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Thread: Where's the Law Regarding Open Carry?

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    Just curious as to where I can find the official legal lingo about open carry in VA. Thanks.

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    There is no law in Virginiaallowing or banningopen carry. Therefore it is legal to open carry in Virginia.However section18.2-287.4 of the Virginia codelimits the type of firearm that can be carried and in which localities the restriction applies. Those restrictions do not apply to those who have validConcealed Handgun Permits when they open carry.

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-287.4
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    mobeewan wrote:
    There is no law in Virginiaallowing or banningopen carry. Therefore it is legal to open carry in Virginia.However section18.2-287.4 of the Virginia codelimits the type of firearm that can be carried and in which localities the restriction applies. Those restrictions do not apply to those who have validConcealed Handgun Permits when they open carry.

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-287.4
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    From the Virginia State Police website:

    Virginia does not require firearm registration nor is it necessary to obtain a permit before carrying a firearm or other such weapon openly about the person except where prohibited by statute.


    http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_Transporting.shtm

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    There is no law making carrying a gun legal, only laws restricting that right. In fact, there are almost no laws tha make things legal, only laws that make things illegal. The exception to that rule is the rare occasion when a restrictive law is repealed, meaning the new law invalidates the old law, thereby making something legal again.

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    Analogman wrote:
    There is no law making carrying a gun legal, only laws restricting that right. In fact, there are almost no laws tha make things legal, only laws that make things illegal. The exception to that rule is the rare occasion when a restrictive law is repealed, meaning the new law invalidates the old law, thereby making something legal again.
    An example would be walking....

    Everyone can walk in Virginia and there is no law saying you can do it. But you cannot walk in some situations.

    ยง 46.2-928. Pedestrians not to use roadway except when necessary; keeping to left.

    Pedestrians shall not use the roadways for travel, except when necessary to do so because of the absence of sidewalks which are reasonably suitable and passable for their use. If they walk on the hard surface, or the main travelled portion of the roadway, they shall keep to the extreme left side or edge thereof, or where the shoulders of the highway are of sufficient width to permit, they may walk on either shoulder thereof.



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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Analogman wrote:
    There is no law making carrying a gun legal, only laws restricting that right. In fact, there are almost no laws tha make things legal, only laws that make things illegal. The exception to that rule is the rare occasion when a restrictive law is repealed, meaning the new law invalidates the old law, thereby making something legal again.
    An example would be walking....

    Everyone can walk in Virginia and there is no law saying you can do it. But you cannot walk in some situations.

    ยง 46.2-928. Pedestrians not to use roadway except when necessary; keeping to left.

    Pedestrians shall not use the roadways for travel, except when necessary to do so because of the absence of sidewalks which are reasonably suitable and passable for their use. If they walk on the hard surface, or the main travelled portion of the roadway, they shall keep to the extreme left side or edge thereof, or where the shoulders of the highway are of sufficient width to permit, they may walk on either shoulder thereof.

    This law is good to know and I will keep a copy in my truck. I work nights and in the last year I have almost ran over3 pedestrians who were walking in the street along the white line. In all 3 insatances there was a sidewalk and no reason not to be walking on it. In one oftheinstances I was preparing to make a right turn. I saw someone walkingin the street up ahead and pulled to the left to miss them. I almost hit the second one walking about30 feetahead of the first one when I pulled back over and began to make my turn. I was still fixated on the firsta-hole walking in the streetand when I almost hit the second one.
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

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    You can do anything you want as long as there's not a law that forbids it.

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    So under ยง18.2-287.4 I can't legally carry my HK USP Tactical .45 openly in Northern VA? It comes with the threaded barrel so could accomodate a "suppressor."

    ยง 18.2-287.4. Carrying loaded firearms in public areas prohibited; penalty.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded (a) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (b) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered on or about his person on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.
    The provisions of this section shall not apply to law-enforcement officers, licensed security guards, military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, or any person having a valid concealed handgun permit or to any person actually engaged in lawful hunting or lawful recreational shooting activities at an established shooting range or shooting contest. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    The exemptions set forth in ยง 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section.
    (1991, c. 570; 1992, c. 790; 2003, c. 976; 2004, c. 995; 2005, c. 160; 2007, c. 813.)


