Nice exchange.....wish all went this way.
Dear Chief -
I last had communication with you in 2008 with regard to the legal Open Carry of Firearms at both Dulles and National airports. The fact that we have not really had an issue in the past five years is a testament to both of us educating out troops.
Last week however, I heard from a citizen, that was "deeply" questioned when he stepped out of his car in front of the DCA terminal to retrieve a bag for the person he was dropping off. he was openly carrying a holstered firearm on his right hip. He was surprised that the officer that approached him (and it may have been a parking enforcement member and not a sworn officer) sounded off with about ten questions about the firearm, and from what I was told, in a pretty aggressive tone. The citizen did not feel he was "detained" and a complaint was not filed. he did however send a query to me on what should have happened, and what should he have said or done differently.
I explained to this citizen and others, that current law (§ 18.2-287.01) prevents carry into the Terminal building(s) (unless cased and unloaded for travel) at any of Virginia's nine air carrier airports (CHO, IAD, DCA, LYH, PHF, ORF, RIC, ROA, SHD), therefore carry on landside, non-terminal building or secure areas is legal openly or concealed with a permit (to include access, egress, service roads, parking lots, and garages, etc.)
Each year I print up thousands of business card sized information cards with some notes and the Virginia Code section on them. I would be happy to send you a few hundred for your agency or a handful for your review.
I am trying to keep safety and education at the top of our lists so that legally armed, law abiding citizens, and MWAA Police and Operations can peacefully coexist without any problems/situations.
Thanks very much,
Virginia Open Carry
Washington DC 20041-6143
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September 12, 2013
Mr. Ed Levine
Founder, Virginia Open Carry
P.O. Box 16143
Washington, DC 20041-6143
Dear Mr. Levine:
Thank you for taking the time to make me aware of the encounter a citizen had with one of our officers while picking up a passenger at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Reagan Airport). In your letter dated August 12, 2013, you mentioned that a citizen was openly carrying a holstered firearm when he was “deeply” questioned as he stepped out of his car in front of the Reagan Airport terminal to retrieve a bag for his passenger. The citizen was surprised by the officer’s questions about his firearm, but did not feel “detained”.
I assure you that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department has taken great strides to educate our personnel about the laws pertaining to “open carry” to ensure we do not infringe upon the rights of citizens who choose to carry a firearm in compliance with the laws of Virginia. The information you referenced pertaining to Virginia State Code 18.2-287.01 is accurate and, as you are aware, does not prohibit a person from openly carrying a firearm in the manner in which you described in your letter. The informational cards you provided will help us to convey this to our officers and will be posted in our roll call rooms.
There is one other area we solicit your assistance. Our officers frequently respond to calls for “ammunition at the checkpoints.” This is illegal, but we rarely charge anyone with this offense. It is, however, an inconvenience to the passenger who is delayed while our officers gather the necessary information to document the incident. It would be most helpful if you would assist us in communicating a message to the community to remember to check all of their belongings (bags, pockets, jackets, etc.) for loose rounds of ammunition prior to traveling to the airport to take a flight.
Thanks, again, for bringing this matter to my attention. Be assured that we will continue to instruct our officers regarding the laws of open and concealed carry to ensure that we continue to provide quality customer service to all who use our Airports.
Stephen L. Holl
Chief of Police
VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
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For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)
Nice exchange.....wish all went this way.
Good letter Ed!
To the Chief.....I ain't buying any bridges this year!
Good job, Ed!
BTW, I assume you meant our troops...not out troops.
//There is one other area we solicit your assistance. Our officers frequently respond to calls for “ammunition at the checkpoints.” This is illegal, but we rarely charge anyone with this offense. It is, however, an inconvenience to the passenger who is delayed while our officers gather the necessary information to document the incident. It would be most helpful if you would assist us in communicating a message to the community to remember to check all of their belongings (bags, pockets, jackets, etc.) for loose rounds of ammunition prior to traveling to the airport to take a flight. //
It is unclear by his statement but you can check ammunition on a flight. The ammunition must be in a approved container;
Travelers must securely pack any ammunition in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
And it must be checked not carryon! Im sure everyone knows this but his statement did not make that clear.
Well handled, Ed. Thanks for taking the initiative to pass along the incident to LE.
I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.
If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?
There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.