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Thread: Definition of "unloaded" firearm

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    Please if anyone can give a link or citation/quote from VA law that defines what an "Unloaded" firearm is I would appreciate it.

    Thanks.

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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    Although, IANAL, I do not believe there is any code regarding what"loaded firearm"means, therefore, I *THINK* it would default to any live ammo in the gun no matter its position. So any round anywhere in a revolver, no matter how many pulls it takes to get a bang, or any ammo within a magazine inserted into a semi-auto no matter if one isin the chamber or not.

    For muzzle loaders, I would have to assume only if primed.



    Unlike - say Utah...

    76-10-502[/b].[/b] When weapon deemed loaded.[/b]
    (1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, or other weapon described in this part shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
    (2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.
    (3) A muzzle loading firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinders.


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    pourshot wrote:
    Although, IANAL, I do not believe there is any code regarding what"loaded firearm"means, therefore, I *THINK* it would default to any live ammo in the gun no matter its position. So any round anywhere in a revolver, no matter how many pulls it takes to get a bang, or any ammo within a magazine inserted into a semi-auto no matter if one isin the chamber or not.

    For muzzle loaders, I would have to assume only if primed.



    Unlike - say Utah...

    76-10-502[/b].[/b] When weapon deemed loaded.[/b]
    (1) For the purpose of this chapter, any pistol, revolver, shotgun, rifle, or other weapon described in this part shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile in the firing position.
    (2) Pistols and revolvers shall also be deemed to be loaded when an unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile is in a position whereby the manual operation of any mechanism once would cause the unexpended cartridge, shell, or projectile to be fired.
    (3) A muzzle loading firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinders.
    +1
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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    pourshot wrote:
    I *THINK* it would default to any live ammo in the gun no matter its position. So any round anywhere in a revolver, no matter how many pulls it takes to get a bang, or any ammo within a magazine inserted into a semi-auto no matter if one isin the chamber or not.
    +1
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    Luckily we also don't have stupid things like defining a loaded magazine, not inserted in a firearm, as "loaded".

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    Regular Member Virginiaplanter's Avatar
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    Utah ain't got nothing on Virginia.


    H. Meaning of "possession" of bow or firearm and definition of "loaded gun." For the purpose of this section, the word "possession" shall include, but not be limited to, having any bow or firearm in or on one's person, vehicle or conveyance. For the purpose of this section, a "loaded gun" shall be defined as a firearm in which ammunition is chambered or loaded in the magazine or clip when such magazine or clip is found engaged or partially engaged in a firearm. The definition of a loaded muzzleloading gun will include a gun which is capped or has a charged pan.

    4VAC15-40-60

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    Thanks everyone. That's the "guidelines" I had been following already. Good to know.

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    Campaign Veteran pourshot's Avatar
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    Virginiaplanter wrote:
    Utah ain't got nothing on Virginia.


    ...definition of "loaded gun." For the purpose of this section....

    4VAC15-40-60
    sheez...I hate when I miss the obvious.... I kept searching for UNloaded...

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    Funny. That law covers muzzleloaders and semi-autos...no definition for revolvers. Probably because it's obvious whether one is loaded or not, but still it is odd that they left it out.

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    *blink* English, please?

    What ever happened to "Let the laws be clear, uniform and precise; to interpret laws is almost always to corrupt them."? I think Voltaire had it right....
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    4VAC15-40-60

    The "regulation" is from the Virginia Administrative Code and deals with posession offirearms during hunting season.
    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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    .

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    Bill in VA wrote:
    nova wrote:
    Funny. That law covers muzzleloaders and semi-autos...no definition for revolvers. Probably because it's obvious whether one is loaded or not, but still it is odd that they left it out.
    It's in there and it's crystal clear. Re-read the highlighted part...

    H. Meaning of "possession" of bow or firearm and definition of "loaded gun." For the purpose of this section, the word "possession" shall include, but not be limited to, having any bow or firearm in or on one's person, vehicle or conveyance. For the purpose of this section, a "loaded gun" shall be defined as a firearm in which ammunition is chambered or loaded in the magazine or clip when such magazine or clip is found engaged or partially engaged in a firearm. The definition of a loaded muzzleloading gun will include a gun which is capped or has a charged pan.

