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Thread: Please enlighten me on Virginia law...schools and guns???

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    Please enlighten me on Virginia law...schools and guns???

    Am planning on attending a concert at Grassfield High in Chesapeake this afternoon. I seemed to recall that a law was before the Virginia assembly this past session which would've allowed carry after regular school hours. Since I am in a situation where I am planning to attend this event I was not sure if that provision had indeed become law...or should I leave my weapon locked up in the truck???

    Thanks for your help guys!

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    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechman View Post
    Am planning on attending a concert at Grassfield High in Chesapeake this afternoon. I seemed to recall that a law was before the Virginia assembly this past session which would've allowed carry after regular school hours. Since I am in a situation where I am planning to attend this event I was not sure if that provision had indeed become law...or should I leave my weapon locked up in the truck???

    Thanks for your help guys!
    My understanding is that you can not have a weapon on school grounds. Unless you have a CHP and you MUST STAY IN THE VEHICLE(picking up your child). I am not a lawyer and do not hold a CHP so you should get other answers. No, you can not leave it locked in the car, PRETTY SURE. I went to vote and I left my gun at home, because its school grounds.

    I do not support programs that are in gun free zones.
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 11-13-2010 at 02:57 PM.
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    IIRC it never got out of subcommittee Mechman
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    K-12 school grounds (CHP holders exempted for CC while in a vehicle; handgun secured in a container or compartment in a vehicle also exempted.) (§18.2-308.1)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter45 View Post
    K-12 school grounds (CHP holders exempted for CC while in a vehicle; handgun secured in a container or compartment in a vehicle also exempted.) (§18.2-308.1)
    18.2-308.1:

    B. If any person possesses any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material while such person is upon (i) any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds; (ii) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or (iii) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony; however, if the person possesses any firearm within a public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school building and intends to use, or attempts to use, such firearm, or displays such weapon in a threatening manner, such person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years to be served consecutively with any other sentence.

    ...The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of the school's curriculum or activities; (ii) a person possessing a knife customarily used for food preparation or service and using it for such purpose; (iii) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of any program sponsored or facilitated by either the school or any organization authorized by the school to conduct its programs either on or off the school premises; (iv) any law-enforcement officer; (v) any person who possesses a knife or blade which he uses customarily in his trade; (vi) a person who possesses an unloaded firearm that is in a closed container, or a knife having a metal blade, in or upon a motor vehicle, or an unloaded shotgun or rifle in a firearms rack in or upon a motor vehicle; or (vii) a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school. For the purposes of this paragraph, "weapon" includes a knife having a metal blade of three inches or longer and "closed container" includes a locked vehicle trunk. (emphasis added by Citizen)

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-308.1

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    pretty sure he's talking about this guys: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...?101+sum+HB475
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    ...The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of the school's curriculum or activities; (ii) a person possessing a knife customarily used for food preparation or service and using it for such purpose; (iii) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of any program sponsored or facilitated by either the school or any organization authorized by the school to conduct its programs either on or off the school premises; (iv) any law-enforcement officer; (v) any person who possesses a knife or blade which he uses customarily in his trade; (vi) a person who possesses an unloaded firearm that is in a closed container, or a knife having a metal blade, in or upon a motor vehicle, or an unloaded shotgun or rifle in a firearms rack in or upon a motor vehicle; or (vii) a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school. For the purposes of this paragraph, "weapon" includes a knife having a metal blade of three inches or longer and "closed container" includes a locked vehicle trunk. (emphasis added by Citizen)

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-308.1
    IANAL, but I believe that section (vi) above would allow you to unload and store the gun in a case or the trunk. (Notice it says "closed", not "locked".) Section (vii) was inserted to allow parents to pick up kids, and prohibits them from exiting the vehicle.

    TFred

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    This is the way I understand it from the following thread: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/showthread.php?75279-Guns-on-K-12-school-property&highlight=secured+container+school



    VA-ALERT: IMPORTANT: New Virginia gun laws

    Philip Van Cleave

    ----------------------------------------
    VCDL's meeting schedule:
    http://www.vcdl.org/meetings.html
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:
    http://www.vcdl.org/help/abbr.html
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    You will probably want to keep this email, as it describes the new Virginia gun laws GOING INTO EFFECT ON JULY 1. There are some items here that you most likely are unaware of, so I highly recommend that you READ THIS ALERT IN ITS ENTIRETY.

    Areas affected by the new laws:

    ...

    MOTOR VEHICLES AND VESSELS

    For those who do not have a CHP, starting July 1 they can have a loaded handgun with them concealed in their motor vehicle or vessel as long as the handgun is secured in a container (such as a zipped bag, closed gun case, closed briefcase, etc.) or in a compartment (glovebox, console, etc.).

