Firearms in Virginia (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 5.5
Ethics Credits Included: 1.0

MCLE Credit: 5.5 (Ethics: 1.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
VIDC Re-Certification Credit: 5.5 (VIDC Information)
Designation Credit: 5.5 Trial Practice/Litigation, 1.0 Ethics
(Designations Information)
Price: $289 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 9/30/2022


A pre-recorded streaming AUDIO replay of the October 2020 seminar, Firearms in Virginia.

While the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that the Second Amendment means what it says—“the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed"—literally thousands of federal, state, and local firearm restrictions are on the books. Explore the ramifications of these rights, at both the federal and state levels. This seminar is intended to equip the criminal law practitioner with the ammunition needed to represent clients facing gun charges with creativity and competence.

Topics covered:

  • Virginia’s new (and old) firearm laws
  • The right to bear arms under the Virginia and U.S. Constitutions
  • Federal Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act
  • Ethics: Advising clients in unlawful possession of guns
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The Right to Bear Arms Under the Virginia and United States Constitutions
Justice Stephen McCullough

Listen to Justice McCullough discuss his research and findings in his law review article, “Article I Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution: Of Militias & an Individual Right to Bear Arms,” 48 U. Rich. L. Rev. 215 (2013).
Virginia Firearms Laws
Judge Richard E. Gardiner

While traditionally Virginia has relatively few statutes governing the carrying, acquisition, and possession of firearms, the Commonwealth is not without regulation. 

The topics to be covered include:
  • Concealed weapon permits (including denial appeals)
  • Removal of disabilities (felon and mental)
  • Firearm possession at schools
  • Other criminal law issues
Ethics: Counseling Clients in Unlawful Possession of Firearms
Stephen P. Halbrook

Your client tells you that she has an unregistered machine gun, or that he has a felony conviction and possesses a firearm.  What advice may you render to assist the client in coming into compliance with the law and avoid both self-incrimination and obstruction of justice?  Issues arise under the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.2(c), under which a lawyer many not counsel criminal conduct but may discuss legal consequences of alternatives, and Rule 1.6 (a), which prohibits disclosure of information protected by the attorney-client privilege.
New Virginia Laws
Josh Savani

This segment will discuss:
  • One-handgun-a-month
  • Background checks for private sales
  • Extreme risk protective order
  • Reporting of lost and stolen firearms
Federal Firearms Laws
James P. Vann

This session will cover the most common aspects of federal firearms law for the practitioner, including:
  • Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act
  • Persons prohibited from possessing firearms, and how firearms rights can be restored
  • Federal regulations of interstate commerce in firearms, including regulation of sales and transfers, and firearm dealer licensing
  • Federal regulation of carrying and transportation of firearms



Justice Stephen R. McCullough, Virginia Supreme Court / Richmond
Hon. Richard E. Gardiner, Fairfax Circuit Court / Fairfax
Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., Attorney at Law / Fairfax
Josh Savani, NRA-ILA, Research and Information Division / Fairfax
James P. Vann, Department of Justice, Firearms and Explosives Law Division / Washington, DC


Justice Stephen R. McCullough, Virginia Supreme Court / Richmond
Justice Stephen R. McCullough has served as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Virginia since 2016.  He began his legal career as a law clerk for Justice (later Chief Justice) Leroy R. Hassell, Sr.  After clerking, McCullough joined the Virginia Office of the Attorney General as an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Litigation Section, where he handled criminal appeals and defended convictions from collateral attack. 

In 2007, he was promoted to Deputy Solicitor General and later to Solicitor General.  The Solicitor General Section in the Attorney General’s Office represents Virginia in non-capital cases before the United States Supreme Court, defends state statutes and regulations against constitutional challenge, and handles high-profile cases as assigned by the Attorney General.  He was awarded a United States Supreme Court Fellowship with the National Association of Attorneys General and received two "Best Brief" awards from the National Association of Attorneys General for briefs he authored in the United States Supreme Court.  McCullough next served as Senior Appellate Counsel and Opinions Counsel in the Office of the Attorney General.  In 2011, the General Assembly of Virginia elected McCullough to a judgeship on the Court of Appeals of Virginia.  

Justice McCullough has served on a number of committees and commissions, including the Access to Justice Commission, the Boyd Graves Conference, and the Virginia Bar Association Board of Governors.  He currently chairs the Virginia Model Jury Instructions Committee.  He has written and lectured extensively on appellate procedure and criminal law.

Justice McCullough is a graduate with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, of the University of Virginia.  He obtained his J.D. with honors from the University of Richmond Law School, where he was selected for the law review and the moot court board.

Hon. Richard Gardiner, Fairfax Circuit Court / Fairfax
Richard E. Gardiner is a judge of the Fairfax County Circuit Court, having been appointed by the General Assembly in 2017 after a temporary appointment by the Governor in 2016. Prior to that, Judge Gardiner served on the Fairfax County General District Court from 2013 to 2016. Before going on the bench, he practiced law for nineteen y ears. Based in Fairfax, he focused on criminal defense, civil litigation, and administrative law. Judge Gardiner graduated in 1978 from what is now the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University. He has regularly volunteered and served as a judge in the Law School’s student moot court competitions where students have an opportunity to hone their advocacy skills.

Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., Private Practice / Fairfax
Stephen Halbrook argued and won Printz v. U.S. and other constitutional law cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.  He also represented a majority of members of Congress as amici in D.C. v. Heller, and represented the NRA in McDonald v. Chicago.  He has argued firearm law cases in all but one of the federal circuit courts of appeals. 

Mr. Halbrook is the author of the following books that have been cited in judicial opinions:

  • Firearms Law Deskbook
  • The Founders’ Second Amendment
  • Securing Civil Rights: Freedmen, the 14th Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms
  • That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right
  • Gun Control in the Third Reich

Mr. Halbrook holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Florida State University.  He previously taught philosophy at Tuskegee University, Howard University, and George Mason University.  He regularly lectures at law schools and in CLE programs.

Josh Savani, NRA-ILA, Research and Information Division / Fairfax
Josh Savani currently serves as the Director of Research and Information for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. In his current role, he oversees the NRA’s legal, historical, and analytics research activities. Prior to serving in his current role, he served as the Deputy Director of Research and Information, Research Attorney, and as a Legal Intern in the Research and Information Division. Mr. Savani earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Lock Haven University and a J.D. from George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. He is an active member of the Virginia Bar.

James P. Vann, United States Department of Justice / Washington DC
James P. Vann serves as the Associate Chief Counsel of the Firearms and Explosives Law Division for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  In this position he supervises the attorneys who provide legal services to ATF on national issues involving firearms and explosives law.  Previously he served for nine years as the Division Counsel for the Washington Field Division.  There he represented ATF at administrative hearings to revoke firearms and explosives licenses, and provided legal advice to agents and investigators on criminal and regulatory matters involving the Gun Control Act, National Firearms Act, Safe Explosives Act, Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act, PACT Act, and other matters within ATF’s jurisdiction. He has also been appointed as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in several judicial districts throughout the country to assist in the prosecution of federal criminal cases. 

Mr. Vann has been with the Office of Chief Counsel at ATF for fifteen years. He began his legal career as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Virginia. He became a Project Exile attorney after the first year, focusing primarily on the prosecution of gun crimes.

Mr. Vann received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and his Juris Doctorate from William and Mary School of Law.

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