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Thread: You can open carry, but not in a car??

  1. #1
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    You can open carry, but not in a car??

    My 1st post...
    I am driving into WV and will have a handgun. There seems to be a lot of difference of opinion about how your allowed to transport it.

    If I have it in the glove box or console can it be loaded?
    If it's on the seat can it be loaded?
    If it's not loaded then it is legal...right?

    State law says you can open carry. I read that the DNR interprets that as a resident can open carry. With a DL as proof of residency. Has anyone heard about this? I am a WV property owner but don't have a WV ID. I intend to OC in a national forest?????

    Going to WV this weekend and want to stay out of trouble. Any help would be great.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    For what it's worth, see the email from the WVDNR below. I went back and forth with them for nearly a year before the DNR finally stated open carry was legal. The problem lies in the hunting code WV Code Chapter 20-2-5(8)(9), which makes no distinction between firearms used for hunting and those used for self defense. Furthermore, the code restricts the carry of firearms "in the woods" without a CCW permit, so with WV being about 70% forested, it creates a large problem.

    I like you, live outside WV and enjoy the same National Forest. I currently carry in WV under a PA permit, but with my new attorney general attacking reciprocity agreements like fresh grass under a new lawnmower, I am afraid it is only a matter of time. HB 2572, which is stuck in the house judiciary committee right now, would clarify this issue. And I have to no avail, tried to explain this situation to both the judiciary chair and the speaker of the house, that should the code be interpreted as written, effectively 70% of WV is off limits without a permit.

    At best, this is a very gray area of WV law, and IMHO officer discretion will play a large role in how things turn out should you be stopped. With regards to vehicle carry, some of the previous posts should answer your questions. In the end, a FL permit should solve all of these issues.

    Wish there was better news.





    7/9/11

    to dnr.law
    WV DNR,

    I was reading Officer Clyde's comments on open carry posted 4-13-2011 stating open carry is illegal on national forest land, and have been unable to find any supporting statues. Please see Officer Clyde's comments below:

    Question:

    Clyde,
    What are the legalities if I'm out fishing and want to carry my handgun in the holster out in the open instead of concealed carry? What about OC instead of a firearm?

    Clyde's Response:

    Look at the Pistol Carry section on Page (5) in the Hunting Regs pamplet. As long as one was not fishing on a state park, national forest, etc, or any other area where pistols are specifically banned (except for CCW) then one would be ok with a pistol that is displayed in plain view.

    OC would be ok except in such areas where it is specifically banned, and I cant think of any outdoors places that do.
    Good luck
    Clyde

    I understand WV state parks prohibit open carry of a revolver or pistol, but my understanding is national forests follow state law when regulating firearms and there use. The Monongahela National Forest website has no regulation to prevent open carry, and even provides guidelines for recreational shooting on national forest lands. In addition, I have never seen any signs on national forest lands which prohibit the open carry of a pistol or revolver. Could you please provide some clarification by answering the following questions for me?

    - Is open carry of a pistol or revolver legal on national forests in WV?

    - If not, what specific statue makes open carry of a pistol or revolver illegal on national forests in WV?

    Thanks very much for your time. I just want to make sure I stay within the law while out hiking and fishing.








    DNR Law Enforcement <DNR.Law@wv.gov>
    2/23/12

    to me
    Good morning, Mr. ________! The WV DNR Law Enforcement Section was not ignoring you; we actually do not have any record of your previous messages! I apologize for any inconvenience. In response to your question, you can visit the National Forestry webpage. The specific link you are looking for regarding firearm usage on national forest land in West Virginia is http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mnf/ho...telprdb5287443. It sounds like you have perhaps already viewed this link. This webpage specifically says that firearms are permitted on national forest lands. As long as you are obeying West Virginia laws dealing with firearms, you are okay. Notably, West Virginia specifies that you cannot shoot within 400 feet of a school or church or 500 feet within a dwelling.

    Attached to the link is another link which is http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fs...est-%20Offices, and it gives you the contact information for the national forest districts. For specific information in that area, you should contact the individual responsible for the area.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions. You can also contact the DNR District Office at 304-825-6787. That is the number for the District 1 Office which covers many of our northern counties. Thanks and have a great day!



