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Thread: Simple open carry questions from a newb.....

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    Simple open carry questions from a newb.....

    I feel like these questions will be so rudimentary, you guys will get a good laugh, so here goes.

    1. If I open carry, does the gun have to be unloaded?

    2. Can I carry a weapon in my vehicle if it is in plain view? (excluding rifles)

    3. Do I have to tell a L.E.O. if I get pulled over I am carrying?

    Ironically, my brother is an NRA instructor... I just want a 2nd opinion. Thanks guys.... Cannot wait to hear from you guys.

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    Be careful with #2. There is a discrepancy between criminal code and the natural resource code on open carry in a vehicle. The definition of concealed reads:

    (10) "Concealed" means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the deadly weapon was being carried. For purposes of concealed handgun licensees, a licensee shall be deemed to be carrying on or about his or her person while in or on a motor vehicle if the firearm is located in a storage area in or on the motor vehicle.

    and can be found here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/...ap=61&art=7#07

    The natural resource code reads:

    (9) Have in his or her possession a crossbow with a nocked bolt, a loaded firearm or a firearm from the magazine of which all shells and cartridges have not been removed, in or on any vehicle or conveyance, or its attachments, within the state, except as may otherwise be provided by law or regulation. Except as hereinafter provided, between five o'clock postmeridian of one day and seven o'clock antemeridian, eastern standard time of the day following, any unloaded firearm or crossbow, being lawfully carried in accordance with the foregoing provisions, may be so carried only when in a case or taken apart and securely wrapped. During the period from July 1 to September 30, inclusive, of each year, the foregoing requirements relative to carrying certain unloaded firearms are permissible only from eight-thirty o'clock postmeridian to five o'clock antemeridian, eastern standard time: Provided, That the time periods for carrying unloaded and uncased firearms are extended for one hour after the postmeridian times and one hour before the antemeridian times established above if a hunter is preparing to or in the process of transporting or transferring the firearms to or from a hunting site, campsite, home or other place of abode;

    available here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfmchap=20&art=2&section=5#02

    with an exception made for concealed carry permit holders under WV Code Chapter 20-2-6a here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/...&section=6A#02

    So depending on who your stopped by things could go either way. Should it be the State Police, you will probably be fine. If your unlucky enough to be stopped by the DNR, you may have a bad day. Some will say this only applies to hunting weapons, but read carefully above, the natural resource code specifically states "firearm". To be safe in a vehicle I would recommend getting a permit to carry concealed. The WVCDL is working on a fix for this, hopefully this legislative session. The condensed version of this information is available on both agency's websites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex Pat View Post
    Be careful with #2. There is a discrepancy between criminal code and the natural resource code on open carry in a vehicle. The definition of concealed reads:

    (10) "Concealed" means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the deadly weapon was being carried. For purposes of concealed handgun licensees, a licensee shall be deemed to be carrying on or about his or her person while in or on a motor vehicle if the firearm is located in a storage area in or on the motor vehicle.

    and can be found here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/...ap=61&art=7#07

    The natural resource code reads:

    (9) Have in his or her possession a crossbow with a nocked bolt, a loaded firearm or a firearm from the magazine of which all shells and cartridges have not been removed, in or on any vehicle or conveyance, or its attachments, within the state, except as may otherwise be provided by law or regulation. Except as hereinafter provided, between five o'clock postmeridian of one day and seven o'clock antemeridian, eastern standard time of the day following, any unloaded firearm or crossbow, being lawfully carried in accordance with the foregoing provisions, may be so carried only when in a case or taken apart and securely wrapped. During the period from July 1 to September 30, inclusive, of each year, the foregoing requirements relative to carrying certain unloaded firearms are permissible only from eight-thirty o'clock postmeridian to five o'clock antemeridian, eastern standard time: Provided, That the time periods for carrying unloaded and uncased firearms are extended for one hour after the postmeridian times and one hour before the antemeridian times established above if a hunter is preparing to or in the process of transporting or transferring the firearms to or from a hunting site, campsite, home or other place of abode;

    available here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfmchap=20&art=2&section=5#02

    with an exception made for concealed carry permit holders under WV Code Chapter 20-2-6a here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/...&section=6A#02

