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Thread: Legal to cc anywhere on your residential property?

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    I just submitted my CHP permit (today at 1500!) and I am ready to wait the 45 days.

    I know that I can cc within my own home without the CHP, but does that also extend to my porch, deck, yard...? Can I cc anywhere on my own private residential property without the CHP?

    I don't intend to walk as close to the legal line as possible, but just thinking about checking the mail, grabbing something from my car, chasing zombies away from the vegetable garden...

    Background: I was oc'ing earlier in the day (I love our commonwealth!), returned home for a while, threw on a second shirt which covered the handgun, and without thinking headed out to unfurl my flag (on front of house) that the wind had started to wrap around the pole. To be safe I simply lost the second shirt before I cleared my doorway.

    Just curious: how far can i go and still be legal?

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Yes, as I understand it, you may CC within your own curtilage. Check Virginia Code 18.2-308 sections A and B - specifically B.

    Thought any more about putting together a luncheon for OC'ers?

    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.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Oh we just went round and round on this one:

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/30569.html

    The general consensus here, except for one adamant poster, is that you are on shaky ground once you get past just a few feet from your front door.

    I'm sure he will be quick to chip in here and tell us that we are all wrong all over again.

    TFred


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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    You mistake my objection, Fred. I think we can all agree that the permission [spit] to carry concealed within one's home extends to the curtilage. My objection is to the claim, without substantiation, or based on completely different issues such as sight lines, Fourth Amendment questions and so forth, that the curtilage is so small as to be effectively meaningless. Since concealed carry within one's curtilage has never been adjudicated in Virginia, I think it's the height of hubris for some to claim they know exactly how a ruling would be handed down, if it ever came down to a court decision.

    My position is that it's reasonable to believe that a home's curtilage has significant size, probably extending to the entirety of a typical urban or suburban house plot. The caveat is that the risk gets proportionally greater the farther you get outside the walls of your home, due to the lack of case law within the Commonwealth.

    But to say that the issue is settled and you can't get much outside the drip line of your roof presumes authority that doesn't exist. And that's the part that sticks in my craw.

    ~ Boyd

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    TexasNative wrote:
    You mistake my objection, Fred. I think we can all agree that the permission [spit] to carry concealed within one's home extends to the curtilage. My objection is to the claim, without substantiation, or based on completely different issues such as sight lines, Fourth Amendment questions and so forth, that the curtilage is so small as to be effectively meaningless. Since concealed carry within one's curtilage has never been adjudicated in Virginia, I think it's the height of hubris for some to claim they know exactly how a ruling would be handed down, if it ever came down to a court decision.

    My position is that it's reasonable to believe that a home's curtilage has significant size, probably extending to the entirety of a typical urban or suburban house plot. The caveat is that the risk gets proportionally greater the farther you get outside the walls of your home, due to the lack of case law within the Commonwealth.

    But to say that the issue is settled and you can't get much outside the drip line of your roof presumes authority that doesn't exist. And that's the part that sticks in my craw.

    ~ Boyd
    Wasn't thinking of you... and I agree with your assessment that it comes down to the definition of "curtilage". My intent with "shaky ground" was that it's not well defined, because as you note, it's not defined in the code, and the case law is not crystal clear either.

    I guess the point that I would especially hold to is that other, non-concealed handgun-related uses or definitions of "curtilage" would have little, if any bearing on how this would go in a criminal trial.

    I'm not willing to take that risk personally, and I think it's only prudent to let folks asking the question know that there is not a clear cut yes or no answer.

    TFred


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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    It's awesome to be preceded by one's own reputation.

    What determines curtilage is, unfortunately, highly subjective. Open Fields Doctrine not withstanding, what would YOU say is your curtilage? As far as you can see? 100?

    There are no absolutes attached, but it could be reasonably argued that anywhere physically connected (by building or paved surface, driveway, etc) upon private property, or perhaps beyond the plane of the frontage of a home might be acceptable? Meaning that you could CC in your back yard, but not the front beyond the porch?

    Of course, if someone complains that you are CCing in your own yard, you obviously aren't doing a very good job of it. Similarly to how illegal CC charges are dropped in court:

    Judge: You arrested him for carrying a concealed weapon?
    Officer: Yes.
    Judge: And how did you know he was carrying a concealed weapon?
    Officer: I saw it.
    Judge: You saw it and immediately knew it was a weapon?
    Officer: Yes.
    Judge: Case dismissed.

    Yes, that's the short version, but laws about curtilage are as amorphous as noise ordinances. They never tack on a dB number, they just leave it open to too much interpretation.

