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Thread: Possibly moving to West Virginia...

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    Hi All,
    I might be moving to West Virginia sometime in the next 2 months or so. I was happy to find out that they are a shall issue state as far as CCW, but I can't seem to find a straight answer as to whether or not it is legal to open carry there.
    The map shown by OpenCarry.org shows West Virginia as a gold star state, but it also shows Connecticut as a licensed open carry state, which I believe to be incorrect. So I don't know how much stock to put in West Virginia being okay with open carry.

    If anyone has a definitive answer or could point me in the right direction I would be grateful, thank you very much - Simon

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    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    Hey Simon,

    To answer your original question, YES ... West Virginia is definitely an open carry state; and not just in name, but in practice. I have done so a LOT personally.

    But you mention that you disagree with Connecticut. Could you tell me why? I want to make sure we have the states coded correctly.

    Is it just that you know that if a person did so, they would lose their permit? If so, we still have it coded correctly, because we have attempted to codify the LAWS of the states, not the political climate.

    Let me know. And welcome to a Gold Star state!!!



    John

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    You may want to be careful until you get your WV permit.

    As I understand it,a couple oflocalities have grandfathered provisions outlawing open carry unless you have a permit.

    I think Charleston and Dunbar are the two but I am not sure.

    IANAL but I read the Charleston Code and it didn't refer to open or concealed carry. It just said that carrying a firearm within the city is illegal unless you have a permit.

    I would love for someone knowledgeble to shed some light on this. Am I correct or not?

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    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    The WV Preemption statute reads as follows:

    §8-12-5a. Limitations upon municipalities' power to restrict the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, transport, sale and storage of certain weapons and ammunition.
    The provisions of section five of this article notwithstanding, neither a municipality nor the governing body of any municipality may limit the right of any person to purchase, possess, transfer, own, carry, transport, sell or store any revolver, pistol, rifle or shotgun or any ammunition or ammunition components to be used therewith nor to so regulate the keeping of gunpowder so as to directly or indirectly prohibit the ownership of the ammunition. Nothing herein shall in any way impair the authority of any municipality, or the governing body thereof, to enact any ordinance or resolution respecting the power to arrest, convict and punish any individual under the provisions of subdivision (16), section five of this article or from enforcing any such ordinance or resolution: Provided, That any municipal ordinance in place as of the effective date of this section shall be excepted from the provisions of this section: Provided, however, That no provision in this section may be construed to limit the authority of a municipality to restrict the commercial use of real estate in designated areas through planning or zoning ordinances.

    This does seem to indicate that any ordinances in place as of the passage of the preemption statute are still in effect. I will have to do a little more research on this statute.



    John

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    John,

    Belowis the part of the Charleston Code I was referring to. It says you can't carry but then refers to WV Code 61-7-2 and 61-7-3 thru 61-7-6 as exceptions. These are theexceptions for a concealed carry permit. Notice that there appears to be no distinqtion between concealed or open carry.

    I wonder if 78-167 could let the police charge you with brandishing for causing 'a breach of peace' if you open carry?

    Anyone in Charleston want to chime in?



    Sec. 78-163. Carrying without license or other authorization.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry on or about his person any revolver or pistol, dirk, bowie knife, slingshot, razor, billy, metallic or other false knuckles, or other dangerous or deadly weapon of like kind or character.

    (b) This section shall not be construed so as to prohibit the carrying of any weapon pursuant to licenses or other authorization issued under the authority of W. Va. Code § 61-7-2, nor shall it be construed to prevent the carrying of any weapon by persons exempted under W. Va. Code §§ 61-7-3--61-7-6.

    (Code 1975, § 18-66)



    Sec. 78-164. Carrying unlicensed or unauthorized weapons within designated areas of Kanawha Boulevard.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry on or about his person in the following designated Sternwheel Regatta area: Kanawha Boulevard, East, from Capitol Street to Clendenin Street and from the north bank of the Kanawha River to the south sidewalk of Virginia Street, East, for ten days preceding Labor Day, and including Labor Day, any revolver or pistol, dirk, bowie knife, slingshot, razor, billy, metallic or other false knuckles, or other dangerous or deadly weapon of like kind or character.

    (b) This section shall not be construed so as to prohibit the carrying of any weapon pursuant to licenses or other authorization issued under the authority of W. Va. Code § 61-7-2, nor shall it be construed to prevent the carrying of any weapon by persons exempted under W. Va. Code §§ 61-7-3--61-7-6.

