for it.... idk

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    If a drunk in public charge does not preclude you from owning a firearm then there is no reason to believe it would prevent you from applying for a VA resident permit. Only "habitual drunkenness" can be presented as a potential for denial, and even then it can be argued to the courts.


    I'll be Proshooter can clear a lot of your questions up better than I. He does this stuff for a living.
    The DIP will most definitely keep him from getting a Virginia CHP until 3 years has elapsed:

    The following persons shall be deemed disqualified from obtaining a permit:


    18.2-308 E (9)

    9. An individual who has been convicted of a violation of 18.2-266 or a substantially similar local ordinance, or of public drunkenness, or of a substantially similar offense under the laws of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or its territories within the three-year period immediately preceding the application, or who is a habitual drunkard as determined pursuant to 4.1-333.
    Last edited by ProShooter; 12-08-2010 at 07:00 PM.
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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    Another question, which is OT for the Virginia forum (and I'm not asking for an answer here, just provoking thought), is whether a student living in another state can maintain his legal residency status in Ohio for the duration.

    The bottom line here is that this idea the OP has is riddled with legal and ethical problems. IMHO the OP ought to lawfully OC and not bother with the VA-CHP or OH-CCL.

    While the GFSZA is, in theory, unenforced and, in theory, unenforcible, lawful OC without a valid permit/license would mandate no carry in a school zone unless one of the other exceptions to the GFSZA is met. Yeah, I know, I'm no fun at all...

    Let's push for the national reciprocity bill to be passed next session... perhaps attached to that bill on page 16,384 could be a repeal of the GFSZA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by valter9mm View Post
    1) ohio doesn't ask for any conviction record other than felonies or violence related misdemeanors. It is also not listed as a disqualifying factor.

    2) There would have to be some sort of clause for that. While it may be a loophole in the system, an ohio permit would be valid either way.

    The other possibility is maybe they don't actually deny you in virginia for it.... idk
    What I meant by "may be considered void" is that if you run afoul of the law (for any reason) while CCing in VA on your OH permit within the 3 year DIP exclusion window, it's possible that you could be facing charges of CCing without a valid VA CHP. Some prosecutors are more zealous than others, and try to capitalize on opportunity. Just MHO.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valter9mm View Post
    I guess the real questions here: if I get pulled over in my car OC'ing or concealed (with a permit) while driving through a school zone, can a local LEO arrest me for GFSZA violation? How bout walking in public?
    With a permit? Absolutely not. See the above reference. Open or concealed does not matter in Virginia, it is the P4P created by the federal caveat.

    If you're driving and without a permit you would not be cited for a firearm violation. If you were walking you most-likely would not.
    And if I should have to use my weapon to defend myself within this zone will I be prosecuted?
    Not if it is justifiable defense.
    Can anyone find or think of an actual case in VA or elsewhere involving a defensive shooting or a person arrested for GFSZA while not on the school grounds and not violating any other laws?
    Not a single one comes to mind.
    The joke is that apparently you can own a gun in your own home, but not take it outside of that home if your home is within 1000 yards of a school.
    1000 FEET, not yards. And you may lawfully possess and carry a firearm on your own PRIVATE PROPERTY. You do not have to remain in your abode.
    The NRA should sue that this violates an individuals 2nd amendment rights by forcing them to commit a crime to move their weapon (think if said person has to move houses). Its also obviously a 10th amendment violation as this is a major overstretch of government power... commerce clause was never meant to regulate daily transportation of personal property. I'm not a lawyer by any stretch but it also seems that it is entrapment to not be able move your personal property without committing a crime.
    You are still not getting it - moving your own property either on your person or in a vehicle is not a crime. We have laid out the cites to statute for you and tried to explain.

    If you have a permit, you are exempt of the FEDERAL GFSZA 1000' rule. If you do not have a permit, you are not likely to be charged with an offense as a primary (most local police have little interest, from my experience, in federal law) and your best bet is to pass outside of the invisible circle with haste, but you are not in danger of prosecution for transiting through a school zone.

    If you are on your own personal property, you are exempted from ANY requirements by both federal law and VA statutory law.
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