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Thread: Open Carry definition

  1. #1
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    Hello all, new member here. I have some quick questions about what exactly is considered open carry. I understand the strict definitions of open carry versus concealed carry. But what about the gray areas?

    Is carrying a firearm in it's case considered concealed? Open? Or something else? Is removing a firearm from it's holster in a public place considered brandishing?

    How would one transport a pistol from a vehicle to an indoor range in the dead of winter without a concealed carry permit? A holster under a coat would be concealed while holding it might be brandishing and inside a case might be concealed? What about holding it while it's in it's holster?

    If a case is OK what exactly is a legal case? A backpack would obviously be concealed but what about a 3rd party gun case?

    In case anyone wondered I'm in Newport News VA.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    I can't answer the questions about carrying in a gun case, and in fact, I've had them myself.

    I can point you to the definition of brandishing in the Code of Virginia, which equally defines "point, hold or brandish", but also ties "in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another".

    Now of course, what you fear and what a brainwashed liberal anti-gun nut fears are probably two different things, so as soon as you "hold" a gun (presumably out of a holster or case), you are at the mercy of the unpredictable perceptions of any person in your general vicinity who happens to see you.

    TFred


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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    The relevant section of Code of Virginia for concealed carry is 18.2-308. If you look at the code, a weapon is concealed if it is carried in a manner that would either outright hide the weapon from common observation, or disguise the true nature of the gun. However in the Miller case (I don't have the cite handy just now) the court determined that carry in a back pack was NOT concealed and another element of concealing is that the weapon must be available to the carrier for a quick retrieval actions that might take an unsuspecting person by surprise.

    While your mileage may vary, carry in a case, particularly if it is locked would in most jurisdictions NOT be considered concealed carry.

    The normal statement that fits here is that "I am not a lawyer, you should seek authoritative legal advice before you attempt carry of a firearm in public.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    The relevant section of Code of Virginia for concealed carry is 18.2-308. If you look at the code, a weapon is concealed if it is carried in a manner that would either outright hide the weapon from common observation, or disguise the true nature of the gun. However in the Miller case (I don't have the cite handy just now) the court determined that carry in a back pack was NOT concealed and another element of concealing is that the weapon must be available to the carrier for a quick retrieval actions that might take an unsuspecting person by surprise.

    While your mileage may vary, carry in a case, particularly if it is locked would in most jurisdictions NOT be considered concealed carry.

    The normal statement that fits here is that "I am not a lawyer, you should seek authoritative legal advice before you attempt carry of a firearm in public.

    Regards

    The one thing I've always wondered about OC & CC.... is it concealed or open carry if you have the freely firearm visible from one side of your body but not from the other? Such that you have it in a in-the-waistband holster in the back of your pants. Anyone standing such where they can see your back can freely & easily see it. The people in front of you however cannot see it.

    Is that OC or CC for the purposes of the people in front of you? I would think it's still OC as you aren't intentionally hiding the firearm but you never know in this litigious society we live in. Which is why I am asking.



    Prior to my wife & I getting our CC permits, we always had our ammunition in a bag in the back seat or the trunk. Regardless of the location, the ammunition was separate from the firearms (not in same case/container). Our guns were in their manufacturer provided cases with locks on them inside the cases. The cases were also kept in the trunk. In a nutshell, to use them, I would have to park the car, open the trunk, open the case, unlock the gun, load the magazine, load the gun, and THEN chamber a round in order to use the gun for anything other than a paperweight.

    Now if you want to easily go from vehicle to car, just OC on your hip (lots of holsters out there for this) and just make sure your coat doesn't cover it up. Typically you can tuck the coat/jacket in-between the grip of the firearm and your body. Some folks will refer to this (and variants of it) as the 'Virginia tuck'.