    NOTE: Remember that if you don't have a CHP, you generally can't carry a handgun in such a closed container OUTSIDE of your motor vehicle or vessel.

    K-12 SCHOOLS

    The new vehicle carry law, above, has an additional benefit for BOTH CHP holders and non-CHP holders. Under the law effective July 1, a loaded handgun can be kept in a secured container or a secured compartment in a motor vehicle while on K-12 school property.

    The new vehicle carry law (18.2-308 B 10) is in the list of general exemptions from the concealed weapon law. Police officers and Commonwealth Attorneys, for example, are listed in 18.2-308 B. The key is that in the third paragraph of the K-12 school weapons law (18.2-308.1) it says that anyone exempted from the concealed weapon law is also exempted from the ban on guns on K-12 school property.

    Thus, as long as your loaded handgun is in a secured compartment or a secured container BEFORE you pull onto school property and REMAINS SECURED in that compartment or container UNTIL AFTER you pull off the property, you are legal.

    In case those of you with CHPs are wondering why you can't carry outside of your vehicle on K-12 school property, that's because the CHP wording (18.2-308 D) is NOT in the list of exemptions to the concealed weapon law (18.2-308 B and 18.2-308 C). Instead, you can think of your CHP as a "get out of jail free" card. You are not actually exempted from the concealed carry law, but you have an affirmative defense against any prosecution.

    I think we should be working to exempt CHP holders from the concealed weapon law.


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    If you do not have a CHP (or an on-duty cop, etc), then the federal statute applies, which prohibits having a firearm within a thousand feet of the outer perimeter of the land upon which the school is held. Violation is a felony, good for five years in a federal penitentiary. The statute is widely believed to be unconstitional for a number of reasons, and is generally enforced only when they're trying to ratchet up the charges against someone who's doing something else (e.g., selling drugs on school property) for plea-bargaining purposes. My personal opinion is that Va. law on that subject pre-empts federal law on constitutional grounds, but I certainly would not take chances by carrying in the building during a school related event.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    If you do not have a CHP (or an on-duty cop, etc), then the federal statute applies, which prohibits having a firearm within a thousand feet of the outer perimeter of the land upon which the school is held. Violation is a felony, good for five years in a federal penitentiary. The statute is widely believed to be unconstitional for a number of reasons, and is generally enforced only when they're trying to ratchet up the charges against someone who's doing something else (e.g., selling drugs on school property) for plea-bargaining purposes. My personal opinion is that Va. law on that subject pre-empts federal law on constitutional grounds, but I certainly would not take chances by carrying in the building during a school related event.
    Yes we know that carrying outside your vehicle is a no-no but were discussing whether a person could leave it "loaded" in a secure compartment of their car while on premises.

    When I pick up my daughter, since I have a CHP I can be CC-ing while picking her up as long as I do not exit the vehicle. If I know I have to exit the vehicle, before the law change I had to unload and lock it up before arriving on school property. After the law change I thought, according to Philip, I was good simply placing it in the center console, loaded.

    User, are you saying that doing so is unrecommended since the clear-as-mud-legalese can be used against us?
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 11-13-2010 at 07:49 PM.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    If you do not have a CHP (or an on-duty cop, etc), then the federal statute applies, which prohibits having a firearm within a thousand feet of the outer perimeter of the land upon which the school is held. Violation is a felony, good for five years in a federal penitentiary. The statute is widely believed to be unconstitional for a number of reasons, and is generally enforced only when they're trying to ratchet up the charges against someone who's doing something else (e.g., selling drugs on school property) for plea-bargaining purposes. My personal opinion is that Va. law on that subject pre-empts federal law on constitutional grounds, but I certainly would not take chances by carrying in the building during a school related event.
    User please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the Fed Statute also says that you must have a permit issued by the state in which the school is in, meaning only a Virginia CHP is valid in this case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    User please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the Fed Statute also says that you must have a permit issued by the state in which the school is in, meaning only a Virginia CHP is valid in this case.
    That is BATF's "opinion" on the matter, even though it's wrong. The whole GFSZA is wrong for that matter, and was ruled as such once already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    Yes we know that carrying outside your vehicle is a no-no but were discussing whether a person could leave it "loaded" in a secure compartment of their car while on premises.

    When I pick up my daughter, since I have a CHP I can be CC-ing while picking her up as long as I do not exit the vehicle. If I know I have to exit the vehicle, before the law change I had to unload and lock it up before arriving on school property. After the law change I thought, according to Philip, I was good simply placing it in the center console, loaded.

