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Thread: Federal property in NOVA

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    Regular Member gis's Avatar
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    Being new to NOVA, I am still a little fuzzy on a couple of issues having to do with avoiding federal property. In my home state it was pretty clear-cut - stay out of federal buildings, post offices, and military bases, and youwere fine. Here I ran into a couple of things that I am still unclear on.

    1. My parking is in the Ballston Metro Center parking garage, 901N. Stuart Street (at Fairfax Drive). This appears to be a privately owned development that houses a Hilton hotel (hotel guests park in the same garage), restaurants, and other businesses. However, there are federal government offices in that complex that have their own entrance and elevator banks. I made small talk with the security guard posted in the common area outside the government entrance, who said that the government leases space there. I am assuming that I am fine carrying from my parking spot out to the street if I stay in the common hotel/business area. It this correct?

    2. I know that I am legal to carry on the Metro. However, would I be legal where the Metro goes over federal land? I am specifically referring to the blue line from Rosslyn to Franconia/Springfield. I am assuming that going past the Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon, and National Airport, it has to go over federal land at some point. If I don't get off at any of those places, am I good to carry on the Metro while riding through there?

    Thanks for your help.

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    Regular Member gis's Avatar
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    Also, any issued flying with a gun in checked luggage out of Reagan National Airport? I've flown with a gun for many years out of many airports and know the usual rules, but never out of that one. Plan on doing it tomorrow, so just wondering what to expect.

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    gis wrote:
    Also, any issued flying with a gun in checked luggage out of Reagan National Airport? I've flown with a gun for many years out of many airports and know the usual rules, but never out of that one. Plan on doing it tomorrow, so just wondering what to expect.
    The travel with a gun in checked luggage, be sure to check with the airline about procedures and such. If you have the chance, go to the VCDL website (www.vcdl.org) and look in one of the recent alerts. There is a lengthy write-up of what to do and how to do it when it comes to air travel, firearms, and checked luggage. The big one is making sure you don't commit any crimes by following instructions of the airlines staff.

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    It appears that neither darthmord nor I can answer your specific question about Reagan National.

    ~ Boyd

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    gis wrote:
    Also, any issued flying with a gun in checked luggage out of Reagan National Airport? I've flown with a gun for many years out of many airports and know the usual rules, but never out of that one. Plan on doing it tomorrow, so just wondering what to expect.
    I have, no different then anywhere else at least 2 times I've done it both post 9/11. I mostly fly out of IAD now. It's still in Virginia technically, that close to water, some places act like DC, must be something in the water.

    About the Metro, I've had weapon in my bag all locked up riding the blue line. It might have been illegal but it was out of sight and out of mind. If your riding the metro to Reagan, be advised there is no good place to lock and secure your weapon before airport terminal and carrying inside airport terminal is illegal.

    As for parking garage, I think it would only apply to places where federal government actually owns or leases. They do not appear to lease the garage, therefore it's treated just like private property. Basically, I look at it this way, if there are signs somewhere that say "FEDERAL PROPERTY" I don't go there while armed. Otherwise I figure it to be state owned or privately owned.

    With metro and parking garage, I wouldn't test it with open carry. Carry concealed since you can.

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    I'm retired USAF and have been working for the federal government since I retired.

    We've had quite a few discussions lately about whether the lessee gets to set the standard, due to preemption, but I think it is more clear-cut when it's a federal entity leasing the property vice a private entity leasing from the state. I would not try carrying in the federally leased areas; I'm not willing to be the test case.

    However, I have often and regularly carried to and from work when I parked in privately operated parking garages, and when I parked on bank or mall property where government offices were leased. That is mall/bank/whatever private property and, absent posted prohibitions one must presume state law prevails. I always locked my gun in my gun safe in my car before entering the federal areas.

    Metro, on the other hand, is WMATA property. It may cross or traverse federal land, but the tracks, bed, and cars are WMATA property. Now, IIRC WMATA has claimed they are not covered by preemption because they are not a "locality", but I have no qualms about carrying, openly or concealed, on Metro, provided I don't get out at the Pentagon or Arlington Cemetery stops.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    Regular Member gis's Avatar
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    Tess wrote:
    I'm not willing to be the test case.
    I agree Tess. I guess the answers aren't clear cut, although I must admit that I wouldlike them to be. When I was a young cop in Michigan and on occasion would ask our county prosecutor too many questions, he would tell me "Do whatever you want, just don't screw up". It must still be a good rule to live by.

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    gis,

    I work in a gov't building in Arlington too but park at a different locale. The building I work in is leased to the gov't and according to my building manageris considered "federally controlled property".I haven't looked it up but to me that means thatit is treated the same as regular old federal property.

    If there aren't any signs posted in the parking garage and there isn't a gov't security guard at the garage I would say you're good there. As for the rest of the building I would say to not pass through any area that requires a metal detector (obviously) andif in doubt ask the posted guards. Otherwise, carry on!

    As for Metro, I usually carry concealed there. Sometimes things get tight and the last thing I want is someone getting liberal germs all over my Glock. I seem to remember some previous posts about federal transportation laws making it ok to carry through federal property as long as you don't stop. I would search the forum for "Metro" to see what turns up.

    -Bund





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    Regular Member gis's Avatar
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    Quick update from my end. I avoided the Metro mainly because my coworkers told me how crazy it would be at 5 P.M. with all D.C. outbound commuters and took a taxi to Reagan National. Flying out of Reagan National with a gun was a breeze. I came up to the counter (no wait) and told the lady that I was checking an unloaded firearm, which I unloaded and locked in the case before I left my office in Arlington. She didn't even look at me and asked whether I had "all the right paperwork". I clarified that I wasn't carrying, but checking the gun and all I needed was the Firearms Unloaded slip. She pulled one out, signed it, gave it to me to sign, and then placed it in my bag. I asked if she wanted to see the gun, and she said no. I waited another 60 seconds until the TSA guy in the back gave me thumbs up as my bag cleared his machine. No issues at all.