    Once you have your CC permit, you don't have to jump through as many hoops. You can just have it loaded, on your person, and hidden or not from plain view. No storage reqs unless you have to based on the laws of where you are at (travelling through Maryland for instance). If you are 21+, I would suggest getting your CC permit. Not only does it remove a lot of the hassle but you also get such bennies as being able to buy a handgun every 5 days instead of every 30 days from a dealer.

    Of course, I would verify what you can and cannot do. Not all of us are lawyers and I certainly don't pretend to be one.

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    Thanks for the advice. After giving it some thought I do plan on getting a CCP. I'm surprised some of my questions are not more cut and dry.

    Until I hear otherwise if I need to transport the weapon I plan on putting it in the manufacturers case, locked, and unloaded. I assume that's a safe LEGAL way to transport.

    On another note, can anyone recommend a good CC course to take in the Hampton Roads area? I've taken gun courses in the past (hunting, former Military) but it's been a while and I would like to take a refresher. Especially one in regard to VA law.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    The imposition of your body between the firearm and the viewer is just a practical element of living in a three dimensional universe. Even if some LEO was dumb enough to arrest you for this kind of issue you would not be convicted. That of course assumes that you are not moving in some unique and strange way to prevent people from viewing your weapon. Then you would be hiding it intentionally (concealing it from common view). Even then I doubt you would get called on it.

    But even then, so long as the weapon is on your hip, and looks like a weapon in a holster on your hip, you are not going to have a problem. One place people do seem to have the occasional issue is flap holsters, and (Inside the Waistband (IWB) holsters. But now most courts will dismiss cases involving flap holsters, so long as they are normal holsters that are generally shaped like a firearm. IWB holsters provide a different issue. They are INTENDED to partially hide the weapon and some courts take a dim view of using them without a permit to conceal.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    ravonaf wrote:
    Is removing a firearm from it's holster in a public place considered brandishing?
    Very, very, very, very baaaaaaaaaad idea. It may not be brandishing (waving about in a threatening manner), and I can understand unholstering if you're on private property and the owner is ok with it (like getting your firearm looked at or appraised at a gun shop or something), but in certain situations, doing this will most likely get you shot/tackled/tackled then shot/arrested, etc. It will also present a negative view of general carrying to the public.

    There is no official definition of open carry in the Code of Virginia. This is also why it is not illegal. Since it doesn't say you can't do it, then you are free to OC if you choose to do so.

    There are, however, definitions of "concealed", which is generally something along the lines of "hidden from common observation/disguising true nature/etc".

    As far as carrying in the case goes, you cannot just walk around town with it in the case. You must be going to and from a designated shooting range/event. It has to be in the trunk (or a locked container that cannot be easily accessed- glove box doesn't count thanks to that bill not becoming law last year ) while traveling. However, you could have the firearm out in the open while transporting it to/from the range, and just put it in the case before you walk in.

    So here's what you do:

    1) Take the cased firearm and put it in your trunk
    2) Drive to the range
    3) Remove cased firearm from trunk (you may carry it cased into the range)
    4) Proceed to do your range activities
    5)Steps 3,2, and 1 backwards


    If any of my info is wrong, someone feel free to correct me. I need sleep.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    The imposition of your body between the firearm and the viewer is just a practical element of living in a three dimensional universe. Even if some LEO was dumb enough to arrest you for this kind of issue you would not be convicted. That of course assumes that you are not moving in some unique and strange way to prevent people from viewing your weapon. Then you would be hiding it intentionally (concealing it from common view). Even then I doubt you would get called on it.

    But even then, so long as the weapon is on your hip, and looks like a weapon in a holster on your hip, you are not going to have a problem. One place people do seem to have the occasional issue is flap holsters, and (Inside the Waistband (IWB) holsters. But now most courts will dismiss cases involving flap holsters, so long as they are normal holsters that are generally shaped like a firearm. IWB holsters provide a different issue. They are INTENDED to partially hide the weapon and some courts take a dim view of using them without a permit to conceal.

    Regards

    Very well stated! +1

    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 - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

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