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Thread: traveling- want to open carry

  1. #1
    Regular Member hammer6's Avatar
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    Oct 2008

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    I am driving to virginia from florida, and plan on open carrying in georgia, north carolina, and virginia.

    my question is this:

    is there like an AG decision or something from each of those states that i can print out and carry with me showing the legality of OC if i am confronted by LEO? or like a state statute or something?


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  2. #2
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Grennsboro NC

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    hammer6 wrote:
    “is there like an AG decision or something from each of those states that i can print out and carry with me showing the legality of OC if i am confronted by LEO? or like a state statute or something? Thanks!!!”
    I can't speak for the other states, but here in NC, Open Carry is legal, if you are legal to purchase and possess a handgun.

    There is no statute in the NC Code that prohibits open carry, which means it is legal.

    Be careful about vehicle transport in NC though. It needs to be in "plain view" from an approaching LEO outside the car. Sitting on the passenger seat is generally the best place. If you have a Concealed Carry permit, you need to inform the officer that you have a permit, and that you are carrying. If it's being OC'd, I'd still inform the officer, so he's not surprised.

    If you're traveling from VA to FL, I assume you're taking I-95. You should be good on that road, at least in NC. NC has a specific statute that allows OC/CC in NC Rest Stops. (but you can't carry in State Parks, or on other State Property.)

    Don't carry on school property.

    You CANNOT carry in any establishment that serves alcohol for consumption on premise. That means you CAN'T carry (OC or CC) in ANY restaurant that serves beer, wine, and/or liquor.

    Do NOT drink alcohol AT ALL if you are carrying. Not even 1 beer with dinner. In NC, if there is ANY measurable alcohol in your system while you are carrying, it is a violation.

    Don't carry in banks. In NC, it is technically legal to OC (but NOT CC) inside a bank if it is not posted, but a lot of banks get twitchy with OC, especially if they don't know you.

    However, the further south you get in the US, the less tolerant they seem to get about OC, and the weirder their carry laws get in general. One of the only good things about Yankee Carpetbaggers coming to NC is that they seem to have brought with them a general distaste for "Jim Crow" laws and have gotten rid of most of them in NC. Unfortunately, states like GA, SC, and FL still are sort of twitchy about "the wrong kind of people" (you know what THAT means) carrying, and that is why their laws are still not very OC-friendly...

    So, IF you can legally purchase and possess a handgun, here is the breakdown:

    In VA, OC is legal.

    In NC, OC is legal.

    In SC, OC is NOT legal.

    In GA, OC is legal, ONLY with a permit.

    In FL, OC is NOT legal.

    It is my understanding that OC of a handgun is generally NOT legal in GA SC, and FL.

    Car carry is sort of a gray area in many of these states. Each state is different, and some are contradictory to each other. My advice is that if you do a lot of interstate travel, and you're a VA resident, spend the time and money to get a Concealed Handgun Permit. It makes travel MUCH easier...

    Check out the "OC Map" page here on this forum, and click on each state to get the specifics (including car carry) for each state:

    If you have a Concealed Carry permit, it makes vehicle travel a LOT easier. If you do a lot of interstate travel in the mid-Atlantic region, I'd suggest getting a CHP. Most of the states in our region are pretty universally recognized. FL is recognized by VA, NC, SC, and GA.

    And as always, I will inform you that IANAL. My advice is worth EXACTLY what you paid for it. If you're still unsure, contact the Attorneys General of each state for specific answers.

    Good luck.

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  3. #3
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Western Prince William County, Virginia, USA

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    In Virginia, you may OC in restaurants that are ABC-ON (alcohol served for consumption on the premises) but at this time, you may not CC in those same establishments. You may also carry in banks. Just look for any signs that indicate this is not supported. The worse thing that will happen to you in a bank or other business that has a posted sign you might miss is that you may be asked to leave. If you are, do so.. do not linger or refuse. That could result in the police being called and a charge of trespassing being levied.

    Virginia is quite lenient for OC'ers. As for statements by our AG, Virginia laws are written to instruct what is not legal, not what is legal. Open carry here is the default, or normal, mode of carrying a sidearm.

    Which part of Virginia are you planning to visit?

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  4. #4
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    Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

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    Just because I'm curious, do you have a Florida CCW/CHP/CWP?

    SC does not allow OC, but allows carry in the glovebox without permit IIRC. I would strongly recommend verifying that first though, as I don't venture south that often, and when I do, it is with my NC CHP.

  5. #5
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    Hickory, NC, ,

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    Good site to check out.

    NC AG booklet on firearms.

    State v Kerner is the main NC Supreme Court case for OC in NC.

    No laws allowing OC in NC. A few that do not allow OC. Mainly, if you do not OC in the places you cannot CC in NC you will be fine. That will cover the places OC is not allowed. OC is legal in that it is not illegal in NC plus the Kerner decision.

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

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    hammer6 wrote: there like an AG decision or something from each of those states that i can print out and carry with me showing the legality of OC if i am confronted by LEO? or like a state statute or something?

    It's generally a very bad idea to attempt to convince an LEO of the legality of your actions. He's the expert, whether he's wrong or right, so comply with his directions at all times! He's certainly not going to give weight to any paper handed to him by anyone he's detained.

    If his actions are contrary to law, you can always address them at a later date in a far safer (physically and legally) environment.

    Also, I didn't see reciprocity mentioned here, but most states have CC reciprocity with neighboring states, and I've noticed the range is far more extended now than it was 20 years ago. For example, Colorado has reciprocity with 28 states - more than half the Union!

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  7. #7
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    Go to It has a map similar to and will answer almost all your questions.

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