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Thread: Where can I hike/camp in VA OCing?

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    The title is pretty much says it. Given that we can only CC in state parks and national forests I'm not sure what possibilities there are.

    You'd think if there were one place OC would be accepted the most, it would be in the woods, but apparently bureaucrats see it otherwise.

    Thanks in advance for suggestions.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Well, of course it is because of the unique environmental hazard that lawful carriers represent. If we were allowed to openly carry into parks and other such places then we would go ape-crazy and just randomly unload magazine after magazine of highly corrosive ammunition and leave the empty shell casings lying around so that the heavy elements leech into the soil and kill all sorts of wildlife and poison the water supply.

    Duh.
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Virginian683 wrote:
    The title is pretty much says it. Given that we can only CC in state parks and national forests I'm not sure what possibilities there are.

    You'd think if there were one place OC would be accepted the most, it would be in the woods, but apparently bureaucrats see it otherwise.

    Thanks in advance for suggestions.
    I'll change the subject some. I wouldn't like to give advice that seems improper.

    I've spent my entire life in the Virginia mountains...well over half a century. One of the nice things about them is that no one bothers you. Funny thing, never had my pack searched and there just aren't any metal detectors either. Damn few Forest Rangers either....yep, peace and quiet.

    Oh...what were we talking about

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    peter nap wrote:
    Virginian683 wrote:
    The title is pretty much says it. Given that we can only CC in state parks and national forests I'm not sure what possibilities there are.

    You'd think if there were one place OC would be accepted the most, it would be in the woods, but apparently bureaucrats see it otherwise.

    Thanks in advance for suggestions.
    I'll change the subject some. I wouldn't like to give advice that seems improper.

    I've spent my entire life in the Virginia mountains...well over half a century. One of the nice things about them is that no one bothers you. Funny thing, never had my pack searched and there just aren't any metal detectors either. Damn few Forest Rangers either....yep, peace and quiet.

    Oh...what were we talking about
    That's what I figured , at least "off the beaten path," but if you're not familiar with the area I figured it's better to play it safe.

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    Twenty years ago, we may have felt safe walking in the boonies of the western part of our lovely state. These days, we have to worry about meth cookers and fields of marijuana being protected by scumbags unwilling to allow someone to stroll through their "patch". I can't imagine going unarmed into the wilds of Virginia today.
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

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    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
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    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    Twenty years ago, we may have felt safe walking in the boonies of the western part of our lovely state. These days, we have to worry about meth cookers and fields of marijuana being protected by scumbags unwilling to allow someone to stroll through their "patch". I can't imagine going unarmed into the wilds of Virginia today.
    Well I know I will be crucified on this forum for saying this, but I've been to NYC and I felt far safer in Manhattan than I do in Richmond, Norfolk, or any VA city. :what:Yes, it's true.

    It's kind of hard to be robbed and murdered surrounded by thousands of people. The times you need to worry are when there is nobody around. Like late night at a Norfolk ATM.

    Indeed, FBI statistics show NYC has a far lower violent crime rate per capita than Hampton, Norfolk, Richmond, or Newport News. I do not propose this has anything to do with weapons laws but rather demographics. That is to say a population with criminal proclivities will commit crime, regardless of any laws. This state has more violent criminals than New York.

    Anyway, the original topic of discussion still stands.

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    Virginian683 wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    Twenty years ago, we may have felt safe walking in the boonies of the western part of our lovely state. These days, we have to worry about meth cookers and fields of marijuana being protected by scumbags unwilling to allow someone to stroll through their "patch". I can't imagine going unarmed into the wilds of Virginia today.
    Well I know I will be crucified on this forum for saying this, but I've been to NYC and I felt far safer in Manhattan than I do in Richmond, Norfolk, or any VA city. :what:Yes, it's true.

    It's kind of hard to be robbed and murdered surrounded by thousands of people. The times you need to worry are when there is nobody around. Like late night at a Norfolk ATM.

    Indeed, FBI statistics show NYC has a far lower violent crime rate per capita than Hampton, Norfolk, Richmond, or Newport News. I do not propose this has anything to do with weapons laws but rather demographics. That is to say a population with criminal proclivities will commit crime, regardless of any laws. This state has more violent criminals than New York.

    Anyway, the original topic of discussion still stands.
    "Per Capita" is the key term here. Not too many multi-million citizen cities in the Old Dominion. But I definitely agree about the seclusion problem. A crowd makes for an air of safety, if only perceived, and can make a difference.

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    Regum wrote:
    Virginian683 wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    Twenty years ago, we may have felt safe walking in the boonies of the western part of our lovely state. These days, we have to worry about meth cookers and fields of marijuana being protected by scumbags unwilling to allow someone to stroll through their "patch". I can't imagine going unarmed into the wilds of Virginia today.
    Well I know I will be crucified on this forum for saying this, but I've been to NYC and I felt far safer in Manhattan than I do in Richmond, Norfolk, or any VA city. :what:Yes, it's true.

