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Thread: OC in a vehicle - Where to put it

  1. #1
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    Hello fellow North Carolinians... and to transplants like myself (Texas native!)

    I've been poking around the forum for a few weeks reading all this place has to offer which is quit a bit actually. I've seen a few sidebar discussions on OC in a vehicle but nothing that strikes me as particularly definitive. If I've missed the thread, feel free to send me the link and tell me what a moron I am for missing it.

    I'm clear on the fact that OC in NC is legal provided I obey the restrictions as laid out in the law (schools, federal/state property etc.)

    I'm foggily clear that OC in a vehicle is legal as well. What I'm unsure of is does this only pertain to traveling? If it does not, where can I put the weapon as not to cause undue stress should I encounter a LEO. My first instinct is to simply keep it loaded on my hip in it's holster and merely inform an approaching LEO of it's presence and keep the hands at 10&2. The other possibility seems to be to keep it in the passenger seat or back seat in a clearly visible manner and take the same precautions with the LEOs. I've seen various discussions of what constitutes concealed in a vehicle but can't find the actual law, and being as I deal in regulations on a daily basis I know that that the proof is in the pudding as they say.

    I'm hoping you guys can straighten me out here and I am a definite advocate of OC as I don't think a concealed weapon prevents many crimes until you have to draw and start pulling the trigger, which none of us wants to do. An armed society is a polite society.

    Have a good one!


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    i used to live in nc and my few trooper friends said as long as it was in plain sight no big deal or if you had it holstered say on your belt tell them before you moved. It used to be that you had to have it on the seat or dash unloaded and in the case of a semi the clip had to be removed but not anymore from what i here. Of course i lived near wilmington in the country where it was REAL laid back so maybe somebody else can give you more details

  3. #3
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    dash or front seat if you are carrying loaded in plain view nothing covering the weapon if unloaded trunk of car

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    I was in the Sheriffs office last week(Harnet County, Spring Lake). I asked the Deputy about OCing in a vehicle.He stated" As long as it is in plain sight., it can even be locked and loaded..if you get pulled over, tell the Officer..IF the Officer asks for the weapon, had the weapon out butt first"

    HIMARSXD

  5. #5
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    Looks like I may need to take a trip down to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Dept and ask them straight up. Like I said, I prefer to keep the weapon on the hip so I'm not constantly holstering and unholstering as I get in and out of the vehicle, but I can see how between it being on my right hip, the seat armrest and the seat belt could easily make the weapon "concealed". Thanks for the tips!

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    On the hip (or on the person in almost any manner)in a vehicle is considered "concealed carry" in North Carolina and requires a permit. To be not be "concealed" it must be in plain view (usually described as on the passenger seat, with nothing covering it, or on the dashboard). I have a cheap holster that I have wedged between the passenger seat and the console that allows my pistol to stand straight up, with the butt plainly visible from the window.

    It can also be in the glove box, so long as it is locked and the keys are NOT in the lock. (an unlocked glove box is concealed carry.

    SOURCE: Flyer distributed by SO when receiving pistol purchase permits.



  7. #7
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    RayBurton72 wrote:
    On the hip (or on the person in almost any manner)in a vehicle is considered "concealed carry" in North Carolina and requires a permit. To be not be "concealed" it must be in plain view (usually described as on the passenger seat, with nothing covering it, or on the dashboard).
    This is NOT correct. There is nothing that says that an open carried weapon on your belt is concealed while in a vehicle. In fact, common sense would say that it is NOT concealed. If you have a weapon on your belt, and sit down in an arm chair, are you now carrying concealed? What if you stand behind a bush? Is it concealed then? Sitting in your car does not turn an openly carried weapon into a concealed one.

    Traditionally, law enforcement prefers a weapon that is plainly visible by a person standing outside of the vehicle. This would put the weapon in an empty passenger seat or on the dashboard. This is great for visibility, but it is dangerous when in a moving vehicle, unless the weapon is thoroughly secured.

