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Thread: Question about Open Carry in Virginia Beach

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    I just got my first handgun, a glock 19. The stabbing at the Super 8 at the Ocean Front was too close to home. I spoke with a police friend of mine about open carrying and he said it was illegal to open carry in Virginia Beach, and he pointed me to this law.

    § 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.

    I think he's mistaken, obviously from what I have read on this forum so far. Can someone give me a good explanation of the open carry law, in case I run into one of the many LEO's down at the Ocean Front?



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    lstcdude wrote:
    I just got my first handgun, a glock 19. The stabbing at the Super 8 at the Ocean Front was too close to home. I spoke with a police friend of mine about open carrying and he said it was illegal to open carry in Virginia Beach, and he pointed me to this law.

    § 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.

    I think he's mistaken, obviously from what I have read on this forum so far. Can someone give me a good explanation of the open carry law, in case I run into one of the many LEO's down at the Ocean Front?


    EDITED - forgot to say WELCOME!!!!!





    Well, there is no open carry law, because there is no law that prohibits open carry.



    Do you have a CHP? If so, that law above doesnt pertain to you anyway.

    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

    If you dont have a CHP, then you fall under thissection:

    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

    Assuming that you Glock 19 mag holds 15 rounds and has not been altered to hold more than 20, you are good to go.

    Understanding the law is fun!

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    Read carefully what the law says. It says "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"

    So as long as your magazine holds no more than 20 rounds you are okay.

    You asked about the open-carry law in Virginia. That's simple: there ain't none. And what's not illegal is by definition, legal.

    Of course you cannot carry a gun into certain places, such as courthouses or K-12 schools, but those laws have nothing to do with open-carry.

    Your police friend needs some serious reeducation before he does something illegal to an innocent citizen and gets sued.

    By the way, the peculiarity of some Virginia laws never ceases to amaze me...why does the law apply only in the cities listed? Why not in Hampton for example? So in Hampton I can walk around with the 33 round Glock 18 mag sticking out of my Glock but not in Newport News. Retarded government.

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    I think the law applied to cities of a certain population, or at least that's what I was told.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    lstcdude wrote:
    I think the law applied to cities of a certain population, or at least that's what I was told.
    IIRC, it was for cities/counties that had a population of 100,000 or more, but I could be wrong. For some reason, that number sticks in my head.
    James Reynolds

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    I still have a conundrum about how I can open carry in my vehicle & tried calling the VBPD 2nd Precinct about what was legal... Opposite of what this board has told me, the VB officer that called me back stated that I would need to do something similar to the following:

    Place the firearm in a case, unloaded w/ open action, in the trunk
    Keep the ammo/magazines in the glovebox

    A lot of good that will do me when the SHTF...

    I created a post about it thinking it was terribly wrong, but nothing was ever cleared up so I'm still in the dark.

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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    You most certainly can OC a pistol in your car in any city in VA. It has to be visible to the police if they stop you, so it should be carried on the passenger seat or secured to the dashboard (so it doesn't slide around). Technically, having it in a holster on your hip wouldn't be concealed, but having it truly obvious is probably the safest way to go. This has been covered in other threads here. Try the search function.

    It is not unusual for the police not to know the details of our carry laws

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    Fawkes wrote:
    I still have a conundrum about how I can open carry in my vehicle
    Lay the gun on the seat next to you or on the dashboard....that's openly carried.

    Wearing it in an open carry style holster while you are driving is also acceptable.

    The gun does not need unloaded, locked in your truck, separated from the magazine, etc.
    James Reynolds

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    ProShooter wrote:
    lstcdude wrote:
    I think the law applied to cities of a certain population, or at least that's what I was told.
    IIRC, it was for cities/counties that had a population of 100,000 or more, but I could be wrong. For some reason, that number sticks in my head.
    Used to be a city of 170,000, or counties with certain forms of government (mostly counties in Nor VA and around Richmond). Was changed because it was too concusing. Most citizens do not know the populations of various cities and what form of governmentacounty has. Neither do most cops. The Lieutenant in the Norfolkincident in which Chet was accosted and injured was misquoting this law.It had shanged to it's current form and the Lt was citing the previous version that referenced population size which I believe Norfolk did not meet at the time.
    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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    Dutch Uncle wrote:
    Technically, having it in a holster on your hip wouldn't be concealed, but having it truly obvious is probably the safest way to go.
    Yeah, in some states it would be though...I don't know the VA case law (if there is any). If you are right handed and carry in a strong side holster an officer standing at your driver's side window cannot readily see the gun. Of course, if you have a CHP it's irrelevant because if he says it's concealed you just flip out the CHP. That's why I think the best thing is to have a CHP as insurance if want to carry a gun on your belt in the car.

    Without a permit, I agree the best thing is on the seat or dash...only problem there is when you have to slam on the breaks and you gun goes flying through the windshield. So I think the individual intent on doing that would do well to mount a "car holster."

    Hopefully one day in VA we will have a law like Missouri or Mississippi where you can carry a gun in you car anywhere with no permit.

