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Thread: OC, CHP, and GFSZA

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    Regular Member WX4SNO's Avatar
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    Question OC, CHP, and GFSZA

    I'm new to open carry and have applied to get my CHP...should be here by the end of the month. I'm getting mixed answers to some research on carrying within 1000' of a school. If you have your VA CHP, can you walk or drive within 1000' of a school here in Virginia while CC and OC? Some other websites said you can't be OC'ing within the zone while others said you can...which is correct? Thanks!

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WX4SNO View Post
    I'm new to open carry and have applied to get my CHP...
    I can't answer your question. I'm still stuck on this part.

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    Regular Member WX4SNO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I can't answer your question. I'm still stuck on this part.
    I've been openly carrying my handgun for several months now and just recently applied for my VA concealed handgun permit... I steer clear of all the local schools but we have one near my parents home and was wondering if it's legal to OC and simply drive or walk by if you have your CHP (or in my case, will have).

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    Regular Member JohnM15A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I can't answer your question. I'm still stuck on this part.
    Bad Peter.

    With a resident VA CHP you can carry (OC or CC) within the 1,000' from the property line but not on the property. With a resident VA CHP you can CC in a car onto the property but you must stay in the car. I believe the intent is to allow parents to drop off and pick up their kids. There are those that say a CHP is not a "license" and therefore not applicable to federal law. Private property is exempt. My property is entirely within the 1,000' of a school so I cannot set foot on the sidewalk legally carrying without a CHP.

    I think... Don't quote me...
    Last edited by JohnM15A; 01-13-2014 at 11:54 PM.
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Yes, ignore Peter Nap's post. He's a nice guy, but he gets a little grumpy about CHPs. He was reacting to the apparent disparity between your statements about OC'ing, and applying for a CHP.

    The answer to your question is quite simply, nobody knows. The reason nobody knows is because as far as I am aware, there has never been a court case that settled the question once and for all.

    The GFSZA is one of the most heinous laws on the books of the US Code. The feds hold it like a hammer over the head of nearly every law-abiding citizen who chooses to carry a gun.

    Regarding Virginia, I will admit my point of view is in the minority, but the only reason for that is because the conclusion that one must reach if they accept the plain text reading of the laws involved is so horrible, it must be rejected - even though as far as I know, there is no legal rational to justify that.

    According to the plain text of the law, no citizens in Virginia can claim the "license" exemption provided in the GFSZA, because it clearly requires that the state must issue a license to "possess" a gun. ["if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so"] Virginia does not issue a license to possess. The CHP that Virginia issues does one thing only, and that is to exempt the holder from the generally illegal act of concealing a handgun. Since Virginia does not issue the required license to be exempt from the GFSZA, EVERY person who carries a gun within 1,000 feet of a school zone (except ON DUTY police officers) is a felon.

    In order to accept that a CHP exempts you from the GFSZA, one must believe that a CHP is a license to "possess" a gun. Nobody has yet been able to provide a cite to any law or court finding that supports such a leap.

    Then there is the whole other issue of reciprocity, namely that BATFE believes reciprocal agreements mean nothing with regard to GFSZA, which nullifies any gun carry in any state for which you do not have their actual permit.

    One day, I hope a court case will come along that settles these questions. Read the text for yourself and make up your own mind:

    Beginning of Virginia CHP law
    Section 18.2-308.01, which explains the purpose of a CHP
    Wiki article on GFSZA, which includes the text of the law

    Here's the important part:

    Until that time comes, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it, there are literally hundreds of thousands of us "federal felons" running around the state every day. As long as you don't do anything crazy, the odds are strongly in your favor that it will never be a problem. No guarantees, though, which is exactly the way the feds want it.

    TFred

    ETA: In fact... I just went back and more carefully read 18.2-308.01, to make sure I didn't miss anything. My opinion that a CHP does not qualify for the GFSZA "license exemption" just got much stronger. Paragraph C, which we all love to argue about regarding carry on private property, actually explicitly states that having a CHP does not authorize possession where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law. To those who think I'm crazy, read the paragraph below, and tell me how a Virginia CHP can possibly exempt someone from the GFSZA, when it specifically requires a license to possess!

    "C. The granting of a concealed handgun permit pursuant to this article shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the owner of private property."
    Last edited by TFred; 01-14-2014 at 03:16 AM.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM15A View Post
    Bad Peter.