    Keep your sidearm on your belt where it is safe and secure. You should never be pulled over by law enforcement anyway, right? IF the unfortunate DOES happen, you have two options. Move the weapon to the passenger seat or dashboard when you see the lights. There's nothing wrong with this, as long as you're not handling the weapon when the officer is approaching your vehicle. Your second option is to leave it right where it is, and go about your traffic stop as you normally would. You're not required by NC law to inform the officer of your weapon unless the weapon is concealed (i.e. intentionally hidden on your person, under your clothing, or in the vehicle, like under the seat) AND you have a concealed handgun permit.


    (I am not a lawyer.)


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    DreQo wrote:
    ... There is nothing that says that an open carried weapon on your belt is concealed while in a vehicle.
    Actually there is: the provision that says a firearm must be in PLAIN VIEW in a vehicle.

    BTW, since when did "common sense" have anything to do with laws enacted by politicians? ESPECIALLY when it comes to firearms law?

    If the gun is in a holster on waist (between 3 and 9 o'clock - where most of us carry it), it certainly isn't in plain view to someone outside the vehicle (since it is likely hidden by the seat, the door or your body from the officer looking in the vehicle.


    "Sitting in your car does not turn an openly carried weapon into a concealed one."
    I will let you offer that argument to the judge, I doubt most LEOs will agree with it.



    "Traditionally, law enforcement prefers a weapon that is plainly visible by a person standing outside of the vehicle. This would put the weapon in an empty passenger seat or on the dashboard. This is great for visibility, but it is dangerous when in a moving vehicle, unless the weapon is thoroughly secured."
    Agreed, but that is a separate issue from whether it is concealed under NC law. And I Don't think "traditionally" is quite the right word for it when EVERY source I can find (from numerous sheriff's offices, to the NC Attorney General) give ONLY those two examples as PLAIN VIEW in a car.

    As for securing the weapon from movement in the vehicle, that is why I wedge the holster between the passenger seat and the console - so the firearm is not going to be bouncing around the passenger compartment, AND is in plain view.

    BUT, I have also been told that it will, in the end, be up to the LEO at the time to make the call and I may very well have to defend that choice in a courtroom.





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    If an openly carried weapon becomes concealed when you sit in a vehicle, then it also becomes concealed when you sit in a chair, or stand behind an object, or even turn that side of your body away from the observer. You could so far as to say that if the officer closes his eyes, then he cannot see the weapon therefore it is concealed. The line must be drawn somewhere.

    There is no law that says a weapon must be plainly visible in a car, just like there is no law that says a weapon must be plainly visible on your person. Open carry is legal because it is NOT illegal. The laws only say that it may not be concealed, and again, simply sitting down in a chair, in your car or otherwise, does not turn an openly carried firearm into a concealed one.

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    You both bring up valid points but dreqo seems to be closer IMO.
    Maybe this will help.

    http://www.cherokeecounty-nc.gov/dep...ansporting.pdf

  11. #11
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    Godscreation wrote:
    You both bring up valid points but dreqo seems to be closer IMO.
    Maybe this will help.

    http://www.cherokeecounty-nc.gov/dep...ansporting.pdf
    That link is ok for general advice, but it isn't law. Notice they even say that carrying in a locked glove box is "not encouraged", but they don't say illegal. They also suggest that law abiding citizens should immediately inform an officer of any weapons you have. Personally I think it's none of their business. Citizens are allowed to have weapons, so weapons should NOT be the way a LEO determines if I'm a threat or not. Does a LEO honestly give a sigh of relief and let their guard down when a person says they DON'T have weapons on them? If they do, they're down right stupid.

  12. #12
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    As I said, that's fine... you can argue your legalese all you want - but you will likely be paying an expensive attorney to do it for you, because the LEO who stopped you isn't likely to be convinced.

    When someone asks for advice on this site on how to open carry a weapon so as to avoid trouble with police, they should be given clear cut, unarguable guidance. Not someone's personal interpretation of the law.

    When multiple LEO agencies (and the state Attorney General) publish clear guidelines, (i.e. on dashboard or in passenger seat in PLAIN VIEW of anyone approaching the vehicle), then it behooves us to offer that advice.

