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Thread: How is "carried openly"defined in VA?

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    Regular Member MagiCyle's Avatar
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    How is "carried openly"defined in VA?

    1. The Virginia State police website states "A firearm may be carried openly in Virginia except where prohibited by statute."
    http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms.shtm

    Question: How does Virginia define "carried openly?" Can you direct me to where "carried openly" is defined?


    2. A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-308

    Question A: How does Virginia define "dirk", "razor" and "bowie knife?" Can you direct me to these terms' legal definitions?

    Question B: I understand local ordinances have unique blade length restrictions for open knife carry. Where can I find the local ordinance laws pertaining to the legality of carrying these items openly?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO.

    The best you are going to get to a definition is what's out there in case law, as it and the act of open carrying are not defined in the Code of Virginia. That is why OC is the default carry option in Virginia - CC requires a CHP (special government permission slip) which gives you an affirmative defense for breaking the law against carrying as contained i 18.2-308.

    Then you get into "hidden from common observation" - dear sweet shivering $diety are there more "definitions" out there about just what that is!

    As for "any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; or [] any weapon of like kind" - again, your answers are going to be found in case law. For even more fun, try to distinguish between a dirk and a dagger, a clip-point and a bowie knife, a switchblade and an automatic-sheath knife, a machete and a garden tool, a razor and any of a variety of wood planes/shavers/scrapers, a slingshot (it's not what you think it is) and a rubber band, a spring stick and a collapsible baton of a certain vintage, metal knucks and grain flails, a blackjack and a keychain with a monkey's paw, or a pocket knife [I know, not listed] and a butter knife as any weapon of like kind.

    Thank you for your last questio - it's actually fairly easy to answer. Go to http://www.municode.com/Library . Play with several search phrases just to make sure you have not missed something. Also remember not all jurisdictions have ordinances, or the same length restrictions if they do have ordinances.

    A question for you, if I may? What brought you to OCDO to ask about the concealed carry of stuff?

    stay safe.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO and the Virginia forum.

    Open carry is not specifically defined by statute as is concealed carry = hidden from common observation.
    https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/leg...0+cod+18.2-308

    Therefore OC is legal by default (not made illegal) and may be described as not hidden from common observation. No it doesn't make any difference if one is in a vehicle or sitting strong side to the wall in a restaurant.

    As skidmark has pointed out, much of our law is based on court cases.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    This class may be helpful to you - http://proactiveshooters.com/general...d-carry-in-va/
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    So you can carry all those 'weapons' as long as they are not concealed? Who knew?

    ...any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack
    Doubt this would be a problem, though, depending on who you are, who the LEO is, what the totality of circumstances are. You might be charged and clubbed insensate, but you'd get an apology.

    Reassuring.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick9 View Post
    So you can carry all those 'weapons' as long as they are not concealed? Who knew?

    Doubt this would be a problem, though, depending on who you are, who the LEO is, what the totality of circumstances are. You might be charged and clubbed insensate, but you'd get an apology.

    Reassuring.
    Please do not make that assumption - edged weapons and other non-gun defensive devices are not covered by premption, so local ordinances are valid AND there are state restrictions also.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-311
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member MagiCyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Welcome to OCDO.

    A question for you, if I may? What brought you to OCDO to ask about the concealed carry of stuff?

    stay safe.
    Thanks for the detailed answer.

    To answer your question, in the event I feel I need to carry a weapon for personal protection, I want to ensure I am doing so legally, safely and responsibly. I've never OC'd before and I'm not sure how comfortable I will be doing it. I suppose I joined this forum to increase my knowledge base on the subject so that I better understand what it is I'm considering doing before I decide whether or not to do it. I've hunted my entire life so I have familiarity and comfort using hunting guns, but personal defense against human threats is new to me.

    I asked about the knives because I recently purchased a SOG SEAL Pup Elite. I was wondering if it could be open or concealed carried in VA. I was wondering about the definitions of those knives so I could assess whether my knife would be defined by one of those terms. Its got a 4.85" blade.