    Going back to the beginning, would curtilage allow you to walk down your driveway to retrieve the mail? Or would you have to VA tuck once you got past a certain point? Should we take Da-Glo paint and mark off distances so we know when we're outside of our own curtilage? Yes, it is too darn subjective.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    wylde007 wrote:
    It's awesome to be preceded by one's own reputation.
    I was hoping you would get a kick out of that!

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I'm sorry that you folks feel that "curtilage" is not sufficiently defined in the case law as cited at From http://www.virginia1774.org : specifically at http://www.virginia1774.org/Page1.html.
    Generally, the curtilage of a home is the "area around the home to which the activity of home life extends." Oliver, 466 U.S. at 180; see also Wellford v. Commonwealth, 227 Va. 297, 301, 315 S.E.2d 235, 238 (1984) (defining "curtilage" as the "space necessary and convenient, habitually used for family purposes and the carrying on of domestic employment; the yard, garden or field which is near to and used in connection with the dwelling"). "[W]hether a particular place is within the curtilage of the home is determined on a case-by-case basis." Jefferson, 27 Va. App. at 16, 497 S.E.2d at 481 (citing United States v. Dunn, 480 U.S. 294, 301 n.4 (1987)). In determining whether the area in question constitutes curtilage, "particular reference" to the following four factors is helpful:

    [1] the proximity of the area claimed to be curtilage to the home,


    [2] whether the area is included within an enclosure surrounding the home,

    [3] the nature of the uses to which the area is put, and


    [4] the steps taken by the resident to protect the area from observation by people passing by.


    Dunn, 480 U.S. at 301; Jefferson, 27 Va. App. at 16, 497 S.E.2d at 481. "[T]hese factors are useful analytical tools only to the degree that, in any given case, they bear upon the centrally relevant consideration-whether the area in question is so intimately tied to the home itself that it should be placed under the home's 'umbrella' of Fourth Amendment protection." Dunn, 480 U.S. at 301."
    Since every home is different, the decision as to what arethe limites and bounds of the curtilage must be considered on a case-by-case basis. The case law gives a general guide that even a layman can understand -- unless that layman is posting on OCDO and wants the decision to be other than what the statutes and case law already say. :shock:

    For the activities you mention "checking the mail, grabbing something from my car, chasing zombies away from the vegetable garden... and unfouling (not unfurling) your flag" you seem (remembering I am not an attorney and I surely an not your attorney) to be within the definition of "curtilage". The question that probably needs to be answered is how much privacy you can expect while doing those activities. I suggest that the question needs to consider also how much privacy is provided by the social convention of folks in the city/suburbia not peering into your yard when passing by.

    You seem to be taking the position that all those activities are performed within the curtilage of your specific home. In that case, all you need to do is explain why someone called in a complaint that you were carrying concealed without a CHP. In other words, wqhat happened to "concealed is concealed"?

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    @ skidmark: still too vague. I know you're just citing case law, you didn't write it, but
    [1] the proximity of the area claimed to be curtilage to the home
    and
    area around the home to which the activity of home life extends.
    just don't provide any concreteness to the discussion.

    Are you outside of the curtilage of your home when you are easily visible to passersby? Well, that would functionally eliminate any portion of a residence and its adjacent yard that have street frontage. Heck, that would rule out stoops, porches and patios!

    Curtilage, like "noise" is just far too subjective. I don't see it your way but, then again, I don't agree with the perspectives lots of people have about lots of unconstitutional laws.

    Meh.

    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    Don't forget to separate the message from the messenger, Wylde. Almost everyone here is stating how they think a court would rule on the question at hand, based on whatever reasoning they present. That doesn't mean they think that's the way it should be.

    With your cynicism over all aspects of government (c'mon, you know it's true!), I'm surprised that you think a court would rule that curtilage is as broad as you describe. Or am I misunderstanding what you're saying?

    ~ Boyd

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    This is what I really appreciate about this forum - an effective mix of wisdom, experience and knowledge, with a slice of attitude thrown in for free!

    I think the case law cited (thanks skidmark!) gives me enough guidance with the four factors:

    [1] the proximity of the area claimed to be curtilage to the home,
    [2] whether the area is included within an enclosure surrounding the home,
    [3] the nature of the uses to which the area is put, and
    [4] the steps taken by the resident to protect the area from observation by people passing by.
    It seems #4 inserts a factor of privacy. I am not protected from observation if I am walking out my front door - our home fronts to a side street. Once I move off the porch and approach the driveway, I can easily be observed. However, my back deck is far enough away from passerbys that one would need binoculars (or a scope...) to determine cc. At the very least a neighbor would have to come across a fence to come into the backyard. This answers my question.

    This analysis does need to be tailored to each person as each house...curtilage...is unique.


