Sunday, July 10, 2005


Hanover County resident Patricia Webb is a business owner in the Beaverdam area who has a concealed-handgun permit. She often carries a gun. She has a teenage daughter who attends Patrick Henry High School. And until Friday, Virginia law had prohibited anyone other than law-enforcement officials from possessing loaded guns on school property. Individuals with concealed-weapon permits could have an unloaded gun with them in their vehicle, but it had to be in a case or on a gun rack. So when Webb had to pick her daughter up from school unexpectedly, she would stop down the road from the school, pull her gun from its concealed holster, unload it and secure the gun and the ammunition before proceeding on to the school.

She won't have to go through that routine any more. A state law that took effect Friday allows people with concealed-weapon permits to have a loaded, concealed gun in their cars on school property, as long as the person carrying the gun doesn't leave the vehicle. Webb is pleased with the new law. She said there is no safe direction to point a gun when unloading it inside her car. "There's no muzzle-safe direction," she said. "If I'm out and school calls and says I have to pick up my sick child, and I already have [a loaded gun] with me, what am I supposed to do?" she said. Going home first "is not an option all the time."

According to the Virginia Citizens Defense League Inc., the catalyst organization behind the legislation, there are about 120,000 Virginians with concealed-weapon permits. Until last Friday, said Defense League President Philip Van Cleave, a permit-holder carrying a loaded weapon couldn't make a U-turn in a school parking lot after school hours without inadvertently breaking the law. "You're a felon just by doing a U-turn," Van Cleave said. Van Cleave also explained that prior to Friday, if a permit holder were at a public place, such as a fast-food restaurant, and a busload of students showed up as part of a school-sponsored function, that permit holder would be considered breaking the law. This is because the public place then becomes the site of a field trip.


Rhode Island: Governor to sign victim disarmament law: "The governor is holding a ceremony today to sign a bill allowing judges to take guns from those accused of domestic violence. Supporters say the legislation will help protect victims of abuse. It allows judges to require that those named in permanent restraining orders surrender their guns. Exceptions are made for those who have to carry guns for work, such as police officers and military personnel. But they can only carry the weapons while on duty. Similar legislation has been proposed for years, but has failed to get through the General Assembly. This year, the bill included several compromises that helped win broader support."

Guns and the future of the United States: "Anti-gun cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Washington DC have demonstrated over and over again that your safety is irrelevant when compared to their political ideology. They continue to pass laws that furthers their agenda which includes a total disarmament of the people. And while pushing for the passage of such laws, they claim that their intent is to protect you from the very thugs that they allow to operate as a result of their failed ideology. In fact, they need criminals to shift the attention away from the fact that the laws are actually designed to protect politicians from law-abiding citizens."

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