Skip to comments.Lawyer Files Lawsuit to Restore Virginia Veteranís Gun Rights
Posted on 04/12/2019 9:14:10 AM PDT by Moseley
BLP recently covered how a disabled veteran, Jon Wolff, was arrested for open carrying a BB gun.
Now, his legal representative Jonathon Moseley is dialing up the pressure with a complaint that he filed on April 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. This complaint was filed in response to Wolffs arrest for merely holding a B.B. gun down by his leg, upside down with the trigger hanging down near the ground. The veteran held the long-gun shaped B.B. along the front tip so that it was hanging down to the group. He then proceeded to lean the gun against the fence.
However, when he yelled at the trespassers in the neighboring parking lot, a woman yelled Hes got a gun! The woman was accompanied by a man and went off with him towards a road construction project.
They reported this incident to their supervisor, who later called the City of Fredericksburg Police Department. Wolff would later be arrested for assault by intimidation for holding a gun with other people around and for brandishing the gun just for holding it down next to his leg. Wolff received two counts for each offense because there were two victims. The veteran only asked the trespassers what they were doing in a parking lot across his own backyard.
On March 21, the complaining witnesses admitted at the trial that Wolff never pointed the gun at anyone or waved it. The mere act of having a gun around other people is now a crime in Virginia, provided that someone claims that it made them feel afraid.
On January 3, Wolff heard noise in the private parking lot of the College Heights swimming pool which he knew was closed down for the season.
(Excerpt) Read more at bigleaguepolitics.com ...
Naturally, when Wolff heard the noise, he grabbed his B.B. gun and proceeded to go outside. He brought the B.B. gun because he was not sure what he was about to get himself into. Because of this, he would later be arrested, prosecuted, and convicted of 30 days in jail for each of two counts of brandishing. His jail time was suspended on the grounds of good behavior.
According to Moseley, The Fredericksburg prosecutor argued that Wolff was guilty of frightening people with his B.B. gun because he grabbed the B.B. gun on the way out his back door for self-protection. The prosecutor spun that into guilt of assault by intimidation.
Because of this, attorney Jonathon Moseley filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit on April 11. A copy of the lawsuit can be found here. Details and updates about the project will be available here.
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“Virginia is for Pussies”
My Brother used to carry his Bolt Action .22 Rifle to Middle School when we lived in Long Island, NY. He was in the Gun Club and the School had a Range in the Basement.
Of course this was in the 1950’s when most people were sane.
This is admirable, but I’m going to be “that person” because you are going to have to deal with this. So it’s better that I bring it up now so you can consider it.
How do you expect to get a federal court to rule on the Constitutionality of the Virginia Statute when you have an active State case proceeding in the courts of the Commonwealth?
“The philosophy of Younger also embraces a broader rule of comity, namely, that federal courts should abstain from the decision of constitutional challenges to state action, however meritorious the complaint may be, “whenever [the] federal claims have been or could be presented in ongoing state judicial proceedings that concern important state interests.” Colonial First Props., LLC v. Henrico County, 166 F. Supp. 2d 1070, 1075 (2001) (quoting Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, 467 U.S. 229, 237-38, 81 L. Ed. 2d 186, 104 S. Ct. 2321 (1984).
See also Hill v. Courter, 344 F. Supp. 2d 484 (2004).
Quite a few courts have held that Younger applies to declaratory actions as well:
“Although “interference with state proceedings is at the core of the comity concern that animates Younger,” abstention under Younger may be appropriate even when the federal proceeding would not “directly interfere” in the ongoing state proceedings. “Thus, Younger abstention is appropriate where a plaintiff seeks declaratory relief, ‘because a declaration has the same practical effect on a state court proceeding as an injunction.’” Burlington Ins. Co. v. Panacorp, Inc., 758 F. Supp. 2d 1121, 1135-1136 (2010).
“How do you expect to get a federal court to rule on the Constitutionality of the Virginia Statute when you have an active State case proceeding in the courts of the Commonwealth?”
The short answer is by adding more plaintiffs
However, this lead plaintiff was found NOT GUILTY of “assault by intimidation” under 18.2-57 so those charges are over.
So the plaintiff in the civil lawsuit intends to continue exercising his second amendment rights, and is entitled to declaratory judgment.
But I also expect the Virginia state criminal case to be concluded before the civil case gets very far
Contact the VCDL they have been targeting the brandishing statute for a while, they might have people who would join the lawsuit.
But antifa thug intimidation is ok, right?
“The veteran held the long-gun shaped B.B. along the front tip so that it was hanging down to the group.”
Fine bit of writing there, Jose.
Can anyone explain what this means? I can't picture it.
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