Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Preemption over town/city/county parks?

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Culpeper, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    305

    Post imported post

    Does the commonwealth's preemption cover county or city parks and sports fields? I'd like to OC in our town's park, but I have never seen anyone OC'ing anywhere in town. Same with local sport's fields - some of our kid's games are evening and it is very dark and wooded - I'd like the option of OC'ing. I haven't seen any posted signs anywhere...

  2. #2
    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lynchburg, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    191

    Post imported post

    As far as I know, you should be fine. I OC in lynchburg city parks and peeks view park (nearby) every time I go. Never had any trouble with any LEO's, but lots of :shock:.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lynchburg, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    191

    Post imported post

    On another note:

    Most city and county parks are maintained by tax payers, thus public property. So just like your local library they cant restrict you from carrying.

    The lynchburg public library hates me, for some reason everytime I leave the building, my gun sets off the anti-theft book scanner.... hehe.

  4. #4
    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Dale City, VA, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,694

    Post imported post

    Does the commonwealth's preemption cover county or city parks and sports fields?
    Abso-frackin-lutely!

  5. #5
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,619

    Post imported post

    § 15.2-915. Control of firearms; applicability to authorities and local governmental agencies.
    A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, shall not be construed to provide express authorization.

    http://vaguninfo.com/pages/opencarry.htm

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  6. #6
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Culpeper, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    305

    Post imported post

    Guys, thanks for the confirmation. I know county gov't locations are off limits - wasn't sure about county maintained sports parks!

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Culpeper, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    305

    Post imported post

    Grapeshot wrote:
    § 15.2-915. Control of firearms; applicability to authorities and local governmental agencies.
    A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, shall not be construed to provide express authorization.

    http://vaguninfo.com/pages/opencarry.htm

    Yata hey
    Excellent - I am looking the rest of this up now. This is why I appreciate this forum - you guys teach us new folks 'how to fish'!

  8. #8
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,619

    Post imported post

    We all learn more here than any one of us could possibly contribute singularly. I know I have and I'm still learning - everyday.

    "Ride Hard, Shoot Straight, Speak the Truth," so saith the great one.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    24

    Post imported post

    Regular_Joe wrote:
    Guys, thanks for the confirmation. I know county gov't locations are off limits - wasn't sure about county maintained sports parks!
    Hey everybody. Please correct me if I am wrong, but you can carry in county government buildings -- can you not?

    I thought the courts were the non-carry places. If you wanted to go pay your real estate taxes, go talk to your sheriff, etc. then those were okay places to carry.

    Please let me know if I am right or wrong.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Loudoun County - Dulles Airport, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,848

    Post imported post

    Regular_Joe wrote:
    I know county gov't locations are off limits
    you do? how do you know that? or why do you think that? (jails and post offices, k-12 schools and detention centers and federal property and courthouses are).. but county goovernment locations are not "off limits".. even with a sign :-)
    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
    - - - -
    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

  11. #11
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,619

    Post imported post

    Mailman wrote:
    Regular_Joe wrote:
    Guys, thanks for the confirmation. I know county gov't locations are off limits - wasn't sure about county maintained sports parks!
    Hey everybody. Please correct me if I am wrong, but you can carry in county government buildings -- can you not?

    I thought the courts were the non-carry places. If you wanted to go pay your real estate taxes, go talk to your sheriff, etc. then those were okay places to carry.

    Please let me know if I am right or wrong.

    Thanks
    City, state and county buildings - yes generally speaking, but not "court" rooms or buildings. Same source/cite as above.

    Even the General Assembly building - but only if you have a permit - OK for OC or CC - Joint Rules Committee decision/rule, not statute.

    This is where the rub comes in. As an example the Chesterfield clerks office is in the same (multi-use) building as some court rooms - the check point is at the main exterior door. We should be able to see the clerk w/o disarming but it ain't so. Detectors and such should be at the entrance hallway to the court - but are not. No one has challenged this apparent violation yet.

    Be aware - check out questionable situations first - unless you are willing to be a test case. :? If you see a check point, stop and reevaluate.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    US
    Posts
    3,156

    Post imported post

    Grapeshot wrote:
    Mailman wrote:
    Regular_Joe wrote:
    Guys, thanks for the confirmation. I know county gov't locations are off limits - wasn't sure about county maintained sports parks!
    Hey everybody. Please correct me if I am wrong, but you can carry in county government buildings -- can you not?

    I thought the courts were the non-carry places. If you wanted to go pay your real estate taxes, go talk to your sheriff, etc. then those were okay places to carry.