    So depending on who your stopped by things could go either way. Should it be the State Police, you will probably be fine. If your unlucky enough to be stopped by the DNR, you may have a bad day. Some will say this only applies to hunting weapons, but read carefully above, the natural resource code specifically states "firearm". To be safe in a vehicle I would recommend getting a permit to carry concealed. The WVCDL is working on a fix for this, hopefully this legislative session. The condensed version of this information is available on both agency's websites.

    I do not think the DNR would have jurisdiction in any situation I might be in. I do not hunt, I do not carry in areas that are used for hunting. They can't pull me over for a traffic violation and suddenly I'm under their code. I would think the criminal code would supercede in that case. I do not care to get a concelaed permit as I do not feel the need to hide something that is my right.

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    Jesus gave us free will ... so you are free to do whatever you want. Not that everything you do will not have consequences...

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    WVJosh,

    Agreed. I also look forward to the time when WV has constitutional carry and there is no reason to obtain permits to exercise one's rights. But for the time being, I would caution you to know for sure what is and is not legal before open carrying a firearm in WV. So where would the WV DNR's "jurisdiction" start and stop in the state of WV? Have you taken the time to read the actual code in the links provided?

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    Don't believe that just because you aren't hunting or in the woods that WVDNR doesn't have jurisdiction. They have a WIDE jurisdiction, and have had cop friends tell me that the DNR officers are the most "powerful" LEOs (powerful wasn't used). And remember, that while the city police may not (they actually can, there is nothing to prevent them from enforcing hunting laws) cite you for a DNR regulation, they may still detain you awaiting a DNR officer showing up and citing you, if they really want to get you.
    Last edited by jdmm72; 02-24-2013 at 09:42 PM.

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    Nice find MarksmanCentral. I always new this was out there somewhere, just never managed to find it. Just skimming so far, but this little gem from 15-2-12 jumped out at me:

    (c) Members of the West Virginia State Police are hereby designated as forest patrolmen and natural resources police officers throughout the state to do and perform any duties and exercise any powers of forest patrolmen and natural resources police officers, and may apprehend and bring before any court or magistrate having jurisdiction of these matters, anyone violating any of the provisions of chapters twenty, sixty and sixty-one of this code. The West Virginia State Police is at any time subject to the call of the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Commissioner to aid in apprehending any person violating any of the provisions of chapter sixty of this code. They shall serve and execute warrants for the arrest of any person and warrants for the search of any premises issued by any properly constituted authority, and shall exercise all of the powers conferred by law upon a sheriff. They may not serve any civil process or exercise any of the powers of an officer in civil matters.

    All the more reason to get HB 2572 through this session. Again good find, and I will continue reading as time allows. Thanks for the info!

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Jesus gave us free will ... so you are free to do whatever you want. Not that everything you do will not have consequences...
    They way I look at is this. If I am open carrying in the middle of Nitro, WV and I get pulled over by a city/county/state trooper for a traffic violation they are not going to call a DNR officer to cite me under his jurisdiction. That will never happen....If it did, I would make a great deal of money from the lawsuit I would win. Has this ever happened in WV? If so, show me the case where a person, in a non-hunting area, with no hunting paraphernalia was arrested for OC by a DNR officer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WVJosh
    my brother is an NRA instructor... I just want a 2nd opinion.
    Except for the Personal Protection series, there are very few mentions of laws in NRA courses.
    And the PP class has to have a legal professional teach the laws part.