    If someone is asking what boundaries of the law they would like to push, or gray areas they want to challenge, fine, your opinions would be valid, but the OP, from what I understood at least, only wanted to know how to stay out of trouble.

    Respectfully, DreQo, your advice is not going to help him stay clear of any problems.

    Furthermore, you say you would not mention to the officer that the weapon is even there. If it is in plain view, as required, then they are likely (and should) see it. In that case, I think it is wiser to let them know it is there, than have them see it, and risk them reacting code red.

    If it is not in plain site, and they discover it, you are certainly going to be hit for carrying concealed and they will most certainly go code red.

    You are, of course, free to go about your business as you wish, but again, I feel offering your personal viewpoint on this is detrimental to those seeking to avoid trouble.

    My $.02

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    I will not advise anyone to sacrifice their rights, put themselves at great personal risk,or make their lives more difficult in order to appease the unlawful requests of law enforcement. Sounds a little extreme, doesn't it? The thing is, that is EXACTLY what we're doing when we take the gun out of the holster and put it in the passenger seat, or when we "courteously notify" an officer of our arms.

    A public servant, in this case a police officer, should be in no position to tell me what to doduring a traffic stop beyond what is legally specified and required. If anything, the officer's behavior should be as accommodating to the citizen as possible, not the other way around.

    Keep in mind, I have the utmost respect for their job, and I myself may be pursuing a similar career. That doesn't change the fact, however, that they are public servants and need to act and be treated as such. The idea that we should immediately start sacrificing our freedoms one by one when approached by a LEO in order to make their job easier is a very dangerous one. That idea is one of the big reasons why we now have such a huge problem with LEO's violating citizen's rights.

    The advice that I provided does not include illegal acts. If any person following the advice I provided is harassed, detained, or arrested by a law enforcement officer, then that officer will be in gross violation of the law.


    (I am not a lawyer.)

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    This is certainly a tricky area that can be interpreted very differently by police and DA in different counties. I think police/DA in Chapel Hill, for instance, would interpret the law differently from police/DA in Wilson, for example. Here is an excerpt from a document on NC Firearms Law from the NC Attorney General's Office. As you read through it you will see that it is very vague and appears to give wide lattitude to the police on this issue, even though eventually a higher court would have to address the issue.

    The big issue that this document keeps refering to is accessibility of the firearm to the driver and passenger. Again, I'm not saying this is the law, but it is interesting to see the Attorney General's interpretation and gives insight as to how the courts could interpret the law.

    D. Transporting Weapons

    Given this general prohibition of carrying concealed weapons, individuals must be ever vigilant to ensure their particular situation cannot be construed as concealing a weapon, either on or about them, without being properly authorized to do so with a valid North Carolina, or recognized out-of-state concealed handgun permit. Therefore, the permittee's accessibility to the weapon is of prime importance. It is for these reasons, that when transporting a weapon in a vehicle, even greater care must be exercised to ensure that the weapon is not concealed, and within the ready access to an occupant of the vehicle. North Carolina law does not specifically address how to transport a weapon in an automobile.

    Therefore, the central question becomes: when is the weapon concealed and readily accessible to an occupant of an automobile? Obviously, a weapon would be concealed and readily accessible, and therefore in violation of North Carolina law, if it were placed in such areas of a vehicle as under the seat of the automobile; in a bag in the back seat; or in some other manner is covered or hidden within the easy reach of an occupant of the vehicle. It
    is our recommendation that firearms should not be carried in a glove compartment regardless of whether the compartment is locked or not.

    While a weapon carried openly in an automobile would not be concealed, there are other problems specific to this method of carrying a weapon. The principal drawback, of course, is in the event of an individual being stopped by a law enforcement official, the officer may not readily know that individual's purpose and intent for carrying a weapon. As such, it is imperative that an individual immediately notify an officer of the presence of any weapon in the automobile, for the officer's and the vehicle's occupants' safety. Another obvious drawback is that a valuable weapon may be in plain view for potential thieves to see.

