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Thread: VA Law Question

  1. #1
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    Ok, so one of the first things I opened up and took a look at upon visiting and registering for this site was the "Law Library." In it I found, conveniently, a Va laws brochure. In this brochure it states that, "Loaded handguns on the seat or dashboard of a vehicle, in plain view while in a vehicle are fine." I would like to know exactly where this can be proved because today at work my fellow Force Protection Officers and I had a heated discussion about it. I've read through alot of the state law and its all too friggen wordy for me.

    So, I'm looking for a link to the specific State Code, or something of that sort to prove my case to my fellow co-workers.

    Also, while I'm OCing and I'm in my car, if my seatbelt covers the weapon does it then become concealed?

    any and all help is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Peter

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    You won't find such a statute, because laws don't permit, they forbid. Since we're talking about a legal activity, we should expect not to find laws addressing the subject.

    The relevant statues are Virginia's concealed weapons statues:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/000/cod/18.2-308.HTM

    As for the seatbelt query, there is still no consensus. One argument goes that, if you sit in a booth in a restaurant you have not concealed as you made no attempt to conceal the weapon and any change of position will reveal it, so why shouldn't this work in a car with regards to the seatbelt as well? The other argument goes that a seatbelt comes too close to covering the gun like a garment would, so this is concealed.

    Perhaps someone can share the most recent thread with this debate. I failed to locate it.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    This comes up about omce a month. As much as I hate this answer, do a search!

    Force Protection Officers :shock::shock:

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    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
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    You won't find it just like you won't find a law which states you can lay in a field and watch clouds pass by; or a law which states you can sit at a starbucks and read a paper, or a law which states you can put mayo on french fires.

    VA LISspells out what you CANNOT do under law; not what you CAN do.
    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when you’re serious and when you’re being sarcastic. –Abraham Lincoln

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    ChinChin wrote:
    ...or a law which states you can put mayo on french fires.
    Some folks believe that there should be a law against this practice. I'm not among them, since I routinely order a side of mayo with my fries for just that purpose.

    Sorry for the digression. We now return you to your regularly scheduled forum thread.

    ~ Boyd

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    The concept is that the weapon is not concealed and therefore no violation of the law.

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    so, because the law does not clearly outline that act as illegal (it doesn't even vaguely outline it as illegal either) then it is legal? Has anyone gotten an answer like this from a lawyer? judge? police officer?

    Has anyone here ever been pulled over while their firearm is sitting in the passenger seat of their car?

    What should be done if one were to find themselves in this situation. Get pulled over and have the pistol riding shotgun?

    I dont ever plan to be pulled over, but you never know... I also don't want to have it in my holster while seated as I am right handed and it would be covered by the seat belt causing two things: 1.) possible misconception by law enforcement that the weapon is concealed because it is not in plain view. 2.) Being that the seatbelt covers it, the ease of draw is completely nullified. If a situation were to arise where I needed it quick fast and in a hurry I'd be up **** creek without a paddle while fiddling with my seatbelt.


    this crap makes my head hurt...

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    I know of people who have been pulled over in VA in the situation you outline and there was no issue. As to a holstered firearm that is not covered by a garment, it is not concealed even with you riding in a car with the seat belt on. But why not just get a concealed carry permit and not worry whether its concealed or not.

    As far as needing to draw in that situation, hard to say. I would be more concerned having the gun loose on the seat where a sudden stop or swerve could move it out of your reach.



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    PeteXD wrote:
    Has anyone here ever been pulled over while their firearm is sitting in the passenger seat of their car?
    Most certainly have.

    There was a funeral procession for a fallen police officer that completely clogged southbound 95 in Northern VA a while back but not too far ago, I'm talking in the recent year, maybe even last 6 months). I had my XD45 sitting in the passenger seat as it was getting uncomfortable while sitting in the traffic/driving. Same for my wallet, it was starting to dig in and get uncomfortable so I placed it next to my handgun in the passenger seat.

    I exited off of 95 and drove down Route 1 a little ways (on my way back to Richmond) and made my way back towards 95 on a side road. The side road was at a stand still jam because the funeral procession was still causing backup on 95 and the entry ramps.

    After sitting in the same spot for 10 minutes I did a u-turn but in order to do so I had to drive over the median. One of the three or four state troopers waiting down the road waved me to the side of the road and asked me why I did that. I explained to him that I had active Crohn's Disease, no medical insurance for a while and finally was able to afford a trip to the doctor for some treatment and I couldn't miss my appointment in Richmond. He said okay and asked for my license. I let him know that I was going to reach on my passenger seat and grab my wallet and that next to it was a pistol. He said "that's fine" and I got my license and gave it to him. He looked at it, didn't run it, and told me to drive safely.

    That said, though, I don't like having my pistol sitting freely in the passenger seat. I don't like the possibility that in a wreck it can go flying around, or even if I had to hit the brakes hard. Others have mounted holsters to the console or dashboard that keeps the handgun secure in case of a wreck/hard brake and keeps them comfortable while driving. I just keep it on my hip while I drive now.