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    Regular Member MagiCyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Welcome to OCDO and the Virginia forum.

    Open carry is not specifically defined by statute as is concealed carry = hidden from common observation.
    https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/leg...0+cod+18.2-308

    Therefore OC is legal by default (not made illegal) and may be described as not hidden from common observation. No it doesn't make any difference if one is in a vehicle or sitting strong side to the wall in a restaurant.

    As skidmark has pointed out, much of our law is based on court cases.
    Thank you. I appreciate the insights.

    How much of the gun needs to be not hidden from common observation? If the gun is in a holster attached to one's belt, and one's un-tucked t-shirt covers the upper half of the gun, but the holster is visible below the shirt, would said scenario count as OC?
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	empty-holster-protest-art-g93gnsi8-1empty-holster-protest-jq-2-jpg.jpg 
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ID:	11866 (Imagine there was a gun in her holster, and her shirt covered the handle of the gun.)

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiCyle View Post
    Thank you. I appreciate the insights.

    How much of the gun needs to be not hidden from common observation? If the gun is in a holster attached to one's belt, and one's un-tucked t-shirt covers the upper half of the gun, but the holster is visible below the shirt, would said scenario count as OC?
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	empty-holster-protest-art-g93gnsi8-1empty-holster-protest-jq-2-jpg.jpg 
Views:	98 
Size:	33.4 KB 
ID:	11866 (Imagine there was a gun in her holster, and her shirt covered the handle of the gun.)
    That would not be OC - no part of a gun can be seen/recognized as such. If there were a gun in that holster, it is IMO concealed.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiCyle View Post
    Thank you. I appreciate the insights.

    How much of the gun needs to be not hidden from common observation? If the gun is in a holster attached to one's belt, and one's un-tucked t-shirt covers the upper half of the gun, but the holster is visible below the shirt, would said scenario count as OC?
    (Imagine there was a gun in her holster, and her shirt covered the handle of the gun.)
    One thing to keep in mind, is that its not as clear cut as 'legal/not legal'. A police officer can charge you for basically anything he wants. Many of the charges they place are based on their 'interpretation'. ('its uh matta uh in-ter-pret-ta-shun' ) You may not have actually violated any laws at all.... but you still get charged, and forced to defend yourself (and quite possibly spend at least some time in jail in the process). Its happened more than you might think. Two notable cases come from pointing a finger, and relocating a firearm at a traffic light. The first was eventually resolved, the second is still on-going.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    One thing to keep in mind, is that its not as clear cut as 'legal/not legal'. A police officer can charge you for basically anything he wants. Many of the charges they place are based on their 'interpretation'. ('its uh matta uh in-ter-pret-ta-shun' ) You may not have actually violated any laws at all.... but you still get charged, and forced to defend yourself (and quite possibly spend at least some time in jail in the process). Its happened more than you might think. Two notable cases come from pointing a finger, and relocating a firearm at a traffic light. The first was eventually resolved, the second is still on-going.
    That is of what Ka-Chings are made.

    The 4th Circuit Court (includes Virginia) has ruled that OC is not RAS of a crime.
    http://www.ncgunblog.com/2013/03/19/...on-open-carry/

    Follow the bouncing ball:
    http://monachuslex.com/?p=640
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiCyle View Post
    ....

    I asked about the knives because I recently purchased a SOG SEAL Pup Elite. I was wondering if it could be open or concealed carried in VA. I was wondering about the definitions of those knives so I could assess whether my knife would be defined by one of those terms. Its got a 4.85" blade.
    It will probably be classified as a bowie knife - clip point and handguard being the things that drive it in that direction as oposed to not being a bowie knife. Also, look at the maunfacturer's description - what do they call it? But in answer to your direct question - yes, you can probably OC it without too much hassle. Concealed? Probably not, according to the law.

    What do you know about knife fighting? Have you had any training? Are you freaking crazy - you are going to get cut even if you are some sort of ninja.