    Curtilage:

    noun. Law: The area of land occupied by a dwelling and its yard and outbuildings, actually enclosed or considered as enclosed.
    (Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009. )

    noun. Law: The enclosed area immediately surrounding a house or dwelling.
    (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.)


    Function: noun: The area surrounding and associated with a home.
    NOTE: The curtilage of a house is included in the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.
    (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.)




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    Of course, if someone complains that you are CCing in your own yard, you obviously aren't doing a very good job of it.
    Point well taken: If a neighbor or passerby can observe me in my front yard and determine that I am cc'ing, then you and skidmark need to come and revoke my CHP!

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    Thought any more about putting together a luncheon for OC'ers?
    I have thought about this a few times. September is pretty crazy for me, but October (with the cool hint of fall) would be perfect. Someone wisely suggested that I attend a planned event to gain confidence and experience - I am hoping to find one later in September.

    There is an iHOPS on Rt29 near Warrenton - maybe an early Saturday breakfast?

    Has iHOPS yet been tried for an OC event?

    I have also held a few breakfast events at Culpeper Diner - I'll ask the owner what he thinks about an OC breakfast/lunch.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Regular_Joe wrote:
    Thought any more about putting together a luncheon for OC'ers?
    I have thought about this a few times. September is pretty crazy for me, but October (with the cool hint of fall) would be perfect. Someone wisely suggested that I attend a planned event to gain confidence and experience - I am hoping to find one later in September.

    There is an iHOPS on Rt29 near Warrenton - maybe an early Saturday breakfast?

    Has iHOPS yet been tried for an OC event?

    I have also held a few breakfast events at Culpeper Diner - I'll ask the owner what he thinks about an OC breakfast/lunch.
    Yeah, my September is slated to be a little busy as well, but there are a few Saturdays in there which may be open. There is also a Five Guys right along there with the Ihop and the Outback. That would be good for a lunch.


    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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    SHooowie, thats alot of reading.Didnt understand half of it.But I think I got the answer that I was looking for.Thanx

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    TexasNative wrote:
    With your cynicism over all aspects of government (c'mon, you know it's true!), I'm surprised that you think a court would rule that curtilage is as broad as you describe. Or am I misunderstanding what you're saying?
    I accept it with honour.

    I never said a court would uphold it. In fact, I wager they'd be the first to stomp on our rights. They're quite good at it.

    There just isn't a clear-cut definition and that leaves too much leeway for the courts. They like to one-up the people.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Regular_Joe wrote:
    Thought any more about putting together a luncheon for OC'ers?
    I have thought about this a few times. September is pretty crazy for me, but October (with the cool hint of fall) would be perfect. Someone wisely suggested that I attend a planned event to gain confidence and experience - I am hoping to find one later in September.

    There is an iHOPS on Rt29 near Warrenton - maybe an early Saturday breakfast?

    Has iHOPS yet been tried for an OC event?

    I have also held a few breakfast events at Culpeper Diner - I'll ask the owner what he thinks about an OC breakfast/lunch.
    WHY would you ask the owner what he thinks of an OC event, any more than you would ask him what he thinks of a Ladys Wearing Red Hats event or a high school language class event? All those are legal activities that are known to be peacable, quiet (OK, maybe not the Ladys in Red Hats - ever seen them?), and decent tippers (except possibly for the high school kids ).

    Experience has shown that it is better to show up and demonstrate we are "good guys" by our behavior rather than giving a business the time to "think it over" and decide against us "just in case someone else might be upset."

    As for IHOP &Five Guys - been there & done that lots at other of the chain's locations with no problems and warm welcomes on return visits. If you have hosted other events at the Culpeper Diner there should be no reason why you would not be welcomed back just because your group wears guns as well as shirts, shoes and pants (although the sign says only the first 2 are required).

    Best advice to you is to relax and stop worrying about the "gun issue" and concentrate on having a good time. Even if you show up at a place where you are told they do not welcome you all you need tro do is say "Thank you" and go off to find a place that does want to take your money. Later on you can add the info about the gun un-friendly place to the small list.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    WHY would you ask the owner what he thinks of an OC event, any more than you would ask him what he thinks of a Ladys Wearing Red Hats event
    Because...well...I have no idea. As you said, I guess concerned more with the gun issue then enjoying the event. Dang...another lesson...

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    Regular Member kennys's Avatar
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    Just as skidmark said I am no lawyer. From what I am reading there are several different way's you can take it. At a minimum I am seeing garden's, sheds, drive ways, and common common areas around the outside of the home, some even say to the property boundaries. Only thing I can say is if it ever was an issue it probably would come down to how good is your lawyer. I would suggest however that if you have to put any part of your body off the property to check the mail and you are that uncomfortable don't do it. As well like skidmark also said, concealed is concealed. Unless a cop was driving down the street and asked you into the road off your property I don't think you have much to worry about.