    It's kind of hard to be robbed and murdered surrounded by thousands of people. The times you need to worry are when there is nobody around. Like late night at a Norfolk ATM.

    Indeed, FBI statistics show NYC has a far lower violent crime rate per capita than Hampton, Norfolk, Richmond, or Newport News. I do not propose this has anything to do with weapons laws but rather demographics. That is to say a population with criminal proclivities will commit crime, regardless of any laws. This state has more violent criminals than New York.

    Anyway, the original topic of discussion still stands.
    "Per Capita" is the key term here. Not too many multi-million citizen cities in the Old Dominion. But I definitely agree about the seclusion problem. A crowd makes for an air of safety, if only perceived, and can make a difference.
    I agree with Regum. The North is still much more dangerous. Va has changed though. I never had any problem with moonshiners or Pot Growers. Matter of fact, I had lunch with an old time moonshiner yesterday, and we have always gotten along well.

    Meth labs seem to be different. I haven't run up on one yet and hope I don't.

    The Cities are all dangerous here but I really dislike going into them so it's not much of an issue with me.


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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    I agree with you there. I lived in NYC (actually on Governors Island, that little rock 1/2 mile south of Battery Park, formerly owned by the Coast Guard)for a couple years. I felt perfectly safe all over Manhattan day or night south of The Park (Central Park). We left the cars on "The Rock" and took the ferry across to Manhattan nearly every day. We often went out to eat in Chinatown, Little Italyand Greenwich Villiage.

    The only criminal act I ever witnessed was when someone offered to sell us "a nickel bag" in the Villiage. I heard about some Coasties getting mugged in town, but that was pretty rare. I suspect they were somewhere they shouldn't have been. I remember NYC best as a wonderful culinary experience. I even bought an SKS for my little brother when I was stationed there. I don't remember having to jump through any hoops to do it. I was also in an indoor bullseye pistol league in Queens. We drove across the Brooklyn Bridge every Wednesday night for matches in the basement of a normal-looking Brownstone in a normal looking neighborhood.

    I did feel safer in NYC than I do in Tidewater VA. I'm glad we have the right to OC and CC in the Commonwealth!

    I've been hiking and camping all over VA with the Scouts. Since I was with scouts and in uniform (representing BSA and all that), I never OC'd on any of these trips. I did (and continue to) CC on every trip. I'm a firm believer in being tried by twelve thancarried by six. If something happens, I'd like to Be Prepared for any eventuality.

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    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
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    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Virginian683 wrote:
    Well I know I will be crucified on this forum for saying this, but I've been to NYC and I felt far safer in Manhattan than I do in Richmond, Norfolk, or any VA city. :what:Yes, it's true.

    It's kind of hard to be robbed and murdered surrounded by thousands of people. The times you need to worry are when there is nobody around. Like late night at a Norfolk ATM.
    +1
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    ProShooter wrote:
    Virginian683 wrote:
    Well I know I will be crucified on this forum for saying this, but I've been to NYC and I felt far safer in Manhattan than I do in Richmond, Norfolk, or any VA city. :what:Yes, it's true.

    It's kind of hard to be robbed and murdered surrounded by thousands of people. The times you need to worry are when there is nobody around. Like late night at a Norfolk ATM.
    +1
    I can confirm that lonesome Norfolk ATM at night. I was at one a couple months back getting some money forthe sitter(so my wife & I could have a night out at the range, dinner,&a movie). We OC'd after the range to the movie and dinner without issue.

    As I'm waiting for the machine to spit my money out, I sense / see movement out of the corner of my eye (excellent spatial awareness).On the sidewalk (that runs in front of the atm) comes a guy that appears to be meandering and paying what I felt was an excessive amount of attention toward my actions.

    I moved my shirt so I could put my wallet in my pocket. In doing so, that also moved my right arm which made my OC'd M&P 9mm completely visible to the world under the nice lights they use at the atm; they illuminate the potential targets well. (even when OC in a Serpa holster on my belt, it tucks in nicely under my arm making it almost non-visible from the side).

    The guy immediately stopped, paused for a moment, and then turned and walked away fairly fast... faster than he was ambling toward me initially.

    I got back in the car and my wife was relaxing from being ready to draw her own if the guy was trouble. She made the comment that seeing him walking along like he was made her 'not right'.

    So yeah, I always pay attention at the ATM. I don't like being caught unaware. If the gut feeling says something's not right, I bail and take my wife/guests/etc with me. I'd rather be laughed at and alive than otherwise.

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    When I go to the ATM, I always use the drive-thru and have my .45 in my lap. I pull as close to the machine as possible so that no one can get between my car and the ATM. I also keep an eye on my mirrors. Bridget is usually with me and always has her .45 in her lap when we drive because she doesn't have a CHP and likes to keep her pistol visible in the event we are pulled over. Doom on the clown that walks up to my car at the ATM. Hope its not the Avon Lady...
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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    Back on topic: Before I was fully aware of the DGIF nonsense, I regularly imagined I was OC'ing in the national forests (imagined, of course, I would never break the law!).

