An amendment to a current law in Virginia has some martial arts companies, as well as some citizens concerned.
Known as SB64, the bill, according to Self Defense Company, would “instantly transform all martial arts instructors into criminal felons.” They also claim that it would criminalize all firearms training classes, including concealed carry classes.
According to SDC, the law would “even criminalize a father teaching his own son how to use a hunting rifle.”
The law, which was initially passed in 1987 relates the following:
A person is guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony if he:
- Teaches, 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;
- 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;
SB 64 adds the following language:
- 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.
According to the article in Natural News, the language of the bill as written is too wide open to interpretation, especially in a state that appears to be going hard left like Virginia. We recently published a couple of stories on new confiscatory gun laws that are being proposed in the Virginia legislature.
In fact, numerous counties in Virginia and elsewhere have vowed to become so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” (thank you California and other immigration law sanctuaries for the idea) where any laws that counter the Second Amendment would not be enforced.
The fact that this law is being amended, at the same time when new confiscatory gun laws are going to be put forth, gives gun owners reason to be concerned. As always, laws like this will likely be adjudicated in court. As we are painfully aware, that can be a crapshoot. It is inevitable that this new law will somehow be tested via a court case.
One can understand how people might be concerned. For example, the firearms addendum is somewhat vague.
If a person has a license to carry and happens to be with one or two people and they are involved in a counter protest to something like an Antifa or BLM rally, based on this law, the Antifa thugs or BLM participants could say that someone exercising their Second Amendment rights “intimidated” them and that would result in them getting arrested.
The statute is ripe for abuse.
Are some being paranoid? Perhaps. But in 2019, anything goes. All it takes is a social justice warrior wearing a robe and you could easily see why some people are concerned.
On Thursday, lawmakers in Virginia threatened to deploy the National Guard to enforce the strict gun legislation they’re pushing for if law enforcement officials refuse to do it themselves.
They said, “the law is the law.”
But apparently that’s a double standard in Virginia. Instead of focusing on what is and what isn’t against the law, it seems as though these lawmakers are only pushing to enforce rules that they believe are right.
Don’t believe us?
Take a look at what happened just a few months back in regard to a police officer cooperating with federal immigration officials.
In late September, a Virginia cop had the nerve and the audacity to notify ICE that he had detained a subject that they had a warrant out on.
He was subsequently suspended.
Luckily, a week later, after a massive public outcry about punishing the officer for upholding the law, the Fairfax County lawman was allowed to return to work.
As reported by the Washington Times, Chief Roessler Jr. said he suspended an officer who cooperated with federal deportation officers by turning over an undocumented immigrant he encountered during a traffic stop — a move the chief said violated policy.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 3, 2019
Chief Roessler didn’t identify the officer but said he “deprived a person of their freedom” by cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The chief called his actions unacceptable.
“Our county is one of the most diverse counties in the nation and no one should have the perception that FCPD is acting as a civil immigration agent for ICE,” he said in a statement. “This matter damages our reputation.”
But cries from the public proclaimed that the officer was not acting as an immigration agent. He was merely extending a professional courtesy. He was doing his job.
Guess what? The subject lost their “right to freedom” when they violated multiple laws.
Chief Roesslersaid the county officer should not have detained the immigrant to turn over to ICE. He said that move broke policy, which tells officers not to bother to confirm administrative warrants through the county’s system. The majority of administrative warrants are from ICE.
Matthew T. Albence, the acting director of ICE, said police departments routinely cooperate with other departments on warrants and detention requests and there is no reason they should treat ICE differently.
“I guarantee you, I can go into Fairfax County [court] today and there will probably be sheriffs from Loudoun County, sheriffs from Prince William County, maybe a couple of Marshals guys that are there waiting for somebody,” he said. “It’s a common occurrence in law enforcement. The only reason it’s being made controversial is because politicians are looking to exploit it.”
Now back to the original point about the push for full-on confiscation and bill language that would turn Virginia residents into felons overnight with the possession of certain firearms.
On November 18, mere weeks after Democrats learned they would be controlling the government in Virginia, State Sen. Dick Saslaw introduced a bill that he will sponsor next year in the 2020 legislative session. The bill will outlaw not only the sale or transfer, but also the possession of certain firearms.
SB16 provides that:
‘It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, purchase, possess or transport an assault firearm” and makes such actions a Class 6 felony. Of note is that in Virginia, Class 6 felonies are punishable by imprisonment for between one and five years.’
This proposed bill widely expands the definition of “assault” firearms, including a wide range of center-fire rifles, pistols and shotguns.
