VA-ALERT: URGENT! GMU needs to hear from us NOW!


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W.E.G.
August 26, 2007, 10:57 PM
From: VCDL President
Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2007 10:23 PM
Subject: VA-ALERT: URGENT! GMU needs to hear from us NOW!


VCDL has just learned that George Mason University (GMU) is planning on putting in place a state *regulation* and not just a school
*policy* to ban students, employees, and VISITORS from possessing firearms in "academic buildings, administrative office buildings, student residence buildings, and while attending sporting, entertainment or educational events."

That is pretty much everywhere except the sidewalks, grass, and parking lots.

According to a document obtained by VCDL, GMU has crafted it's gun ban regulation "to provide the broadest permissible prohibition against weapons on campus, to include holders of valid concealed handgun permits."

In addition, GMU is expecting a legal challenge from VCDL (we are mentioned by name).

It also says that using a regulation, CHP holders can be deprived of any bona fide right of entry!!! Yes, GMU wrote that they want to deprive CHP holders of any right to self-defense on GMU property!

Regulations are a part of the Virginia Administrative Code and have the force of law, as opposed to a school rule or policy, so GMU is hoping to be able to charge ANYONE (student or non-student, faculty or non-faculty) with trespass on the spot once this regulation is posted using "ignorance of the law is no excuse" as their justification. (With a school rule or policy, the university needs to make sure that you know of the rule or policy. If you ignore the rule or policy once told about it, you can be charged with trespass.)

However, to get a regulation put in place, the agency requesting it is supposed to have a public comment period.

This proposed regulation was apparently slipped in very quietly, as we are just now learning about it!

Not only that, this proposed regulation was submitted a full MONTH BEFORE GMU's Board of Visitors even officially APPROVED THE PROPOSED REGULATION!!! It was published on August 6th.

That is NOT due process. Clearly GMU is trying to slip something by all of us and the General Assembly.

The GMU document mentioned earlier also states, "With a regulation the University adopts a prohibition by law." GMU is intentionally bypassing the General Assembly in their attempt to enact their own law!

The comment period ends on September 5th at 5 PM!

No matter how you look at it, GMU is pushing this through fast. We can slow it down as we have the right to request the comment period by extended by another 30 days and to ask for a public hearing on the proposed regulation. ***If at least 25 of us request a 30-day extension of the comment period, they have to grant it!***

WE NEED TO ACT NOW! Two action items follow - one for GMU and one to contact Delegates, Senators, and the Governor. After the action items, the text of the proposed regulation is included, along with candid comments from GMU on their legal strategy to ban guns using a regulation to target CHP holders.

--

ACTION ITEM 1 OF 2:

We need to flood the Agency Regulatory Coordinator for GMU, Kenneth W. Hubble, with emails and calls opposing this regulation and we need to ask him to extend the comment period by another 30 days and to have a public hearing.

Kenneth W. Hubble
Phone: 703-993-3091 **give him a call to object to the regulation!**
Email: khubble@gmu.edu

Suggested email title: I OPPOSE 8VAC35-60! Extend comment period.

Suggested email text:

Dear Mr. Hubble,

I am am OPPOSED to GMU's proposed regulation, 8VAC35-60.

8VAC35-60 is both illegal, as GMU has NO statutory power to ban lawfully carried firearms, and dangerous, as it serves to protect the lives of criminals while leaving students, employees, and visitors helpless to criminal attack!

The General Assembly has reserved control of firearms to itself, with the only exceptions being for local control of hunting and discharge of firearms. There is NO law that authorizes the University to regulate firearms, especially for students and visitors.

Virginia Tech had a ban on firearms and we know how that turned out for 32 students and faculty members -- the innocent complied with the ban and died while the criminal wantonly violated the ban, ruining many, many lives.

GMU students, employees, and guests would NOT fare any better if forcibly, and illegally, disarmed by the University.

The University's low regard for the lives of innocent students, employees, and visitors shown by submitting 8VAC35-60 is shocking, leaving George Mason turning in his grave over such a breach of liberty and freedom. It is particularly despicable that GMU wants to attack Virginia's concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders with "A regulation [that] deprives the CHP holder of a claim to bona fide right of entry..."

I am formally requesting that the comment period be extended by an additional 30 days (to October 5th) to solicit additional public comment.

I am also formally requesting a public hearing on the proposed regulation.

Please let me know what the University is going to do.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ADDRESS]

--

ACTION ITEM 2 OF 2:

We need to ask our Delegates, Senators, and Governor to suspend the active date of the regulation until the END of the next General Assembly session, thus giving VCDL time to get the laws changed/clarified. The General Assembly and the Governor have the legal power to do this.

To send a pre-written message (that you can edit) to your Delegate (the message will be sent to the correct Delegate automatically), click here:

http://www2.vcdl.org/cgi-bin/wspd_cgi.sh/vcdl/reflector.html?REF=MyDelegate&PRE=GMU-SEN1

To send the same pre-written message (that you can edit) to your Senator (the message will be sent to the correct Senator automatically), click here:

http://www2.vcdl.org/cgi-bin/wspd_cgi.sh/vcdl/reflector.html?REF=MySenator&PRE=GMU-SEN1

To send a message to the Governor via his web form, click here:

http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm

Suggested text to the Governor:

I urge you to OPPOSE George Mason University's attempt to rush through a sweeping gun ban regulation, 8VAC35-60!