    User, are you saying that doing so is unrecommended since the clear-as-mud-legalese can be used against us?
    As ProShooter observed, that only applies to people who do NOT have a CHP. If you do have a CHP, then you have a blanket exemption from the federal statute, because you have a gun-related permit that requires a background check issued by the state in which you are a resident. Only Virginia law applies to people with a CHP as to the issues we're discussing here.

    If you have a CHP, you can exit the vehicle, as long as the gun stays in the vehicle, and enclosed in a container of some kind, whether part of the car or not. Note that the car isn't allowed to go anywhere on school grounds - the statute allows you to drive on driveways, parking lots, and student-drop off areas, etc., but (in my opinion) you can't drive down onto the football field (for example) using the ambulance driveway. But you can park your car in a school parking lot, and get out and attend events in the school, leaving the gun "secured" in the car.

    One other thing, for non-CHP'ers: the federal statute does permit you to bring your gun with you, as long as you unload it and put it in a locked container or locked firearms rack ("container" is not otherwise defined), before you get within a thousand feet of the school property.

    (Sometimes, as a way of demonstrating how ridiculous that statute is, I've thought about organizing lots of gun-totin' folks to drive around a city, stopping their cars every time they enter or exit the thousand-foot, smack dab in the middle of traffic, get out and unload or reload, and box or unbox, as appropriate. That statute applies to every "school" other than college/postsecondary schools, private or public, and I think it includes things like Kindercare and Minnieland. You can't drive from one end of a city to another without going through "school zones"; I got the same question, once, from a guy who lived in a city in Virginia, in between two different schools; he couldn't legally go in or out of his own driveway without boxing the gun! Absurd. But as to my vision of a protest - "But officer, I'm not obstructing traffic, I am required by federal law to stop my car and go through this time-consuming procedure! You'd have to arrest me for a felony if I did not do this. It's the federal statute that's obstructing traffic!")
    Last edited by user; 11-14-2010 at 08:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    User please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the Fed Statute also says that you must have a permit issued by the state in which the school is in, meaning only a Virginia CHP is valid in this case.
    That is correct. The statute specifically requires that the permit be issued by the state or a political subdivision of the state in which the school zone is located.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    <snip>
    (Sometimes, as a way of demonstrating how ridiculous that statute is, I've thought about organizing lots of gun-totin' folks to drive around a city, stopping their cars every time they enter or exit the thousand-foot, smack dab in the middle of traffic, get out and unload or reload, and box or unbox, as appropriate. <snip>
    It is worse that that user. It is 1000 feet of school property (on all sides) so you can drive behind or beside a school with no entrance to the school and still be within the 1000 foot area. Some schools border highways or other fast moving roads. So I would guess that 99.9% of anyone OC-ing (with out a CHP) would be considered felons just driving during the year. It is hard not to come within that distance of some school.

    So for your proposal you would need some GPS app that told you when you were within 1000 feet of some school property just to know where you were.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 11-14-2010 at 08:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    It is worse that that user. It is 1000 feet of school property (on all sides) so you can drive behind or beside a school with no entrance to the school and still be within the 1000 foot area. Some schools border highways or other fast moving roads. So I would guess that 99.9% of anyone OC-ing (with out a CHP) would be considered felons just driving during the year. It is hard not to come within that distance of some school.

    So for your proposal you would need some GPS app that told you when you were within 1000 feet of some school property just to know where you were.
    As I said earlier,
    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    ...the federal statute applies, which prohibits having a firearm within a thousand feet of the outer perimeter of the land upon which the school is held....
    I wasn't thinking about GPS, though that'd be useful. I sort of pictured us getting out there in advance to mark off the boundaries in some non-obvious but visible way - surveyor's tape on highway signs or some such.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    I wasn't thinking about GPS, though that'd be useful. I sort of pictured us getting out there in advance to mark off the boundaries in some non-obvious but visible way - surveyor's tape on highway signs or some such.
    Well you would need the GPS because you could be 3-4 streets over in a residential neighborhood and still be within the 1000 feet. Since many yards are around 1-200ft deep.

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    Regular Member USNA69's Avatar
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    I wonder if the 1000 feet provision extends vertically, as well.

    If you are a general aviation pilot, fly armed, and your Cessna passes through school air space at an altitude of 995 feet, are you a felon, just as if you had driven by the school on a public street? Hmmm ...

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    This is where hopefully an officer with common sense and decency would weigh the totality of the circumstances if he had an opportunity to come across you armed within 1,000 feet of school property.