    And pretty much the same for using a firearm for self defense as opposed to punching holes in paper. It is not intuitive and good training as a newbie ought to give you good habits.

    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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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiCyle View Post
    ....
    To answer your question, in the event I feel I need to carry a weapon for personal protection, I want to ensure I am doing so legally, safely and responsibly. I've never OC'd before and I'm not sure how comfortable I will be doing it. I suppose I joined this forum to increase my knowledge base on the subject so that I better understand what it is I'm considering doing before I decide whether or not to do it. I've hunted my entire life so I have familiarity and comfort using hunting guns, but personal defense against human threats is new to me.
    ....
    A few comments that I seem to throw out there whenever the subject of oC/CC comes up. The gun is not some magic talisman - you need to know how (and when and why) to use it.

    And even if you have a gun and know how, when, and why to use it, you need to have nswered for yourself and to yourself the most important question: Will (not "can", not "would", not "might") I use it unhesitatingly, knowing that the most probable outcome will be that another person will die because of my using it? That does not mean that you can not/should not consider all possible options to using a gun for self defense before doing so. You just need to run down your checklist of all available and probably workable options (shoot, run away, talk your way out, die) in a split second, then pick one and do it.

    Personally, the biggest part of self defense is avoiding being in a situation where I need to defend myself. Situational and self awareness are important. Knowing when to depart before things go south is better than knowing how to shoot at close range when everything has gone to heck in a handbasket. (See my other comment about training - IMO* if it does not include disengaging then it may not be the "best" training you can get.)

    stay safe.

    * - nothing "humble" about my opinions. Just ask around. And no, I am not the last and best and only word on anything except what works for me.
    "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.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    This post gets a 'Gold Star'!!

    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    A few comments that I seem to throw out there whenever the subject of oC/CC comes up. The gun is not some magic talisman - you need to know how (and when and why) to use it.

    And even if you have a gun and know how, when, and why to use it, you need to have nswered for yourself and to yourself the most important question: Will (not "can", not "would", not "might") I use it unhesitatingly, knowing that the most probable outcome will be that another person will die because of my using it? That does not mean that you can not/should not consider all possible options to using a gun for self defense before doing so. You just need to run down your checklist of all available and probably workable options (shoot, run away, talk your way out, die) in a split second, then pick one and do it.

    Personally, the biggest part of self defense is avoiding being in a situation where I need to defend myself. Situational and self awareness are important. Knowing when to depart before things go south is better than knowing how to shoot at close range when everything has gone to heck in a handbasket. (See my other comment about training - IMO* if it does not include disengaging then it may not be the "best" training you can get.)

    stay safe.

    * - nothing "humble" about my opinions. Just ask around. And no, I am not the last and best and only word on anything except what works for me.

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    ...full of the courage of a warrior...and the wisdom of a touch of grey hair...oughta be a sticky for those new/young amongst us...

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheepdog View Post
    ...full of the courage of a warrior...and the wisdom of a touch of grey hair...oughta be a sticky for those new/young amongst us...
    The difference is often discerned by age of the participants.

    Fools may rush in where angels fear to tread, but success belongs to those who dare to achieve it.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Sorry to disappoint all y'all. It comes from seeing too many times what has happened to someone who though "having a gun" was the solution to life's little problems., and having to help the survivors try to pick up and put together the pieces that did remain.

    Shooting someone is a moral decision. Hard to do for folks with moral values. (Fortunately I score in the 99%+ range on the psychopathy scale* - not disturbed by those pesky moral dilemmas. Me, used car salesmen, most attorneys and lawyers, and the small population of true social deviants.)

    stay safe.

    * - just because I outscore Ted Bundy and Charlie Manson does not mean I can't be allowed out in society. If anything it means that I have spent more time than the rest of all y'all deciding how to behave. (Sort of like claiming that my CHP means I am safer because I passed a background check one day.)
    "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.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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