The ban, which would make it illegal for even concealed handgun permit holders to have a gun in "academic buildings, administrative office buildings, student residence buildings, and while attending sporting, entertainment or educational events" has no statutory authority behind it.

Such a regulation is dangerous as Virginia Tech showed us. Everyone but the police are left totally helpless at the hands of a murderer!
The government should NEVER interfere with the protection of innocent life through self-defense. Life that is valuable off-campus should be just as valuable on-campus.

It is particularly despicable that GMU wants to attack Virginia's concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders with "A regulation [that] deprives the CHP holder of a claim to bona fide right of entry..."
George Mason is turning in his grave!

At a minimum, the regulation should be postponed until after the next General Assembly Session, so that the whole issue can be properly addressed and debated next year, not rushed through without time for debate or public comment.

I also request a public hearing on the proposed regulation.

-------- end of suggested text to the Governor -------

Here is GMU's proposed regulation for those interested:

TITLE 8. EDUCATION

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

Proposed Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: George Mason University is exempt from the Administrative Process Act in accordance with 2.2-4002 A 6 of the Code of Virginia, which exempts educational institutions operated by the Commonwealth.

Title of Regulation: 8VAC35-60. Policy Prohibiting Weapons (adding 8VAC35-60-10, 8VAC35-60-20, 8VAC35-60-30).

Statutory Authority: 23-91.29 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Comments: Public comments may be submitted until 5 p.m. on September 5, 2007.

Agency Contact: Kenneth W. Hubble, Agency Regulatory Coordinator, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030, telephone (703) 993-3091, or email khubble@gmu.edu.

Summary:
The proposed regulation establishes the weapons prohibition policy at George Mason University.

CHAPTER 60
POLICY PROHIBITING WEAPONS

8VAC35-60-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Police officer" means law-enforcement officials appointed pursuant to Article 3 (15.2-1609 et seq.) of Chapter 16 and Chapter 17 (15.2-1700 et.seq.) of Title 15.2, Chapter 17 (23-232 et seq.) of Title 23, Chapter 2 (29.1-200 et seq.) of Title 29.1, and Chapter 1
(52-1 et seq.) of Title 52 of the Code of Virginia and sworn federal law-enforcement officers.

"University property" means any property owned, leased or controlled by George Mason University.

"Weapon" means any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, razor slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, blackjack, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades that is designed to be thrown or propelled and that may be known as throwing star or oriental dart.

8VAC35-60-20. Possession of weapons prohibited.

Possession or carrying of any weapon by any person, except a police officer, is prohibited on university property in academic buildings, administrative office buildings, student residence buildings, and while attending sporting, entertainment or educational events. Entry upon university property in violation of this prohibition is expressly forbidden.

8VAC35-60-30. Person lawfully in charge.

In addition to individuals authorized by university policy, George Mason University police officers are lawfully in charge for the purposes of forbidding entry upon or remaining upon university property while possessing or carrying weapons in violation of this prohibition.
VA.R. Doc. No. R07-815; Filed July 19, 2007, 11:19 a.m.

--

Here is part of a document outlining GMUs plans to disarm everyone but the police, robbing us of our right to self-defense. Notice how they are planning on VCDL suing them! They don't care - it's just the public's money that will be wasted fighting VCDL's legal challenge.

GMU's Board of Scoundrels, er, Visitors salivating over finding a way to arrest CHP holders is a disgrace: "A regulation deprives the CHP holder of a claim to bona fide right of entry..."

This document shows GMU's contempt for law-abiding citizens and VCDL will make sure that quotes like that are presented to the General Assembly in January!

The original document is located at:

https://docushare.gmu.edu/dsweb/View/Collection-3969

--

Proposed Weapons Regulation

The proposed weapons regulation (Tab A) is crafted to provide the broadest permissible prohibition against weapons on campus, to include holders of valid concealed handgun permits. A challenge to this University's weapons prohibitions by the Virginia Citizen's Defense League (VCDL) is anticipated. The leadership and membership of VCDL appears concentrated in the Fairfax area (their mailing address is a Post Office Box in Newington). We have received queries regarding our weapons policy from identified members of VCDL. There is also an on campus group - George Mason University Students for Concealed Carry - which may work in concert with VCDL.

The ultimate remedy for violation of the proposed weapons regulation
- assuming all other conduct is lawful - is a successful prosecution under the trespass statute. That statute, 18.2-119, makes it a crime for one who "without authority of law" goes upon or remains upon the property of another "after having been forbidden to do so." Notice that one is forbidden is communicated in one of three manners 1) "either orally or in writing, by the owner, lessee, custodian or other person lawfully in charge thereof," 2) by posting, or 3) court order.

