Court Challenge on RKBA in Virginia


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Well Regulated
June 27, 2005, 06:13 PM
The Revolution in Virginia started to explode 230 years ago. That Revolution produced a Bill of Rights for the people. In a strange quirk of history, Virginia being the oldest government in America, has never had a direct judicial interpretation of Article I, Section 13, of the Virginia Bill of Rights which guarantees the right to a well regulated militia and the right to keep and bear arms.

The time is now ripe and is long overdue for a case to come before the Courts of Virginia to declare that the people do have a right to a well regulated militia and the right to keep and bear arms. The vacuum of any judicial ruling has produced various laws that are injurious to the fundamental rights of the people. Virginia1774 is going for a constitutional challenge to affirm our right to keep and bear arms. The outcome of this case could very well set the tone for the correct historical interpretation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If you want to help see this succeed visit the link :
Virginia 1774 Constitutional Challenge (http://www.virginia1774.org/Virginia1774ConstitutionalChallenge.html)

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dev_null
June 27, 2005, 06:35 PM
“That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”

– Virginia State Constitution, Article I, Section 13

Leatherneck
June 28, 2005, 08:35 AM
Um, it seems to me that in order to start a legal action, one must (a) have been wronged i.e., have their RKBA infringed by the state, and (b) have standing to bring the action. I'm not aware (thankfully) of any egregious action against individuals these days that doesn't get overturned almost immediately. Thanks largely to VCDL, I might add.

TC

Well Regulated
June 28, 2005, 10:50 AM
Leatherneck- in 2001 it was illegal to carry a concealed handgun in state parks, I got that overturned with the help of Delegate Dick Black. Eveybody at the time said it was lawful. VCDL and every other "group" had nothing to do with the overturn of that opinion. Nobody forced the Attorney General to issue the opinion that agreed with my legal arguments, he was required to issue the opinon by law. As the head of the Department of Law it is the job of the Attorney General to represent State Agencies in court. The Governor did not send an execituve order to change the law because of outside groups , he did so because it was the legally correct thing to do as the DC&R and other state agency regulations must be reviewd by the governor and the AG from time to time to see if they are in legal compliance with the law.

in 1978 it was legal to carry in a courthouse, school, and to purchase more than one handgun a month. Our colonial ancestors were required to be armed and ready to muster at anytime and could purchase as many guns as they wanted. These and other acts are infringements upon Article I, Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution.

Smurfslayer
June 28, 2005, 01:40 PM
you can look on www.virginia1774.org and literally find all the information you need to fully grasp the breadth of the infringements we face today, as opposed to the intent. Keep in mind:

Virginia's (explicit) statement of the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed in the Virginia Constitution, Article 1, Section 13 didn't come about until 1971.

Through '78, you can see that was all it took for the infringements to start coming. First it was 'only this common sense regulation'. Then, 'but we have to protect the CHILDREN'. And so laws were passed at our expense; wronging us. Nobody's saying the Commonwealth shouldn't have some limited say in the regulation of the manner of exercise of rights, rather, the Commonwealth has no business creating a legislative infringement and enforcing it at the barrel of a gun.

Leatherneck
June 28, 2005, 02:07 PM
Well, Smurf, I don't have quite the strident tone or bleak outlook that that site has.
§ 18.2-279. Discharging firearms or missiles within or at building or dwelling house. That doesn't seem so bad or onerous to me.
§ 18.2-154. Shooting at or throwing missiles, etc., at train, car, vessel, etc.; penalty. That, too, I can live with.
§ 15.2-915.3. Requiring fingerprinting for concealed handgun permit. This actually doesn't require fingerprinting for a CHP; it allows counties to require it, and mine doesn't.
I won't belabor it, but the other citations similarly restrict, IMO, unreasonable behavior. I'm not saying the Old Dominion is RKBA Nirvana, but all-told, VA laws aren't so bad, and our legislative environment is fairly gun-friendly too.

YYMV.

TC

Smurfslayer
June 28, 2005, 03:46 PM
§ 18.2-279, § 18.2-154 - these are statutes which regulate our conduct and theirs is a public interest in seeing that conduct doesn't harm others. Neither of these particularly 'infringe' your right to bear arms, rather, they curtail your conduct while bearing arms. It is also illegal to profane in public

§ 18.2-388. Profane swearing and intoxication in public; penalty; transportation of public inebriates to detoxification center

and also to slander
§ 18.2-417. Slander and libel.

Yet these laws curtail your speech. Do they infringe the US Constitution's 1st Amendment? My guess would be no...

On the other hand.
§ 15.2-915.3. Requiring fingerprinting for concealed handgun permit.

The granting of a concealed handgun permit in Virginia is a privilege, not a right. (edit-SS) One could debate the use of the terms 'statutory right' vs. fundamental or constitutional right in this discussion, but whether you refer to a Virginia Concealed handgun permit as a 'statutory right' or 'privilege', both are granted by the Commonwealth, and both may be regulated or taken away by the commonwealth as well...

So what is the point of all this? Not to attack laws that protect the public, but laws that do no such thing, while they infringe the rights of the citizens.

Well Regulated
June 29, 2005, 01:40 PM
It was illegal to discharge firearms by our Colonial Ancestors. We are challenging the right to keep and bears arms not unlawful discharge or brandishing or reckless handling.

JohnBT
June 29, 2005, 04:56 PM
"We are challenging the right to keep and bears arms..."

You are challenging the right to keep and bear arms? Why?

I tried to read my way through your site and quite frankly I still don't know what you're trying to acomplish.

John

Well Regulated
June 29, 2005, 10:58 PM
There are three branches of government. The legislature passes laws and the judicial branch interprets what the legislature has done against the back-drop of the state constitution. The judicial decision becomes “Case Law” and establishes for everyone just what the constitution actually means. This is why in Vermont there is no need for a permit to carry concealed in Vermont because the Vermont Supreme Court has declared that their state constitution grants their citizens the right to do so without a permit.

We are trying to set precedent of exactly what are the rights enumerated under Article I, Section 13, in Virginia. Everybody has an opinion, but the only one that counts is the judicial branches opinion, because that is their job. Almost every state has some form of judicial interpretation of their state’s right to keep and bear arms. Kentucky did it in 1823. Virginia has never had a test of Article I, Section 13, of the Virginia Bill of Rights. What this means in practical effects is that the legislature can do whatever it wants and take away all of your rights if nobody stands up in court and says you can’t do that because the violates the Virginia Constitution. In the last General Assembly Session a delegate tried to change the constitution to allow localities to ban handguns. Another senator wanted to pass a law that would effectively ban firearms in any restaurant that served alcohol. Two years ago “bearing arms” at Virginia airports was made unlawful. In 1978 the only place that was unlawful to bear arms was a place of worship.

If nobody steps up to defend their fundamental rights, it will only be a matter of time before they are gone. "Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction." - St. George Tucker's Blackstone, Volume 1, Appendix , Note D, Section 12.

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