I know that my kids know how to handle themselves in any situation, because I have taught them how to hunt, shoot, and fight. It’s a good thing I do not live in the state of Virginia, because – if certain pending legislation is allowed to pass – I could be doing time for those time-honored traditions!
An amendment to the current law in Virginia has some martial arts companies, as well as some citizens concerned.
Known as SB64, the bill would “instantly transform all martial arts instructors into criminal felons.” Local area dojos and self-defense companies also claim that it would criminalize all firearms training classes, including concealed carry classes.
According to them, the law would “even criminalize a father teaching his own son how to use a hunting rifle.”
Area gun advocates say the proposed language to be added to the bill as written is too wide open to interpretation. The addition to the original bill — which specifically prohibits the making of, or training in the use of, “firearms and explosives,” for “civil disobedience intent” – reads:
Assembles with one or more persons [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] [or] 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.
The phrase “technique capable of causing injury or death to persons” covers all forms of martial arts and self-defense training, including Krav Maga, BJJ, boxing and other contact martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do or Tai Chi.
Under the proposed law, all forms of self-defense training — including hand-to-hand martial arts training — would be considered “paramilitary activity,” even if the training consists of private classes involving just one instructor and one student. That’s because every form of martial arts training imparts skills that could be used to cause injury to other persons.
While that could be a bit of stretch, one can understand how people might be concerned. How it could impact people legitimately carrying firearms is a bit less vague.
As it is written, 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.
Does Gun grab paranoia? Maybe, but Virginia has been vehemently pursuing an anti-2nd Amendment agenda. 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 in the 2020 legislative session. The bill will outlaw not only the sale or transfer but also the possession of certain firearms.
According to his bill, “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 centerfire 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.
Counties in Virginia are fighting back, creating what they are calling 2nd Amendment “Sanctuary Counties” (a jab at left-wing immigrant “Sanctuary Cities”) where local law-enforcement has pledged NOT to arrest people for what they consider unconstitutional gun laws. The Virginia Governor has said he would not rule out using State Police or the National Guard to enforce SB64 should it pass – in such counties.
More on this story as it develops.