    Please let me know if I am right or wrong.

    Thanks
    City, state and county buildings - yes generally speaking, but not "court" rooms or buildings. Same source/cite as above.

    Even the General Assembly building - but only if you have a permit - OK for OC or CC - Joint Rules Committee decision/rule, not statute.

    This is where the rub comes in. As an example the Chesterfield clerks office is in the same (multi-use) building as some court rooms - the check point is at the main exterior door. We should be able to see the clerk w/o disarming but it ain't so. Detectors and such should be at the entrance hallway to the court - but are not. No one has challenged this apparent violation yet.

    Be aware - check out questionable situations first - unless you are willing to be a test case. :? If you see a check point, stop and reevaluate.

    Yata hey
    If anyone is familiar with Fairfax, they'll know about an interesting situation at the City Hall building. There is a DMV office there but also in the building are a few court rooms. There was no signs or checkpoints at any of the building entrances, I can only assume the metal detectors were whereever the courtrooms were.

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Culpeper, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    305

    Post imported post

    ed wrote:
    Regular_Joe wrote:
    I know county gov't locations are off limits
    you do? how do you know that? or why do you think that? (jails and post offices, k-12 schools and detention centers and federal property and courthouses are).. but county goovernment locations are not "off limits".. even with a sign :-)
    Sorry - I should have clarified - The town of Culpeper is fairly small, so some of the gov't offices are located at the courthouse... Although I do appreciate you making the point - it is a good one.

    As new as I am, an official sign at the Fairfax County Gov't Center would be enough to deter me until I spent some time learning the actual law, which is why I like grapeshot throwing in the legal referencing.

  14. #14
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hampton, Va, ,
    Posts
    623

    Post imported post

    Grapeshot wrote:
    Mailman wrote:
    Regular_Joe wrote:
    Guys, thanks for the confirmation. I know county gov't locations are off limits - wasn't sure about county maintained sports parks!
    Hey everybody. Please correct me if I am wrong, but you can carry in county government buildings -- can you not?

    I thought the courts were the non-carry places. If you wanted to go pay your real estate taxes, go talk to your sheriff, etc. then those were okay places to carry.

    Please let me know if I am right or wrong.

    Thanks
    City, state and county buildings - yes generally speaking, but not "court" rooms or buildings. Same source/cite as above.

    Even the General Assembly building - but only if you have a permit - OK for OC or CC - Joint Rules Committee decision/rule, not statute.

    This is where the rub comes in. As an example the Chesterfield clerks office is in the same (multi-use) building as some court rooms - the check point is at the main exterior door. We should be able to see the clerk w/o disarming but it ain't so. Detectors and such should be at the entrance hallway to the court - but are not. No one has challenged this apparent violation yet.

    Be aware - check out questionable situations first - unless you are willing to be a test case. :? If you see a check point, stop and reevaluate.

    Yata hey
    Chesterfields courthouse could be like Hamptons. In Hampton they put in metal detectors right inside theentrance. When going through the doors you would make an immediate right turn down a hallway that ran allong the front of the building to go to the crlerks office. You used to not have to go through the detectorto go to the clerks office. Last few times I went to the clerks office I had to go through the metal detectors. I think they started doing it because there are other ways out through the back of the clerks office that lead to other parts of the courthousethe metal detectors were originally screening access to.
    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.

  15. #15
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Chesterfield VA
    Posts
    10,682

    Post imported post

    again, and certainly not for the last time, i cite THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF LEE COUNTY V. EDGAR BACON, COMMISSIONER OF ACCOUNTS OF LEE COUNTY and the definition of what is a courthouse in a multi-purpose building, as decided in Record No. 740711 on April 28, 1975 as noted at http://www.virginia1774.org/CourthouseArea.html
    Only that portion of building appointed for use of circuit court constitutes the courthouse
    it is too bad that we have not bothered to remind the local justices and sheriffs of this ruling.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  16. #16
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    www.ProactiveShooters.com, Richmond, Va., , USA
    Posts
    4,671

    Post imported post

    I can tell you that at the main courthouse in C'field, there are 2 entrances.

    The main entrance allows you into the GD/CC courts, clerk's office, etc and has a metal detector.

    There is a second entrance that allows you to enter the Sheriff's Office, Victim/Witness offices, etc and it also has a metal detector because the same hallway takes you to a staircase/elevators that go directly to the courtrooms. There is a Deputy posted at that entrance in a security room. You won't be allowed past that point with a firearm.


