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Thread: VA-ALERT: VA AG rules on "Good and Sufficient Reason" for churches!

  1. #1
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    VA-ALERT: VA AG rules on "Good and Sufficient Reason" for churches!

    I can't believe I'm the first to post this.. Excellent news from VCDL's VA-ALERT:

    Good news!

    Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has formally ruled that self-defense is considered "good and sufficient reason" for the lawful carry of handguns into a church during a service! (Good and sufficient reason isn't needed at other times.) The ruling also stated that churches, as private property, can ban or restrict such carry (which is consistent with Virginia law and would make for a trespass charge if violated).

    This is excellent news also for the various preachers and pastors who have asked me about this issue.

    Here is the ruling:

    http://www.vaag.com/OPINIONS/2011opns/11-043.pdf

    NOTE: This is an Attorney General's opinion. It carries a lot of weight, but is not law and is NOT a GUARANTEE that a judge will agree. In PRACTICE, however, this should pretty much settle the matter, especially if the General Assembly doesn't overturn it with a change to the law next year (there is about a zero chance of that happening).

    VCDL would like to thank Delegate Mark Cole (Spotsylvania) for putting in the request on our behalf and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for a well-reasoned ruling.

    TFred

  2. #2
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    I was about to post this here, I HAD A QUESTION!

    Does a church, sence it runs sunday school, my church has ages 1~18 year olds in sunday school, we do not have a school during the week. Can we OC to church?

    Where Unlawful to Carry
    School property

    §18.2-308.1: School property. Exemptions to this statute include 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.


    But Church is not a school, and we only have sunday school on sundays, no programs during the week. It is the churches propitory, not a school's???


    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

    ^ Sorry that one if for stun weapon/knifes


    "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. "

    What is defined as "school"? is sunday school a "school" A church is not a School untill they get a licence to run a preschool/kindergrander?

    They need to becareful how they word this, now can carry at church. What if your church is running kindergrander school program.....
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 04-11-2011 at 03:50 PM.
    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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    The news hits the news

    Pilot online has an article published already. And the usual anti-gun bantering that follows....

    http://hamptonroads.com/2011/04/cucc...e-legal-church

  4. #4
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Thats more good news, so this year we have gotten the Church thing fixed.
    And we had the state parks changed.


    Now I want to hear more good news! change the darned college bans!!!!!!!
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 04-11-2011 at 03:44 PM.
    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?

  5. #5
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Angry

    The mass of hoplophobic reactionary response is nearly identical to the "blood will run in the streets" rhetoric we saw just before concealed firearms were allowed (shudder) in bars [sic].
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Should we tell Ken that its 18.2-283, not 293?
    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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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

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    Regular Member vt357's Avatar
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    Most of the comments are the typical blind hysteria. But this one is pretty funny:

    Pass it around with the safety off as an act of faith.
    Maybe we should ask the AG if "gun handling" like snake handling as an act of faith would constitute good and sufficient reason or if it is protected by the 1st amendment under freedom of religion.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    Thats more good news, so this year we have gotten the Church thing fixed.
    And we had the state parks changed.


    Now I want to hear more good news! change the darned college bans!!!!!!!
    Fixed is a relative thing ocholsteric.

    An AG opinion is just that, an opinion. It carries no weight of law and they are often disregarded.

    Remember, McDonnell himself issued an opinion that State Agencies did not have the authority to ban weapons. That was not the first such AG Opinion and still it took until recently for any change to take place.

  9. #9
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Fixed is a relative thing ocholsteric.

    An AG opinion is just that, an opinion. It carries no weight of law and they are often disregarded.

    Remember, McDonnell himself issued an opinion that State Agencies did not have the authority to ban weapons. That was not the first such AG Opinion and still it took until recently for any change to take place.
    I see...

    But is a church a school?
    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?

  10. #10
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    I see...

    But is a church a school?
    That has been discussed before (Sunday School, not K-12) and really not decided. As far as I know there is no case law and like most things, if a Police Officer decides to push the issue, it gets expensive finding out.

    My opinion, which won't even get you coffee at RCD...is no. Sunday School isn't a school under that law. My opinion also is that it's more beneficial than K-12.

  11. #11
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    That has been discussed before (Sunday School, not K-12) and really not decided. As far as I know there is no case law and like most things, if a Police Officer decides to push the issue, it gets expensive finding out.

    My opinion, which won't even get you coffee at RCD...is no. Sunday School isn't a school under that law. My opinion also is that it's more beneficial than K-12.
    How can we be for sure? Is there a lawyer to define this for us?

    I agree Sunday School isn't a school under law. Only if they are running a Kindergrander and up school program during the week.

    Would a mother home schooling 3 kids ageing from 6th,8th 9th grade be a "school" in their house.
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 04-11-2011 at 05:01 PM.
    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?

  12. #12
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    How can we be for sure? Is there a lawyer to define this for us?
    User might jump in on this but IMO, you can't be sure.
    Even after the statute is changed, unless it's just eliminated, it's hard to be 100% sure.

    An example:
    What is a secured container?

    You just have to make the most informed decision you can...and hope you don't run into someone who wants to push his weight around.