    4VAC15-40-60

    The short version is thatit's a loaded firearm if: A)the magazine is loadedand attached, fully or partially; or B) if a round is chambered; or C) capped nipple/primed pan for a muzzle-loader. Just because it's in the Administrative Code doesn't mean it's not applicable to criminal law either. It's still a legally codifieddefinition and while there's no penalty for a loaded gun, per se, the courts will look to, and use, the definition found in the Administrative Code.

    HTH
    But as nova wrote, I still don't think this definition includes revolvers. I am certainly not a firearms vocabulary expert, but until shown differently, I don't think a revolver has a "chamber". It has a cylinder, which is an entirely different idea. A chamber is one place where all cartridges in a pistol's magazine must eventually go before they can be fired. There is simply no corresponding place in a revolver. I suppose one could view a cylinder as a magazine, however.

    It would make logical sense to change the rule to read: "a 'loaded gun' shall be defined as a firearm in which ammunition is chambered or loaded in the magazine, clip or cylinder, when such magazine, clip or cylinder is found engaged or partially engaged in a firearm." But that is not what it says.

    One thing is clear: the author of this rule was not a revolver person.

    JMHO, certainly willing to be convinced otherwise.

    TFred


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    I've always considered a revolver's cylinder as an arrangement of multiple chambers. In fact, I've got this idea in the back of my head that the cylinder is actually the "chamber cylinder."

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    TFred wrote:
    Bill in VA wrote:
    nova wrote:
    Funny. That law covers muzzleloaders and semi-autos...no definition for revolvers. Probably because it's obvious whether one is loaded or not, but still it is odd that they left it out.
    It's in there and it's crystal clear. Re-read the highlighted part...

    H. Meaning of "possession" of bow or firearm and definition of "loaded gun." For the purpose of this section, the word "possession" shall include, but not be limited to, having any bow or firearm in or on one's person, vehicle or conveyance. For the purpose of this section, a "loaded gun" shall be defined as a firearm in which ammunition is chambered or loaded in the magazine or clip when such magazine or clip is found engaged or partially engaged in a firearm. The definition of a loaded muzzleloading gun will include a gun which is capped or has a charged pan.

    4VAC15-40-60

    The short version is thatit's a loaded firearm if: A)the magazine is loadedand attached, fully or partially; or B) if a round is chambered; or C) capped nipple/primed pan for a muzzle-loader. Just because it's in the Administrative Code doesn't mean it's not applicable to criminal law either. It's still a legally codifieddefinition and while there's no penalty for a loaded gun, per se, the courts will look to, and use, the definition found in the Administrative Code.

    HTH
    But as nova wrote, I still don't think this definition includes revolvers. I am certainly not a firearms vocabulary expert, but until shown differently, I don't think a revolver has a "chamber". It has a cylinder, which is an entirely different idea. A chamber is one place where all cartridges in a pistol's magazine must eventually go before they can be fired. There is simply no corresponding place in a revolver. I suppose one could view a cylinder as a magazine, however.

    It would make logical sense to change the rule to read: "a 'loaded gun' shall be defined as a firearm in which ammunition is chambered or loaded in the magazine, clip or cylinder, when such magazine, clip or cylinder is found engaged or partially engaged in a firearm." But that is not what it says.

    One thing is clear: the author of this rule was not a revolver person.

    JMHO, certainly willing to be convinced otherwise.

    TFred
    True, the chamber is where a round (usually) must be when it is fired, but all rounds don't necessarily have to use the same chamber. The cylinder of a revolver actually contains 5, 6 or more chambers.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    Yeah that one went right over my head. A revolver has multiple chambers arranged in the cylinder. Still it is obviously not specifically talking about revolvers though, but then again since when are laws written clearly and to the point?

    Slightly off topic but it also irks me when laws include "and for other purposes"...

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    nova wrote:
    Yeah that one went right over my head. A revolver has multiple chambers arranged in the cylinder. Still it is obviously not specifically talking about revolvers though, but then again since when are laws written clearly and to the point?