    (Ord. No. 4867, 8-17-1992)


    Sec. 78-165. Carrying unlicensed or unauthorized weapons upon municipal public property.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry on or about his person any revolver or pistol, dirk, bowie knife, slingshot, razor, billy, metallic or other false knuckles, or other dangerous or deadly weapon of like kind or character in or upon city hall, municipal auditorium, the civic center, and all parks and recreation buildings and facilities, including recreation centers, playgrounds, swimming pools, dressing areas, tennis courts, parks and recreation areas; however, the provisions of this section shall not apply to city, county, state and federal law enforcement officers and to exhibitors and performers at city-sanctioned events who obtain advance written authorization from the chief of police.

    (Ord. No. 4941, 4-19-1993)


    Sec. 78-166. Prohibited discharge.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge within the city any firearm, slingshot or other weapon or instrument which propels a projectile capable of inflicting bodily injury except in the lawful defense of person or property and except when necessary in the performance of a lawful duty. That this section shall not apply to the use of blank ammunition at athletic events, military funerals, theatrical performances and other functions at which the use of blank ammunition is appropriate and does not constitute any danger to any person or property, nor shall this section apply to the use of live ammunition or arrows on authorized target ranges where such use is conducted under competent supervision and adequate safeguards are provided for the protection of persons and property.

    (Code 1975, § 18-67)


    Sec. 78-167. Brandishing or exposing weapons; threatening or causing breach of peace; penalty.

    It shall be unlawful for any person armed with a pistol, gun or other dangerous or deadly weapon, whether licensed to carry the weapon or not, to carry, expose, brandish or use such weapon in a way or manner to cause or threaten a breach of peace. Any person violating this section shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties set forth in section 1-8.

    (Code 1975, § 18-68)

    State law references: Similar provisions, W. Va. Code § 61-7-11.

    OHHHHHH.......my brain hurts!


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    Thanks for all of your responses, it sounds like I need to check the local laws when I figure out where I'm going to end up.
    Jpierce, you are right, the CT info. in the map is correct. I was told in my safety class that having your pistol showing is not illegal in and of itself, but you will most likely be arrested for brandishing and/or disturbing the peace (law vs. political climate...).
    Thanks again - Simon

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    Hey!

    Last I heard W.Va. was only 'Open Carry" as long as it was in your vehicle.And they do not issue 'non-resident permits.W.Va. also Does Not honor anty other state's permits.

    If this has changed I hope somebody can enlighten me on WHEN this changed and what the laws are now.

    I go to W.Va. just about every other weekend to shoot with son in law.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Good posts above, you learn something new everyday.

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    OK, which localities have grandfathered restrictions to analyze beyond Charleston?

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    Regular Member Tricorn's Avatar
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    PDO website states WV honors CC permits from Kentucky and from Virginia (only Resident licenses).

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    Please see my post in the CT thread. In CT, the law seems to be far less important than the "political" leanings of the DPS and the local authorities. There does not seem to be any sort of state-wide preemption (as there is here in VA) and both state and local departments seem to think they can enforce their own politically motivated, extra-legal, anti-gun "laws". Open carry is a "breach of the peace" according to State DPS firearms law "expert"! Ralph Sherman (a pro-gun CT atty) seems to go along with it, and he could not (or would not) cite any case law to support the DPS claim that "they prosecute this all the time".

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    pieceKeeper,

    Thanks for the post, that really says something about CT! Those are the types of responses that I would have expected... Hopefully I will be WV bound shortly - Simon

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    As told from a Parkersburg Police Officer, Parkersburg has no provisions against open carry.

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    Jronjakoh wrote:
    Hey!

    Last I heard W.Va. was only 'Open Carry" as long as it was in your vehicle.And they do not issue 'non-resident permits.W.Va. also Does Not honor anty other state's permits.

    If this has changed I hope somebody can enlighten me on WHEN this changed and what the laws are now.

    I go to W.Va. just about every other weekend to shoot with son in law.
    I had seen an advertisement for a CCW course at this place called FrontSite or something that said they could get you your CCW for 23 states in thos one course... on eo f the states was WV I believe.

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    Jronjakoh wrote:
    Hey!

    Last I heard W.Va. was only 'Open Carry" as long as it was in your vehicle.And they do not issue 'non-resident permits.W.Va. also Does Not honor anty other state's permits.

    If this has changed I hope somebody can enlighten me on WHEN this changed and what the laws are now.

    I go to W.Va. just about every other weekend to shoot with son in law.
    You heard incorrectly. WV is open carry bothinside and outside your vehicle. That's why it is labeled a gold star open carry state here on OCDO. Also, it is not quite true that it doesn't honor any other states' permits (it honors Kentucky and VA resident permits).

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