I Defended My Loved One—My Pet Part 2 – Virginia

Paul Ready: Welcome back to Part II of our feature on defending your pets. In Part I, our member Clint was forced to defend his dog against an attack by another bigger dog. Many of you have asked what the law says about how and when you can defend your four-legged friends. The answer will be different depending on the law in your state. That’s why we’ve asked the Independent Program Attorneys in your state to tell us more.

In Part I, we saw the actions Clint took to defend his dog from being killed by the neighborhood stray. Now, in Part II you will learn if his actions followed the law. Watch Independent Program Attorney Emily Taylor teach you the law, so you will know what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Ed Riley: In Virginia, you have the right to defend your domestic animal from attack, but the use of force must be reasonably and properly exercised. Focusing on this member situation, in Virginia Code Section 3.2-6570 Section F addresses it directly. If the dog or cat of the property owner is being attacked by another dog, whereas causing injury or death, then that property owner has the right to use reasonable and necessary force to protect his or her dog or cat

Paul: For more information on when you can use force in your state, please go to GunLawSeminar.com and register to attend one of our events in your area. If you missed Part I of Clint’s story, you can click the link on your screen to see it. And as always if you are not a member we would love for you to join us at uslawshield.com.

The Restaurant Has a Bar. Can I Carry? Virginia

Spring Break is here, and everyone is thawing out after a long winter. Watch Independent Program Attorney Ed Riley instruct you on the law before walking into a restaurant or bar with your firearm.

What is the Law in Virginia for Bars and Guns?

Generally, alcohol and Firearms do not mix. In Virginia, there are a few key laws that you need to be aware of concerning alcohol and the carrying and possession of firearms in Virginia.

Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-308.012, you cannot conceal carry a handgun on the premises of a restaurant or bar that is controlled by the Virginia ABC Board and consume an alcoholic beverage. This statute also makes it illegal for any person licensed to conceal and carry a handgun to be under the influence and carry that handgun in a public place.

If convicted under this statute, your concealed carry permit will be revoked and you will not be eligible to reapply for that permit for five years. 

It’s important to note that most establishments that sell alcohol are licensed by the Virginia ABC Board, or privately owned. That means they are private property and the owner of such property has the right to ban firearms from their establishment.

Know Your Ammo – Virginia

There are so many varieties of ammunition on the market today, but not every type is perceived the same in the eyes of the law. Watch Independent Program Attorney Ed Riley explain how the type of ammo you use could affect you.  

Ed Riley: Hi, Ed Riley, U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney for Virginia. In this segment, we are going to discuss ammunition. Here are a view key points we want you to know about ammunition. Number one, if you cannot possess a firearm, most likely you cannot possess ammunition. A couple of examples would be, if you’re a felon or if you have been adjudicated mentally defective, or you’re a fugitive from justice. There are many others to consider, but if you can’t possess a firearm then the odds are very good you can’t possess ammunition.

Number two, as to the specifics of the ammunition, most of you LawShield members are buying ammunition from the same place you are buying most of your guns, which are big stores or federal licensed firearms dealers. So the odds of them selling ammunition that is not legal is pretty slim.

However, number three, under federal law, if you turn to 18 USC 921 it criminalizes armor-piercing shells or projectiles for handguns. Turning to Virginia law, Virginia code sec 18.2-308.3 criminalizes what is referred to as “restricted firearm ammunition.” For most of you watching, your ammunition is not going to be a problem because you are purchasing that ammunition from a federally licensed firearms dealer. The odds of them selling illegal ammunition is pretty remote. However, from those of you that are getting your ammunition from another source or making it yourself need to pay particular attention to these two code sections because they are very detailed about what’s illegal and what you can and can’t use in not only the federal arena but also the state of Virginia.

Virginia Legislative Update—What Are the Latest Gun Laws?

Virginia Legislative Update transcript

Hi, Ed Riley here again, U.S. LawShield® Independent Program Attorney for Virginia.

Today, we’re going to talk about some of the updates in the law with respect to firearms, that went into effect in Virginia on July 1 of 2017.

virginia legislative update
Independent Program Attorney Ed Riley

First one of those is § 18.2-308.2, which speaks specifically to whether a violent felon or any felon can possess a firearm. The change in that statute allows a nonviolent felon to possess an antique firearm or muzzle loader or up to five pounds of black powder, as long as it’s being used for sporting purposes.

A second area of change involves schools. Typically you cannot carry a firearm in a school. However, this change affects school security officers. And if you look to § 22.1-280.1:2, the main change is that if you are retired law enforcement officer, you can carry a gun, and there’s some other changes that involve training as well.

The third area of change is the concealed handgun permit itself. No longer is it required to have an application done under oath before a notary.

Now you need to have an official form of ID issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia, or it can be the Department of Defense, or a passport. Also changed was that the actual size of the permit shall be the size of Virginia driver’s license, and it may be laminated. Additionally, the change-of-address requirement for the permit has been changed to allow you to fill out a Virginia State Police form and submit that to the court for a re-issuance of the change-of-address permit.

The last area of change to the actual permit process is renewal. If a clerk has an electronic system as part of their renewal process then they may use that electronic system for notice with respect to when renewal can occur.

The final area of change from this session involves people who have had their rights to possess, purchase, or transport a firearm taken away because of mental health issues. These come under Virginia Code Sections § 18.2-308.1:1, :2, and :3. And the specific change is that, if you are an out-of-state resident, you can now petition the general district court where those rights were last removed.