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    Welcome to the board man! I open carry every where I go when I am at home in VB, and never once have been approached by law enforcement or a property owner and questioned about my firearm. I've OCed in all the 'marts, and a few malls, and countless other stores, restaurants, etc. This is honestly the first I have heard of that law, but it doesn't surprise me that even LEO's are uninformed regarding its breadth and intent. I'm assuming from the text that it was intended to keep people from walking around with what some would call "assault" type weapons (ie hi cap mags/tubes on semi autos). Interesting. Well, I don't think you have anything to worry about with your G19, so happy OCing! :celebrate:celebrate:celebrate

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    Virginian683 wrote:
    only problem there is when you have to slam on the breaks and you gun goes flying through the windshield. So I think the individual intent on doing that would do well to mount a "car holster."
    You know.... a belt holster clips rather nicely onto a seatbelt.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    If you go tell your cop buddy he is wrong, he will argue TO THE DEATH that he is right. Some people can't be educated until their supervisor does it for them.

    For legal advice, it is best to consult an attorney ($$$) but you will find tons of good information here.

    Look at it this way, if you get arrested for obeying the law, keep your mouth shut and enjoy the free accomodations, then when they come to their senses and cut you loose, SUE SUE SUE. The longer the stay, the more they pay.

    Somebody know the link to the VA wallet pamphlet?????
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    The problem is he asked a police officer. He should have asked someone who knows the law. Seriously,Rudees on The Inlet called the VAPD when I open carried in there and they told him it was legal. Police departments are like any other place of work, some people know what they are doing, and some don't.

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    Car holster, in the open and secure





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    Reverend73 wrote:
    Car holster, in the open and secure
    Is that a custom job or did you purchase it that way? I'd like to see about something like that for myself... even though I have a CHP and can put it wherever I want, having it readily accessible and NOT under my thigh would be more-better-faster.

    ProShooter wrote:
    IIRC, it was for cities/counties that had a population of 100,000 or more, but I could be wrong. For some reason, that number sticks in my head.
    You know, I went out to South Hill a few months back to help some family survey their property to close on a construction loan (I'm a licensed surveyor, BTW) and I was carrying my 686 with scattershot, just in case of snakes.

    On our way home we stopped by a little Quick-mart and I still had it on, OC. When we got back in the car, one of my relatives reminded me that I was still wearing it. I replied "There's no law against carrying open in Virginia" to which he replied "Well, in Virginia Beach and some other cities of certain population it is."

    I should add that three of the people that I went with are VB Police officers, one a Lt.

    None of them could direct me to the state statute or even a city ordinance (which cannot preclude state statute) that qualified their statements.

    They don't all know what they're talking about.
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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Before premption erased these "laws", there were areas in Virginia where you could not carry open and some even concealed. After premption, all of this was null and void.

    The sad thing is if you are stopped and threatened with arrest for OC'ing and you repeatedly point out that there are no laws against doing this, the officer is going to be very reluctant to back off and admit his mistake. This can result in lost time, property,and money to the victim. And if he sues and wins, the taxpayer bears the burden of payment for the officer's ignorance.


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    Take a look at the Tidewater OC Dinner thread on this forum and join us for dinner in Va Bch some time. Lots of good fellowship, conversation, information and lots of people open carrying in public.

    DocV

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    I absolutely intend to. I just missed Ron's invitation to the one last week, and mean JUST MISSED IT.

    I had just put burgers on the grill when I got his email inviting me to join you guys. I certainly plan to attend the next one if I can!
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    Before premption erased these "laws", there were areas in Virginia where you could not carry open and some even concealed. After premption, all of this was null and void.

    The sad thing is if you are stopped and threatened with arrest for OC'ing and you repeatedly point out that there are no laws against doing this, the officer is going to be very reluctant to back off and admit his mistake. This can result in lost time, property,and money to the victim. And if he sues and wins, the taxpayer bears the burden of payment for the officer's ignorance.
    I think you have summed up the thesis of my irritation on the subject of LEOs who are not aware of OC legality, and who then threaten, and sometimes follow through with arrest, trumped up charges, the whole show.

    I have a certain self-perceived reputation. I like to be correct. I tend to point out error, not for sport, but in situations where unchecked, that error may cause harm. I do not like being wrong. But it happens. It happens to all of us, it's a part of human nature. When I am wrong, I will admit it. Not happily, but in the interest of being right! I would 10 times rather admit being wrong than look like a fool.

    That is the problem. If a LEO is wrong or is unsure, they need to admit it. Not necessarily to the OC at the time, but to themselves. It doesn't diminish manhood (or womanhood as the case may be), it shows a certain level of integrity and maturity to be able to respond to a situation in a professional manner.

    Now we all know that LEOs are lied to every day. I understand that. But if a person who is clearly OCing as if it were legal (face it, Openly Carrying is not exactly a covert activity) is stopped and claims that they are breaking no laws, I would think that situation certainly deserves a double check with a supervisor, rather than some bogus charge of disorderly conduct, etc. as long as the OCer does behave in a courteous, professional manner.

    It's all going to be found out in the end, and the LEO is going to be the fool, with potentially severe consequences.

    Just some thoughts.

    TFred

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    Certainly, regardless of the outcome, it may be a good idea to contact the municipality's Public Safety Office and file a report, positive or negative (depending) to let the higher-ups know that their officers were responsible and knowledgeable or that they may need a refresher in civil liberty and/or Commonwealth statutory law.

    Virginia Beach:

    Professional Standards Office
    2509 Princess Anne Road
    Municipal Center, Building 11
    Virginia Beach VA 23456

    Give them full details, officer name and badge number and your honest opinion about how the experience effected you and made you feel about your rights.

    [line]The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid.
    Novus Ordo Seclorum
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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