    A little over 1 more year til I can get my (Virginia) CCW and bypass this stupid law


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    galv wrote:
    So under ยง18.2-287.4 I can't legally carry my HK USP Tactical .45 openly in Northern VA? It comes with the threaded barrel so could accomodate a "suppressor."

    ยง 18.2-287.4. Carrying loaded firearms in public areas prohibited; penalty.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded (a) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (b) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered on or about his person on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.
    The provisions of this section shall not apply to law-enforcement officers, licensed security guards, military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, or any person having a valid concealed handgun permit or to any person actually engaged in lawful hunting or lawful recreational shooting activities at an established shooting range or shooting contest. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    The exemptions set forth in ยง 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section.
    (1991, c. 570; 1992, c. 790; 2003, c. 976; 2004, c. 995; 2005, c. 160; 2007, c. 813.)


    A little over 1 more year til I can get my (Virginia) CCW and bypass this stupid law
    Think of it as an opportunity to purchase a new handgun (or at least an unthreaded barrel).



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    I have a question regarding the exact difference between OC and CC. I am waiting for my CC license. I have a CC inside-the-pant holster. While I am waiting for my license, would it be considered valid/legal OC if I tuck my shirt inside my pant so that the firearm is clearly visible on my belt?

    The barrel would still be inside my pants, but the firearm is clearly visible from the trigger to the grip on my belt.

    I just want to make sure that I am not violating a law and being open to accusations of performing some sort of hybrid-CC!

    Thanks.

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    Jim Thorpe wrote:
    I have a question regarding the exact difference between OC and CC. I am waiting for my CC license. I have a CC inside-the-pant holster. While I am waiting for my license, would it be considered valid/legal OC if I tuck my shirt inside my pant so that the firearm is clearly visible on my belt?

    The barrel would still be inside my pants, but the firearm is clearly visible from the trigger to the grip on my belt.

    I just want to make sure that I am not violating a law and being open to accusations of performing some sort of hybrid-CC!

    Thanks.
    Unfortunately, it will largely be up to the LEO that stops you, the opinion of the local prosecutor and the judge that tries your case, guided by actual case law.

    For most places it is very likely that you would have no problem with carry as you describe, but you COULD have a problem anywhere.

    It all hangs on the question of "common observation", and weather it appears to be a firearm or resembles some other common object.

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    Jim Thorpe wrote:
    I have a question regarding the exact difference between OC and CC. I am waiting for my CC license. I have a CC inside-the-pant holster. While I am waiting for my license, would it be considered valid/legal OC if I tuck my shirt inside my pant so that the firearm is clearly visible on my belt?

    The barrel would still be inside my pants, but the firearm is clearly visible from the trigger to the grip on my belt.

    I just want to make sure that I am not violating a law and being open to accusations of performing some sort of hybrid-CC!

    Thanks.
    This is fairly common in restaurants in VA because it is only legal to OC in an establishment that sells alcohol. I have yet to hear of an arrest because of the "VA Tuck".

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    is this code still in effect/enforced? ive read alot on OC here and elsewhere and never really saw this section before...

    ยง 18.2-287.4

    seems almost like an "assault" weapon ban?
    and the "Restricted ammo" and body armor? why have this crap in the code?

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-308.3


    sorry old topic i know; but if i just asked people would have said search!

    or this one!
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-311.1
    //
    Any person, firm, association or corporation who or which intentionally removes, defaces, alters, changes, destroys or obliterates in any manner or way or who or which causes to be removed, defaced, altered, changed, destroyed or obliterated in any manner or way the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's or serial number, or any other mark or identification on any pistol, shotgun, rifle, machine gun or any other firearm shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. //

    i guess all those people that like to remove the ruger billboard would be guilty. or cutting a revolver barrel down and some markings are on the removed portion? different/larger grips?

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    conhntr wrote:
    is this code still in effect/enforced? ive read alot on OC here and elsewhere and never really saw this section before...

    ยง 18.2-287.4

    seems almost like an "assault" weapon ban?
    and the "Restricted ammo" and body armor? why have this crap in the code?