    Regarding parking, the Metro Center in Arlington is not marked with any federal signs and has no metal detectors or x-ray machines. There is not even a directory of office tenants. What I found out from a private security guard and a Hilton Hotel employee is that there are some government lawyers in the office part of the complex, but they don't have the entire office space. There are private tenants there too. Regardless, the office area has a separate elevator bank and street entrance, so at no time do I have to pass through that area. When I pull in, I go the same way the Hilton Hotel guest would come in to park his car and walk out to the street past the Hilton Hotel lobby. I believe that I am good to park there.

    As an aside, my company is great regarding carry. I was a little concerned before I started even though there were no anti-gun signs anywhere I could see during my interviews. I only got the employee policy manual after I started. All that HR says in the employee policy manual is that it prohibits violence in the workplace and wants to promote the safety of all employees, which is exactly what I am doing by carrying. The only prohibited items are alcohol and illegal drugs. After a couple of weeks there I told my boss (retired military officer) that I carry at work. He was fine with it. He said that as long as I was doing everything legally, he didn't need to know any details. I thought that was cool.

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    Congrats on having a great company and boss. My employer specifically states in the Employee Handbook that firearms are expressly forbidden in the workplace. My old office where I was on-site support (I work client-site now) had a few people that despite company policy to the contrary, would conceal carry at work.

    Then again, those that didn't conceal carry at work typically had something in their vehicle if required.

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    My boss thinks I'm crazy on days I don't carry to work. Sic Semper Tyrannus!
    Remember Peter Nap and Skidmark. Do them proud. Be active. Be well informed. ALL rights matter.

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    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    One of my bosses owns guns but believes they should never be taken out of the safe. I keep quiet about having a gun in my truck. I've CCd to work a few times but thats it.

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    Leased property is covered by the same rules as owned property. But it only extends to the areas actually leased, and if the fed.gov. only leases one floor in a building, then that's the only floor where firearms are prohibited under that statute, not the entire building. In addition, in order to be convicted of a crime, the U.S. has to prove that the defendant had reason to know that the property was fed., and that firearms were prohibited there (that is, not having actual knowledge that firearms are prohibited in a particular place is a defense under the statute).
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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    user wrote:
    Leased property is covered by the same rules as owned property.
    Which is exactly why the Red Cross bans guns from the Waterfront Park during their festival in Alexandria. Alex says they leased the park and can do whatever they want. http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...mp;forum_id=54
    Carry On.

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    Is the Red Cross a federal agency? Just having a federal corporate charter does not make it an agency of the U.S.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    user wrote:
    Is the Red Cross a federal agency? Just having a federal corporate charter does not make it an agency of the U.S.
    No. but thay stand by the Leased property is covered by the same rules as owned property. So.. If they OWNED it, it would be private property and they could ban guns. Since they lease it and you say "Leased property is covered by the same rules as owned property" (which is also what they say) . They say they can ban guns. I say they are breaking the law. I asked them if they could ban entrance by race to if they wanted, but they did not answer. VCDL does not want to go up against the Red Cross and look like the bad guy and also does not wanna take a chance in losing and setting the precident in the worng way. It IS alexandria after all.
    Carry On.

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    That's true if they have a certain kind of lease; a "term for years" is an interest in real property, so if their lease is measured in years (as opposed to hours or days), then they're right. Otherwise, it's an interest in personal property (a periodic tenancy or tenancy by sufferance), and not subject to the same rules.

    But part of the reason for not litigating the issue is that litigation is hard work and very expensive. If you want to hire me and a few of my associates, we'd be happy to litigate that issue, Red Cross or no Red Cross. But I suspect we're talking about between thirty to eighty thousand dollars in legal fees on each side, depending on how hard the RC wants to fight about it. I suspect there are people who'd help them fund the litigation.
    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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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    It seems like the more direct approach would also be cheaper: show up armed. Since it's a tenancy by sufferance of public property in Virginia, they couldn't refuse entry, or claim you're trespassing.

    How far off is that from reality?

    ~ Boyd

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    TexasNative wrote:
    It seems like the more direct approach would also be cheaper: show up armed. Since it's a tenancy by sufferance of public property in Virginia, they couldn't refuse entry, or claim you're trespassing.

    How far off is that from reality?

    ~ Boyd
    I would rather show up armed CC.. than as it got warmer take off my outer short and OC and get kicked out or somethign like that. That is a larger action than simply denying me entry.
    Carry On.

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's kinda what I had in mind, based on your post in that earlier thread.

    ~ Boyd

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    I know a few people that would do this and another that would be videographer..
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm enough of a rebel (especially against unearned and unmerited claims of authority) that the idea intrigues me.

    ~ Boyd

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    rabbit994 wrote:
    About the Metro, I've had weapon in my bag all locked up riding the blue line. It might have been illegal but it was out of sight and out of mind.
    Why would anyone think carrying on metro trains and busses is illegal in Virginia?

    It's not.

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    ed wrote:
    user wrote:
    Is the Red Cross a federal agency? Just having a federal corporate charter does not make it an agency of the U.S.
    No. but thay stand by the Leased property is covered by the same rules as owned property. So.. If they OWNED it, it would be private property and they could ban guns.
    I don't understand why this continues to be an issue - if premises are leased and controlled by an entity for private purposes, that entity can ban gun carry, government ownership of the land notwithstanding.

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    The lawyer would appear to disagree with you, Mike.

    ~ Boyd

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