Virginia Seeks to Criminalize Firearms Training

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Image: CC0 Kelly McCarthy

A bill just introduced in the Virginia legislature would make firearms training a felony in the Old Dominion state.

The poorly-worded bill would make a father taking his child out into the field to teach them hunter safety techniques subject to arrest and charged with “unlawful paramilitary activity.”

In addition, it appears that all martial artist instructors could also be charged under the crazed new statute.

So not only do politicians want to confiscate your guns, they want to turn anyone who even talks about self-defense into an enemy of the state and subject to jail time.

Here’s the entire text of the proposed legislation:

SENATE BILL NO. 64 Offered January 8, 2020 Prefiled November 21, 2019

A BILL to amend and reenact §18.2-433.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to paramilitary activities; penalty

.———-Patron– Lucas———-

Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice———-

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §18.2-433.2 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§18.2-433.2. Paramilitary activity prohibited; penalty.

A person shall be is guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony if he:

1. Teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or

2. Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or

3. Assembles with one or more persons with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm, any explosive or incendiary device, or any components or combination thereof.

2. That the provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment. Pursuant to §30-19.1:4 of the Code of Virginia, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities; therefore, Chapter 854 of the Acts of Assembly of 2019 requires the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to assign a minimum fiscal impact of $50,000. Pursuant to §30-19.1:4 of the Code of Virginia, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

THE FIGHT BACK

Meanwhile, as reported in the Washington Examiner, counties across the state of Virginia are passing Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in anticipation of strict gun control measures planned by the majority-held Democratic Virginia General Assembly. This is a coordinated plan, unlikely to take hold in the metroburb areas of Northern Virginia, but it’s popular in the rest of the state. Gun advocates across Virginia have pushed localities to declare themselves gun rights sanctuaries after November’s elections put Democrats in control of the Statehouse. The Virginia Citizens Defense League says there are now more than 40 “Second Amendment Sanctuary counties, towns, and cities” in the commonwealth.

In Betty Queen Center in Louisa an estimated 600 people gathered to pass a resolution that protects the gun rights of Virginians. 22 other counties in Virginia have signed similar resolutions including Appomattox, Bedford, and Lee counties. 

In Halifax, citizens overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing any new gun control legislation that might be passed in the coming state assembly. In southwestern Buchanan County, residents signed a statement demanding the resignation of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

Image believed to be Governor Northam in “blackface” from the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook

Governor Northam has made gun control a priority of the upcoming legislative session, and Democratic lawmakers have proposed bills to restrict firearms purchases and implement controversial “red flag” legislation giving officers the right to disarm individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others.