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-308.3


    sorry old topic i know; but if i just asked people would have said search!

    or this one!
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-311.1
    //
    Any person, firm, association or corporation who or which intentionally removes, defaces, alters, changes, destroys or obliterates in any manner or way or who or which causes to be removed, defaced, altered, changed, destroyed or obliterated in any manner or way the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's or serial number, or any other mark or identification on any pistol, shotgun, rifle, machine gun or any other firearm shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. //

    i guess all those people that like to remove the ruger billboard would be guilty. or cutting a revolver barrel down and some markings are on the removed portion? different/larger grips?
    Those last two links you posted...if you don't commit a crime with a firearm, you have nothing to worry about. (It's already illegal to remove or alter a firearm's S/N, and remember that by law, only the serial numbered receiver is considered the firearm. Otherwise I'd be violating the law whenever I field strip my Glock for cleaning, since it has a manufacturer and S/N on the slide and barrel (due to Euro regs. where it was made). In the US, the S/N is only required on the frame/receiver, which is for legal purposes, the gun.

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    conhntr wrote:
    i guess all those people that like to remove the ruger billboard would be guilty. or cutting a revolver barrel down and some markings are on the removed portion? different/larger grips?
    I didn't see "cover" in that list of things you can't do to a serial number. That would seem* to mean that larger grips were OK as long as they could be removed under the appropriate circumstances.

    TFred

    *IANAL...

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    nova the language says "or any other mark or identification" i know the law regarding serial numbers etc. this says ANY OTHER MARK OR IDENTIFICATION which would include any other mark or identification in addition to serial number...

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    blackoak88 wrote:
    Just curious as to where I can find the official legal lingo about open carry in VA. Thanks.
    Article 1, Section 13, Constitution of Virginia.
    Militia; standing armies; military subordinate to civil power.

    That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    A couple of weeks ago I OC'ed in Virginia Beach before recieving my CHP, did I break the law because VB is in the code section that doesn't allow open carry without a CHP? Whoops

    Hmm I read the section a little closer, it appears I would have only broken the law if my gun could hold more than 20 rounds, or happened to be a shotgun. Clarify if I'm mistaken, but since my 9mm only holds 17 I'm good to go correct?

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    Jon34511: Your analysis iscorrect.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    user wrote:
    Jon34511: Your analysis iscorrect.
    Thanks

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    Crap, I've been following OCDO for about 4 months, and just applied for my CCW; havent yet OCed. Glad I saw this post, I have same USP Tact. Guess its going to stay inside, and have the 1911 out. But correct me if I'm wrong, once I get the CCW, I can carry a threaded barrel correct?

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    A concealed handgun permit has nothing to do with threaded barrels. A threaded barrel is just fine, all the time, until you put a silencer on it. Then you'd better have your NFA stamp paid up.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    Jim Thorpe wrote:
    I have a question regarding the exact difference between OC and CC. I am waiting for my CC license. I have a CC inside-the-pant holster. While I am waiting for my license, would it be considered valid/legal OC if I tuck my shirt inside my pant so that the firearm is clearly visible on my belt?

    The barrel would still be inside my pants, but the firearm is clearly visible from the trigger to the grip on my belt.

    I just want to make sure that I am not violating a law and being open to accusations of performing some sort of hybrid-CC!

    Thanks.
    Unfortunately, it will largely be up to the LEO that stops you, the opinion of the local prosecutor and the judge that tries your case, guided by actual case law.

    For most places it is very likely that you would have no problem with carry as you describe, but you COULD have a problem anywhere.

    It all hangs on the question of "common observation", and weather it appears to be a firearm or resembles some other common object.

    Regards
    Some years ago, a friend related a case to me in Virginia where an LEO arrested a citizen for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit. When the case went to court, the officer was asked how he determined that the citizen was carrying a concealed weapon. The officer stated that he saw the holster extending below the man's jacket. He was then asked if the holster was closed or open at the bottom - was a gun barrel protruding from the bottom of the holster, to which he replied that it was not.

    The case was dismissed and the officer was admonished for making an such an arrest where the weapon itself was not visible and identifiable.

    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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    user wrote:
    A concealed handgun permit has nothing to do with threaded barrels. A threaded barrel is just fine, all the time, until you put a silencer on it.
    Not entirely accurate... See: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-287.4

    ยง 18.2-287.4. Carrying loaded firearms in public areas prohibited; penalty.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded (a) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (b) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered on or about his person on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.
    The provisions of this section shall not apply to law-enforcement officers, licensed security guards, military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, or any person having a valid concealed handgun permit or to any person actually engaged in lawful hunting or lawful recreational shooting activities at an established shooting range or shooting contest. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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