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Thread: AG Opinion on Loaded in Car with no CHP and also Secure Container

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    AG Opinion on Loaded in Car with no CHP and also Secure Container

    AG Opinion on Loaded in Car with no CHP and also Secure Container

    http://edsfiles.us/letters/securecontainer.pdf
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Your about ten steps ahead of me Ed.
    Thanks for posting it!

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Whether you have a CHP or not, this is good news for all of us.

    Several months ago I had asked my Delegate, Lee Ware, to put in a request to the Attorney General to clarify the law on someone without a CHP having a firearm "secured" in a container or compartment in a motor vehicle. As it turns out Senator Stephen Newman beat me to the punch. He asked the same question and also a couple of other related questions, making Senator Newman's request a better one for the Attorney General to answer than my less encompassing question submitted by Lee Ware.

    The main question centers around the word "secured." Does it mean the container or compartment must be locked? (VCDL has always contended "no" to that question.) This had become an important issue as some people had been arrested and charged because either the police, the Commonwealth Attorney, or the judge had felt that "secured" meant locked. Others were not arrested or charged because "secured" was not interpreted to mean locked.

    Cuccinelli's opinion says, correctly, that the container does NOT need to be locked!

    The opinion says that the gun can be loaded while secured in the container or compartment and can be within reach of both the driver and passengers. Again VCDL concurs.

    This is good news for permit holders, too. For example, it would prevent a spouse or passenger without a permit from being charged for a gun left in a glovebox or console by a permit holder who has stepped away from the vehicle.

    The opinion also says that private property owners can ban guns in vehicles if they so choose. We need to fix that one. A gun stored in a vehicle should always be allowed so that the gun owner is not disarmed while traveling to and from the private property. This is a clash of rights - the private property owner's right to control who and what is on his property vs someone else's right to be able to protect themselves while NOT on that private property. Allowing guns to be stored in vehicles is a good compromise position for both parties. In fact there are some states that consider a person's private vehicle to be an extension of their home.

    Thanks to Senator Newman and Delegate Lee Ware for asking the question and to Attorney General Cuccinelli for a clear and concise opinion.

    Here is a link to the actual opinion from the AG's web site: http://tinyurl.com/6nu474c

    Here is coverage in the Washington Times: http://tinyurl.com/bt9mm7z

    Cuccinelli opinion clarifies gun-transport law
    By David Sherfinski
    The Washington Times
    Wednesday, May 30, 2012


    Virginians who can lawfully possess firearms do not need concealed-weapons permits to keep loaded handguns within reach in vehicles, according to Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II.

    The official advisory opinion does not codify anything new — that job would be the General Assembly’s — but clarifies what some had seen as a potentially nebulous recent change to state gun law.

    Before 2010, absent certain exceptions, the law that prohibited carrying a concealed weapon without a permit also barred transporting a handgun “in a concealed manner” in a vehicle. This included guns that were stored in glove compartments or center consoles.

    The 2010 legislature, however, added another exemption for “any personwho may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel” — an exception that applies when the gun is securedin a container or compartment. Itneed not be locked, according to Mr. Cuccinelli.

    The opinion, released this week, was in response to an inquiry from state Sen. Stephen D. Newman, Lynchburg Republican.

    “You have what appears to some to be contradictory sections of the code now, and I think the attorney general did a really good job,” he said.

    Mr. Newman asked for the opinion because a constituent was having trouble getting a clear answer on the applicability of the law, he said.

    “This individual had gone to numerous law enforcement agencies and had asked the same question and had gotten different answers from each one,” he said. “On something like a gun charge, you just can’t have that. It’s important to have law laid out very clearly.”

    Employers can still bar firearms on their property, Mr. Cuccinelli said.

    “The Constitution of Virginia protects the right to bear arms, but it also recognizes the importance of property rights,” he wrote. “Moreover, the Second Amendment acts as a restraint on government, not private parties. Employers can, like any other owner of private property, restrict or ban the carrying of weapons.”

    Mr. Cuccinelli couched his response with the caveat that it is limited to Virginia. Federal law may differ on transporting handguns across state lines.

    The state legislature passed several gun-rights measures during the 2012 General Assembly session, most notably a bill repealing the law, dating back to the governorship of Democrat L. Douglas Wilder, banning the purchase of more than one handgun per month. The law was passed in the 1990s in an effort to reduce gun trafficking from the state to others along the East Coast, primarily New York. Proponents of the repeal argued improved background-check technology and numerous exemptions in the law rendered it unnecessary.

