Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Open carry on person while in vehicle

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Charles Town, West Virginia, USA

    Post imported post

    I live in WV and work in northern VA, and I have the same question for both states, so I hope no one minds that I'm cross-posting this to the forums for each of the two states.

    I don't have a CCW permit yet, and I sometimes openly carry my M&P 9c. I'm a lefty, so I carry it in an OWB holster on my left hip, and am very careful to make sure none of my clothing obscures it. My question concerns whether or not this is deemed legal while I'm driving. As I understand it, both states allow for open carry in a vehicle provided the weapon is in plain sight. Does anyone know (or have experience with this situation) if this constitutes plain sight, or am I asking for trouble? It seems to me that having it lying on the passenger seat next to me would appear more threatening to any LEO who may happen to pull me over, even if it's a safer move in terms of legality.

    All of this will be moot once I have my CCW, but in the meantime I don't want to get myself in trouble. The VA State Police offer a brochure which includes the following quote (found on this site as well): "Placing a weapon under the seat, on the seat hidden from common observation, or at any location from which he weapon can readily be retrieved is considered to be concealed."

    Is it just me, or does that seem to plainly say that if you can reach your weapon, it's concealed? Or did they mean any location from which it can be retrieved and in which it is not in plain sight?

    Thanks guys. I've been enjoying reading these forums.


  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    NOVA, Virginia, USA

    Post imported post

    It's been discussed here a few times and there are those who think the gun holstered on your hip is fine, while others believe on your hip can be construed as concealed. Let's say you have a pickup truck that is lifted with big mud tires. You have your gun on the passenger seat in full view. The cop comes to your door, but your vehicle is lifted high enough that he can't see down into the cabin. Is that considered concealed? Same thing with it being on your hip, cop may not be able to see it from his vantage point but it's openly carried and visible from another vantage point. I personally wouldn't leave a gun on the passenger seat as I'd rather not have a 3lb missle flying around the cabin if I have to take emergency maneuvers or invovled in an accident.

  3. #3
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location, Richmond, Va., , USA

    Post imported post

    You are wearing it openly. The fact that your gun may be temporarily obstructed by the natural seated position you are in while driving does not make it concealed. In my experience, concealment requires an overt attempt, as if you put it on your seat and covered it with a coat.
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
    Sabre Red Pepper Spray Instructor
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Instructor Bio -

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Kalamazoo, MI

    Post imported post

    I didn't used to be, but I am now comfortable leaving it on my hip in the car. I sit in booths in restaurants as I know many others do and so far I have not heard of anyone being arrested for it, and my car is certainly not more concealed than sitting in a booth in a restaurant.

  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North Chesterfield VA

    Post imported post

    Please go to read the section Titled "What Is A Concealed Weapon".

    Virginia case law has convicted a man of illegally carrying concealed because a duffle bag was obscuring his handgun from plain sight. Seriously!

    Depending on the situation, anything less than sitting out in the open where everybody and anybody, including a blind person, can see it could get you into trouble in Virginia.

    That being said, it is worth noting that most of the time the person getting hung out to dry for illegal concealed carry manages to do something, if not several things, to cause the cops to want to rearrange his day.

    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.

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

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts