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Thread: Guns & schools question

  1. #1
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    My family and I are traveling this weekend to the son's wrestling tournament. The tournament is being held at a public high school and we will be staying overnight in a hotel. I want to have my pistol with me and carry when legal. I have a VA CHP and I know I can have a loaded gun on school property so long as both I and the gun stay in the SUV.

    My question is about legal stowage of the pistol on school grounds. I intend to unload my pistol and stow it in an in-car gun lockbox cabled to the drivers seat frame. The ammo will be locked in the glove box. I cannot assume public/on-street parking near the school.

    The third paragraph of ยง 18.2-308.1 states:
    "The provisions of this section shall not apply to...(vi) a person who possesses an unloaded firearm that is in a closed container, or a knife having a metal blade, in or upon a motor vehicle, or an unloaded shotgun or rifle in a firearms rack in or upon a motor vehicle....For the purposes of this paragraph,..."closed container" includes a locked vehicle trunk."
    As I read this paragraph, I am staying within the law. Am I missing anything or breaking any laws?

    Thanks.
    ---

  2. #2
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    My interpretation of the law is the same as yours, and I can't find anything else that applies to your situation. I think your plan would be well within the law. IANAL

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    I agree, you should be fine.

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    The issue I've wrestled with is this. If you have the loaded weapon with you, concealed, on school grounds, you're ok.

    The problem comes about when you have to remove it from concealment to unload and stow it. Doing so on school property violates the "concealed" part. To be VERY safe, I'd think you'd have to unload and stow it off property, then drive on to the property.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    I thought I might add a little tip of something that I do....

    I always feel very uncomfortable leaving a gun in my vehicle. I would especially feel uncomfortable leaving a loaded gun in my vehicle on school grounds. Whenever I am forced to leave my gun in the vehicle I disassemble it and carry the barrel with me in my pocket. This way if my car is stolen, or some irrate LEO finds out I have a gun in my vehicle I can say, "What gun... That's a paperweight without the barrel".

    I do this a lot when I'm on business trips. I take two guns my primary IWB carry gun (that I can't conceal unless my shirt is untucked), and my pocket gun. Whenever I leave my primary gun in the car (when I'm wearing a tucked in shirt) I have the barrel in my pocket. I've also been known to leave a barrel-less gun in my hotel/motel room.

    Just an idea that I came up with... I've never heard of anybody else doing it before.

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    Tess wrote:
    The issue I've wrestled with is this. If you have the loaded weapon with you, concealed, on school grounds, you're ok.

    The problem comes about when you have to remove it from concealment to unload and stow it. Doing so on school property violates the "concealed" part. To be VERY safe, I'd think you'd have to unload and stow it off property, then drive on to the property.
    Well, if you do this in a far corner of the parking lot and don't let the gun show above the window sill, then you can do it without letting anyone see what you're doing...which sounds like concealment to me. But you're right to feel uneasy; it's one of those hazy laws that needs to be fixed.

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    combatcarry wrote:
    I thought I might add a little tip of something that I do....

    I always feel very uncomfortable leaving a gun in my vehicle. I would especially feel uncomfortable leaving a loaded gun in my vehicle on school grounds. Whenever I am forced to leave my gun in the vehicle I disassemble it and carry the barrel with me in my pocket. This way if my car is stolen, or some irrate LEO finds out I have a gun in my vehicle I can say, "What gun... That's a paperweight without the barrel".

    I do this a lot when I'm on business trips. I take two guns my primary IWB carry gun (that I can't conceal unless my shirt is untucked), and my pocket gun. Whenever I leave my primary gun in the car (when I'm wearing a tucked in shirt) I have the barrel in my pocket. I've also been known to leave a barrel-less gun in my hotel/motel room.

    Just an idea that I came up with... I've never heard of anybody else doing it before.
    Your idea is good for weapons security, but the drawback is that it requires lots of handling of the firearm and the potential to drop small parts under the seat and lose them.

