Virginia’s 2020 Gun Control Legislation – Its Legal and Practical Effects on You
Sunday, May 24, 2020
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Virtual Webinar Access – $125.00
Get prepared to deal with Virginia’s troublesome new red flag law. Get clarification on other controversial laws produced by the 2020 session of the Virginia General Assembly that are designed to interfere with and restrict your right to keep and bear arms. The course will provide a plain-spoken explanation of these new laws and will describe steps you can take to prepare for their legal and practical effects on you as a responsible gun owner.
The Legal Use of Firearms for Self-Defense in Virginia
Saturday, May 30, 2020
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Virtual Webinar Access – $150.00
If you live or work in Virginia and rely on firearms for self-defense, this course is a must. We’ll explain the lawful and unlawful defensive use of firearms and help you to stay on the right side of the law. We will also give you a practical set of guidelines and steps you can take to protect your legal rights and navigate the legal battle that inevitably follows a self-defense shooting.
While Governor Northam’s attempt to ram an assault firearms ban through the legislature was defeated in the Virginia Senate (at least for the rest of this year), the 2020 session of the Virginia General Assembly produced a number of controversial laws designed to interfere with and restrict your right to keep and bear arms. The worst of them is a red flag law that will permit issuance of “emergency substantial risk orders” – orders that will enable law enforcement authorities to confiscate your firearms without any due process protection.
Imagine the police knocking on your door, demanding that you turn over every firearm you have.
Will you know why this is happening?
Will you know what to do?
Will you know who to call?
Welcome to life in the shadow of Virginia’s new red flag law. Starting on July 1 of this year, anyone can have you disarmed — with no notice/warning — by falsely telling the police or your local Commonwealth Attorney’s office that you are a threat to yourself or to others around you and that you own firearms.
There is no effective deterrent in the new red flag law or in Virginia’s perjury laws to stop the kind of vicious, but baseless falsehoods that will subject you to an emergency substantial risk order seizing your firearms. Anyone who has it out for you (e.g., your hostile ex-spouse, a vindictive former boyfriend or girlfriend, a fearful, gun-hating neighbor, a former employee you terminated) can initiate the red flag process – with no meaningful penalty for lying. Based on a false, but frightening allegation, a magistrate can issue an emergency substantial risk order requiring the police to confiscate your guns. You will lose your firearms to the state, literally, without any warning.
There are three important questions that you should be asking yourself in this situation:
- When your first opportunity to regain possession of your firearms comes up 14 days later in a hearing before a circuit court judge, will you be represented by effective legal counsel?
- Will you have the support of a psychiatrist or psychologist with the gravitas needed to convince a skittish judge that the allegations against you are false and you are a threat to no one?
- Will you be able to raise a constitutional challenge to the new red flag law?
If you haven’t taken steps to prepare for this kind of legal nightmare, you could easily lose your right to possess and use any firearms for many months or longer.
Other bills that have been enacted into law include:
- An amendment to Virginia’s preemption law which allows city and county governments to create their own laws restricting the possession and carry of firearms in local government buildings, public parks, and recreation and community centers, and at or adjacent to certain public events.
- A law prohibiting possession of firearms for as long as a protective order is in effect against you.
- A law prohibiting the purchase of more than one handgun in a 30-day period – but with a potentially useful list of exceptions.
- A law raising the bar with respect to the training required to obtain a concealed carry permit in Virginia.
- A law requiring universal background checks for all firearms sales.
- A law making it a felony to brandish while in a group formed with intent to intimidate another person.
- A law requiring that you report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement.
- A law adding child day care centers and private or religious preschools to Virginia’s gun free zones.
- A law limiting who may carry in school zones.
- A law relating to the storage of firearms at day care facilities.
- A law relating to access to firearms by children.
- A law banning possession of bump stocks.
In response to these bills, Attorney Stephen L. Sulzer has developed a new course – “Virginia’s 2020 Gun Control Legislation – Its Legal and Practical Effects on You.” The course will provide a plain-spoken explanation of these new laws and will describe steps you can take to prepare for their legal and practical effects on you as a responsible gun owner. Attendees will receive a copy of Mr. Sulzer’s PowerPoint presentation along with a useful compilation of the new gun control statutes and related laws needed to understand them.
This course teaches Virginia’s legal limits on the use of deadly force in self-defense situations, with a particular focus on the use of firearms. It will give you a working knowledge of the legal boundaries between a justifiable use of firearms in self-defense and an incident that will expose you to criminal prosecution and civil damages liability. It will also give you a practical set of guidelines and steps you can take to maximize your chances of winning (and financially surviving) the legal battle that inevitably follows a self-defense shooting. If you live or work in Virginia and rely on firearms for self-defense, this course is a must.
