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Thread: Hello, a few questions from VA.

  1. #1
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    Hello, a few questions from VA.

    Hello,

    I'm new here and I just had a few questions. I'm sure the questions have been asked before but, I thought I should ask while introducing myself.

    Is it really legal to purchase a handgun through private sale at 18 and open carry it as well? If so how would a cop react to seeing an 18 year old open carrying and is there any legal documents (laws and such) I can keep on my person in case the officer in question isn't familiar with the laws?

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO!!! Stick around an you will learn alot!!!!

    Yes, it is legal to buy a handgun at age 18 from a private seller. It is also okay to OC said handgun. I will look up the cites when I get home unless someone beats me to it. If you conduct yourself in a professional manner, you should not have any problems with an LEO. You can carry a copy of the relevant laws until you feel comfortable reciting them from memory. Also get yourself a good recorder and keep it on anytime you are carrying.

    Check out the Virginia Citizens Defense League. It is a great group dedicated to gun rights in VA. If you go to their website you can sign up for VA-ALERT (on the right side of the page) which is a free email system that will keep you informed about everything gun-related going on in the state. The website is http://www.vcdl.org

    Also check out the Virginia forum here.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 08-12-2011 at 07:37 PM.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  3. #3
    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    Cautionary note: this thread is not limited to Virginians, so you might want to check out the "stories from the states: Virginia" forum; and I am an attorney only in Virginia, so what I say here is of limited application:

    Yes. Possession of a handgun by a person over the age of eighteen is legal if that person is otherwise eligible to be in possession (not a felon, not crazy, not an illegal immigrant, etc.).

    Open carry is permitted with a few restrictions on where you can go (no courthouses, not in church during worship services without a "good and sufficient reason", not in "federal facilities", etc.).

    Transfer of personal property within the Commonwealth is not generally regulated at all. You may not knowingly buy a firearm from someone knowing the same to have been stolen, or knowing that you're not eligible to receive it. Etc., etc.

    Take a look at the private transfer bill of sale form I've got on my website - scroll down below the picture of the mailbox and download the pdf file (opening the file within a browser will get you a low resolution copy, so that's not recommended).

    http://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Thanks

    Thank you both for your replies. I was considering posting this in the Va section but it said stories from virginia. Would I be able to find the applicable laws on the vcdl website or somewhere else?

    Thanks again for the welcome and advice.

  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Artaeus,
    Welcome to OCDO! Virginia is a "Gold Star" state with regard to firearms freedoms, and you will find OC to be generally a non-issue in VA. I notice you are in Seaford, York County. Sheriff Danny Diggs is about as pro Second Amendment as an LEO can be, and a real stand-up guy in any event, so you are in a part of the state where LEO harrasment is about nil. I would strongly suggest you come to some of the OCDO dinners that happen on the peninsula from time to time. (Sheriff Diggs has attended two of them, by the way.) You will see them announced on the board. I recall an under-21 guy named Alex, who used to OC'd regularly around the peninsula and southside. His father was somewaht anti-gun, or at least not vary favorably disposed to them at first, but Alex brought him around along with pretty much his whole family up in NOVA. He bought a pistol from someone down here I think, and carried quite regularly, with no significant hassles. He is now finishing up college in the western part of the state. A friend of his "t33j", who also attends ODU, is a regular OCer and posts frequently in the Virginia boards. He may be 21 now, I don't recall, but I know he started well before then. Anyway, join VCDL and come to one of our "OCDOs" (OpenCarryDiningOut)!

  6. #6
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Just so you don't get your hopes up...

    There are not going to be any direct cites that say "you may buy a gun in a private sale if you are 18", or that "you may open carry if you are 18".

    The way the laws are written, what you will find cited is that:

    1. Federal law says you may not purchase a gun from a licensed dealer unless you are 21.

    2. (Federal or Virginia or both?) law restricts possession of firearms by those under 18.

    3. Virginia does not write laws saying what is legal, only what is not legal. No mention of open carry, therefore it is not illegal, therefore it is legal, by anyone who is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a gun. People under 18 are generally restricted (except with a guardian, blah, blah), so people over 18 are not.

    Once you add all these laws up, the end result is that from 18-21, you may purchase from a private seller, and you may open carry.

    This is a summary of what the various cites will all add up to say, assuming someone wants to take the time to post them.

    TFred

  7. #7
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artaeus View Post
    Thank you both for your replies. I was considering posting this in the Va section but it said stories from virginia. Would I be able to find the applicable laws on the vcdl website or somewhere else?

    Thanks again for the welcome and advice.
    The first thing you need to know is that with very few exceptions the purpose of the Virginia code is not to grant citizens permission to do things, but to restrict freedoms. So you won't find a law that says it's ok for people 18 and older to buy and carry a handgun. Just like you won't find a law that says it's ok to open carry.

    This is basically the only place in the code that I've found that deals with firearms possession and age.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-308.7
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artaeus View Post
    Would I be able to find the applicable laws on the vcdl website or somewhere else?
    OCDO has a summary of VA laws here:
    http://www.opencarry.org/va.html

    HandgunLaw.us also has one here (that deals more with Concealed Carry... but still good information)
    http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/virginia.pdf

    And of course you already found the treasure trove of information.... right here on this forum. There are some great people here, who have spent MANY years fighting for gun rights in Virginia. They are a wealth of knowledge....

  9. #9
    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    "Stories from the States" is not really restricted to "stories". There's a lot of information already posted that will probably answer ninety percent of the questions you could think of. Unfortunately, the "search" function doesn't work all that well, or at least didn't the last time I tried.

