I just received the book in the mail today. The "used" book I purchased came in shrink wrap and had obviously never been used. I've read through about 1/2 the book and it's an excellent resource. It contains nearly every firearm related statute in Virginia has passed as well as the applicable federal laws. It provides detailed and clear information regarding purchasing, transferring, transporting, and carrying a firearm in Virginia. It goes into great depth about the various exceptions in the laws regarding where carrying a weapon is illegal, and also advises caution when open carrying due to the ignorance of some localities.
In fact, much of the information in the book mirrors what I have read here on GlockTalk - only it's presented in a more organized fashion
. The section on when one can use deadly force was especially useful and I learned a great deal I didn't know before. It provided quotes from applicable case law and detailed the various requirements for using deadly force.
Here's some of the useful information the book provides on the use of deadly force:
In Virginia when one is prosecuted for killing another individual the courts presume the offense to be 2nd Degree Murder which carries a maximum 20 year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine. The prosecution only has to establish that the defendant intentionally caused the death of another. The defendant must establish that the use of force was justified in order to establish that the killing was "justifiable homicide" which is not criminal. I was under the impression that the prosecution had to establish mens rea (criminal intent) on the part of the defendant - which is a requirement in other states.
Also, by claiming self-defense as an affirmative defense to Murder, an individual admits that the killing was intentional therefore satisfying the prosecution's burden of proof.
If the defendant was at fault even in the "minutest detail", he/she must retreat until the only option available is the use of deadly force. If the defendant was at no fault, then he/she is not required to retreat.
Furthermore, one is not criminally liable for stray bullets if one can establish that the firearm was used in a self-defense situation, although one IS civilly liable.
The legal judgment whether a deadly threat was real is to be made from the perspective of the defendant, at the time the incident occurred. If the defendant considered the threat to be real, it is considered self-defense, whether or not that assessment was correct. This is important because in most instances, the jury is asked to consider how a reasonable individual would react. In this case, the only thing that matters is what was in the mind of the defendant when he used deadly force. In my opinion, this is a very good thing and admits of less second-guessing after the fact of a defendant's use of force.