The Courts of this Commonwealth have imposed two other elements, in addition to the statutory language, in order to obtain a trespass conviction. First, no conviction will lie where one enters or stays "under bona fide claim of right" which is a "sincere, although perhaps mistaken, good faith belief that one has some legal right to be on the property." Reed v. Commonwealth, 6 Va. App. 65, 71 (1988).
Second, though "silent as to intent, the case law in Virginia has uniformly construed the statutory offense of criminal trespass to require a will trespass." O'Banion v. Commonwealth, 33 Va. App. 47,
56 (2006).

University policies are binding on persons with whom there is some type of contractual relationship, i.e., faculty, staff and students.
Adherence to policy is a condition of employment or admission. I am aware of no authority that binds outside unrelated third parties, i.e., the general public, to University policies; or, even that a University policy provides some type of constructive notice for purposes of implied conditions for entry. University policy can be the basis for ordering one to leave the premises, but becomes problematic for a trespass conviction.

A Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) is a statutory privilege granted by Circuit Court Order allowing the individual to carry anywhere unless "such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or the owner of private property" 18.2-308.O. As George Mason University is not a private property owner, the holder of a CHP has both a reasonable and good faith belief absent a regulation that armed entry on campus is lawful. With a regulation the University adopts a prohibition by law.

Regulation, having the force of law, invokes the traditional rule that ignorance is no excuse. A regulation deprives the CHP holder of a claim to bona fide right of entry, as armed entry is then "without authority of law." A regulation arguably makes armed entry intentional and willful, willful being characterized as "a thing done without ground for believing it is lawful." Richardson v.
Commonwealth, 21 Va. App. 93, 99 (1995). The two case law elements essential to a trespass conviction are satisfied to the greatest degree by a regulation.

The Attorney General has opined that Universities "may not impose a general prohibition on carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals" but may limit "persons attending events on campus, visiting dormitories or classroom buildings, attending specific events as invitees." Opinion to The Honorable R. Creigh Deeds of January 4, 2006. The language in 2 of the proposed regulation is adopted from Virginia Tech and represents the broadest scope of prohibition permissible under the Deeds opinion. While the language encompasses most University activity, possession of weapons outside of the specified buildings and events would not be prohibited.

-------------------------------------------
***************************************************************************
VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org
***************************************************************************

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colonial shooter
August 27, 2007, 08:22 AM
Just fired my email off.

Dan0076
August 27, 2007, 09:02 AM
My emails sent.

Docgmt
August 27, 2007, 09:39 AM
Email personalized and sent

Glock_19
August 27, 2007, 09:46 AM
Email Sent!

Green Lantern
August 27, 2007, 10:21 AM
Email personalized and sent

+1

jr45
August 28, 2007, 07:12 PM
The following is the email traffic from GMU and myself:

Mr. Hubble,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email. If your statement is correct, does it make it right? Do you think it would be beneficial (and in the best interest of the students and the public) to have a hearing? Doesn't GMU cater to "adults" seeking higher education? Does their Bill of Rights end at the boundary of GMU? Before attempting to enact, in my opinion, such a "feel good" policy, I hope that you take the time to hear thoughts from the students and the public. I look forward to response.

Very Respectfully,
**********

Please be advised that educational institutions of the Commonwealth are exempt from the Administrative Process Act pursuant to �2.2-4002.A.6. of the Code of Virginia. University regulations are instead adopted in conformity with the Virginia Register Act, �2.2-4100, et seq., of the Code of Virginia.

No public hearing is required. The proposed regulation appeared in the August 6th Virginia Register of Regulations in conformity with the Virginia Register Act.


----- Original Message -----
From: jrinne0430@verizon.net
Date: Monday, August 27, 2007 12:43 pm
Subject: I OPPOSE 8VAC35-60! Extend comment period.

> Dear Mr. Hubble,
>
> I am am OPPOSED to GMU's proposed regulation, 8VAC35-60.
>
> 8VAC35-60 is both illegal, as GMU has NO statutory power to ban
> lawfully carried firearms, and dangerous, as it serves to protect
> the lives of criminals while leaving students, employees, and
> visitors helpless to criminal attack!
>
> The General Assembly has reserved control of firearms to itself,
> with the only exceptions being for local control of hunting and
> discharge of firearms. There is NO law that authorizes the
> University to regulate firearms, especially for students and visitors.
>
> The University's low regard for the lives of innocent students,
> employees, and visitors shown by submitting 8VAC35-60 is shocking,
> leaving George Mason turning in his grave over such a breach of
> liberty and freedom. It is particularly despicable that GMU wants
> to attack Virginia's concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders with
> "A regulation [that] deprives the CHP holder of a claim to bona
> fide right of entry..."
>
> I am formally requesting that the comment period be extended by an
> additional 30 days (to October 5th) to solicit additional public
> comment.
> I am also formally requesting a public hearing on the proposed
> regulation.
> Please let me know what the University is going to do.
>
> Sincerely,

Green Lantern
August 28, 2007, 11:12 PM
jr45 - I got the same response back - must be a "form" reply for those of us that DON'T want to see another VA Tech massacre....

Robert Hairless
August 29, 2007, 01:57 AM
Would it perhaps be useful to suggest to the university that it should take the high moral ground by explicitly assuming the responsibility to protect all who enter the campus and comply with this regulation?

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