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Thread: OC In West Virginia

  1. #1
    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Question OC In West Virginia

    I've OC'ed in WV a few times over the past month and haven't had any negative encounters to date. When I posted about a few OC journey's into the state of WV, I got a couple of reply posts back about OC supposedly only being legal for WV residents and supposedly not legal for others from the surrounding states (Kentucky). I've read the WV AG's statement saying something to the effect that OC was only "deemed" legal for WV resdients by WV LEO but that's not a law, simply a statement.

    So, I'm posting here to see what our WV cousins have to say about the issue.
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    I've read it's not legal for "foreigners", but the thing is unless you are driving, well, law enforcement really can't demand ID. Not saying that would be the right thing to do, but neither is restricting the 2nd amendment. Give me a little time and I will see if I can find the law regarding this in WV.

  3. #3
    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    To date, I've been able to OC in and around the Huntington area (Huntington Mall, Gabriel Brothers, CiCi's Pizza, Best Buy, etc). If this is true that OC is only legal for WV residents then OCDO needs to update the states page for WV as it's listed as legal for OC in general.

    I've been looking around and have yet to find anything definitive about this, perhaps I need to contact the WV AG in reference to this issue. If this is the case, it most definitely needs to be addressed and changed.
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    I have OC'd several times in the past year when visiting family in WV, with no problem. Last time I checked the laws, it was perfectly legal for out of state residents to carry.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    That whole "OC is only legal for Residents" thing is complete and utter BS, with no support or basis in Statute OR common law precedent in WV case law.

    It was made up out of whole cloth by some cop (i believe a State Trooper in the Wheeling Area) several years ago, while on an OC harassment campaign, and the AG issued an opinion that neither confirmed or denied it's validity.

    However, the WV Sheriff's association believes that OC is legal in WV for all law-abiding people--residents or not--and as the "Supreme Law Enforcement Authority of the Land", I trust the opinion of the Sheriffs of WV a LOT more than the State Police or the AG's office.

    Where this comes from is either an idiotic misunderstanding or a deliberate twisting of WV law on CC permit issuance. WV ONLY issues CC permits to residents, and has no provisions for issuing non-resident permits or permits to people who live in other states (like PA, UT, FL, and VA do). Perhaps some not-too-literate folks at the State Police and the AGs office thought that since WV doesn't issue CC permits to non-residents, that somehow prohibits out-of-staters from OCing.

    But then there is that little catch in WV where NO PERMIT IS REQUIRED for OC...

    Duh...
    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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    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
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    I read every statute there was in the WV state code concerning the carrying of firearms about a year ago. I ran into this same question about non-residents open carrying. I spent a long time researching this before I OCed in WV, as I'm a SC resident.

    The only statue that exists that prohibits some group of people from open carrying of a "deadly weapon" is §61-7-8, and it only has to do with age.

    §61-7-8. Possession of deadly weapons by minors; prohibitions.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, a person under the age of eighteen years who is not married or otherwise emancipated shall not possess or carry concealed or openly any deadly weapon...
    You will find no statue prohibiting non-residents from openly carrying a "deadly weapon", therefore, it is LEGAL for a non-resident to open carry a "deadly weapon" in WV.

    The AG opinions do not carry the weight of the law, nor does the opinions of law enforcement. All that the AG said about open carry was an opinion. The only things that matters are the statutes and case law. It is not illegal for non-residents to OC in WV.

    There was a thread discussing this very topic. In it, the WVCDL, or someone, contacted the WV AG to get him to fix his "opinion" to sate that residents and non-residents can openly carry a handgun. The AG did change what he wrote in his pamphlet/booklet, but instead of stating resident/non-residents can openly carry, the AG stated that "the ability to carry openly is deemed by law enforcement to apply only to West Virginia residents."

    Essentially, the AG tried to take the liability of being wrong off of himself and put it on WV law enforcement.

    Again, non-residents can LEGALLY open carry a firearm in WV.


    EDIT: Dreamer, stop posting stuff as I'm typing, lol. Good info, though!