    A personal experience I had when living in the Glen Allen area of Henrico County, and I am by no means suggesting try it. But one evening after I returned home from work, the Henrico PD was patrolling my old neighborhood because of some issues. They stopped at the end of my drive to asked if we had seen anything so I threw on a coat and went out in the yard to answer his questions. I informed him I was CC as I was in my own yard, actually a rental and just wanted to inform him for my safety. Good wind gust could have exposed and I didn't want him to have a coniption. He said ok, went on with his questions informing us as well what was going on and had no issues.

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    Every range officer, police officer, and lawyer I've asked about this has said the same thing. CC on my own property is my business and not theirs. I was advised to make sure I wasn't CC without the proper permits & ID off my property though (that would include walking into the street. Anything inside the deeded lines of my property is mine and therefore allows me to CC w/o permit).

    You know the drill though. IANAL and my advice is worth only what you paid for it.

    I do have a related question... I may have missed the answer but can I CC on someone else's property with their permission? IE: I am at a friend's house. Can I CC with their permission without the requisite permits? Obviously I can OC with their permission.

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    Regular Member CRF250rider1000's Avatar
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    darthmord wrote:
    Every range officer, police officer, and lawyer I've asked about this has said the same thing. CC on my own property is my business and not theirs. I was advised to make sure I wasn't CC without the proper permits & ID off my property though (that would include walking into the street. Anything inside the deeded lines of my property is mine and therefore allows me to CC w/o permit).

    You know the drill though. IANAL and my advice is worth only what you paid for it.

    I do have a related question... I may have missed the answer but can I CC on someone else's property with their permission? IE: I am at a friend's house. Can I CC with their permission without the requisite permits? Obviously I can OC with their permission.
    I proposed this question at a dinner and got the answer of "If you have written permission to do so." Not sure if this is correct or not. I would assume verbal permission is fine as long as I record it. When the cops roll up just switch to OC I have a problem of when I am DDing for a friend's party I want to CC in their house. They are fine with it but I am just not sure of the legality of it.

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    Regular Member kennys's Avatar
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    darthmord wrote:
    Every range officer, police officer, and lawyer I've asked about this has said the same thing. CC on my own property is my business and not theirs. I was advised to make sure I wasn't CC without the proper permits & ID off my property though (that would include walking into the street. Anything inside the deeded lines of my property is mine and therefore allows me to CC w/o permit).

    You know the drill though. IANAL and my advice is worth only what you paid for it.

    I do have a related question... I may have missed the answer but can I CC on someone else property with their permission? IE: I am at a friend's house. Can I CC with their permission without the requisite permits? Obviously I can OC with their permission.
    That could be a sticky one. I know you can hunt on you own property without a hunting license, but not any where else including a friends on private property. So by that I would assume the same goes for CC. The law only states your own place and abode so this should mean what it does. Anything elce appears against the law.

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    kennys wrote:
    darthmord wrote:
    Every range officer, police officer, and lawyer I've asked about this has said the same thing. CC on my own property is my business and not theirs. I was advised to make sure I wasn't CC without the proper permits & ID off my property though (that would include walking into the street. Anything inside the deeded lines of my property is mine and therefore allows me to CC w/o permit).

    You know the drill though. IANAL and my advice is worth only what you paid for it.

    I do have a related question... I may have missed the answer but can I CC on someone else property with their permission? IE: I am at a friend's house. Can I CC with their permission without the requisite permits? Obviously I can OC with their permission.
    That could be a sticky one. I know you can hunt on you own property without a hunting license, but not any where else including a friends on private property. So by that I would assume the same goes for CC. Than again if you are in the middle of the woods on their property, who would know....
    True enough. There's something to be said about having CC though. If properly done, no one will know short of frisking youthoroughly.

    Why couldn't we have simple laws? CC w/o permit only on your own property or with the property owner's permission. Of course, there is *the simple* law of VT carry.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    There is nothing in the CHP law that says you can do this. If you recall, the CHP law basically says that the concealed carrying of any weapon listed in that law is illegal, except for the provisions outlined later in the law, which is the CHP permit, own home, place of business, etc, etc.

    IANAL, but basically, no it is not generally legal to carry a concealed weapon on another's property, even with their permission.

    If you can find something in the law that says it is, please let me and the rest of us know ASAP! ;-)

    http://leg1.state.va.us/000/cod/18.2-308.HTM

    TFred


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    Regular Member CRF250rider1000's Avatar
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    What if I am staying the night or just hanging out at their house. Could I claim that that is a temporary residence? :P

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