    Slightly off topic but it also irks me when laws include "and for other purposes"...
    Should the definition of "loaded" allow for empty chambers? Can a firearm be "partially loaded"?
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

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    TexasNative wrote:
    I've always considered a revolver's cylinder as an arrangement of multiple chambers.
    SNIP...
    This is most correct. In fact some of the old revolver shooters of the 1940's, 50's and 60's like Elmer Keith and Ed Mcgivern spoke of revolvers as actually being six separate firearms in one because of the differences between each of the chambers in a cylinder.

    In Mcgiverns case he was actually careful to learn how each separate chamber shot and he could demonstrate the differences between each chamber in a particular revolver.

    So for this code section, most people will recognize that revolvers are covered by the use of the term "Chamber". A chamber is nothing more than the place where a round sits prior to being fired.
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    My property law professor at GMUSL, the late Ralph Norvell, used to yell, "Streets and Alleys! Streets and Alleys!" whenever someone asked a question like this. His point, as he told me privately, was that there is no legal definition for what a "street" is, or what an "alley" is. The law can't cover everything, it's too big as it is. So most of what you need to know to survive in modern Western culture is the stuff that most people already know and take for granted. It's that body of knowledge that the jury will rely on when they decide whether your gun was "loaded" or "unloaded".
    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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    If there is no legal definition, it is open to anyone's interpretations. Heck, a year ago they were trying to figure out if "Militia" and "The People" are to be interpreted as one and the same.

    Then again, if something should happen and the judge/jury interprets the law differently, you would be in a heap of trouble.

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    I think unloaded means, "it ain't got no bullets in it. mmmh-hmmmh"
    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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    What I don't like is that the hunting law even implies that a loaded gun in one's TRUNK would be illegal! It should be if the gun is readily accessible and it is not being carried for self-defense.

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    This question isn't so important to me now compared to when I asked, because I no longer bring my firearm where I cannot carry it loaded.

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    Chuckles wrote:
    If there is no legal definition, it is open to anyone's interpretations. Heck, a year ago they were trying to figure out if "Militia" and "The People" are to be interpreted as one and the same.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/000/cod/44-1.HTM


    § 44-1. Composition of militia.

    The militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of all able-bodied citizens of this Commonwealth and all other able-bodied persons resident in this Commonwealth who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are at least sixteen years of age and, except as hereinafter provided, not more than fifty-five years of age. The militia shall be divided into four classes, the National Guard, which includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, the Virginia State Defense Force, the naval militia, and the unorganized militia.

    (1930, p. 948; 1942, p. 642; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(1); 1944, p. 24; 1958, c. 393; 1970, c. 662; 1973, c. 401; 1976, c. 399; 1979, c. 647; 1984, c. 765; 1989, c. 414.)
    Or did you mean on the federal level?

    http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/10C13.txt

    Code:
    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard. (b) The classes of the militia are - (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    AbNo wrote:
    Chuckles wrote:
    If there is no legal definition, it is open to anyone's interpretations. Heck, a year ago they were trying to figure out if "Militia" and "The People" are to be interpreted as one and the same.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/000/cod/44-1.HTM


    § 44-1. Composition of militia.

    The militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of all able-bodied citizens of this Commonwealth and all other able-bodied persons resident in this Commonwealth who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are at least sixteen years of age and, except as hereinafter provided, not more than fifty-five years of age. The militia shall be divided into four classes, the National Guard, which includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, the Virginia State Defense Force, the naval militia, and the unorganized militia.

    (1930, p. 948; 1942, p. 642; Michie Code 1942, § 2673(1); 1944, p. 24; 1958, c. 393; 1970, c. 662; 1973, c. 401; 1976, c. 399; 1979, c. 647; 1984, c. 765; 1989, c. 414.)
    Or did you mean on the federal level?

    http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/10C13.txt

    Code:
    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard. (b) The classes of the militia are - (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
    No, sorry about the confusion, I was referring to DC v. Heller where the Supreme Court was trying to decide whether 2A should be an individual right.

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