    With a resident VA CHP you can carry (OC or CC) within the 1,000' from the property line but not on the property. With a resident VA CHP you can CC in a car onto the property but you must stay in the car. I believe the intent is to allow parents to drop off and pick up their kids. There are those that say a CHP is not a "license" and therefore not applicable to federal law. Private property is exempt. My property is entirely within the 1,000' of a school so I cannot set foot on the sidewalk legally carrying without a CHP.

    I think... Don't quote me...
    True but if OC'ing, you do not have to have your permit with you when you carry within 1,000' of a school. You just have to have been issued one.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 01-14-2014 at 09:47 PM.
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Yes, ignore Peter Nap's post. He's a nice guy, but he gets a little grumpy about CHPs. He was reacting to the apparent disparity between your statements about OC'ing, and applying for a CHP.

    The answer to your question is quite simply, nobody knows. The reason nobody knows is because as far as I am aware, there has never been a court case that settled the question once and for all.

    The GFSZA is one of the most heinous laws on the books of the US Code. The feds hold it like a hammer over the head of nearly every law-abiding citizen who chooses to carry a gun.

    Regarding Virginia, I will admit my point of view is in the minority, but the only reason for that is because the conclusion that one must reach if they accept the plain text reading of the laws involved is so horrible, it must be rejected - even though as far as I know, there is no legal rational to justify that.

    According to the plain text of the law, no citizens in Virginia can claim the "license" exemption provided in the GFSZA, because it clearly requires that the state must issue a license to "possess" a gun. ["if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so"] Virginia does not issue a license to possess. The CHP that Virginia issues does one thing only, and that is to exempt the holder from the generally illegal act of concealing a handgun. Since Virginia does not issue the required license to be exempt from the GFSZA, EVERY person who carries a gun within 1,000 feet of a school zone (except ON DUTY police officers) is a felon.

    In order to accept that a CHP exempts you from the GFSZA, one must believe that a CHP is a license to "possess" a gun. Nobody has yet been able to provide a cite to any law or court finding that supports such a leap.

    Then there is the whole other issue of reciprocity, namely that BATFE believes reciprocal agreements mean nothing with regard to GFSZA, which nullifies any gun carry in any state for which you do not have their actual permit.

    One day, I hope a court case will come along that settles these questions. Read the text for yourself and make up your own mind:

    Beginning of Virginia CHP law
    Section 18.2-308.01, which explains the purpose of a CHP
    Wiki article on GFSZA, which includes the text of the law

    Here's the important part:

    Until that time comes, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it, there are literally hundreds of thousands of us "federal felons" running around the state every day. As long as you don't do anything crazy, the odds are strongly in your favor that it will never be a problem. No guarantees, though, which is exactly the way the feds want it.

    TFred

    ETA: In fact... I just went back and more carefully read 18.2-308.01, to make sure I didn't miss anything. My opinion that a CHP does not qualify for the GFSZA "license exemption" just got much stronger. Paragraph C, which we all love to argue about regarding carry on private property, actually explicitly states that having a CHP does not authorize possession where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law. To those who think I'm crazy, read the paragraph below, and tell me how a Virginia CHP can possibly exempt someone from the GFSZA, when it specifically requires a license to possess!

    "C. The granting of a concealed handgun permit pursuant to this article shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the owner of private property."
    Well done Tfred... good post.

    There is one fly in the ointment for the feds with this law. States do not have to enforce (correct me if I am wrong). Were one to be arrested for violation of this law, the arrest would have to be made by a federal agent.

    Again, please do correct me if I am wrong with this.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Perhaps more importantly IMHO, is that the feds do not want a test case on GFSZA.

    The first GFSZA was found to be unconstitutional and this one has virtually the same wording; hence, will likely be found to be unconstitutional also when challenged.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Fre...es_Act_of_1990
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    I am in NC, not Virginia, but since we are talking a federal law I will chime in. The GFSZA excludes private property, which happens to be where most of my OCing is, the store, hardware store, and stuff like that. If that is what you are doing don't concern yourself with the zone. If you are in your car you can secure your gun to be within the law.