    One technical legal point: you can "own" a gun at any age in Virginia; you may not be "in possession" of the handgun until you're eighteen without parents/supervisors present, taking a course, participating in sports, etc. There's a difference between title and possession.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I'm late to the party so will not try to add to what my esteemed colleagues and friends have already told you about the legalities and technicalities of ownership and carrying.

    I'll just add another "Welcome!" to OCDO, to Virginia, to firearm ownership and to taking responsibility for your own care and safety. And second the suggestion to join VCDL - you can do it on-line at www.vcdl.org and tweak the nose of anti0gun PayPal by using them to transfer your membership payment. It's not a big thing, but every little bit helps.

    Go to as many of the open carry meal meetings as you can. You will meet great folks, learn lots (and not just about guns and OC) and enjoy some good food.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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    Welcome!

    Although your major questions have been answered, I would personaly like to assure you that you should be just fine open carry while 18-21. I did it myself for about 2 and a half years, and I never had a negative encounter with a law enforcement officer. There are also several others here on the forum who either have or currently do open carry while under the age of 21.

    I say go for it!

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    Thanks for all those great resources. I am seriously considering joining the VCDL very soon, I already am a member of the NRA but I'd like to contribute to something more local. After doing a lot of reading I became comfortable with the laws. So I bought a PX4 Storm (.40) through private sale and I will probably open carry in the coming days.

    Thanks for everyone's patience and expediency.

    Also, Skidmark I read about your case and wish you the best. (Though it seems you are in good hands.) I'll try to contribute to the fund if I can.

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    Others have made the valid point that the Commonwealth's laws don't specifically say OC is legal, but there is one major exception, I think. The constitution of the Commonwealth, Art. I, sec. 13 says citizens have the right to "bear" arms. Perhaps User can put a finer point on this, but it surely seems straightforward to me: concealed carry is a privilege granted by the state and requires a permit; open carry is a right protected by our constitution, and this would apply to all adults (except those disqualified by felony convictions, etc).

    Nicht Wahr?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artaeus View Post
    I am seriously considering joining the VCDL very soon...
    Even if you don't actually join VCDL now, you should sign up for the VA-Alert emails. Its a ton of good information... most of it Virginia related. And its free...

    http://www.vcdl.org/static/va-alert.html

  15. #15
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch Uncle View Post
    Others have made the valid point that the Commonwealth's laws don't specifically say OC is legal, but there is one major exception, I think. The constitution of the Commonwealth, Art. I, sec. 13 says citizens have the right to "bear" arms. Perhaps User can put a finer point on this, but it surely seems straightforward to me: concealed carry is a privilege granted by the state and requires a permit; open carry is a right protected by our constitution, and this would apply to all adults (except those disqualified by felony convictions, etc).

    Nicht Wahr?
    The constitutions protect and enumerate rights, but they are not the source of those (natural) rights. The founders believed they were "given by [man's] Creator". Whatever you believe is the source of natural rights, I very much take issue with the idea that our government gives them to us. What the documents do provide are legal rights which may or may not be in line with the natural ones...

    Currently, legally, yes, concealed carry is a privilege and open carry is a right but that's only because the current court opinions on the matter says so. Where in either document does it say that arms must be carried only openly?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  16. #16
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t33j View Post
    ....

    Currently, legally, yes, concealed carry is a privilege and open carry is a right but that's only because the current court opinions on the matter says so. Where in either document does it say that arms must be carried only openly?
    Neither document would say that the individual must do anything. THe documents are discussions about what The People say the government may do and what the government is prohibited from doing.

    But I know what you are trying to say - that because statutory law does not prohibit open carry it is the default "not illegal" mode. And as for court opinions - they had better remain (for the most part - regarding those that do not) a recitation of what the constitutions and statutes say, as opposed to some judge's "personal opinion" of how they think things ought to be.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  17. #17
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    For reference, this is the particular case I had in mind: http://supreme.justia.com/us/165/275/case.html

    The opinion of the court says that state prohibitions on concealed carry are not unreasonable restrictions on the RKBA. Virginia and most other states have such prohibitions, but also allow exemptions (CHPs) if you ask nicely.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  18. #18
    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artaeus View Post
    Thanks for all those great resources. I am seriously considering joining the VCDL very soon, I already am a member of the NRA but I'd like to contribute to something more local. After doing a lot of reading I became comfortable with the laws. So I bought a PX4 Storm (.40) through private sale and I will probably open carry in the coming days.

    Thanks for everyone's patience and expediency.

    Also, Skidmark I read about your case and wish you the best. (Though it seems you are in good hands.) I'll try to contribute to the fund if I can.
    Welcome to OCDO. Nice gun! I've had one of those on my radar for a while now.

    Once the York County Deputies learn you're of legal age, you should be fine. (You may get stopped if you look young, so while not required, you may want to consider carrying your gov't issued photo ID aka Diver's License.) Also, watch the 1000' distance around schools rule (Federal GFZA).
    Last edited by 2a4all; 08-13-2011 at 08:40 PM.
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

  19. #19
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2a4all View Post
    Also, watch the 1000' distance around schools rule (Federal GFZA).
    I'm really not sure why people even say this. It's almost literally impossible to not violate this law in most areas of the state.

    TFred

  20. #20
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artaeus View Post
    Hello,

    I'm new here and I just had a few questions.
    Welcome. Send me a S.A.2S.E. for some free VA Open Carry Cards.

    Ed
    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
    - - - -
    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

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