  13. #13
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    An example:
    What is a secured container?
    Tupperware! my food doesn't fall out
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 04-11-2011 at 05:14 PM.
    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 Lincoln7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova View Post
    I would not consider Sunday school a public or private elementary, middle, or high school. It is not K-12 and K-12 is the only "school" that is "GFZ".
    I think this is the correct answer. If I hold a shooting school for Boy Scouts at a shooting range, just because I call it a school where things are taught, doesn't mean K-12 rules apply.
    Last edited by Lincoln7; 04-11-2011 at 07:30 PM.

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    If Sunday School is a "school", then so are your kids' dance lessons and karate classes.

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    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    i have wondered for years, what business is it of the state, weather you carry a firearm into a church. in my, ever so humble, opinion a church is private property, and it is up to the members if they want to ban firearms.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Been carrying in church for years -one of the few times I CC.

    This new "opinion" will just be added to my other "sufficient reasons" = mass shootings, terrorists and past threats from previous employment.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member USNA69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armed View Post
    Pilot online has an article published already. And the usual anti-gun bantering that follows....

    http://hamptonroads.com/2011/04/cucc...e-legal-church
    Of course, the article just had to begin with the words "Packing heat ..."

    That is reporters' coded speech for "endangering everybody within a 100 yard radius by needlessly carrying a loaded gun, which could go off at any time and kill an innocent child".

    I read nearly all of the 143 comments on the article and was dismayed that the anti's seem to outnumber the pro's, bases on the approval voting for each comment. That caused me to add this comment to the end:

    Let the sheep continue be sheep, for they will always be in denial that wolves exist in the world to do them harm. I and my fellow carriers of sidearms will continue to be the sheepdogs, protecting the sheep from the wolf, despite the bleats of the sheep that the wolf does not exist. We know that the wolf DOES exist. We do not ask for the sheep's permission to do this. If nothing happens, the sheep will probably never know that the sheepdogs are among them. When the wolf arrives, many of the sheep will beg us to save them. And we will. That is what sheepdogs do.

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    Please contact Del. Mark Cole and thank him for requesting this opinion:

    http://dela.state.va.us/dela/MemBios...d?OpenDocument

    And Attorney General Cuccinelli for providing it:

    http://www.oag.state.va.us/CONTACTS/index.html

  20. #20
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    Please contact Del. Mark Cole and thank him for requesting this opinion:

    http://dela.state.va.us/dela/MemBios...d?OpenDocument

    And Attorney General Cuccinelli for providing it:

    http://www.oag.state.va.us/CONTACTS/index.html
    Done.

    Direct link to Ken C.'s email:
    Comments & General Questions
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member vt357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papa bear View Post
    i have wondered for years, what business is it of the state, weather you carry a firearm into a church. in my, ever so humble, opinion a church is private property, and it is up to the members if they want to ban firearms.
    Well VA's ban on guns in church was forced upon us by the North after the failed war for Southern independence. Every able bodied man used to bring his gun to church and would train with the militia after the Sunday services. The government thought they could suppress a new rebellion by preventing the militia from being "well regulated" or well trained. It was one of the first of many violations of the 2nd Amendment.

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    Guns in Churches

    But then again, not all churches are "equal". Some are a bit more 'liberal leaning' than others.
    Consider the Unitarian Universalists, for example:

    http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/soc...ts/14420.shtml

    http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/soc...ts/19787.shtml

    When I was stationed in Boston and had a MA CHL, I visited one of their gatherings with a friend.
    That was an 'interesting' experience to say the least. I thought I was in another country.
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSC 45ACP View Post
    But then again, not all churches are "equal". Some are a bit more 'liberal leaning' than others.
    Consider the Unitarian Universalists, for example:

    http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/soc...ts/14420.shtml

    http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/soc...ts/19787.shtml

    When I was stationed in Boston and had a MA CHL, I visited one of their gatherings with a friend.
    That was an 'interesting' experience to say the least. I thought I was in another country.
    From the second link:

    "6. Strong legislation forbidding use of "drop guns" by law enforcement officers."

    That's LOL funny. I guess "bearing false witness" is still a no-no... As if you need a specific law against planting false evidence? Wow.

    TFred

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Here is a web reference that a commenter left under the coverage by the local newspaper. Good to bookmark for future use.

    http://www.carlchinn.com/Church_Security_Concepts.html

    TFred

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Eugene Volokh has now blogged about this AG Opinion

    He simply mentions this opinion, without comment. However, the comments that follow are intreresting. The commenter Kimball Kinnison is from Virginia and has a CHP:
    I live in Virginia, have a CHP, and carry for personal protection. As a rule, I carry whenever and wherever I am legally allowed. Although I have never had to fire a gun in self defense, I have been in enough situations where it almost came to that point. (You try having a pothead hide a stash in your back yard, then come back prowling in the middle of the night, or have bounty hunters banging on your door at 1:20am.)

    There is no justifiable reason to single churches out as a “Gun Free Zone”. In the case of the person who threatened me, they know when and where I go to church. I have a wife and young son to take care of, and I can’t do that if I am dead. I have not just a right, but an obligation to protect myself and my family from those who would do us harm. (And yes, on the basis of those threats, I have carried in church in Virginia. My family’s welfare is “good and sufficient reason”, and the only time that people would know whether I’m carrying or not is when events conspire to prove that I had good and sufficient reason” by actually having to use it.)

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