    The prohibition to carrying concealed weapons applies not only to handguns and other weapons commonly thought of as being easily hidden, but also to "long guns" as well. Therefore, shotguns and rifles concealed behind the seat of pickup trucks, and elsewhere in other vehicles, could similarly violate North Carolina law.

    As to those vehicles with no easily discernible trunk area (i.e., vans, etc.), the question arises on a factual determination of when the weapon is within ready and easy access to an occupant of the vehicle. If the weapon is concealed near, in close proximity to, or within the convenient control and access of an occupant, which would allow him/her to use the weapon quickly, then a fair probability exists that the occupant is in violation of the law.

    Therefore, care must be exercised by any occupant of any vehicle to ensure that weapons are securely locked away in as remote an area as possible, in relation to the passenger compartment of the vehicle. It is important to emphasize that these prohibitions apply to passengers, as well as drivers of any vehicle.

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    It is for these reasons, that when transporting a weapon in a vehicle, even greater care must be exercised to ensure that the weapon is not concealed, and within the ready access to an occupant of the vehicle.
    This seems sort of odd, it would make more sense to be visible but as far awayas possible from the driver. Also, I guess if my holstered gun is sitting extremely visible on my benchrest in my truck, andthat isliterally inches from me then I shouldn't have to worry if a LEO pulls me over?

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    RayBurton72 wrote:
    DreQo wrote:
    ... There is nothing that says that an open carried weapon on your belt is concealed while in a vehicle.
    Actually there is: the provision that says a firearm must be in PLAIN VIEW in a vehicle.

    BTW, since when did "common sense" have anything to do with laws enacted by politicians? ESPECIALLY when it comes to firearms law?

    If the gun is in a holster on waist (between 3 and 9 o'clock - where most of us carry it), it certainly isn't in plain view to someone outside the vehicle (since it is likely hidden by the seat, the door or your body from the officer looking in the vehicle.


    "Sitting in your car does not turn an openly carried weapon into a concealed one."
    I will let you offer that argument to the judge, I doubt most LEOs will agree with it.



    "Traditionally, law enforcement prefers a weapon that is plainly visible by a person standing outside of the vehicle. This would put the weapon in an empty passenger seat or on the dashboard. This is great for visibility, but it is dangerous when in a moving vehicle, unless the weapon is thoroughly secured."
    Agreed, but that is a separate issue from whether it is concealed under NC law. And I Don't think "traditionally" is quite the right word for it when EVERY source I can find (from numerous sheriff's offices, to the NC Attorney General) give ONLY those two examples as PLAIN VIEW in a car.

    As for securing the weapon from movement in the vehicle, that is why I wedge the holster between the passenger seat and the console - so the firearm is not going to be bouncing around the passenger compartment, AND is in plain view.

    BUT, I have also been told that it will, in the end, be up to the LEO at the time to make the call and I may very well have to defend that choice in a courtroom.



    Bottom line in NC: No one has been convicted for open carry (holstered weapon) while driving or riding in a car. The law doesn't require for the weapon to be visible to someone passing by just NOT CONCEALED. I have had numerous contacts with the police in NC while open carrying in my vehicle and it just isn't a problem.


    We should focus on issues that are a problem needing addressed and not conger up non-existent ones.

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    It can also be in the glove box, so long as it is locked and the keys are NOT in the lock. (an unlocked glove box is concealed carry
    perhaps so, but the second you unlock the glovebox to get to your registration, it is illegally concealed...

    leave it in the trunk or in plain site

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    mekender wrote:
    It can also be in the glove box, so long as it is locked and the keys are NOT in the lock. (an unlocked glove box is concealed carry
    perhaps so, but the second you unlock the glovebox to get to your registration, it is illegally concealed...

    leave it in the trunk or in plain site
    Well shoot, if you're going to lock the gun in your glove box, it'd probably behoove you to keep your registration somewhere else! Regardless, I do agree that simply keeping it in plain sight, as long as it is safe (i.e. not free to fly about the cabin), is the best option.

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