  7. #7
    Regular Member neuroblades's Avatar
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    Bravo & Congratulation to everyone that's been posting on this issue. That's what I like to see on this forum, multi-state communications in a friendly manner. Thanks go out to the two gentlemen that did the footwork on this topic and were considerate enough to post it.
    Got SIG? MOLON LABE

  8. #8
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    It seems that EVERY YEAR this issue rears its ugly head around the holidays. Apparently, People who are to be traveling obtain copies of the WV AG's "West Virginia GunLaws" brochure--which they STILL haven't corrected even though WVCDL has been hounding them to do so for several years--and they read the silly line about "resident-only OC" being legal in WV...

    In January of 2010, there was a long and protracted discussion on this same forum on this same topic, and I had the final word on this issue (not because it was definitive, but because nobody commented after I did...). Here is a link to that post:

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...=1#post1114673

    Apparently, when the AG published their warnings about how WV LEOs "interpret the law", he forgot to actually ASK the WV State Police how THEY interpret the law on OC. If he had taken the time to look at their freaking website, he would have found this statement:

    http://www.statepolice.wv.gov/about/...isionFAQs.aspx
    Q. Is it lawful to carry weapons (e.g. rifles, shotguns, and pistols) in my vehicle when I travel in West Virginia?

    A. Individuals who possess a valid concealed carry permit may carry a concealed handgun in a motor vehicle for purpose of self defense only. West Virginia permits anyone who can lawfully possess a handgun to carry an unconcealed handgun. If you choose to carry an unconcealed handgun in your vehicle and are stopped by a law-enforcement officer, you must understand that that the weapon will immediately attract the attention of the police officer. The presence of the weapon may lead to action by the officer to ensure his or her safety such as the drawing of his or her weapon, ordering you from the vehicle, and/or performing a pat-down search. Weapons intended for hunting must be unloaded and in a case when transported in a vehicle. It is strongly recommended that, if you do not have a valid concealed carry permit, while traveling in a vehicle, that all firearms be unloaded and cased in a location in the vehicle that is not readily accessible to any of the occupants. Any ammunition should be stored in a separate location from the firearm.

    (The above-cited website is different from the original post, becuase WV State Police changed their registered domain name. It took me nearly an hour to find the information on their new website. It's like they don't want people to know their own official statement on the matter or something--like they are INTENTIONALLY trying to hide the truth or something...)
    Last edited by Dreamer; 11-23-2011 at 09:43 PM.
    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

  9. #9
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    While visiting my family in Wheeling over the Holidays, I OCed in the Kohl's and the Mexican restaurant at the Highlands. No issues whatsoever...

    I'll be visiting Wheeling again in the Spring, and plan do do a LOT more wandering around the area, and so I will have an even more comprehensive list of places where I OC, to include (of course) Cabela's at the Highlands, as well as various places downtown in Wheeling, Elm Grove, and Glen Dale.

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!
    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

  10. #10
    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    While visiting my family in Wheeling over the Holidays, I OCed in the Kohl's and the Mexican restaurant at the Highlands. No issues whatsoever...

    I'll be visiting Wheeling again in the Spring, and plan do do a LOT more wandering around the area, and so I will have an even more comprehensive list of places where I OC, to include (of course) Cabela's at the Highlands, as well as various places downtown in Wheeling, Elm Grove, and Glen Dale.

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!
    Thats good to hear.
    I remember a couple of years ago a few OC'ers were harassed for it.
    Hopefully the Wheeling PD got their act together.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I visited Martinsburg today, to take care of some business, and of course, since this trip took me out of the People's Republic of MD, it was a perfect excuse to OC. After transporting my firearm out of MD per MD law (unloaded, locked in the back of my vehicle), the MINUTE I "crossed the moat" I stopped at a gas station and put my Para where it belongs--loaded and on my hip in a Serpa...

    I stopped at the Sheets between Harpers Ferry and Charlestown to get some lunch, and one fella came up to me and nodded at my Para and said to me "man, I'm SOOO jealous. That's a REALLY nice Para P-14 you have there... Anyone say anything to you about carrying it like that?"

    I stuck out my hand to him for a handshake and told him, that he was the first person to comment on it today, and I also congratulated him on not only correctly identifying it as a Para, but the correct model. We had a long talk in the Sheetz about gun rights, and the law--he was from MD, and was bemoaning his inability to legally carry--despite the fact that as a contractor, his work took him ALL over the area--PA, VA, MD and WV. He had a FL non-resident permit, which covers him in VA and WV (but not in PA, I learned, and obviously not in MD), and we talked about MD's stupid permit issuance policy. All in all it was a VERY positive encounter.