Back to School: Firearms Laws You Need to Know in Virginia


Back to School: Firearms Laws You Need to Know in Virginia

Back to School

As our kids get ready to go back to school, our Independent Program Attorney, Ed Riley explains the laws in Virginia regarding guns and schools.


Hi, Ed Riley, U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney for Virginia, and today we’re going to cover issues concerning Campus Carry on universities and lower schools, and firearms.

One of the questions we often get is, “Can I carry a firearm on a university or college campus?”

The answer is, “It depends.”

It depends on whether the university or college campus is public or private. If it’s a private university, they can restrict firearm usage and carry, just like any other private individual or private company. If it’s a public university, then there are certain guidelines and rules that are pretty consistent throughout all the public schools in the state of Virginia that restrict where you can carry firearms, specifically including buildings and most campus events.

Public schools can generally prohibit employees or students from carrying firearms on their grounds. And they can specifically prohibit the individual from bringing firearms into a building or to a school event. But they otherwise cannot generally prohibit an individual not otherwise attached to the school from carrying a firearm on the general open campus or grounds.

Whether it be a public or a private university or college, we highly recommend that you check that university’s or college’s policies before actually carrying a firearm onto their grounds.

Turning to elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, they are generally governed by Virginia Code Section 18.2-308.1. Specifically, this prohibits guns from about anywhere involving those types of schools.

There are exceptions, however.

Some of the more notable, or what we would suggest are the more important, exceptions would include those events or school-sponsored activities. These events or school-sponsored activities would include law enforcement officers and people that have their guns, that are in closed containers, or on a gun rack unloaded, as well as someone with a concealed handgun permit, as long as they are within the egress or ingress portions of the school, which would include driveways and parking lots.

We cover this topic and many others in our recently published book, Virginia Gun Law, Armed And Educated. Click here to see more or to order.


UT Profs Lose Anti-Campus-Carry Case

Virginia: Can I Use Force Against Someone Burglarizing My Car?


When can I use force against someone burglarizing my car in Virginia?

Law Shield Member Ambassador Sherry Hale:

Welcome members and fellow gun owners. In the last Members Voice video, our member Tyler witnessed a criminal breaking into his car. Tyler drew his gun and the bad guys ran away.

The legal questions started pouring in, and members, you wanted to know your legal rights in your state. So here’s your U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney to give you insight on what the law says.

U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Ed Riley:

Hi, my name is Ed Riley, and I’m a U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney for Virginia.

We often get asked “What can I do if I see somebody breaking into my car when it’s in my driveway or on the street near my house?”

The first thing I want to make very clear is that you CANNOT use deadly force or the threat of deadly force to defend personal property such as a car or items in a car.

What we recommend in this situation, is that you call 9-1-1, and get the authorities to your location as soon as possible.

In the event you decide to intercede and approach the bad guy that’s taking your property, you must proceed very cautiously. Virginia does not allow you to commit an offense to defend that property, such as assault and battery or brandishing of a firearm.

The law does allow you to use as much force as reasonably necessary to protect your property, as long as you do not commit such an offense as assault and battery or a breach of the peace.

In the event you decide to intercede and approach the bad guy to defend your personal property, you must proceed very cautiously, because these situations move quickly and you could become the victim of an attack at which point you would be entitled to defend yourself with the use of reasonable force.

If you need to know more about that type of situation, you can view other videos such as these, or our book “Virginia Gun Law Armed and Educated.”

Law Shield Member Ambassador Sherry Hale:

Educating you is the cornerstone of U.S. Law Shield. Thank you for being a part of our family.

As Temperatures Go Up in Virginia, So Does Road Rage

A recent national television report asserted that road-rage incidents are becoming more common and more deadly, with the latest incident taking place in Pennsylvania, in which a man is alleged to have shot and killed a teenage girl during a traffic merge. Click to watch level-headed advice from your Independent Program Attorney about what to do—and what not to do—in these situations.


Hi, my name is Ed Riley, and I’m a U.S. Law Shield independent program attorney for Virginia.

Members will often ask us how to deal with a road-rage situation. In Virginia, what is referenced as road rage is called aggressive driving in the Statute under VA 46.2–868.1. And the specific point of that is behavior that harasses, intimidates, or someway injures another driver.

If you find yourself a victim of an aggressive driver or road-rage situation, our primary advice is to not engage! To find a safe way to get yourself out of that situation.

If you can’t disengage, or the driver that’s exhibiting the road-rage or aggressive driving behaviors will not leave you alone, then it may be necessary for you to make a call to the police through 9-1-1 or a nonemergency number.

Firearm owners will often ask us, in this type of situation, ‘Can I use my gun to scare the individual off that’s exhibiting the road rage or aggressive driving behavior?’ And the short answer is no. No, you can’t. Because that would be brandishing a firearm.

To use a firearm in Virginia, to defend yourself, you have to be in fear of imminent bodily injury or death, so it has to be harm to yourself at that point. Typically, a road-rage or aggressive driving situation, is not going to have enough intimidation or fear to warrant serious bodily injury or death.

We discuss the use of your firearm in justifiable or excusable self-defense in more detail in other U.S. Law Shield videos and in our recently published book “Virginia Gun Law Armed and Educated.”