The Legal Use of Firearms for Self-Defense in Virginia

May 30, 2020 all-day America/New York Timezone
via Zoom
Steve Sulzer


Attorney Steve Sulzer and the club have agreed that he will present his popular law of self-defense course (“The Legal Use of Firearms for Self-Defense in Virginia – When the Defensive Use of Firearms Is Permitted and How to Win the Legal Battle That Will Follow“) live online to FRGC members on May 30, 2020.

The course teaches Virginia’s legal limits on the use of deadly force and focuses on the defensive use of firearms.  It will give you a working knowledge of the boundaries between a justified use of deadly force in self-defense and an incident that will expose you to criminal prosecution and civil damages liability.  If you live or work in Virginia and rely on firearms for self-defense, this course will 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 your use of a firearm for self-defense.

In Part I of the course, Mr. Sulzer explains in everyday terms Virginia’s boundaries between the lawful and unlawful use of firearms.  The presentation is illustrated with practical examples involving real-life situations, including street confrontations, home invasions, and defending others.  Part I also covers Virginia’s Castle Doctrine, its stand your ground principle, its legal rules relating to threat duration and proportionality of response, and Virginia’s troublesome law regarding brandishing.  Mr. Sulzer also addresses whether you can still rely on prevention of an atrocious felony in Virginia to justify the use of deadly force.

For members who have taken this course before, please take note that there has recently been an important change in Virginia’s basic standard for the lawful use of deadly force.  Virginia courts are now precluding the defensive use of deadly force unless you face an unequivocally dangerous overt act by an attacker.  Mr. Sulzer will explain what this change means and why it is not only troublesome from a legal standpoint, but also very dangerous because of the practical constraints it puts on effective self-defense.

After a short break for lunch, Part II of the course explains each step in the post-incident legal process and gives you a real understanding of how the system works.  Mr. Sulzer teaches you how to deal with 911 calls and pre-arrest interaction with the police, when and how to assert your Fifth Amendment rights, and what follows after an arrest.  He 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 prosecution and civil suits and describes vital and surprisingly affordable ways to financially survive the legal process.

Here are representative comments from FRGC members who have attended Mr. Sulzer’s course at the club:

“This is a fabulous course!”  “Well-informed instructor. Clear takeaways, useful vignettes to illustrate points.  Great course, very informative.”  “Realistic explanation of reality and process.”  “Smooth, well laid out, well spoken.”  “Extremely well organized.  Excellent content.”  “Very complete – lots of good examples.  Thank you for a great job.”

This course has become the gold standard for those who carry concealed or rely on firearms for home security and self-defense.  It is taught by Stephen L. Sulzer, a highly respected attorney with more than 39 years of legal experience and special expertise in the law of self-defense in Virginia.  He is also an NRA-certified pistol instructor, has held a Virginia concealed carry permit since the late 1990s, has ten years of competitive shooting experience, and is a longtime FRGC member.

The course is only open to FRGC members and their families.  The cost for the course is $100 per person – a $50 discount off the $150 price that is now being charged to the general public.  Attendance is capped at 30 and reservations for the class are accepted on a first-come, first served basis.  Pre-payment of the course fee is required to reserve a seat.  Payment can be made by check payable to Stephen L. Sulzer PLLC and sent to 10903 Beach Mill Road, Great Falls, VA  22066.  When you register for the course, Mr. Sulzer will provide you with an electronic copy of the course materials and simple instructions on how to access the course’s free, user-friendly online platform.

You can sign up for the course by communicating directly with Mr. Sulzer via email at [email protected]or by phone at 703-899-2903.