    For example:
    A traffic stop (for argument's sake I'll use a defective brake light) + a law abiding citizen with a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school (for argument's sake you live on a street behind a school) does not equal a traffic stop for the same equipment violation that reveals 30 ounces of crack cocaine + a firearm. In that instance, you have a violation of VDCA (VA Code 18.2-250), a weapons offense while in possession of narcotics (VA Code 18.2-308.4), and that violation of being within 1,000 feet of school property (GFZA 1990).

    In short, Driver A is a law abiding citizen who has a taillight out. Driver B is actively engaged in felonious activities while in possession of a firearm.

    Spirit of the law versus letter of the law. It is impractical to enforce a law like GFZA 1990 on an OC'er because in every city it would create impassable zones that would deprive someone of their very residence or ability to traverse entire sections of the city.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    (Sometimes, as a way of demonstrating how ridiculous that statute is, I've thought about organizing lots of gun-totin' folks to drive around a city, stopping their cars every time they enter or exit the thousand-foot, smack dab in the middle of traffic, get out and unload or reload, and box or unbox, as appropriate. That statute applies to every "school" other than college/postsecondary schools, private or public, and I think it includes things like Kindercare and Minnieland. You can't drive from one end of a city to another without going through "school zones"; I got the same question, once, from a guy who lived in a city in Virginia, in between two different schools; he couldn't legally go in or out of his own driveway without boxing the gun! Absurd. But as to my vision of a protest - "But officer, I'm not obstructing traffic, I am required by federal law to stop my car and go through this time-consuming procedure! You'd have to arrest me for a felony if I did not do this. It's the federal statute that's obstructing traffic!")
    I think you'd quickly become frustrated at the prospect of finding "all" of them, and it would become extremely obvious that this law is so overbearing that no reasonable person would expect it to be beneficial. I bet even most of the "anti-gunners" would agree... except for the heartiest of the nuts at the top of that food chain.

    It would be great to find a Google map application that would allow someone to trace the property lines of schools (many jurisdictions have property boundaries loaded in Google maps now) and then extend a 1000 foot boundary.

    I'll guarantee you no lawmaker would be able to honestly answer that they were aware of the real-world consequences of this law.

    TFred

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    Quote Originally Posted by palerider116 View Post
    .... It is impractical to enforce a law like GFZA 1990 on an OC'er because in every city it would create impassable zones that would deprive someone of their very residence or ability to traverse entire sections of the city.
    Or stop carrying guns entirely - I suspect that's really what Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and the people behind him had in mind. I think it was an intentional trick - their real purpose was to make it illegal to carry guns in any and all urban areas.

    By the way, it is my private opinion (not legal advice) that the statute is (still) unenforceable because state law governing ownership, possession, and use of firearms that are not actually moving in interstate commerce pre-empts federal law, because the states have supreme power under the Constitution over property law, public health, public welfare, and the police power.
    Last edited by user; 11-14-2010 at 09:02 PM.

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    Certainly by chiseling out "gun free zones" it is easier to add onto conquered territory. Once you ban weapons from schools, you could began to reach into other areas such as no guns where student field trips are taking place or no guns near bus stops for school buses. As with most gun laws, this is just another "anchor law" for more laws to be based upon.

    This law would serve best as an enhanced penalty i.e. if you commit X (insert PWID, unjustified homicide, agg assault, malicious wounding, and other felonies) crime while in possession of a firearm within X feet of a school, an automatic penalty is attached to the sentence. That way, if you are actually committing X crime, you have no business with a firearm anyway.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Title 18 U.S.C §922(q) The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1995 States:
    (A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.

    (B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm—
    (i) on private property not part of school grounds;
    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 11-14-2010 at 10:55 PM. Reason: edit
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Title 18 U.S.C §922(q) The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1995 States:
    (A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.

    (B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the possession of a firearm—
    (i) on private property not part of school grounds;
    (ii) if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to do so by the State in which the school zone is located or a political subdivision of the State, and the law of the State or political subdivision requires that, before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license;
    So yeah, far be it from me to disagree with a "user" opinion, and perhaps it's majority wishful thinking on my part, but when I see "licensed to do so by the state..." that shouts reciprocity loud and clear to me. Virginia has said that my Utah permit allows me to carry a concealed handgun. I don't know how it could be any clearer without actually saying it.

    I guess it would come down to what a legal definition of "licensed to do so" would be.

    ETA: As long as the other state requires a background check, and Virginia uses that to determine reciprocity, that would seem to cover all the bases.

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 11-14-2010 at 11:05 PM.

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Note that it appears that a CHP licensee OCing in one of these zones needn't be in possession of the CHP, nor need the licensee present it... Odd eh?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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