Virginia May Effectively Ban Firearms Training

In Virginia…

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.

It will effectively be illegal to receive instruction with a firearm or practice with your firearm in Virginia if SB No. 64 makes it to law next year. Also effectively illegal would be ‘open carry’ demonstrations, marches, etc. I’m generally not a fan of those marches, they still shouldn’t be illegal.

Oh sure, the line at the end about ‘furtherance of a civil disorder’ might make you think otherwise but allow me to disabuse of that notion.

The amount of liability on any instructor who takes on a student in Virginia, or two or more people who want to practice defensive or competitive shooting, becomes astronomical. To get thrown into legal trouble all you would have had to do is post any remotely plausible content that could be seen to indicate encouraging or furtherance of civil disorder, or train someone who has.

That’s every boogaloo meme. Any SHTF reference. Any support for the protesters in Hong Kong. Any talk of taking out “traitors” or “tyrants”. Maybe even quoting the Founders.

Just about any social reference or share that is harshly critical of the state could probably be spun to indicate an instructor should have had knowledge that said student could or would use their knowledge to further civil unrest. The same goes with practicing together. If anyone in any group of two or more has social shares that could be seen as calling for civil unrest you’re open to felony liability.

Instructors would be damned if they do.. so they won’t. Teaching just one person who misuses what they know (except, of course, military training is unlikely to be held liable) could ruin them financially or imprison them.

I don’t use the phrase often, I think it gets over used to be honest, but George Washington is assuredly restless in his grave.

His state, his home, is attempting to ban the very practice that allowed him to forge this nation. Banning training and assembly. What time to be alive.