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Thread: Carry in a gun case--Concealed or not?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Carry in a gun case--Concealed or not?

    I had a friend ask me today if carrying a gun in a factory (or otherwise obviously designed) gun case from his home to his car (which he parks in a municipal parking lot behind his house) when he is going to the range, or other shooting events, would be considered "concealed".

    I told him "no, I don't believe so", because gun cases are recognized as legitiate ways to transport a gun.

    But I also told him that if he were putting them in his vehicle, he should put them in the very back of the vehicle (he has a big SUV), and they should be unloaded, or else if it was just one handgun, he could legally put it on the passenger seat, and it could be loaded in NC.

    He does not have a CHP yet, but is considering getting one. He actually had me carry his cased pistols to and from his car today when we went to the range, because he is afraid of being hassled about "carrying concealed without a permit". (I have a NC CHP). I told him he has nothing to worry about, if they are unloaded and cased.

    I also suggested that he buy a more nondescript gun case for his handguns, big enough he could fit them all into (he has 4) when he goes to the range. If it looks like a briefcase or other luggage, and has a lock, then he's TOTALLY legal, and it won't draw attention anyway...

    I've looked and can't seem to find any statutes or rulings on this with regards to handguns in NC law. Does anyone know where I could get a straight answer?

    And was I right in what I told him?
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  2. #2
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    The law says "concealed on or about your person"

    There is no clarification as to what that means that I am aware of. Technically I am pretty sure that a unlocked case would be no different than a fanny pack or a back pack and that it would be considered concealed.

    A locked case probably could be considered not accessible and you would probably be ok but the law is vague enough that even that could be a problem.

    A friend of mine had his nephew charged for a gun that was in the bottom of a gym bag in the rear floorboard of his SUV while he was driving and no one was in the car. There was no way for him to get the gun without stopping and crawling into the back or opening the door from the outside but he still got charged.

    Technically the law is vague enough that as soon as you took possession of a unlocked cased gun, you could be charged, even in a gun shop. I dont actually think it would happen but the law certainly is vague enough.

  3. #3
    Regular Member sFe's Avatar
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    http://www.grnc.org/firearms.htm


    D. Transporting Weapons

    Given this general prohibition of carrying concealed weapons, individuals must be ever vigilant

    to ensure their particular situation cannot be construed as concealing a weapon, either on or about

    them, without being properly authorized to do so with a valid North Carolina, or recognized out-ofstate

    concealed handgun permit. Therefore, the permittee's accessibility to the weapon is of prime

    importance. It is for these reasons, that when transporting a weapon in a vehicle, even greater care

    must be exercised to ensure that the weapon is not concealed, and within the ready access to an

    occupant of the vehicle. North Carolina law does not specifically address how to transport a weapon

    in an automobile. Therefore, the central question becomes: when is the weapon concealed and

    17

    readily accessible to an occupant of an automobile? Obviously, a weapon would be concealed and

    readily accessible, and therefore in violation of North Carolina law, if it were placed in such areas

    of a vehicle as under the seat of the automobile; in a bag in the back seat; or in some other manner

    is covered or hidden within the easy reach of an occupant of the vehicle. It is our recommendation

    that firearms should not be carried in a glove compartment regardless of whether the compartment

    is locked or not.

    While a weapon carried openly in an automobile would not be concealed, there are other

    problems specific to this method of carrying a weapon. The principal drawback, of course, is in the

    event of an individual being stopped by a law enforcement official, the officer may not readily know

    that individual's purpose and intent for carrying a weapon. As such, it is imperative that an

    individual immediately notify an officer of the presence of any weapon in the automobile, for the

    officer's and the vehicle's occupants' safety. Another obvious drawback is that a valuable weapon

    may be in plain view for potential thieves to see. The prohibition to carrying concealed weapons

    applies not only to handguns and other weapons commonly thought of as being easily hidden, but

    also to "long guns" as well. Therefore, shotguns and rifles concealed behind the seat of pickup

    trucks, and elsewhere in other vehicles, could similarly violate North Carolina law.

