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The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide - any good?

Discussion in 'Glockers of the Old Dominion' started by jasonwc, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. jasonwc


    Jun 14, 2007
    East Brunswick, NJ
    Has anyone read "The Virginia's Gun Owner's Guide" by by Alan Korwin and Steve Maniscalco? (

    I'm looking for a book with a good overview of Virginia's firearms laws, especially regarding concealed carry. Would you recommend this book?
  2. I don't have that book, but from reading the description they don't mention Virginia case law.

    You can search Virginia laws here:

    VA concealed carry statutes are covered under § 18.2-308.

    But the laws don't say when deadly force can be used. For that you need to go to case law.

    But it's only $15 you aren't out that much if you buy it.

  3. jasonwc


    Jun 14, 2007
    East Brunswick, NJ
    I've already read most of the Virginia firearms statutes using the site you provided, and have checked out and other sites for further information. I thought the book would be useful as it includes the statues in one easy to access location and also provides interpretation and commentary on the various laws. Also, the book includes a chapter entitled "The deadly force and self-defense laws" which I would imagine would cite common law cases.

    I found a new copy on Amazon for $8 + $4 shipping which I'm going to buy. For that price, you really can't go wrong.

    MADISON Millennium Member

    Apr 6, 1999
    Roanoke, Virginia
    Rules for Concealed Carry

    1. Your concealed handgun is for protection of life only. Draw it solely in preparation to protect yourself or an innocent third party from the wrongful and life-threatening criminal actions of another.

    2. Know exactly when you can use your gun. A criminal adversary must have, or reasonably appear to have:

    * A. the ability to inflict serious bodily injury (he is armed or reasonably appears to be armed with a deadly weapon).

    * B. the opportunity to inflict serious bodily harm (he is physically positioned to harm you with his weapon), and

    * C. his intent (hostile actions or words) indicates that he means to place you in jeopardy — to do you serious or fatal physical harm. When all three of these “attack potential” elements are in place simultaneously, then you are facing a reasonably perceived deadly threat that can
    justify an emergency deadly force response.

    3. If you can run away — RUN!
    Just because you’re armed doesn’t necessarily mean you must confront a bad guy at gunpoint. Develop your “situation awareness” skills so you can be alert to detect and avoid trouble altogether. Keep in mind that if you successfully evade a potential confrontation, the single negative consequence involved might be your bruised ego, which should heal with mature rationalization. But if you force a confrontation you risk the possibility of you or a family member being killed or suffering lifelong crippling/disfiguring physical injury, criminal liability and/or financial ruin from civil lawsuit. Flee if you can, fight only as a last resort.

    4. Display your gun, go to jail. You should expect to be arrested by police at gunpoint, and be charged with a crime anytime your concealed handgun is seen by another citizen in public, regardless of how unintentional or innocent or justified the situation might seem. Choose a method of carry that reliably keeps your handgun out of sight.
  5. jasonwc


    Jun 14, 2007
    East Brunswick, NJ
    Thanks for the excellent information. However, I'm not sure how relevant point 4 is to Virginia, which is an Open Carry state.
  6. Carlitos


    Dec 19, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    This is the Virginia sub-forum. Where did you find that rule and what state does it apply to? Because it sure does not apply here in VA.
  7. Not at all, unless your in Norfolk ;)

    I would strongly recommend keeping your gun in whatever condition it was in during an confrentation unless your clearing leather.
  8. jasonwc


    Jun 14, 2007
    East Brunswick, NJ
    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.
  9. Thanks for the review,

    I'll have to get a copy myself.