    I OCed in Martinsburg--to my storage unit, and to the Tractor Supply in Martinsburg. Nobody so much as blinked.

    I also OCed in the Home Depot in Ranson to buy a wooden dowel for some bookshelves we are building, and to pick up some corks for a batch of cordial I will be bottling this weekend. Again, not so much as a second glance from anyone.

    Man, it was nice to OC again--if only for a few hours. I will be finding more excuses to visit Martinsbug in the future--you can be sure of that!

    Maryland sucks...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 12-30-2011 at 10:06 PM.
    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

  12. #12
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Dreamer, you did tell him he could OC in PA, right? Just be careful in Philly

  13. #13
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    Dreamer, you did tell him he could OC in PA, right? Just be careful in Philly
    I didn't realize that. He told me that a cop in PA had recently told him that PA had recently changed the law to NOT recognize FL non-res permits. I did tell him he needed to research that, because I didn't think it was correct, but couldn't point him to any definitive law, ruling, or statute...

    Upon further research, I realize that you are correct and he was mistaken. The PA AG has issued a ruling stating that PA recognizes certain permits under reciprocity (like FL) based on the fact that the PERMIT is valid, and NOT based on the residency of the permit holder...

    Here is the official quotation from the PA AG's website:

    "The following states have entered into formal written reciprocity agreements with Pennsylvania under section 6109(k) of the Uniform Firearms Act. These agreements provide for reciprocal recognition of valid licenses/permits issued by both states. Recognition in Pennsylvania is based on the individual's issuance of a valid license/permit by the reciprocal contracting state, and not on the license/permit holder's place of residence. "
    http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/crime.aspx?id=184
    Last edited by Dreamer; 01-02-2012 at 12:45 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

  14. #14
    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I visited Martinsburg today, to take care of some business, and of course, since this trip took me out of the People's Republic of MD, it was a perfect excuse to OC. After transporting my firearm out of MD per MD law (unloaded, locked in the back of my vehicle), the MINUTE I "crossed the moat" I stopped at a gas station and put my Para where it belongs--loaded and on my hip in a Serpa...

    I stopped at the Sheets between Harpers Ferry and Charlestown to get some lunch, and one fella came up to me and nodded at my Para and said to me "man, I'm SOOO jealous. That's a REALLY nice Para P-14 you have there... Anyone say anything to you about carrying it like that?"

    I stuck out my hand to him for a handshake and told him, that he was the first person to comment on it today, and I also congratulated him on not only correctly identifying it as a Para, but the correct model. We had a long talk in the Sheetz about gun rights, and the law--he was from MD, and was bemoaning his inability to legally carry--despite the fact that as a contractor, his work took him ALL over the area--PA, VA, MD and WV. He had a FL non-resident permit, which covers him in VA and WV (but not in PA, I learned, and obviously not in MD), and we talked about MD's stupid permit issuance policy. All in all it was a VERY positive encounter.

    I OCed in Martinsburg--to my storage unit, and to the Tractor Supply in Martinsburg. Nobody so much as blinked.

    I also OCed in the Home Depot in Ranson to buy a wooden dowel for some bookshelves we are building, and to pick up some corks for a batch of cordial I will be bottling this weekend. Again, not so much as a second glance from anyone.

    Man, it was nice to OC again--if only for a few hours. I will be finding more excuses to visit Martinsbug in the future--you can be sure of that!

    Maryland sucks...


    That was a great OC contact.
    I grew up in Maryland also, and there's nothing better than informing those still imprisoned in that state about how we can legally carry in other states.

    Whats bad is, that except for D.C. the right to carry is legal in all of the surrounding states of Maryland.
    I sure wish the MD state police would stop acting like the gestapo regarding issuing MD CHL's.

    If Maryland would go to having a Shall Issue status, I would actually thin about moving back to Maryland.
    However, I would NEVER move back to the Baltimore/D.C. corridor. Just too many ignorant individuals who live there.
    Western MD or the Eastern shore would be nice places to live.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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