    Sounds like when I traveled aboard a chartered jetliner in the Marine Corps. We carried our rifles and armor with us on the plane, but the Sgt Maj made us take the bolt carriers out of the weapons and put them in our pockets until we got off the plane. Weirdest thing was sitting in a jetliner wearing kevlar with anM-16 in my lap and having apretty stewardess asking me if I wanted anything to drink. Like I was headed for Disneyland on vacation or something...

  8. #8
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    "What gun... That's a paperweight without the barrel".

    HAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHA!

    That quote is going in my books.

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    In the back of my crown vic I have two locked box installed. If I am on school ground i exit the vehicle, pop the trunk, unload the firearm calmly (gently) and leave the magazine and the gun inside the two different lock box. I use those when I am travelling especially. I dont think its a good idea to carry the half postion of the firearm, cuz LEO will come up with compound questions that are hard to beat when asked.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Don't follow Swatpros advice for locking up a gun on school grounds, it is illegal. If you need to secure your weapon on school grounds, you must remain concealed and inside your vehicle, getting out of the vehicle with a loaded weapon on school grounds is a CLASS 6 FELONY, permit or not.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-308.1

    B. If any person possesses any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material while such person is upon (i) any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds; (ii) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or (iii) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony; however, if the person possesses any firearm within a public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school building and intends to use, or attempts to use, such firearm, or displays such weapon in a threatening manner, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years to be served consecutively with any other sentence.

    The provisions of this section shall not apply to....
    (vii) a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school.

  11. #11
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    swatpro911 wrote:
    cuz LEO will come up with compound questions that are hard to beat when asked.
    "the right to remain silent..."

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    one thing to be carefull of is that the Gun Free School Zone starts before you pull on school grounds. Some people's back yards are also part of this. When I have to get out my wife's school, I follow this procedure:
    Stop at the gas station that is before the school, unload and secure the gun in the lockbox, then drive onto school property. I then pull over up the road and reload. Use the same procedure when going to the range at Quantico. ( No CC on base and the gun must be unloaded and locked.) I also use the cabled lock boxes.

    My rule is to NEVER handle the gun within the GFSZ (unless needed for justifiable defense) and then it shouldn't be a problem.



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    coltcarrier wrote:
    one thing to be carefull of is that the Gun Free School Zone starts before you pull on school grounds.
    Are GFSZ still valid? I'm searching but the first item returned by google says they were ruled unconstitutional. I see lots of bills introduced in the VA legislature but all were passed by. I also see refences to US Congress's "Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995" bill which appears to never made it out of committee.
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    rlh2005 wrote:
    coltcarrier wrote:
    one thing to be carefull of is that the Gun Free School Zone starts before you pull on school grounds.
    Are GFSZ still valid? I'm searching but the first item returned by google says they were ruled unconstitutional. I see lots of bills introduced in the VA legislature but all were passed by. I also see refences to US Congress's "Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995" bill which appears to never made it out of committee.
    It was repassed after Lopez, but permit holders have always been 100% under the federal law.

  15. #15
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    Thanks everyone for the feedback and information.
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  16. #16
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    Well, everything went fine other than the son loosing out on Friday night. The tournament was a bracket structure with double fault elimination. He had no apparent energy or drive and was eliminated after two bouts. But, that's another issue.

    On Friday, I stowed the pistol as described in the OP after arriving at the school. On Saturday, I stowed it before leaving the motel (about 2 miles from school). Due to money issues, the team stayed at a cheap motel. We decided to stay there as well. Not knowing the area -- it's be 13 years since my undergrad days at Virginia Tech -- it was very reassuring to the have the pistol with me.

    Fearing he would lose out on Friday, I checked into what was happening around that area on Saturday. As luck would have it, there was a gun show in Roanoke. So, we watched our team's wrestlers that were still in the fight until noonish on Saturday. I dropped the wife and daughter at the mall while I went to the gun show -- the son had to stay with the team.
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  17. #17
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    rlh2005 wrote:
    On Friday, I stowed the pistol as described in the OP after arriving at the school.

    What's an "OP"?

  18. #18
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    OP = original post.
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  19. #19
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    [sheepishly] oh....never mind....

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