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Old 09-24-2007, 17:59   #1
stooxie
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Will we get a Castle doctrine?

Hi folks,

VA seems to be pretty gun friendly (for the most part), why don't we have a castle doctrine? Has it come up and been vetoed or voted down? Has it just never really come up?

I'm curious.

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Old 09-25-2007, 02:42   #2
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I believe there have been two attempts to make it law. Got voted down or tabled both times. I'm sure it will come up again next session.
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:35   #3
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Agreeing with Fungunner.

Just a thought... living in a "Commonwealth," rather than a "state," does have legal implications. There are certain variables that exist with basing legal issues on common, King's law, non absolute matters. Meaning, nothing in VA. Statute is an 'absolute,' and is subject to interpretation by the court. States pretty much follow a "letter of the law" tenent.

A crude example of Commonwealth vs. state legal matters. The posted speed is the law in a state, but a regulation in a Commonwealth. In a "Commonwealth," a defendant may argue that there are reasons and variables involved that compelled him/her to violate that law, that no others and/or property were endangered by his/her actions, and that actual benefit was achieved... the courts have the leeway to then strike the violation. In a state, one mile over is a violation and usually not subject to 'interpretation.'

This would apply to incidents of personal protection, and it has. But agreed, I'd like to see a Castle Doctrine in Virginia... because "interpretation" of a statute and case law can fall on either side of a fence.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:36   #4
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Castle doctrine

I hope we get:
LIFE TIME Virginia Concealed Carry
The Castle doctrine
But, I don't think we will get either one passed and signed into law.
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Old 10-04-2007, 14:26   #5
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Dont be too sure you wont get it....
Florida has the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws. Almost every state has followed Florida in CC laws since Florida became the first Shall Issue state. Most other states watch what happens everytime we pass another user rights gun law. If it holds up here for a few years, other states start adopting it. Most just seem to copy it verbatim. Some may dilute the law.

Cross your fingers on these two laws. They are what seperate carrying a gun and actually being able to use one if its ever really needed.
Stand your ground is actually more important in many cases to CCW than the castle doctine. Stand your ground removes all duty to retreat (youre not required to flee whenever possible, duty to retreat). It specifically protects a shooter from civil action as long as its determined to be a legal use use of force. In other words, BGs momma cant sue you for shooting her little Antwan, after trying to jack you at the Stop-N-Rob. Before this was law, you could be cleared by the law for legal use, BUT...the BGs family could drag you through a civil court legal nightmare that would break you financially. (Think OJ Simpson there)
The castle doctrine provides the same protection for use and actually extends to your vehicle as well. This law does not require you have CCW to use force if necessary, but its intended for use of force protection in your home and car.

Both are solid laws that are important protection for you to defend yourself. Its been working without a legal hitch in Florida in the past, so dont be surprised to see more states get it passed into law as well.

Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2007, 22:31   #6
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I'm not an attorney and this isn't legal advice.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try to get away if you can safely do so, but there's no "duty to retreat" in Va. if you are free from fault - that is, you didn't create the initial threat.

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Old 10-05-2007, 09:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by RandySmith
I'm not an attorney and this isn't legal advice.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try to get away if you can safely do so, but there's no "duty to retreat" in Va. if you are free from fault - that is, you didn't create the initial threat.

Randy
Hi Randy,

As you've said... case law does support that a VA. resident, threatened in his abode, place of business and/or place of custody, does not have a duty to retreat.

However, I have read a VA. statute that incinuates that there is a "reasonable expectation" to retreat, when in a public setting. I could not find the Code last night. I will keep looking and get back to this thread if/when I find it. I should probably have left this paragraph out... but, I know I've read this burried somewhere.

The good thing about Florida's law (and the like) is that once cleared of criminal intent, civil litigation cannot be filed on behalf of the deceased.

Unfortunately, civil cases can be filed in VA. If criminally cleared, one will likely prevail in civil action. However, the financial loss to the "good guy" will be huge post defending such.

I may have $30 Gs, but I'd rather not spend it defending a proper and just action. A law such as Florida's would eliminate that possibility.