    Of course, GW Natl. Forest is huge and there are very few rangers or ranger stations, and on those back trails you hardly ever see a soul, especially on weekdays.

    That said, I don't recommend it because it is, after all, against the rules. Which we need to change, of course.

    Virginia is pro-RKBA but in a strange way. You can conceal on city streets, but in a bar you have to OC. And you can OC on city streets, but in the woods, of all places, you must conceal! Oh well, gun control makes no sense.

    Now, don't get your hopes up, but I've heard that when carry becomes legal in National Parks on George Washington's next birthday, the law is written such that it appears OC will be legal as well. I am going to see what VCDL's leadership thinks and I will avoid being the test case, but OC'ing in Shanendoah Natl. Park would be sweet. Again: this is not known for certain, yet.

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Virginian683 wrote: snip
    I felt far safer in Manhattan than I do in Richmond, Norfolk, or any VA city.
    Much of NYC has been gentrified.
    The bad areas of NYC that would make bad parts of Richmond/Norfolk look like Disney land.
    Even the safest places can be dangerous (the parking structures and tolls booths) at the happiest place in america has seen a rise in armed robberies.

    [line]
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    The thing is, at the state park entrances I've seen, as well as WMA's, the park rules say no guns "except for holders of a licensed concealed carry permit issued by a circuit court..." or words to that effect. It doesn't say anything about it having to be concealed or visible.

    Where exactly does it say in state park regs that open carry is not allowed? Their website has only this to say:

    Firearms: Law enforcement officers and those with a concealed weapons permit may carry firearms. During hunts, hunters may have firearms, which should be unloaded and properly stored when outside designated hunt areas. Target shooting is prohibited. Air guns are prohibited.

    http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/faq.shtml

    There is no language there requiring concealed carry. And my understanding is the national forests have to follow state park rules also.

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    That's just the FAQ. Here's the governing regulation:

    4VAC5-30-200. Firearms.

    No person except employees, police officers, or officers of the department shall carry or possess firearms of any description, or airguns, within the park. This regulation shall not apply in areas designated for hunting by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. This regulation also shall not apply to the carrying of concealed handguns within state parks by holders of a valid concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to ยง 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.
    I seem to recall that when he was Attorney General, Bob McDonnell issued an opinion that this regulation exceeded the authority of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and that they could not restrict open carry.

    No one wants to be the test case, though.

    ~ Boyd

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    Thanks, I hadn't able to find the actual regulations online.

    It does seem bogus as the statute they cite as giving them the authority says nothing about firearms or even ensuring public safety.

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    Which is at least part of why McDonnell said they didn't have the power to restrict open carry in their regulations.

    ~ Boyd

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    Ck out D.C.
    http://www.cityrating.com/citycrime....n&state=DC
    Gun control must work

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    Virginian683 wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    Twenty years ago, we may have felt safe walking in the boonies of the western part of our lovely state. These days, we have to worry about meth cookers and fields of marijuana being protected by scumbags unwilling to allow someone to stroll through their "patch". I can't imagine going unarmed into the wilds of Virginia today.
    Well I know I will be crucified on this forum for saying this, but I've been to NYC and I felt far safer in Manhattan than I do in Richmond, Norfolk, or any VA city.
    I'd rather BE safer like I am in Virginia since I'm armed 24/7, than FEEL safer anywhere else.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    nova wrote:
    Virginian683 wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    Twenty years ago, we may have felt safe walking in the boonies of the western part of our lovely state. These days, we have to worry about meth cookers and fields of marijuana being protected by scumbags unwilling to allow someone to stroll through their "patch". I can't imagine going unarmed into the wilds of Virginia today.
    Well I know I will be crucified on this forum for saying this, but I've been to NYC and I felt far safer in Manhattan than I do in Richmond, Norfolk, or any VA city.
    I'd rather BE safer like I am in Virginia since I'm armed 24/7, than FEEL safer anywhere else.
    This is an interesting thread. For all the tongue in cheek joking I do about Yankees...A truthful observation from my few trips to NYC, is that the people I meet there, are very nice and to my surprise, very polite people.

    Some of the NY and other Northerners that I have come into contact here....are not so pleasant. I think that indicates that there are good and bad people everywhere. If I'm going to have to deal with the bad, I'd rather it be in Virginia where I am properly armed.


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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    Some of the NY and other Northerners that I have come into contact here....are not so pleasant.
    Hey!!!!
    I'm a former New Yorker.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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    There ya go! :P

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    TexasNative wrote:
    There ya go! :P

    ~ Boyd
    To know me is to live me, just ask your wife.:P

    -Marco


    Just so everyone knows I'm joking.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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