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    curtiswr wrote:
    That said, though, I don't like having my pistol sitting freely in the passenger seat. I don't like the possibility that in a wreck it can go flying around, or even if I had to hit the brakes hard.
    Bingo.

    It's amazing what small objects can become deadly projectiles in an accident situation. Imagine a loaded firearm...

    Also, even though it is patently illegal, I have heard of officers being on the passenger side and entering (reaching) the vehicle and preemptively confiscating a firearm. Same can be done from the dashboard on the driver's side.

    The safest place for your sidearm to be is at your side. If you're going to carry open, belted in, get a voice recorder and make sure that ANY conversation regarding your firearm (including your initial notification) is recorded.

    I think that as more and more officers witness more and more law-abiding citizens carrying openly that they will themselves become more comfortable with it. We have to remember that this "movement" represents a total paradigm shift for many groups of people, law-enforcement not being the least of them.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    wylde007 wrote:
    ...I have heard of officers being on the passenger side and entering (reaching) the vehicle and preemptively confiscating a firearm. Same can be done from the dashboard on the driver's side.
    Of course, regardless of if or how you're carrying, the smart play is to have all your doors locked and all windows rolled up at least enough so the the officer can't reach into the vehicle. I suppose it could get hot after a while, but it's probably worth it to protect yourself from some overreaching (pun intended) LEO.

    ~ Boyd

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    yeah the whole reason currently (until I got my CHP) for the gun on seat thing is comfort. I have some pretty heavily bolstered seats which make carrying a pistol quite uncomfortable while in the car. it will probably be something that i will have to endure until that ol' CHP comes my way... and my iphone has a voice record option on it and that will have to suffice until i can find something suitable enough.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    From the "Virginia Gun Owner's Guide", 2006 edition, page 54.

    "The same rules that apply to carrying a handgun on yourself apply to carrying a handgun in a car. ... A loaded handgun resting on the seat next to you or on your dashboard is legal, as long as the firearm is not "hidden from common observation""

    Your friend is incorrect and you should ignore whatever he says which is contrary to this.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    I don't have it handy, but isn't there an AG opinion or two floating around out there which make reference to the fact that OC is legal? I believe the opinion was not exactly about OC, but mentioned in passing that since OC was legal, etc, etc.

    Someone should probably put together a list of references like that and make it a sticky post.

    TFred


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    TFred wrote:
    I don't have it handy, but isn't there an AG opinion or two floating around out there which make reference to the fact that OC is legal? I believe the opinion was not exactly about OC, but mentioned in passing that since OC was legal, etc, etc.

    Someone should probably put together a list of references like that and make it a sticky post.

    TFred
    This jogged something for me.

    The VA State Police website declares OC legal. Second paragraph. Note that it is not limited to "about the person while only on foot."

    http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_Transporting.shtm



    Your proper "chain of legal authority" begins with the VA Constitution. Article I, Section 13 is VA's "Second Amendment."

    http://legis.state.va.us/Laws/search...tution.htm#1S1

    Unless you are a prohibited person, or in a prohibited location or circumstance, (see VASP website for quick info and links to statutes) there is nothing between you and Article 1, Section 13.

    As the others have said, if there is not a law against something, then it is legal.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    TFred wrote:
    I don't have it handy, but isn't there an AG opinion or two floating around out there which make reference to the fact that OC is legal? I believe the opinion was not exactly about OC, but mentioned in passing that since OC was legal, etc, etc.

    Someone should probably put together a list of references like that and make it a sticky post.

    TFred
    There are some official letters on VCDL's website. I didn't see one exactly on your point, but there is one from VASP about the legality of OC, and one from the AG about the legality of OC in a restaurant licensed to serve alcohol.

    http://www.vcdl.org/static/letters.html
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  18. #18
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    The Supreme Court of Virginia decided the Pruitt case http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1061701.pdf

    Pruitt was charged with concealing a weapon about his person for storing the weapon in his glovebox after being in an accident. The facts indicate that he had been driving with his pistol on the front passenger street. His carry of the pistol on the front seat was not an issue even though he admitted to carrying it in this way, because such is not a violation with the pistol in plain view.

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    IMO, I don't see the difference between sitting OC in a restaurant booth and sitting OC in the same 3 o'clock position in a drivers seat, seat belt slides right under the holster and never has the chance of accidental firing my XD9SC by removing or returning it to my holster.

    By the way, I finally got my CHP, just under a month!

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    Jonesy wrote:
    The Supreme Court of Virginia decided the Pruitt case http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1061701.pdf

    Pruitt was charged with concealing a weapon about his person for storing the weapon in his glovebox after being in an accident. The facts indicate that he had been driving with his pistol on the front passenger street. His carry of the pistol on the front seat was not an issue even though he admitted to carrying it in this way, because such is not a violation with the pistol in plain view.
    Good catch. Thanks for the cite, Jonesy.

    Asa side note, I noticed the statute says "carries about his person", yet Pruitt's action was to store the gun. Not carry it.