    To: DNR Law Enforcement



    3/4/12

    to DNR
    Thanks for the reply, but you failed to answer a single question. How would the WVDNR view someone shooting on the national forest? Would that individual be cited for hunting out of season? Officer Clyde states open carry is illegal on national forest land, so would you be cited for open carry while shooting? Do hunting laws only apply to hunting, or to everyone in the woods?


    DNR Law Enforcement <DNR.Law@wv.gov>
    3/7/12

    to me
    It is legal to open carry a firearm in the state of West Virginia, even on national forest land. However, you may not shoot the firearm, i.e., target shoot, because it may be construed as hunting out of season. If you wish to target shoot, please find a designated shooting range. This is applicable to all land.


    Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2012 9:52 PM
    To: DNR Law Enforcement
    Subject: Re: Ask Officer Clyde Clarification

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex Pat View Post
    DNR Law Enforcement <DNR.Law@wv.gov>
    3/7/12

    to me
    It is legal to open carry a firearm in the state of West Virginia, even on national forest land. However, you may not shoot the firearm, i.e., target shoot, because it may be construed as hunting out of season. If you wish to target shoot, please find a designated shooting range. This is applicable to all land.


    Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2012 9:52 PM
    To: DNR Law Enforcement
    Subject: Re: Ask Officer Clyde Clarification[/I]
    Thanks for the info. Who is making this statement? Can I consider it official. I am now up here in WV and would like to OC.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarksmanCentral View Post
    Good Luck!
    Thank you also. Guess I'm not too good with forums, can't seem to figure how to reply in one post.

    I don't have a permit.
    Gray is an understatement, confusing.
    The AG gave this opinion
    "It is important to note that while West Virginia is an “open carry” state the ability to carry openly is
    deemed by law enforcement to apply only to West Virginia residents. West Virginia law enforcement’s
    interpretation of “open carry” is that the handgun must be visible from three sides."

    So I can open carry, but when in the car it has to be unloaded? Doesn't seem to make sense.
    Last edited by Monongahelaman; 03-18-2013 at 09:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    I travel in WV sometimes , so i tried to find out what the law was. I got the interpretation, and the easiest way to counter it is to say "show me the law", since there isn't one it can't be proven
    Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    "guns are like a Parachute, if you don't have one when you need it, you will not need one again"
    - unknown

    i you call a CHP a CCW then you are really stupid. period.

  6. #6
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    We have a new attorney general who has updated the pamphlet I believe your referring to here:

    http://www.wvago.gov/pdf/gunrecep/We...ry%202013).pdf

    I believe this one removed the non resident language found in the last "Gun Laws" pamphlet created by our former attorney general.

    Is "It is legal to open carry a firearm in the state of West Virginia, even on national forest land. However, you may not shoot the firearm, i.e., target shoot, because it may be construed as hunting out of season. If you wish to target shoot, please find a designated shooting range. This is applicable to all land." an official statement from the WVDNR? No, I would imagine not. However, you could probably receive something similar by emailing them like I did at DNR.Law@wv.gov.

    So to sum things up -- given you do not have a CCW permit from the state of FL:

    Can I open carry in WV? YES given places off limits found here: http://www.wvcdl.org/WVCCW.php

    Can I open carry in WV on or in a motor vehicle? I would error on the side of caution and say NO due to WV Code 20-2-5(9)

    Can I open carry in the woods of WV? I would error on the side of caution and say NO due to WV Code 20-2-5(8)

    Sorry no links to the WV code. The website in not loading this evening, but it can be found here http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/...?chap=20&art=1. You will simply have to scroll down to section 2.

    After this legislative session is over, I would like to pursue some non legislative ways to fix the hunting code. We do have a constitutional right to carry in WV; the DNR simply needs to recognize that right within their enforcement policies. The hunting regulations currently describe the minimum barrel length for hunting pistols, and also outline "Handgun Laws and Regulations" on page 5 of the hunting regulations here http://www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/Regs121...nting_Regs.pdf. So why can't we simply get the Handgun Laws and Regulations section changed to reflect our constitutional right to carry without a permit?

    Enjoy WV, and stay warm up there in the mountains.

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