    I am not advocating breaking the law but I just do not concern myself with it at this time. But I don't push my luck by walking around across the street from a school either. If SCOTUS changes IMO the feds attitude towards enforcing this law will change. And with 10 more years of progressives in the White House, the makeup of SCOTUS WILL change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    True but if OC'ing, you do not have to have your permit with you when you carry withing 1,000' of a school. You just have to have been issued one.
    Oopsie, In my defense, when I said "without a CHP" I meant having issued one, not physically on one's body. While on the subject, are we not required to carry the permit when carrying a sidearm?
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM15A View Post
    Oopsie, In my defense, when I said "without a CHP" I meant having issued one, not physically on one's body. While on the subject, are we not required to carry the permit when carrying a sidearm?
    Only if it's concealed.
    Despite many attempts to make it so.....this is not a permit state.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I am in NC, not Virginia, but since we are talking a federal law I will chime in. The GFSZA excludes private property, which happens to be where most of my OCing is, the store, hardware store, and stuff like that. If that is what you are doing don't concern yourself with the zone. If you are in your car you can secure your gun to be within the law.

    I am not advocating breaking the law but I just do not concern myself with it at this time. But I don't push my luck by walking around across the street from a school either. If SCOTUS changes IMO the feds attitude towards enforcing this law will change. And with 10 more years of progressives in the White House, the makeup of SCOTUS WILL change.
    If walking, you have to walk on the sidewalks or street to get to the private property. If driving, simply putting your gun in the glove box does not cut it. The exemption states:

    "(iii) that is— (I) not loaded; and (II) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle;"

    Also, not walking around across the street is pointless. 1,000 feet is nearly 1/5 of a mile - from ANY point of school property, which can be quite large and far away from the actual school buildings. Unless you live in the sticks, you likely encroach these zones many times a day without even knowing it.

    TFred

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Perhaps more importantly IMHO, is that the feds do not want a test case on GFSZA.

    The first GFSZA was found to be unconstitutional and this one has virtually the same wording; hence, will likely be found to be unconstitutional also when challenged.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Fre...es_Act_of_1990
    Grape, did you notice that link has a list of NINE cases where the current version (after Congress added the interstate commerce clause) has been upheld? We all know that these cases are likely (haven't read them yet, but will when I get a moment) add-ons to other terribly violent crimes, but each time it's upheld makes it a little harder to overturn as a stand-alone charge.




    TFred

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    Thanks for all the information everyone! Living in southwest Virginia, this isn't too much of a concern, but there are some businesses and restaurants within the 1000' zone that I frequent...I have yet to carry in those locations due to all the hype about GFSZA, but I'll feel better about it once I have my CHP in hand.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WX4SNO View Post
    Thanks for all the information everyone! Living in southwest Virginia, this isn't too much of a concern, but there are some businesses and restaurants within the 1000' zone that I frequent...I have yet to carry in those locations due to all the hype about GFSZA, but I'll feel better about it once I have my CHP in hand.
    Business/restaurants are private property are exempt in the GFSZA, you can carry in them with or without a permit.
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WX4SNO View Post
    Thanks for all the information everyone! Living in southwest Virginia, this isn't too much of a concern, but there are some businesses and restaurants within the 1000' zone that I frequent...I have yet to carry in those locations due to all the hype about GFSZA, but I'll feel better about it once I have my CHP in hand.
    That's exactly what it is...HYPE!

    Don't be afraid of the bogyman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    That's exactly what it is...HYPE!

    Don't be afraid of the bogyman.
    Exactly!

    As strongly as I believe that the GFSZA does make virtually every gun-carrier in Virginia a federal felon, I just as strongly believe that it doesn't matter as long as you don't do anything stupid.

    My motive in jumping on this soap box is to eventually convince the powers that be of just how heinous this law is, and that it needs to GO! Its existence in current form is not compatible with a civilization that respects the rule of law.

    TFred

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM15A View Post
    Oopsie, In my defense, when I said "without a CHP" I meant having issued one, not physically on one's body. While on the subject, are we not required to carry the permit when carrying a sidearm?
    When carrying a sidearm openly.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 01-14-2014 at 01:02 PM.
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM15A View Post
    Oopsie, In my defense, when I said "without a CHP" I meant having issued one, not physically on one's body. While on the subject, are we not required to carry the permit when carrying a sidearm?
    Required yes, but a couple years ago, we got the law changed to make it like a driver's license. A civil fine if you don't have it on your person, which can be waived if you show you had one at the time you were ticketed. Prior to that change, the law treated not having it on you as if you didn't have one at all.