    I wonder why this was not brought up. Seems really obvious to me.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  21. #21
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    PeteXD wrote:
    Has anyone here ever been pulled over while their firearm is sitting in the passenger seat of their car?

    What should be done if one were to find themselves in this situation. Get pulled over and have the pistol riding shotgun?

    I don't ever plan to be pulled over, but you never know... I also don't want to have it in my holster while seated as I am right handed and it would be covered by the seat belt causing two things: 1.) possible misconception by law enforcement that the weapon is concealed because it is not in plain view. 2.) Being that the seatbelt covers it, the ease of draw is completely nullified. If a situation were to arise where I needed it quick fast and in a hurry I'd be up @#$% creek without a paddle while fiddling with my seatbelt.
    I have been pulled over while OC'ing. At the time I did not have a CHP. I was pulled by an Ashland Officer for amalfunctioning tail light. It was at night, I was carrying in my holster. I am a lefty so it is still somewhat visible when holstered. He approached to notify of the light and asked for my licence and registration. As I was handing them over, with both hands clearly visible, I notified him of the firearm. He asked where it was. I told him. He then shone his flashlight at my holster and saw it. He asked if I had a CHP, I told him I did not. He then informed me that it was considered concealed, and explained why he believed that to be. Whether that was true or not was not the point then.

    Never argue with an officer, better things can be done afterwards. I apologized to him, and told him I was unaware of this. He chose to run my info right there for his safety. I did not have a problem with that except that the dispatcher read back all my info across the radio.

    As he let me go he said I should get a CHP. I told him that I was planing on it, but chose to OC for the time. I asked him what he believe constituted OC'ing in a vehicle. He said anywhere where it can be seen as soon as the officer approaches. I personally don't like this because it doesn't allow you anytime to notify him of it before he sees it and freaks out, if the case may be.

    Bottom line is you have to remember that OC is a choice that when made you must remember that it is in part education. You must do all you can to know the laws and abide by them. But you also must remember that others may not know the laws, and this includes many officers. When OC'ing in a vehicle, which is a big grey area, you must understand that it may lead to an undesirable confrontation. Don't let it be a confrontation. The traffic stop is not the time for education, your main goal is to avoid arrest and/or weapon confiscation. Afterwards you can contact supervisors and ask them to educate the officer, and clear everything up.

    I have a close friend who is 19 who OC's on a regular basis. He is pushing education much farther than a lot of us can. Many people do not know that in the state of VA you can legally carry a handgun at 18. I have talked with him quite a bit, and he understand completely that if he is pulled in a traffic stop that his chances of being arrested and the legally carried firearm being confiscated are very high. It is a decision that he has thought on and has chosen to take the responsibility of it. This is something every OC'er stepping intorarely exercisedterritories of OC must be willing to accept.

    Sorry for the long post, hope it helps.



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    Citizen wrote:
    Asa side note, I noticed the statute says "carries about his person", yet Pruitt's action was to store the gun. Not carry it.

    I wonder why this was not brought up. Seems really obvious to me.
    If you don't have a CHP and are traveling with a handgun stored in your car it has to be unloaded in a locked container separate from ammo, right?



  23. #23
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    curtiswr wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    Asa side note, I noticed the statute says "carries about his person", yet Pruitt's action was to store the gun. Not carry it.

    I wonder why this was not brought up. Seems really obvious to me.
    If you don't have a CHP and are traveling with a handgun stored in your car it has to be unloaded in a locked container separate from ammo, right?

    Depends on if you are "carrying" it or "transporting" it and what state your in.
    James Reynolds

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    curtiswr wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    Asa side note, I noticed the statute says "carries about his person", yet Pruitt's action was to store the gun. Not carry it.

    I wonder why this was not brought up. Seems really obvious to me.
    If you don't have a CHP and are traveling with a handgun stored in your car it has to be unloaded in a locked container separate from ammo, right?

    Is it 'about your person' and concealed? If not, in VA, it doesn't matter how it is stored. I'm not sure, but IIRC if it is inaccessible it is not 'about your person'.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Citizen wrote:
    TFred wrote:
    I don't have it handy, but isn't there an AG opinion or two floating around out there which make reference to the fact that OC is legal? I believe the opinion was not exactly about OC, but mentioned in passing that since OC was legal, etc, etc.

    Someone should probably put together a list of references like that and make it a sticky post.

    TFred
    This jogged something for me.

    The VA State Police website declares OC legal. Second paragraph. Note that it is not limited to "about the person while only on foot."

    http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_Transporting.shtm



    Your proper "chain of legal authority" begins with the VA Constitution. Article I, Section 13 is VA's "Second Amendment."

    http://legis.state.va.us/Laws/search...tution.htm#1S1

    Unless you are a prohibited person, or in a prohibited location or circumstance, (see VASP website for quick info and links to statutes) there is nothing between you and Article 1, Section 13.

    As the others have said, if there is not a law against something, then it is legal.
    "The VA State Police website declares OC legal."

    Interesting because the Virginia State Police cannot do this. They cannot "declare" what is legal or illegal since they have no such power or authority. They can only enforce what we have decided to be legal or illegal through our representatives.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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