    The legislature also passed a bill sponsored by Delegate Brenda L. Pogge, Newport News Republican, preventing local governments from passing rules preventing their employees from storing lawfully possessed firearms and ammunition in personal vehicles at the workplace. The measure makes exceptions for publicly appointed bodiesthat provide mental-health and substance-abuse services in cities and counties around the state.



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    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    My favorite part:

    You also ask whether a center console, glove compartment or any other "container or compartment'' must be locked to constitute a "secured container or compartment." The legislative history of the 2010 amendment shows that the container or compartment storing the handgun need not be locked for the exception to apply. When § 18.2-308 was amended to include § 18.2-308(B)(10), "locked in a container or compartment'' was considered as possible statutory language; 13 however, "secured in a container or compartment" was the wording that was ultimately adopted. 14 By choosing "secured" instead of "locked," the General Assembly evinced its intention that a handgun may be carried in a vehicle without requiring the container or compartment storing it to be locked.15
    Apparently, although Virginia is a "weak legislative intent" state (limiting the courts' ability to consider intent), the AG can thumb his nose at that all he wants, and cite the very well documented intent of the legislature to change "locked" to "secured"!

    Also interesting to see this:

    Also, where a statute specifies certain things, the intention to exclude that which is not specified may be inferred/ and " [courts] may not add to a statute language which the legislature has chosen not to include."8
    Anyone who has been here for any time at all will remember that during our Castle Doctrine debacle last General Assembly session, User told us over and over again exactly this, if the law doesn't cover everything, it will be assumed to be left out on purpose.

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 05-31-2012 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Add a little more bold.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Well Ed...I can almost always find something in your posts to pick on, but I just can't find a thing in this one!

    Well done and
    A BIG +1

  6. #6
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    From the quoted Washington Times article:

    Mr. Newman asked for the opinion because a constituent was having trouble getting a clear answer on the applicability of the law, he said.

    “This individual had gone to numerous law enforcement agencies and had asked the same question and had gotten different answers from each one,” he said. “On something like a gun charge, you just can’t have that. It’s important to have law laid out very clearly.”
    Yet additional evidence supporting the age-old advice, "never ask the police for legal advice!"

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Well Ed...I can almost always find something in your posts to pick on, but I just can't find a thing in this one!

    Well done and
    A BIG +1
    Let me help you.

    Some of us refuse to belong to FacePage or MyBook or any of the like. You want to post something, post it where everybody, including the Luddites, can access it.

    Yes, it was easy for me to go find the opinion on the AG's site. Yes, I did read it there. And no, I really don't care how much exchange of comments I am missing by not connecting to FacePage/MyBook.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I guess the Cops will be asking what a container is next.

    Negative Citizen...a container has to be clearly marked as one...like a Tupperware Container
    Last edited by peter nap; 05-31-2012 at 12:43 AM.

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    That's always seemed like the most reasonable interpretation to me. I guess I'm still one of the few who doesn't want a "parking lot" bill though.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatTimeIsIt? View Post
    That's always seemed like the most reasonable interpretation to me. I guess I'm still one of the few who doesn't want a "parking lot" bill though.
    I can see why one might not care, but why would you be opposed to a parking lot bill?

    TFred

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatTimeIsIt? View Post
    That's always seemed like the most reasonable interpretation to me. I guess I'm still one of the few who doesn't want a "parking lot" bill though.
    Same question as TFred?
    I don't have a dog in that fight but except for the proposals that only allowed CHP's to store on the lot, have supported them on ...it's general good for everyone basis.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Let me help you.

    Some of us refuse to belong to FacePage or MyBook or any of the like. You want to post something, post it where everybody, including the Luddites, can access it.

    Yes, it was easy for me to go find the opinion on the AG's site. Yes, I did read it there. And no, I really don't care how much exchange of comments I am missing by not connecting to FacePage/MyBook.

    stay safe.
    1. That's why I posted the link (not on facebook)
    2. Also why I re-posted the VCDL alert
    3. I have personally SEEN your facebook profile.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Actually, I got it on my news syndicates. I wasn't on FB until a little while ago.