    TFred

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Grape, did you notice that link has a list of NINE cases where the current version (after Congress added the interstate commerce clause) has been upheld? We all know that these cases are likely (haven't read them yet, but will when I get a moment) add-ons to other terribly violent crimes, but each time it's upheld makes it a little harder to overturn as a stand-alone charge.

    --snipped--
    TFred
    Also have not looked at them in detail yet. As an add-on charge, they are solidifying their position somewhat.
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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnM15A View Post
    Oopsie, In my defense, when I said "without a CHP" I meant having issued one, not physically on one's body. While on the subject, are we not required to carry the permit when carrying a sidearm?
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    When carrying a sidearm openly.
    Just to make certain that we are all saying the same thing (and please let me know if anyone's opinion differs):

    If you are carrying a sidearm openly (and not also concealing a BUG at the same time), you do not need to carry your CHP. There are some of us who do not carry our CHP -- or a driver's license -- when openly carrying outside of our vehicle. It's called "going sterile," and it enables you to truthfully say "Sorry, I don't have any ID on me" if requested/demanded by a LEO.

    Anytime you are carrying a concealed handgun, you must have your CHP in your possession and present it along with a government-issued photo ID upon demand of a LEO. If you are carrying concealed and do not have your CHP with you, you may be cited for 'concealed carry w/o a permit', but the charge will be resolved (dropped) in court when you present your CHP.

    If you are carrying concealed and are stopped by a LEO, you do not have to volunteer the information that you are carrying, but if asked, you must answer truthfully. There are some that suggest you volunteer that information up front. Your choice.
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    Just to make certain that we are all saying the same thing (and please let me know if anyone's opinion differs):

    If you are carrying a sidearm openly (and not also concealing a BUG at the same time), you do not need to carry your CHP. There are some of us who do not carry our CHP -- or a driver's license -- when openly carrying outside of our vehicle. It's called "going sterile," and it enables you to truthfully say "Sorry, I don't have any ID on me" if requested/demanded by a LEO.

    Anytime you are carrying a concealed handgun, you must have your CHP in your possession and present it along with a government-issued photo ID upon demand of a LEO. If you are carrying concealed and do not have your CHP with you, you may be cited for 'concealed carry w/o a permit', but the charge will be resolved (dropped) in court when you present your CHP.

    If you are carrying concealed and are stopped by a LEO, you do not have to volunteer the information that you are carrying, but if asked, you must answer truthfully. There are some that suggest you volunteer that information up front. Your choice.
    Correct!

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    Regular Member BillB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    If you are carrying concealed and are stopped by a LEO, you do not have to volunteer the information that you are carrying, but if asked, you must answer truthfully. There are some that suggest you volunteer that information up front. Your choice.
    Why should I answer that question? I can instead ask the officer if he walked to work or brought his lunch. Or, I could just say I don't care to chit chat with the officer. I'm only required by law to show him my permit, if asked.
    Last edited by BillB; 01-14-2014 at 02:13 PM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillB View Post
    Why should I answer that question? I can instead ask the officer if he walked to work or brought his lunch. Or, I could just say I don't care to chit chat with the officer. I'm only required by law to show him my permit, if asked.
    You're in a really narrow slot here with this one. Technically, I don't believe you are required to answer the specific question, "Are you carrying a firearm?" However, the CHP code states that if you are carrying a concealed handgun, then you must display your permit upon demand.

    I would suggest you are getting in real thick weeds here, where one or two words can make all the difference in whether you are breaking the law or not. Unless you have a lightning fast word-processing mind, it is probably safer to err on the side of caution if you are carrying concealed.

    Of course, if the LEO were an intelligent fellow, he could simply demand to see your CHP. If you are not carrying, you are not required to show it to him. If you are carrying, then you are.

    TFred

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    I like answering such demands with a question.

    Do you think I am carrying concealed?

    Once was asked if I had a permit for "that?"

    My response was, Why?"

    "Because you must have a permit to carry concealed."

    "Excuse me officer, but you obviously see it and know what it is......will there be anything else? If not have a nice day." I left humming a happy tune.
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