Basically, every rifle of the common AR-15 type design, as well as a number of pistols and shotguns that are commonly used for personal defense, target shooting, and hunting would be banned.
Since mere possession of such weapons would be illegal, they would also have to be either surrendered to or seized by law enforcement authorities in the jurisdiction in which they are located.
We’ve seen in recent months that various counties have opted to label themselves as “Second Amendment Sanctuary Cities”, poking fun at locations who consider themselves a harbor for illegal immigrants while also telling the country that they won’t bow down to unconstitutional gun laws.
But now lawmakers in Virginia are pushing to gain help on a federal level and are threatening to use the National Guard to execute their proposed legislation if it passes.
While activists and Democrats in the region say “Abolish ICE” because they don’t like enforcing and following immigration laws, they’ll seek to arrest those who won’t enforce laws they personally agree with. Go figure.
According to the Washington Examiner, Democrat lawmakers on Capitol Hill are now saying that local police and sheriffs who refuse to enforce gun control measures that they’re attempting to pass in Virginia should face prosecution and even action taken by the National Guard.
Since November’s Virginia Legislature elections proved to be fruitful for Democrats, giving them control of both chambers, gun control measures and legislation has been moving forward. These laws include everything from “red flag” laws, bans on what’s deemed as “assault weapons”, and also universal background checks.
Thus, legal gun owners along with the support of several sheriffs within Virginia formed Second Amendment Sanctuary counties in an attempt to proactively counter these sorts of unconstitutional laws.
Essentially, the delineation of a Second Amendment Sanctuary status reinvests the power to local authorities to choose not to enforce certain gun control laws.
In light of the Democratic acquisition of the chambers, along with discussions of egregious gun control measures, over 75 counties in Virginia have now chosen to adopt the status. Most recently, Spotsylvania County’s board of supervisors voted consistently to approve a resolution stating that county police will not enforce state-level gun laws that violate Second Amendment rights.
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Yet, Virginia Democratic officials are not taking these motions lightly. Their response is that any local law enforcement that attempts to usurp their passed legislation will face consequences.
Democratic Virginia Representative Gerry Connolly opined on the fate of local and county police who opt to refuse to enforce future gun control measures:
“I would hope they either resign in good conscience, because they cannot uphold the law which they are sworn to uphold, or they’re prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath. The law is the law. If that becomes the law, you don’t have a choice, not if you’re a sworn officer of the law.”
Democratic Virginia Representative Donald McEachin recommended cutting off state funds to counties that don’t adhere to gun control laws that make it through legislation:
“They certainly risk funding, because if the sheriff’s department is not going to enforce the law, they’re going to lose money. The counties’ attorneys’ offices are not going to have the money to prosecute because their prosecutions are going to go down.”
The irony in this is that Trump has been criticized for threatening to pull funding for states that don’t’ adhere to federal laws and Democrats screamed at the sky. Now, they’re looking to adopt the very same tactics that fuel their “Resist” Twitter feeds.
But McEachin didn’t stop there either. He also mentioned that Governor Northam could call upon the National Guard to enforce their questionable legislation, if passed.
“And ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law. That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.”
And they’re not stopping there. Lawmakers additionally want to make training with a legal firearm into an “illegal paramilitary activity.”
Virginia has attempted to chip away at the rights of citizens, one small hammer stroke at a time; and SB64 is going to attempt to outlaw firearm training.
The first portion of the bill goes as follows:
“A person 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”
How it will be Perceived/Explained:
The way that they drafted the bill, and the portions that will be either emphasized or broadly digested will be the portions related to people “knowing” that they’re preparing someone for some “civil disorder”.
They might even say that this law can be used against Antifa, which it could, but will it?
Talking heads will go on television, hyping up that this is a good measure that will criminalize people training for acts related to domestic terrorism; although why would we need a law for something there’s already a law for? That could be addressed already by Virginia law § 18.2-46.5.
How it can be Enforced:
The most dangerous words in this proposal are “knowing or having reason to know” and “in furtherance of”.
The reason being that intent is no longer really required, leaving every gun range owners and employees susceptible to prosecution for simply doing business. It’s plain as day why this language is the way it is, because with these key words, only loose connections need to be established to criminalize gun owners and enthusiasts.
Furthermore, civil disorder is also quite a broad term as well to be concerned about.
The second and also third portion of this bills is as follows:
“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.”
Wake up, America. Our freedoms are under attack. And Virginia may just be ground zero for the war for our constitutional rights.