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    I'll repeat what I said on FB:

    The AG should have deferred opinion on parking lots, saying that issue was not addressed by the GA to date and thus not within the purview of the AG to opine, but rather a private matter not relevant to the criminal code.

    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I guess the Cops will be asking what a container is next.

    Negative Citizen...a container has to be clearly marked as one...like a Tupperware Container
    Zip-Loc bag? Holster? Pocket?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    I thought I'd answered that question already!

    From my website www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com - scroll down below the mailbox or click on the following:

    Meaning of the word, "secured" as used in the concealed weapon statute
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    This is good stuff....

    I'm very glad that my CHP exemption for the training class idea got pushed through! I'm hoping that they rename it the Reynolds exemption!
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    From my website www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com - scroll down below the mailbox or click on the following:

    Meaning of the word, "secured" as used in the concealed weapon statute
    I guess nobody bothered to forward your link to the AG's office!

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 05-31-2012 at 10:28 PM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    This is good stuff....

    I'm very glad that my CHP exemption for the training class idea got pushed through! I'm hoping that they rename it the Reynolds exemption!
    I've had a hard time trying to understand the need for this change. Can you give some examples of how this law makes a difference compared to before it goes into effect?

    It seems to me that anyone who is going to bring a gun to a class is going to either carry it in a holster (openly) or put it in a case, which is a secured container.

    Am I missing something?

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    If they can get it into their car without being caught, and then from the car to the class without being caught, they are good to go. Same in reverse after the class. But carrying it in any sort of container when it is not in the car* would be carrying concealed without a permit. Thus the need for the Reynolds Exemption.

    (There, Jim, the first reference to it by name!)

    stay safe.

    * Many folks who are bringing their handgun to a CHP class carry it in the manufacturer's hardside case it came in when they picked it up. They break the law carrying it outside to take it home from wherever they bought it, and then from the car into the house.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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  20. #20
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    If they can get it into their car without being caught, and then from the car to the class without being caught, they are good to go. Same in reverse after the class. But carrying it in any sort of container when it is not in the car* would be carrying concealed without a permit. Thus the need for the Reynolds Exemption.

    (There, Jim, the first reference to it by name!)

    stay safe.

    * Many folks who are bringing their handgun to a CHP class carry it in the manufacturer's hardside case it came in when they picked it up. They break the law carrying it outside to take it home from wherever they bought it, and then from the car into the house.
    Ah... I can see that.

    But by the way, the Reynolds Exemption is #11, and your example of carrying home from the store is also taken care of:

    "5. Any person carrying such weapons between his place of abode and a place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;"

    TFred

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    I've had a hard time trying to understand the need for this change. Can you give some examples of how this law makes a difference compared to before it goes into effect?

    It seems to me that anyone who is going to bring a gun to a class is going to either carry it in a holster (openly) or put it in a case, which is a secured container.

    Am I missing something?

    TFred
    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    If they can get it into their car without being caught, and then from the car to the class without being caught, they are good to go. Same in reverse after the class. But carrying it in any sort of container when it is not in the car* would be carrying concealed without a permit. Thus the need for the Reynolds Exemption.

    (There, Jim, the first reference to it by name!)

    stay safe.

    * Many folks who are bringing their handgun to a CHP class carry it in the manufacturer's hardside case it came in when they picked it up. They break the law carrying it outside to take it home from wherever they bought it, and then from the car into the house.
    Exactly.

    I have students who will bring a gun to class in the manufacturer's box, or in their purse, or in their lunch cooler bag, or in their coat pocket (all real examples that I have seen). They get to the class location, like Bass Pro Shops for example. Once they leave the car, they are in violation...walking around the store on a break, shopping in the store after the class, etc. Most of the students incorrectly assume that its ok to bring the gun like that, since they are taking a training class. Now the law will make it legal to do so.

    And those are just my examples..I'm sure other instructors have other examples.
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  22. #22
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Ah... I can see that.

    But by the way, the Reynolds Exemption is #11, and your example of carrying home from the store is also taken care of:

    "5. Any person carrying such weapons between his place of abode and a place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;"

    TFred
    I don't think that applies, since Bass Pro doesn't repair guns, or the student may have purchased the gun elsewhere.

    a better example of how the new exemption applies is when I do classes in hotels, like at the Nation's Gun show.
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
    Sabre Red Pepper Spray Instructor
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

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