    To find more answers to your questions, you could check the WV information page:
    http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=314
    "You may open carry in a vehicle except guns configured for hunting."
    It also includes a link to the WV Code.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 03-17-2013 at 08:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post

    To find more answers to your questions, you could check the WV information page:
    http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=314
    "You may open carry in a vehicle except guns configured for hunting."
    It also includes a link to the WV Code.
    What I have read is that in your car it has to be unloaded. Is that true?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monongahelaman View Post
    What I have read is that in your car it has to be unloaded. Is that true?
    There is no requirement for a handgun to be unloaded while in a vehicle. There are restrictions on transporting a loaded long gun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shallnotbeinfringed View Post
    There is no requirement for a handgun to be unloaded while in a vehicle. There are restrictions on transporting a loaded long gun.
    Cite?

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    Old thread, I missed this one ...

    Your citation:

    20-2-6a. Carrying a concealed handgun.
    (a) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to the provisions of section four, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code who is not prohibited at the time from possessing a firearm pursuant to the provisions of section seven, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code or by any applicable federal law may carry a handgun in a concealed manner for self defense purposes while afield hunting, hiking, camping or in or on a motor vehicle.

    Basically it says if you are licensed to carry a concealed weapon, the restriction of not having a loaded firearm in a vehicle does not apply, so long as it's carried in a concealed manner.

    Sorry for the late reply.

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    My interpretation on the law, and what I tell people to do who do not have a CCL. (Plus what I used to do myself before I had my CCL):

    If you are going to OC without a CCL. Disarm before entering the vehicle, place the mag in the console and the unloaded firearm in the seat. Load and holster before exiting.

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    The OP mentioned not wanting to get a CCL because he didn't want to have to hide. You still don't have to hide it when/if you get your CCL. I'd have it in any case as added protection. Gun laws can be tricky, and it's best to CYA. Not to mention if you travel to other states this is sometimes a must.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackett View Post
    My interpretation on the law, and what I tell people to do who do not have a CCL. (Plus what I used to do myself before I had my CCL):

    If you are going to OC without a CCL. Disarm before entering the vehicle, place the mag in the console and the unloaded firearm in the seat. Load and holster before exiting.
    That's just an opinion. Look at handgunlaw.us for the semi-definitive info (it's static so something could have changed).

    You do NOT have to unload, I would advise against having a free firearm in the seat since, in a crash, it becomes itself, a deadly missile. It says on that site 'in plain view'. Nobody knows what that means - holstered on your belt? On the seat sitting on a neon sign? If you drive safely, carry on the right side on your belt, without a CHP, you should be OK. But a LEO might take issue even on the seat, in a holster attached to your free seatbelt, saying the holster is concealing it. Who knows?

    WVa is a 'not inform' state.

    I'd caution about disarming before entering, because that could be construed as brandishing, but you'll have to search WVa laws on that. Likewise, re-arming could also be a problem as you 'handle' the firearm, both from a safety standpoint and a brandishing aspect. In fact, I'd be more alarmed and you might be more culpable if someone saw you loading and arming standing next to your vehicle.

    You might do this:
    Contact the WVa state police and ask what they advise, and get a business card of one of those you spoke to. Go to a WVa SP office unarmed and get the info and a card. That way, even though it's an -opinion- you can say, if stopped 'Officer XYZ told me to do it this way, call him for clarification', if you're really concerned.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex Pat View Post
    Be careful with #2. There is a discrepancy between criminal code and the natural resource code on open carry in a vehicle. The definition of concealed reads:

    (10) "Concealed" means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the deadly weapon was being carried. For purposes of concealed handgun licensees, a licensee shall be deemed to be carrying on or about his or her person while in or on a motor vehicle if the firearm is located in a storage area in or on the motor vehicle.

    and can be found here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/...ap=61&art=7#07

    The natural resource code reads:

