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Thread: WHAT IS THIS?

  1. #1
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    From this site (http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_...Concealed.shtm)

    it reads:

    Based on the statute and decisions rendered by the Supreme Court, a weapon is considered to be concealed at any time it is placed in a location as to be within reach of the person, without the person being required to make an overt act to retrieve such weapon, when such weapon is hidden from common observation. Placing a weapon under the seat, on the seat hidden from common observation, or at any location from which the weapon can readily be retrieved is considered to be concealed. A person carrying a weapon in the unlocked glove compartment of an automobile, if the person does not have a permit or otherwise fall within any statutory exemption, is a violation of § 18.2-308(A), unless some particular fact or circumstance renders the weapon inaccessible.
    Does this mean that I can carry a gun in my LOCKED glove compartment?

    Or carry it in a LOCKED container in my UNLOCKED glove compartment?

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    You might want to call them and ask.
    I'd be leery about it though. Other than being able to lock it in the glove compartment when you leave the car, I haven't heard about any decisions.

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    I vaguely recall reading that in the past. I don't think its new language on their website.

    I think the clause to pay attention to is the last one: "..., unless some particular fact or circumstance renders the weapon inaccessible."

    Absent a clearer explanation from another forum member, complete with cites, I'd assume that clause opens the door to whichever police officer's personal interpretation of what "inaccessible" means.

    Realize that the state police are paraphrasingsome number of VA Supreme Court decisions.

    Didn't we have a case a while back here in VA where a fella was getting out of his car after a traffic accident andlocked his gun inside theconsole compartment so it wouldn't be laying out on the seat where it was during the accident? I vaguely recall that the police charged him with having a concealed weapon, but the appellate court reversed because of something along the lines of him immediately stepping outside of the car put it out of reach. Maybe somebody knows that case.
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    "unlocked glove compartment "

    Sounds to me like it has to be locked up in any container that will hide it from view.

    Glove box in this exampleseems OK if it is locked.


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    LEO 229 wrote:
    "unlocked glove compartment "

    Sounds to me like it has to be locked up in any container that will hide it from view.

    Glove box in this exampleseems OK if it is locked.
    I interpreted it the same way, which is what confused me. What was the point of the recent locked container bill if I can already have it in a locked container?

    Oh wait...the locked container bill was for a loaded gun...

    Could I already have a loaded gun in a locked container?

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    www.virginia1774.org is your friend for case law.




    "By contrast, in this case, the issue is whether a weapon is concealed "about [the] person" of the defendant as contemplated by Code § 18.2-308(A) when he places it into a closed compartment inside a vehicle as he is exiting the vehicle. In all previous cases decided by this Court and the Court of Appeals construing the term "about his person" where the weapon was not concealed by or in the defendant's clothing, the issue was whether the weapon remained "so accessible as to afford prompt and immediate use" by the defendant while it was concealed. Sutherland, 109 Va. at 835, 65 S.E. at 15....The undisputed facts in the instant case are clearly distinguishable from those in Schaaf, Leith, and Watson.


    There simply is no evidence demonstrating that Pruitt remained in the vehicle for any appreciable length of time beyond that necessary to place his pistol in the console compartment. Granting all reasonable inferences to the Commonwealth, the evidence established that Pruitt placed the pistol inside the console compartment as he was exiting his vehicle. Once he exited the vehicle and closed the door, the pistol was no longer accessible to him so as to afford "prompt and immediate use." Thus, we hold that at no time while the pistol was concealed inside the console compartment was it "about [Pruitt's] person" as required by the statute."

    5) "Appellant Robert B. Leith was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in violation of Code 18.2-308. Leith contends that because his pistol was in the locked console of his automobile, the pistol was not a concealed weapon carried "about his person" and was not "readily accessible to him." We disagree and affirm his conviction." - Leith v. Commonwealth 17 Va. App 621 (1994)

    See Also: Weatherford v. Commonwealth, Va . App., (2005) ( Darkness does not allow gun to be in plain view?)

    6) "Handbags are made in various sizes, colors and styles, and some are designed to carry a great number of articles deemed necessary or convenient by the carrier. The bags are often supported by shoulder straps and are easily opened and closed by devices such as zippers, buckles or stays. A pistol carried in such a bag is not only near and about the carrier's person, hidden from common observation, but in some handbags it is so accessible that it could be fired without being removed therefrom. "[i]t is so connected with the person as to be readily accessible for use or surprise if desired.. . ." Sutherland, supra, 109 Va. at 835, 65 S.E. at 15.

    A gun in a saddlebag, although not readily accessible, did provide a measure of protection to a horseman traveling primarily in rural areas. It did not pose a serious and immediate threat to others. A gun in a shoulder bag or a large handbag is accessible and could pose a major problem and danger to the general public." Schaaf v. Commonwealth, (1979)

    Constructive Possession of Concealed Firearm



    "To support a conviction based upon constructive possession, "the Commonwealth must point to evidence of acts, statements, or conduct of the accused or other facts or circumstances which tend to show that the defendant was aware of both the presence and character of the substance and that it was subject to his dominion and control." Powers v. Commonwealth, 227 Va. 474, 476, 316 S.E.2d 739, 740 (1984). Possession "need not always be exclusive. The defendant may share it with one or more." Josephs v. Commonwealth, 10 Va. App. 87, 89, 390 S.E.2d 491, 497 (1990) (en banc). However, mere proximity to a controlled item, such as a gun or narcotics, is not legally sufficient by itself to establish dominion and control. Wright v. Commonwealth, 217 Va. 669, 670, 232 S.E.2d 733, 734 (1977); Fogg v. Commonwealth, 216 Va. 394, 395, 219 S.E.2d 672, 673 (1975)...Thus, the evidence proved only that appellant was an occupant of a vehicle and in close proximity to the hidden revolver. This circumstantial evidence is legally insufficient to prove possession. See Powers, 227 Va. at 476, 316 S.E.2d at 740; Hancock, 21 Va. App. at 472, 465 S.E.2d at 141-42; see also Myers v. Commonwealth, 43 Va. App. 113, 121-23, 596 S.E.2d 536, 540 (2004) (applying Hancock to reverse conviction for passenger's constructive possession of firearm secreted on passenger's floorboard inside blanket)."
    Pruitt put his handgun in the center console and immediately exited his vehicle. Leith had his gun in the locked glove compartment but was inside the vehicle at the time. Schaaf had a handgun in her purse which was hanging from a strap over her shoulder - while entering a courthouse no less! Weatherford had a shotgun on the floorboard between the front seats while he was driving a car playing music very loudly. Sutherland was riding a horse and had pistols in saddlebags tied to the saddle.

    IANAL and all the other disclaimers, but it seems VSP is just reciting the statute and case law.

    1- If the firearm is plainly visiblewithout the person needing to move anything to the side, open anything, or shine a light on anything to see it, it is not concealed.

    2- If the firearm is not plainly visible it is concealed.

    3- If the firearm that is not plainly visible is on your person or within reach of your person and you know or ought to know it is there you are in possessioon of a concealed weapon.

    4- If you can convince the court/jury that show thatyou were notaware of both the presence and character of the substance and that itwas notsubject toyour dominion and control you are not in possession of a concealed weapon.

    Nice of the courts to lay out the speific elements needed to perfect the criminal act - that's lawyerese for saying they have to prove each and every part in order to convict. If any one element is not proved, you did not commit the charged criminal act.

    Do not argue these points by yourself in a court. Pay a lawyer. That way, if they screw up you can sue them to get your money basck so you can spend it in the prison commissary.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone...I think it's best to just stick with plain old open carry and not worry about it

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