Tort law needs to be reformed. We should be pushing our legislators to git 'er done. If one opts to sue, one should be responsible for all financial matters if one loses. But, this is fodder for another thread.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:22   #8
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Yes, if you can find that statute, I would like to read it.

As I understand it (not being an attorney myself), self defense (and the lack of a duty to retreat if you are without fault) isn't restricted to one's place of abode or curtilage thereof for a defense of justifiable homicide.

Dodson v. Commonwealth,159 Va. 976, 979, 167 S.E. 260 (1933)(A person assaulted while in the discharge of a lawful act, and reasonably apprehending that his assailant will do him bodily harm, has the right to repel the assault by the force he deems necessary, and is not compelled to retreat from his assailant, but may in turn, become the assailant, inflicting bodily wounds until this person is out of danger.)

Analysis of "Justifiable Homicide" vs. "Excusable Homicide" can be found in Dodson v. Commonwealth, 159 Va. 976, 167 S.E. 260 (1933); Bailey v. Commonwealth, 200 Va. 92, 104 S.E. 2d 28 (1958).; Yarborough v. Commonwealth, 217 Va. 971, 234 S.E.2d 286 (1977)


I don't believe one would be a tortfeasor if they were justified in their actions.

Maybe we'll have a real attorney comment soon?

Randy
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by RandySmith
Maybe we'll have a real attorney comment soon?

Randy
IANAL, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last week!

I'll keep looking in the statute when I find the time. I did say case law supports not responsibillity to retreat.
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:21   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Truckee
[snip]Tort law needs to be reformed. We should be pushing our legislators to git 'er done.[/snip]
The most important part of pushing our legislators is selecting the right people in the first place. Up here in NoVA Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis is anti-gun and would never vote for a castle doctrine law. I'm still trying to determine where her challenger stands.

If we vote the wrong people into office we'll never get the laws we want. Remember it isn't as easy as Republican vs. Democrat either. Mark Warner our former Governor, and a democrat, was pretty much pro-gun and signed the legislation forcing all local governments to follow state law. I think Devolites-Davis is a Republican, at least I know her husband Tom Davis is a repub. So check your reps in your neck of the woods and try to get the right person into office.

Last edited by rwrjr; 10-08-2007 at 15:50..
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:38   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by rwrjr
The most important part of pushing our legislators is selecting the right people in the first place. Up here in NoVA Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis is anti-gun and would never vote for a castle doctrine law. I'm still trying to determine where her challenger stands.

If we vote the wrong people into office we'll never get the laws we want. Remember it isn't as easy as Republican vs. Democrat either. Mark Davis our former Governor, and a democrat, was pretty much pro-gun and signed the legislation forcing all local governments to follow state law. I think Devolites-Davis is a Republican, at least I know her husband Tom Davis is a repub. So check your reps in your neck of the woods and try to get the right person into office.
Chap seems to be on the better side of things. His record is pretty good on gun issues and when he came to my neighborhood he offered up very quickly that he was a gun owner and is pro-second amendment. I told him that I didn't like his blog entry about magazine restrictions and that I "vote freedom", i.e. I don't vote for people who feel that legislative jersey barriers are they way to control the masses.

-Stooxie
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:30   #12
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As said above Virginia has a very pro self defense common law. The general assembly is pretty much unwilling to to codify common law though which is why Castle Doctrine gets struck down time and again. The only bill I've seen get any traction was one that tacked on lawsuit immunity, which would have changed common law.
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by rwrjr
If we vote the wrong people into office we'll never get the laws we want. Remember it isn't as easy as Republican vs. Democrat either. Mark Davis our former Governor, and a democrat, was pretty much pro-gun and signed the legislation forcing all local governments to follow state law.
rwr,
I think you meant Mark Warner ^^ up yonder.
Those "Davis'" are - subconsciously sneakin' into yo minds ===== beware.

I cringed over Governor Warner at first... big business man, rich and unknown or proven. However, he turned out to be a good leader and legislator. Everyone raged at his move to close DMVs across the state. I continue to think that he did so as a tactical move, to jar some folks awake that needed a good shakin'... smart. I'm not much on the Democrat platform, but Warner merits my consideration with any future endeavors.

