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Thread: unloaded weapon

  1. #1
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    unloaded weapon

    I have a small P238 that was purchased for concealed carry, and would like to open carry until such a time as I have my CWP. I would like to carry it with me throughout my workday as I'm never sure when I'll have large amounts of other people's money. Thing is, I do not want to open carry when in the various locations I am working, but I also do not feel comfortable leaving a weapon unattended in my vehicle as the gun cost more than what my deductable on my vehicle does. What would be ideal for me, but I'm unsure of the legality, would be to unload the weapon when I am somewhere I do not want to open carry and drop the pistol in my pocket leaving the ammo and magazine locked in the vehicle. My question is, is an unloaded gun in your pocket with no ammo on your person still considered a concealed weapon. My guess would be yes, but I'd rather ask from those more knowledgable and experienced with the laws concerning open carry.

  2. #2
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.

    A good resource for questions like yours is http://www.handgunlaw.us/
    Without searching through your state laws, my first reaction is the same as yours - even if it's unloaded it's still considered a concealed weapon.
    Hopefully there are some WV residents who are familiar with your laws who can provide citations & links.

    Here's a link to WV statutes, with a search function: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/code.cfm

    AHA! Here's what you want (that blue word 'here' has a link to the law - click on it):
    61-7-2. Definitions
    "Concealed" means hidden from ordinary observation so as to prevent disclosure or recognition. A deadly weapon is concealed when it is carried on or about the person in such a manner that another person in the ordinary course of events would not be placed on notice that the deadly weapon was being carried.
    BTW, law enforcement is traditionally a very bad source for legal advice, so I'd advise against asking them. Some (Ayoob, LawDog) are very knowledgable. Way too many across the country have shown through their words & actions that they don't know the laws.

    Out of curiosity, why not just carry it? Or if you want to have it unloaded, carry the pistol in a holster & the ammo in your pocket.
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  3. #3
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    I go into various businesses and offices for my work. My destinations are some of the most unlikely places you could ever need a weapon and would personally prefer the personnel at these locations to know nothing of my pistol. The path from hither to yon isn't guaranteed friendly so carrying for the travel could one day be beneficial to my well being. Another downfall of my work is it is impossible to totally conceal items of value within my vehicles making them a higher risk target for break-ins. I thank my lucky stars such a things has never happened, but I do not consider this to be a good form of storage for my pistol.

    I know a CWP is ultimatly the answer, then I can simply carry loaded and concealed virtually anywhere I go, but my appointment for the class isn't for almost another month. I'm just looking for a "meantime" solution as well as to learn.

    I've read through the laws and not found anything that defines it clear enough for my simple mind. I was hoping maybe one of the legalese experts would come along with plain english answer. Common sense says a gun with no ammo isn't very deadly unless you use it like a hammer and a hammer is much more deadly than any pistol in such a scenario; but that being said we also all know laws are in no way based on common sense. I'd like to know what all the BS in the statutes boils down to for me in my situation. Does a handgun with no bullets anywhere on your person constitute a deadly weapon?
    Last edited by LPC; 04-26-2011 at 10:24 AM.

  4. #4
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    uber active forum

    I reckon I'll just assume I'm over a barrel and going to have to risk my gun as I do the rest of my vehicles contents until my CWP is complete...

    MKEgal; Thanks for the resources and response.
    Last edited by LPC; 04-28-2011 at 01:17 AM. Reason: I've got dandy WV grammar skillz!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LPC View Post
    My question is, is an unloaded gun in your pocket with no ammo on your person still considered a concealed weapon.
    Yes, an unloaded gun (even if no ammo is readily accessible) is a deadly weapon as a matter of law and it's concealed if it's in your pocket.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Admitted to practice in West Virginia and Florida.

    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    Life Member, NRA

  6. #6
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    You sir are a gentleman and a scholar. I figured as much. Desperate for a legal solution besides open carry in settings such a thing wouldn't be proper; I've just been using the magazine lock to attach it to a bracket in the upper part of my glove box (seems to be a fairly sturdy support for the passenger side airbag and with such a tiny pistol the included magazine cable lock leaves plenty of slack to mount it in such a way), locking the glove box and the car, dropping the magazine in my pocket, and going about my business. I haven't had to take my truck so I'm unsure what I'll do with it there. CWP will be my final solution.

    Thanks allot.
    Last edited by LPC; 04-28-2011 at 01:22 AM. Reason: more of my dandy WV grammar skillz!

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