Virginia Delegate Introduces ‘Jack Wilson Act’ to Repeal State’s Church Carry Ban


A former Navy SEAL, now serving as a Republican Delegate in the Virginia General Assembly, has introduced the “Jack Wilson Act” that would repeal that state’s ban on guns in churches. In a world of 2700-page legislation, Del. John McGuire’s bill is exactly one line long:

1. That § 18.2-283 of the Code of Virginia is repealed.

We know that the only thing that stops a bad person with evil in their heart is a good guy with a gun. And as millions of Americans have seen in crystal-clear, high-definition video, card-carrying good guys with guns can save lives in a matter of moments.

When seconds really count, police are just minutes away.

In the case of the West Freeway Church of Christ killer, his attempt to massacre innocents in a spree killing rampage ended about six seconds after he presented his firearm.  The quick action by everyday Americans with concealed carry licenses saved scores of lives.

And now Delegate John McGuire seeks to remove Virginia’s ban on church carry by concealed carry licensees so religious congregations in his state can worship in a safer environment.

From . . .

HB373 would remove Code Section 18.2-283 which prevents firearms from being carried in places of worship. In the Texas shooting, a member of the congregation carrying a concealed weapon returned fire on a mass shooter, stopping the shooting spree immediately after it began. Named after the hero who stopped the shooter, the Jack Wilson Act would allow bystanders and volunteer security to carry concealed weapons in places of worship, allowing attendees to defend themselves.

This act is the first piece of legislation to honor the hero that saved countless lives. “Jack Wilson is a hero for his actions on that fateful day,” stated John McGuire. “Code 18.2-283, which prevents firearms in churches and places of worship, leaves worshipers defenseless should a shooter target them. People have an inherent right to self-defense and the defense of others. We need to allow others that chance. If Texas had the same restrictions as Virginia, the seven parishioners who carried guns into that church, Jack Wilson included, would have been banned from doing so and countless more could have died. ”



  1. avatar Stateisevil says:

    There is not a ban in Virginia on carrying in church.

    1. avatar rogerthat says:

      It would remove the “good and sufficient reason” ambiguity

      1. avatar Dude says:

        Yes. That would be open to interpretation, and could get people into trouble.

        1. avatar Rokurota says:

          The last Republican AG we had issued an official opinion that self defense qualifies as a good and sufficient reason. I’m surprised Herring hasn’t gotten around to explicitly undoing this.

          Most religious folks don’t wish to break the law, however minor the punishment. Repealing the law is the right thing to do. An individual congregation can institute restrictions if they choose.

        2. avatar California Richard says:

          Unless the church buys metal detectors, I’m carrying at church. The day I am *unable* to carry at church, I’m switching churches.

      2. avatar BusyBeef says:

        because I can is a pretty good and sufficient reason to me.

      3. avatar Red says:

        A previous Attorney General made a statement to the effect that “Self-Defense” was a “good and sufficient reason.”

        One could also argue that the government has zero rights to override what the places of worship wish to determine for themselves. Every wants to scream about separation of church and state, even though that phrase is no where to be found in the Constitution. Well, state keep your hands and laws off of the church!

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

      Who decides “good and sufficient” besides a jury?

      This is like Michigan knife law, 3″ or above is legal as long as you are not intending “to harm another human”. The police arrest people with open carried long fixed blades and let the attorneys fight it out.

      1. avatar David Bradford says:

        And this is why I do not EDC a knife in Michigan. Defending yourself with a blade can get you into deep trouble. Lots of second guessing your motivation and accusations of having a blood lust. Shoot someone in self defense and it’s more like “Okay, I see why you did that.”

    3. avatar Bill says:

      You are incorrect, there is in fact a current ban. The portion of the code cited in the article specifically states it.


    1. avatar Aven says:

      § 18.2-283. Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship.
      If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

      1. avatar Ken says:

        ” . . . held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor”

        So, a female could not be found guilty of this violation?

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      I would suggest that such a law has a “chilling effect” on the exercise of a right.

      People who are unsure what qualifies as a “good and sufficient reason” would not carry.

      On top of that if someone was to get caught or, God forbid, have to use their weapon in the Church there’s the possibility they could get hit with a Class 4 misdemeanor for this when it was determined by the police on scene, or the DA later, that they didn’t have a “good and sufficient reason” to be carrying.

      The wording of the law provides all the wiggle room a gun hating cop or politically motivated DA needs to go after someone on bullshit charges. Then it’s up to the judge and jury what “good” and “sufficient” mean and if you’ve met the threshold.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        “The wording of the law provides all the wiggle room a gun hating cop or politically motivated DA needs to go after someone on bullshit charges.”