Part 1: Important Principles You Need to Know and Apply to Stay Legal in a Deadly Force Confrontation
In Part I of the course, we explain in everyday terms Virginia’s boundaries between the lawful and unlawful defensive use of firearms. Our presentation is illustrated with useful, practical examples involving real-life situations. We cover street confrontations, home invasions and the Castle Doctrine, Virginia’s stand your ground principle, and defending others. We will also cover (i) troublesome new case law concerning the unambiguously life-threatening overt act which is legally required to justify a deadly force response, (ii) Virginia’s legal rules relating to threat duration and proportionality of response, and (iii) a new development in Virginia’s law regarding brandishing. We also address whether you can still rely on prevention of an atrocious felony in Virginia to justify the use of deadly force. We will provide you with a real-world understanding of the rules you need to know to maximize your chances of staying legal in responding to a deadly force attack.
Part 2: Vital Information Needed to Deal With the Legal System in the Immediate Aftermath of a Self-Defense Incident
In Part II, we describe the legal battle that follows on the heels of almost every self-defense use of firearms. We explain each step in the post-confrontation legal process and give you a real understanding of how the system works. We teach you how to deal with the critical time just after a self-defense incident, including:
- 911 calls
- Pre-arrest interaction with the police
- When and how to assert your Fifth Amendment rights
- What follows after an arrest
What you do in these circumstances will have a huge effect on how the legal system will treat you. The course provides you with practical steps you should take and tools you will need to (i) protect your legal rights and (ii) help you (and your counsel) extricate you from the legal system with the least amount of difficulty.
Part II also discloses the real magnitude of your exposure in defending against criminal and civil suits, and provides detailed information about the various kinds of affordable, cost-effective insurance coverage that are available to help you financially survive a protracted legal battle. This information is not only up-to-date, but readily understandable and reliable.
The course is presented in a seven-hour session that includes short restroom breaks and a 20-minute break for lunch. It has been taught for five years in northern Virginia and has consistently received enthusiastic reviews from the Virginia shooting community for both its content and its straight forward, engaging presentation style. It has become the gold standard for those who carry or rely on firearms for home security and self-defense.
Do you belong to a group that could benefit from course topics relating to the right to bear arms in Virginia? National Firearms Law Institute offers private, personalized courses for members-only organizations.
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Meet Your Instructor
STEPHEN L. SULZER
Attorney at Law
CEO and Faculty Chairman
The National Firearms Law Institute
The National Firearms Law Institute
These courses were created and are taught by Stephen L. Sulzer, a highly-respected attorney with special expertise in firearms law and the law of self-defense in Virginia. He is also an NRA-certified pistol instructor, has held a Virginia concealed carry permit for more than 20 years, and has ten years of competitive shooting experience.
Mr. Sulzer has been practicing law in Washington, D.C., for more than 39 years, and has been a partner at some of the city’s most prominent national law firms, including Steptoe & Johnson and California-based Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. In fall 2013, Mr. Sulzer broke away from Big Law to found his own law firm, and after much planning and preparation, expanded his practice to encompass firearms-related matters. He is particularly focused on criminal and civil defense work for clients who have had to use firearms in self-defense. He has also expanded into matters involving federal and state firearms regulation, as well as Second Amendment-based litigation. Mr. Sulzer has an AV Preeminent Peer and Judicial Rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating given by Martindale Hubbell for legal skills and professional ethics. Mr. Sulzer is also pleased to have been selected as a referral attorney for both the United States Concealed Carry Association and the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.
In 2015, Mr. Sulzer noticed there was an unfilled need in Virginia for a plain-spoken explanation of the law regarding the defensive use of firearms. He responded by developing his two-part training course entitled “The Legal Use of Firearms for Self-Defense – When the Defensive Use of Firearms Is Permissible and How to Win the Legal Battle That Will Follow.” For the past five years, Mr. Sulzer has taught the course regularly at the Nation’s Gun Show in Chantilly (through Historic Arms Corp.’s Firearms Training Store); at Silver Eagle Group in Ashburn; at Fairfax Rod & Gun Club in Manassas; and at The Gun Dude in Falls Church. His entertaining and engaging style and high quality course content consistently receive enthusiastic reviews from the northern Virginia shooting community and the course has become the gold standard for those who carry concealed or rely on firearms for home security and self-defense.
Most recently, in response to the Virginia General Assembly’s passage of a number of controversial gun control statutes, Mr. Sulzer developed his newest course, “Virginia’s 2020 Gun Control Legislation — Its Legal and Practical Effects on You.” Like his Virginia law of self-defense course, this new course will be presented live online through the National Firearms Law Institute.
Mr. Sulzer has been active in the shooting sports dating back to the mid-1990s, when he began shooting service rifles in competition against the Marine Corps Rifle Teams and the Army Marksmanship Unit. He began his competitive shooting career with the M1A and transitioned to the AR-15 in 2000. He competed in three position “across the course” iron sight matches at distances of 200, 300, and 600 yards, and has also competed at 1,000 yards. He still shoots handguns (particularly M-1911s) avidly, has held a Virginia Concealed Carry Permit for more than 20 years, and is an NRA-certified pistol instructor.