Agreed that we need to initially elect the 'right' people. However in saying that, I feel the need to scold my northern and eastern brethren. We do pretty well out here in the sticks... most of our legislators are Pro 2A and Pro Constitution... with few exceptions, and actually none that I can recall off hand.

Seems to be you'ze guys in NOVA and from Richmond east that are electing the Anti establishment... the gals and guys with all of the crazy taxation schemes and other whacked ideas.

My suggestion to each of you is to get out to actively change the balance. Don't 'wait for someone else' to get active. Volunteer for candidates, donate, preach to your friends and associates, take an unexperienced or Anti to the range with you. Join the NRA or GOA and the VCDL.
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Old 10-07-2007, 16:25   #14
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From VCDL 10/2 Alert--Devolites-Peterson

VCDL still does not have a survey from either Senator Devolites-Davis or Chap Petersen.

Devolites Davis, supports giving local county and city governments the power to restrict where people are allowed to carry their guns in their jurisdiction....Devolites Davis said Petersen, as a state delegate, voted to kill measures that would ban residents from carrying their guns into some sensitive locations, like libraries. She also said Petersen voted against handing off the gun control issue to local governments, even though Fairfax County has advocated for a regional approach to gun control.

"I am not going to vote to approve bills that violate state laws," said Petersen. He added that he did support taking the right to take the right to own firearms away from people deemed dangerous, such as those who are mentally ill or people found guilty of domestic abuse. I'd like more details from Petersen on who is the cognizant authority on determining these who would loose their rights.

I'm pretty sure I could not hold my nose and vote for Devolites, not to sure about Petersen.
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Old 10-07-2007, 16:44   #15
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Re: From VCDL 10/2 Alert--Devolites-Peterson

Quote:
Originally posted by alien-Glocker
VCDL still does not have a survey from either Senator Devolites-Davis or Chap Petersen.

Devolites Davis, supports giving local county and city governments the power to restrict where people are allowed to carry their guns in their jurisdiction....Devolites Davis said Petersen, as a state delegate, voted to kill measures that would ban residents from carrying their guns into some sensitive locations, like libraries. She also said Petersen voted against handing off the gun control issue to local governments, even though Fairfax County has advocated for a regional approach to gun control.

"I am not going to vote to approve bills that violate state laws," said Petersen. He added that he did support taking the right to take the right to own firearms away from people deemed dangerous, such as those who are mentally ill or people found guilty of domestic abuse. I'd like more details from Petersen on who is the cognizant authority on determining these who would loose their rights.

I'm pretty sure I could not hold my nose and vote for Devolites, not to sure about Petersen.
Dude, looking at your two paragraphs the one about Peterson sounds way more tolerable to me than the one about Davis. Yet you would vote for Davis?

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Old 10-07-2007, 18:58   #16
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I am under the impression that Devolites-Davis is anti-gun, anti-CCW. She has started campaign ads here attacking Petersen because he wouldn't vote against certain gun freedom bills - ie, he was against prohibiting carriers of firearms into county owned property, and complains about Petersen's vote in favor of allowing CCWers to carry their arms onto school property for student pickup/dropoff (etc).
From her website:
HB 1017

States that any county with an executive type of government may make it unlawful for a person to possess a handgun in a county owned building. Punishable by a Class 1 misdemeanor

House Vote Passed: 10/16/02

Petersen Vote: Abstention

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...+H15V0016+1017

HB 2535

States that the holder of a valid concealed handgun permit may bring the gun on to school property while in transit in a motor vehicle

House Passage: 2/02/05

Petersen Vote: YES

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...+hv0399+hb2535

and from http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/...per=63&cat=104

"Devolites Davis supports giving local county and city governments the power to restrict where people are allowed to carry their guns in their jurisdiction. Currently, the state has a uniform law that permits guns, including concealed weapons, in almost all settings, including public buildings and day care centers, she said.

"What works in rural areas does not work in suburban areas," she said during the debate.

Devolites Davis said Petersen, as a state delegate, voted to kill measures that would ban residents from carrying their guns into some sensitive locations, like libraries. She also said Petersen voted against handing off the gun control issue to local governments, even though Fairfax County has advocated for a regional approach to gun control.

