Welcome to OCDO!!!
Putting the gun in thedoor pocket is not "open". Part ofyour confusion is that VA law in fact doesnot allow open carry.The fact is VA law does not prohibit open carry, except in specified locations.
Here is thestatutory paragraph you want to watch out for:
A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon...he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Carries about his person. This is broader than "on his person."
Hidden from common observation.In the door pocket is hidden from common observation.
There is nothing specifically exemptiongcars; unless the carrier has a CHP, or maybe if the car is in his own garage or within the curtilage of his own property (see the rest of 18.2-308).
There are court cases about whether you can have your handgun in a locked glove box or locked center console. I'll let others chime in on that.
Also, there seems to be some debate about whether a belt-holstered gunpartially obscured by a seatbelt counts as concealed. Although, most seem to agree that some copsmight issue acitation for carrying a concealed handgun if carried in that manner.
Car seats and dashboards are generally considered legally acceptable as they are not "hidden from common observation," although laying loose in those locations can bedangerous in abrupt manuvers and accidents.
Some usea holster affixed to the dash or console in plain view. I use a holster wedged between the seat and console, wedged on the outside of the seatbelt latch--a cheap Uncle Mikes nylon holster kept in the glove boxjust for that purpose.