    (9) Have in his or her possession a crossbow with a nocked bolt, a loaded firearm or a firearm from the magazine of which all shells and cartridges have not been removed, in or on any vehicle or conveyance, or its attachments, within the state, except as may otherwise be provided by law or regulation. Except as hereinafter provided, between five o'clock postmeridian of one day and seven o'clock antemeridian, eastern standard time of the day following, any unloaded firearm or crossbow, being lawfully carried in accordance with the foregoing provisions, may be so carried only when in a case or taken apart and securely wrapped. During the period from July 1 to September 30, inclusive, of each year, the foregoing requirements relative to carrying certain unloaded firearms are permissible only from eight-thirty o'clock postmeridian to five o'clock antemeridian, eastern standard time: Provided, That the time periods for carrying unloaded and uncased firearms are extended for one hour after the postmeridian times and one hour before the antemeridian times established above if a hunter is preparing to or in the process of transporting or transferring the firearms to or from a hunting site, campsite, home or other place of abode;

    available here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfmchap=20&art=2&section=5#02

    with an exception made for concealed carry permit holders under WV Code Chapter 20-2-6a here: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/...&section=6A#02

    So depending on who your stopped by things could go either way. Should it be the State Police, you will probably be fine. If your unlucky enough to be stopped by the DNR, you may have a bad day. Some will say this only applies to hunting weapons, but read carefully above, the natural resource code specifically states "firearm". To be safe in a vehicle I would recommend getting a permit to carry concealed. The WVCDL is working on a fix for this, hopefully this legislative session. The condensed version of this information is available on both agency's websites.
    Two points. The part quoted in bold does not differentiate between a longarm or a handgun. ANY loaded firearm or loaded magazine qualifies under this statute.

    Second, the points made in this thread about jurisdiction are dangerous. This is in the natural resources section of the code, but it is still defined as a crime. Thus, ANY law enforcement officer may enforce it. And trust me when I tell you that WVSP, various counties, and some cities absolutely do enforce this code. There is no need to call a "DNR enforcement officer" to the scene. A state trooper or Barboursville City PD officer can throw the silver bracelets on you for violating this code just as quickly, easily, and legally as a DNR enforcement officer. And it has happened. We (the WVCDL) were contacted by an individual who'd been running on some of the assumptions present in this thread. They had a loaded defensive handgun open-carried in a vehicle without a CCW permit. In the end, they avoided jail time, but do have a misdemeanor arrest record, a plea-based conviction, and more than a year later, I'm not sure if they've gotten their firearm back.

    The WVCDL had a bill introduced last session that would have clarified this (making OC legal in a vehicle) but the legislature did not get to the bill in time. We've spoken with DNR, and they are not opposed to the changes in law that we're recommending. That is good news, as DNR's opposition would be huge hurdle to overcome in the legislature. We hope this year we'll get it through. It is our second highest legislative priority going into the 2014 session. (Full statewide preemption remains first.)

    -- Keith Morgan
    President, WVCDL

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    So is it finally time for the WV State Police remove this from their website:

    Q. Is it lawful to carry weapons (e.g. rifles, shotguns, and pistols) in my vehicle when I travel in West Virginia?

    A. Individuals who possess a valid concealed carry permit may carry a concealed handgun in a motor vehicle for purpose of self defense only. West Virginia permits anyone who can lawfully possess a handgun to carry an unconcealed handgun. If you choose to carry an unconcealed handgun in your vehicle and are stopped by a law-enforcement officer, you must understand that that the weapon will immediately attract the attention of the police officer. The presence of the weapon may lead to action by the officer to ensure his or her safety such as the drawing of his or her weapon, ordering you from the vehicle, and/or performing a pat-down search. Weapons intended for hunting must be unloaded and in a case when transported in a vehicle. It is strongly recommended that, if you do not have a valid concealed carry permit, while traveling in a vehicle, that all firearms be unloaded and cased in a location in the vehicle that is not readily accessible to any of the occupants. Any ammunition should be stored in a separate location from the firearm.


    since it flies in the face of WV Code 20-2-5(9)?

    And also, it does look like the WV Attorney General has finally updated the "WV Gun Laws Pamphlet" which was misleading on the natural resource code, instead of stating "weapons configured for hunting" must be cased. This is the trouble with conflicting code, if they want to "throw the book at you" they will.

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