"He voted to kill three separate bills that would have given Fairfax County local control. I voted with Fairfax County," said Devolites Davis.

In 2002, Gov. Mark Warner introduced a bill that took away local governments’ power to regulate firearms and Petersen did not feel he could support legislative bills in direct opposition to that law.

"I am not going to vote to approve bills that violate state laws," said Petersen. He added that he did support taking the right to take the right to own firearms away from people deemed dangerous, such as those who are mentally ill or people found guilty of domestic abuse.

Unless a law is included in the Virginia Constitution, which the statewide control of guns is not, the legislature has the power to change a law, said Devolites Davis."
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Old 10-08-2007, 16:09   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Truckee
rwr,
I think you meant Mark Warner ^^ up yonder.
Those "Davis'" are - subconsciously sneakin' into yo minds ===== beware.
Holy cr@p! You're right, did I goof big-time.

I corrected my original post.

For those of you who wonder whether Devolites-Davis is anti-gun, I would say with about 99% assurance that she is. Her campaign mailers are full of nothing but garbage, vague statements about what she thinks is important. Nothing about accomplishments mind you. Nothing about priorities. She's pro family, pro schools... la de da! I'd like to ask, what the hell have you done lady?

One other tidbit in her mailers is about guns. She doesn't want to see another teenager killed by guns. Sounds like code speak for gun control. I wrote her (or her campaign) a letter via her web site asking for her to be less vague and specifically state where she stands on gun control. Two months and counting with no answer.

Truckee - you're right about Mark Warner. When he was flirting with running for president I was pretty happy about it. I could care less about his party, being an independent myself. But he struck me as a no bull****, get it done kind of guy. The type of person I haven't seen in either party in a long, long time. He already has my vote for senator when the time comes.

If your talking about abortion, religion, stem cell research, universal health care, gun control, fairness doctrine on the radio, etc...; then you're a punk and I'm not listening because all you're doing is picking divisive issues that get everybody all riled up. Both parties seem to be run by punks these days.

If you're talking about the budget & deficit, transportation, national infrastruture, national security, preserving personal freedoms, serious investment in alternative energy (nuclear as one example), cleaning up gov't fraud/waste/abuse, and several more important issues, ok now you have my attention.

Something tells me that 2008 is going to set an all-time low for lousy candidates at all levels.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:41   #18
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Senator D-D and her hubby, US Rep Tom Davis, don't exactly have great records being pro-gun. Now I hear, Tom Davis wants to run for John Warner's Senate seat. yuk!

But getting back to the Castle doctrine in VA... There were those in the legislature last session, IIR, that argued the new law was worse than the current laws already on the books. I don't recall however, what the arguments were.
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Old 10-12-2007, 20:40   #19
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Devolites Davis, brags she is the anti-gun

http://www.geocities.com/rkba2da/vcdl20071010.pdf

**************************************************
Self-described RINO, Devolites Davis, brags she is the anti-gun candidate
**************************************************
Sounds like Republican Devolites-Davis is trying to mold her Senate race as Democrat vs Democrat.

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Fairfax may hold state Senate key

GOP's Devolites Davis faces a strong challenge from Petersen in the 34th
Excerpt:
On the campaign trail, Devolites Davis describes herself as an
independent, a moderate who can best represent a centrist constituency.
At a forum Thursday night before Equality Fairfax, a gay-rights
organization, she called herself a "RINO" -- Republican in Name Only --
a derogatory term used by members of the GOP's conservative wing.

Perhaps the biggest difference between her and Petersen, she says, is
the issue of guns, which she hopes will resonate in suburban Fairfax.
Devolites Davis, who has sought tougher gun laws, refers to Petersen's
votes as a delegate against bills that would have let Fairfax County
authorities ban guns in some public buildings.
Petersen, a hunter who owns firearms, said he "kept a pretty good
balance" on gun issues.
"In terms of firearms, I think there are some laws we can tighten up. We
can make the state safer. But by and large, this is a state where
law-abiding people have a right to own firearms. It's not the District
of Columbia," he said in an interview in his law office in downtown Fairfax.

I'll vote for Petersen in November.
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