    As to those vehicles with no easily discernible trunk area (i.e., vans, etc.), the question arises

    on a factual determination of when the weapon is within ready and easy access to an occupant of the

    vehicle. If the weapon is concealed near, in close proximity to, or within the convenient control and

    access of an occupant, which would allow him/her to use the weapon quickly, then a fair probability

    exists that the occupant is in violation of the law. Therefore, care must be exercised by any occupant

    of any vehicle to ensure that weapons are securely locked away in as remote an area as possible, in

    relation to the passenger compartment of the vehicle. It is important to emphasize that these

    prohibitions apply to passengers, as well as drivers of any vehicle.
    For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. — Carl Sagan

    When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours - Stephen Roberts

  4. #4
    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    Dreamer, make sure you tell your friend that while he is on his property, he can carry his gun however which way he wants (last I checked, driveway still constitutes as "your property").

    And I seriously doubt a police officer will give anyone beef while carrying any gun in a case while *at a range.* But, with today's police force, it could happen.

    The law says "concealed on or about your person"
    the key phrase is "or about." that can be used against someone using a gun case, if they are *carrying* it. It'll take a very persuasive DA, but it wouldn't surprise me if they could get it to stick. Don't know about any case law on that though.

    As I said above though, if a police officer wants to give your friend a ticket while at the range, for concealing a gun on or about him, then it can happen (since he's not on his own personal property). The likelihood of that happening? Snowball's chance in hell, IMHO.
    Taurus PT1911 .45 ACP. Carried in condition 1, with a total of 25 rounds.

    Vice President of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, ECU Chapter

  5. #5
    Regular Member Maverick9110e's Avatar
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    This is the case i carry my gun in:

    http://www.amazon.com/Do-All-Outdoor.../dp/B000FDSUHW

    It's a really awesome case, especially for flying. One of the most durable I've ever seen. I use it to transport my handguns while in the car as well. Back when i lived in jersey they had to be locked in the trunk and they were legal. Here in NC i drive a pickup now with an extended cab. I keep the firearm in the case and the case is locked with a keyed padlock as well, and the case is in the back seat on the floor. There is physically no other way possible to transport the firearm unless i put it in the bed of the pickup. I HIGHLY doubt there is a cop in the state who would process you for carrying a locked cased firearm in that manner.

  6. #6
    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    These seem to be somewhat popular, I've seen them recommended a couple of times on OCDO. I've got one on the way, I'll post initial impressions when it comes in.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I suppose I should have been more specific. y friend has no garage or driveway. He parks his vehicle in a public municipal parking lot that is immediately behind his house.

    The parking lot is also adjacent to the City Building in that town, which also houses the police department. The building is posted (like most in NC) but the parking lot is not posted.

    But there are a lot of cops coming and going in this parking lot, and so he is worried about it.

    BTW, he is in his 40s, has short hair, and is a professional, and drives a REALLY nice SUV. But he doesn't have his CHP yet...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  8. #8
    Regular Member Maverick9110e's Avatar
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    Well again, if it is in a locked case then i do not see how he can be harassed. It's not readily accessible but thats just my opinion.

  9. #9
    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    honestly, call the AG. They would know a lot better then all of us, and if a cop stops your friend, you'll have a statement from the AG saying if its legal or not.
    Taurus PT1911 .45 ACP. Carried in condition 1, with a total of 25 rounds.

    Vice President of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, ECU Chapter

  10. #10
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elixin77 View Post
    honestly, call the AG.

    I will do that Monday, but I imagine they might give me the same non-answer they gave me regarding the Kernersville ban--that they don't give legal advice to citizens...

    We need to remember that the AG is not the "people's attorney". He is the consigliari of the Corporation that is the State of NC (much like the TRUE position of LEAs), and as such, his job is to defend the position of the State--NOT to protect and defend the interests and rights of the Citizens...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 11-07-2010 at 01:57 AM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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