        That’s a concern for sure in certain jurisdictions.

  3. avatar Dan says:

    So many rules, sometimes we forget, what can you do? It’s not a felony, hell it’s not even a slap on the wrist, just a reminder , sorry you’re not supposed to have a concealed weapon, which is supposed to be concealed, so I’m not supposed to know about it anyway, hold on my head is spinning

  4. avatar million says:

    even if the perpetually aggrieved Progressives didn’t just take over Virginia’s House and Senate, the state’s governor would’ve vetoed this bill in the name of “gun safety”.

    1. avatar Dude says:

      No doubt. Because murderers are concerned about having permission to carry.

  5. avatar Texican says:

    A thought just occurred to me that can be used when talking to libs about this church shooting. Especially if they say only cops should have guns. What did the parishioners do that a cop wouldn’t have done? The answer nothing or maybe not let the evil man into the sanctuary in the first place. Since the parishioners, especially Jack Wilson, didn’t do anything that a cop wouldn’t have done, what is your problem with guns in the hands of law abiding citizens?

    1. avatar Mr. Lucky says:

      “What did the parishioners do that a cop wouldn’t have done?” Stop the murderer before dozens of people were killed.

  6. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The atheists want to always tell others what they can and can’t do in a house of worship. And you even have some christians telling other christians what they can and can’t do in a house of worship.

  7. avatar BobS says:

    “…Code Section 18.2-283 which preventsprohibits firearms from being carried in places of worship.”


    1. avatar Thomas says:

      I feel very comfortable knowing someone in my Church has a gun and can and will use it to protect me and all of my Christian Brothers and sisters if need be with force or deadly force if need be. I feel even more comfortable knowing that I am one of the someone’s that has a firearm to prevent a slaughter such as the ones going on around the country. To put up a “Gun Free Zone” sigh in front of a Church, school or anywhere people are condrigating and known to be unarmed is assenine. That says to a thug, easy picking. The biggest threat to this country is lawmakers that will impose laws that are Unconstitutional against we the people and enforce them with people dedicated to protect and to serve we the people. Our 2nd Amendment is being threatened as I write especially in Virginia and many other States. Gun hating Socialist / Communist Democrats are using Presidential candidate Michael Blumbug to use his Billions to confiscate law abiding gun owners firearms. Blumbug is Sugar Daddy to the gun control , gun grabbing groups. Will America listen or elect a man that will take sugar out of our drinks? As President our rights and freedoms will be under attack by him. Our Second Amendment is not and will never be for sale. This is where the rubber hits the road in our Great United States. Take my sugar but dont infringe on my rights to defend myself and love ones.

  8. avatar Sam I Am says:

    “Del. John McGuire’s bill is exactly one line long:
    1. That § 18.2-283 of the Code of Virginia is repealed.”

    If enacted, not going to settle anything. Should have learned from the founders…short, direct, unequivocal laws (Second Amendment) are rife with opportunity for government/court intervention.

    There is always an activist-discovered, unstated “except for” in laws related to firearms.

  9. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    FWIW, I’m glad that the shooter’s name and face hasn’t been vomited up all over the Internet. I saw his name once in a single article, but all the attention’s being given to the hero Mr. Wilson.

    As it should be. Don’t ever advertise for criminals to inspire others to think they’ll get any fame or notoriety.

  10. avatar adverse6 says:

    When god is not enough to protect you. Oh Ye of little faith.

    1. avatar Rooster says:

      God is enough to protect, if we are smart enough to let him. I carry in church. I sing praises to our Lord. I take communion. I pray at the Altar. Nobody complains.

    2. avatar pwrserge says:

      Yeah… how did that work out at Lindisfarne?

      1. avatar Rooster says:

        An island full of Irish Monks and the cult of Cuthbert? How is that even relevant to the discussion of 2nd Amendment in the United Ststes? It’s not, but like a good lefty, you attemp to obfuscate with some inane ramblings.

    3. avatar Alison Wilson says:

      God gave Moses a staff. Moses had to use it. God directed the outcome.
      The bigger picture here, and I wish you all would think about this, is that if there is a law you can not carry a weapon into a place of worship, it makes the parishioners a good target. The left wants to get God out of the country, to do that they must stop us from attending. To do that, they must make it unsafe. To do that they must make it a target.
      End goal: government is your god.

  11. avatar Rich says:

    Marxists who infect our government plus the media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.
    Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.
    No matter what any politician or hard-left mainstream media tells you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..
    These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family.
    Ask the six million J ews, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the N azi death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.
    Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved.
    American Thinker

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