    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
    Sabre Red Pepper Spray Instructor
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  17. #17
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Va Beach, Occupied VA
    Posts
    3,037

    Post imported post

    In Virginia Beach and Chesapeake it is IMPOSSIBLE to conduct any court business without passing through a metal detector.

    In Virginia Beach even cell phones are prohibited in the Courthouse building. Dolts.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  18. #18
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, Fairfax County VA, ,
    Posts
    207

    Post imported post

    wylde007 wrote:
    In Virginia Beach even cell phones are prohibited in the Courthouse building. Dolts.
    Fairfax County prohibits camera phones. It was explained to me by a front desk sitter that this is for the safety of witnesses, jurors, CAs and judges, since it's almost impossible to buy a cell without a camera these days. They don't want angry convicts family members taking pictures of potential targets.

  19. #19
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Most historic town in, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    7,705

    Post imported post

    Well I am certainly not a lawyer, but... from reading the resources that have been provided here and taking a plain reading of the code of Virginia, it sure seems to me that local jurisdictions are preempted from prohibiting the carrying of firearms in the areas of any buildings that are not used by the actual courts or court offices themselves.

    The case discussed at the link provide by skidmark says "Only that portion of building appointed for use of circuit court constitutes courthouse", and the Virginia code is quite clear as well: "It shall be unlawful for any person to possess in or transport into any courthouse in this Commonwealth..."

    When you add those two up, the rooms in a building that are not used by the courts, are not the "courthouse" and thus, not an area that is prohibited to carry. And of course we all know that our friend § 15.2-915 prevents local jurisdictions from setting up their own firearms rules.

    I'm sure it would be quite expensive for a lot of places to change their security setup to comply with this, and it may be conceivable that some buildings would be unable to comply at all.

    Having said that, it would be somewhat entertaining when you go into a "courthouse" for non-court related business next time, to mention to the deputy, etc, who is manning the magnetometer that "oh by the way, do you know that you are in violation of State law here?"

    It seems we've enjoyed a fairly good run of success with preemption by just "reminding" folks that the law is clear, and that they are in violation. It would be real interesting to see what the reaction would be to a similar letter to the Sheriff, etc, of a jurisdiction where there is a clear violation like this. I'm sure they would run it by the local Commonwealth's Attorney, and one might have to also point out the case law which defines "courthouse".

    My "top of the head" guess is that they would ignore it and make you sue them to comply, and in so doing, they would hope that a current court would change their mind and establish a new precedent. If one were to do this, it would be best to do it in a jurisdiction with reasonable judges... as in not north!

    TFred




  20. #20
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    www.ProactiveShooters.com, Richmond, Va., , USA
    Posts
    4,671

    Post imported post

    TFred wrote:
    The case discussed at the link provide by skidmark says "Only that portion of building appointed for use of circuit court constitutes courthouse", and the Virginia code is quite clear as well: "It shall be unlawful for any person to possess in or transport into any courthouse in this Commonwealth..."


    I just reread that opinion, and oddly enough, I can read it in 2 different ways.

    "Only that portion of building appointed for use of circuit court constitutes courthouse" -

    Does that mean that a "courthouse" as we know it that is only used by the General District or JVDR Courts is not really a courthouse?

    or...

    does the sentence "Only that portion of building appointed for use of circuit court constitutes courthouse" imply that they were talking specifically about the Circuit Court of Lee County since that was the particular court in question? If the building in question was used by the Juvenile Court of Henrico County, would the argument still be the same or would it be moot since the decision only mentions a Circuit Court inparticular?

    Are you as confused reading my question as I am asking it?
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
    Sabre Red Pepper Spray Instructor
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Chesterfield VA
    Posts
    10,682

    Post imported post

    The case cited was specific to Lee County and can at best be used for other buildings that have both court and non-court county government offices within the same building.

    To give you an example, the John Marshall Courts Building in downtown Richmond houses not only the General District and Circuit Courts but several other City department offices. Per the decision in Lee County v. Edward Bacon the "courthouse" areas in the John Marshall building should start as you get off the elevators or open the stairwell doors on those (i think it is three)floors. The rest of the building should not be restricted as to items prohibited by law or local court rule -- yes, judges can say what does or does not come into their baliwick. Some have, for instance, ruled "no flip-flop sandals" just because they hate the noise they make.

    Until and unless someone challenges the situation it will continue to fly in the face of what should be settled case law. That someone needs standing - to have actually been affected by the way the locality handles things as opposed to how it should have been under Lee County v. Edward Bacon. As I try to stay out of courthouses on general principles, I am not a likely candidate to press the issue.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •