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Driving through Virginia

09jisaac

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Apr 13, 2011
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1,693
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Louisa, Kentucky
I will be driving through Virginia in a couple of days and just want to make certain that I know the laws. I have searched through the threads and just want to make sure.

I have a valid Kentucky concealed carry license, do not have any felony charges/convictions and I never drink alcohol.

Virginia has complete preemption of all firearm laws, so all laws are uniform across the state.
I can carry openly with or without a permit or concealed because I have a permit that Virginia recognizes.
I can carry into a place that serves alcohol with my firearm, most likely concealed.
Signs do have the weight of law.
Since I have a permit I can store my weapon any way I like in my vehicle.

I do not have to inform an officer that I am carrying, but if I am asked then I must provide my license only if I am carrying concealed.
I can legally record an officer with or without is consent or knowledge.

This is how I interpreted the limited information I read about your fine state. If I am wrong, I would greatly appreciate a correction. I would also appreciate any other information that I may need to know such as any other right I have in a police encounter.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

ProShooter

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This gets debated all the time. My opinion is that the trespassing statute very clearly tells you what you should know.

Short answer is, if you know the place doesn't like you having a gun there because of a sign, then do the responsible thing and don't bring your gun in there. Don't start playing games of semantics with signs or no signs, and whether they have the force of law behind them. Its their private property, respect their wishes as you would want someone to do on your property.
 

riverrat10k

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Basic recap looks pretty good, except as cited above abut signs.

Lots of little quirks concerning prohibited areas--courthouses, church while church is in session, schools. Still some debate over lessee/lessor rights as to state premption and applicability of certain "regulations" imposed by various types of "authorities", i.e. some hospitals, colleges, public/private entities, etc. ad nauseum.
 

09jisaac

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I thank everyone who responded.

I am grateful for that corrections. In Kentucky "no firearm" rules/signs are usually in a list of rules or in a clutter of signs, making it difficult to notice at a glance. I avoid places that do not respect my self defense every time I have the option, but the signs are not always noticed.

I do not think I will have any problems on my way through Virginia.
 

TFred

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Most historic town in, Virginia, USA
A couple of notes:

Basic recap looks pretty good, except as cited above abut signs.

Lots of little quirks concerning prohibited areas--courthouses, church while church is in session, schools. Still some debate over lessee/lessor rights as to state premption and applicability of certain "regulations" imposed by various types of "authorities", i.e. some hospitals, colleges, public/private entities, etc. ad nauseum.
The church carry question was settled by the AG's opinion that self-defense is a lawful reason to carry, even in a church service.

Beware.....

Va. § 18.2-308

section J3. No person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in § 4.1-100 for which a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 of the Code of Virginia may consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of such a restaurant or club and consumes alcoholic beverages is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, nothing in this subsection shall apply to a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer.
OP stated quite clearly: "I never drink alcohol," rendering moot your warning against doing so while carrying concealed.

TFred
 

riverrat10k

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He said he doesn't drink alcohol.

Oops, sorry Tfred! Mea culpa on the church rule. Still an AG opinion and not the law. It is still illegal based on the statute, with a legal "out", similar to the concealed handgun laws.

(thread derail ended)
 
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scouser

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804, VA
[snip]

OP stated quite clearly: "I never drink alcohol," rendering moot your warning against doing so while carrying concealed.

TFred
yep TFred, those of us who bother to read everything stated knew we didn't need to comment on the OP's statement about being able to carry concealed into a place serving alcohol.
 

TFred

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He said he doesn't drink alcohol.

Oops, sorry Tfred! Mea culpa on the church rule. Still an AG opinion and not the law. It is still illegal based on the statute, with a legal "out", similar to the concealed handgun laws.

(thread derail ended)
I respectfully but absolutely disagree with any assertion that it is still (or ever has been) illegal. The law states that it is illegal "without good and sufficient reason". How can anyone say that self-defense is not a good and sufficient reason with any more authority than any other person can say that it is, especially given our current climate that OC for the purpose of self-defense is generally accepted and legal throughout the entire state. There would be no legal reason to support that act being illegal in a church and nowhere else.

That was the purpose of the AG opinion, not to say that the law didn't mean what it says, but to clarify that what it says does allow for the carry of self-defensive weapons by law abiding citizens. As many others have posed, what reason could be any better or more sufficient than to defend one's life from a violent criminal attack?

Perhaps just semantics, but very important semantics.

BTW, I firmly believe that as long as things remain stable or better on the SCOTUS, we are heading in this direction for several Federal statutes as well (such as carry at the Post Office), because the Federal statutes generally include exceptions for "other lawful purposes", which self-defense CLEARLY is - just not acknowledged by a high enough court yet.

TFred

ETA: I re-read your post, and I understand better what you were saying... that it is a general prohibition EXCEPT for the good and sufficient reason. This is why the whole section on church carry is useless and should be deleted... it's unclear, confusing, and unnecessary, since there are multiple other laws that would still cover a criminal carrying in a church service anyway.
 
Last edited:

B. Reddy

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Jul 9, 2011
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Location
Orange County, Virginia
09jisaac-

Enjoy your drive thru Virginia. It looks like both our commonwealths are singing from the same hymnal.

From our Attorney General's clarification of a 2010 amended law: http://www.oag.state.va.us/Opinions and Legal Resources/Opinions/2012opns/11-111 Newman.pdf

"You also ask whether a center console, glove compartment or any other "container or
compartment'' must be locked to constitute a "secured container or compartment." The legislative history
of the 2010 amendment shows that the container or compartment storing the handgun need not be locked
for the exception to apply. When § 18.2-308 was amended to include § 18.2-308(B)(10), "locked in a
container or compattment'' was considered as possible statutory language; however, "secured in a
container or compartment" was the wording that was ultimately adopted. By choosing "secured" instead
of "locked," the General Assembly evinced its intention that a handgun may be carried in a vehicle without
requiring the container or compartment storing it to be locked."


and also:

"It is my opinion that, provided the handgun is properly secured in a container or compartment
within the vehicle, persons who may lawfully possess a firearm but have not been issued a concealed
weapons permit may possess, in a vehicle, a handgun that is loaded and the handgun may remain within
reach of a driver or passenger under such conditions."

That should prevent any legal hassles for your passenger(s) who may not have a CHP if you have to leave the car briefly to, oh, I don't know, maybe re-supply your stash of Slim-Jims?

Happy Independence Day!
 

skidmark

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Nice job, everyone, but where are your manners? Everybody forget to say "Welcome"? Nobody ask where the OP will be so we can figure out if a meet&greet could be arranged?

09jisaac - Welcome to Virginia. When will you be here, and where? Asking so we can see if anybody is local and if so to see if you are interested in setting up a meet&greet.

From what I hear you will find Virginia a bit more relaxed than home.

stay safe.
 

riverrat10k

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on a rock in the james river
snip

Perhaps just semantics, but very important semantics.

snip

ETA: I re-read your post, and I understand better what you were saying... that it is a general prohibition EXCEPT for the good and sufficient reason. This is why the whole section on church carry is useless and should be deleted... it's unclear, confusing, and unnecessary, since there are multiple other laws that would still cover a criminal carrying in a church service anyway.
I think you explained it better than I, and make a better arguement for how the law should be read.
I think this is either a "feel good" statute or a "pile on the charges" statute. Nor more, no less.

Thx!
 

09jisaac

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Louisa, Kentucky
Nice job, everyone, but where are your manners? Everybody forget to say "Welcome"? Nobody ask where the OP will be so we can figure out if a meet&greet could be arranged?

09jisaac - Welcome to Virginia. When will you be here, and where? Asking so we can see if anybody is local and if so to see if you are interested in setting up a meet&greet.

From what I hear you will find Virginia a bit more relaxed than home.

stay safe.
I will be, most likely, just be traveling through the western most tip of of Virginia as I have to meet my sister at Pikeville, KY. I am heading from Louisa, Ky to Myrtle Beach, SC. I think we will be taking 23 all the way down. I do not know because I am not in charge of the directions, for some reason.

I hate to pass up an opportunity to make a new friend/friends but I do not think we will be stopping much. I would like to meet up, but I just don't see it happening.

Thanks for the offer, I hope one day I can take one (or multiple) of you all up on it.

Also, thanks for all the information. I am confident I can carry a firearm in your fine state without getting crossways of the law.
 

peter nap

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I hate to pass up an opportunity to make a new friend/friends but I do not think we will be stopping much. I would like to meet up, but I just don't see it happening.

Thanks for the offer, I hope one day I can take one (or multiple) of you all up on it.

Also, thanks for all the information. I am confident I can carry a firearm in your fine state without getting crossways of the law.
That's the beauty of the internet. You can still make new friends and not stop. You don't have to be planning a trip to come over here and visit.
 

SouthernBoy

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May 12, 2007
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Western Prince William County, Virginia, USA
He said he doesn't drink alcohol.

Oops, sorry Tfred! Mea culpa on the church rule. Still an AG opinion and not the law. It is still illegal based on the statute, with a legal "out", similar to the concealed handgun laws.

(thread derail ended)
I need to go check this but as I recall, the way the law is written regarding churches in session and carrying is for "good and sufficient reason" [not sure that is the exact verbiage]. In other words, I do not think the word is "shall not...".
 

Grapeshot

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I need to go check this but as I recall, the way the law is written regarding churches in session and carrying is for "good and sufficient reason" [not sure that is the exact verbiage]. In other words, I do not think the word is "shall not...".
Your memory is good - rather than "shall not" it reads "shall be."

§ 18.2-283. Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship.

If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, [highlight]without good and sufficient reason[/highlight], to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he [highlight]shall be[/highlight] guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

Past church shootings and the enriched environment provide "good and sufficient reason" for me.
 

user

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1) That's the best summary I've seen.

2) An AG's opinion is just that, an opinion; it's an informed opinion (just like that of any other lawyer) that will be given some deference by a judge, who will be no more bound by that opinion than by mine, and will ultimately do what he thinks is right (in theory). If someone calls the cops because you're OC'ing during the worship service, you can be arrested, charged, and if the Commonwealth's Attorney wishes to prosecute, you can be convicted. You may have a very good defense, and a right to appeal. Save up about six thousand bucks, though, to pay legal fees and expenses for dealing with the process.

3) Vote with your dollars; if a place has a sign up that says you don't have the right to defend yourself and your family in their establishment, don't spend money there.

4) The Kaintuck Territory CHP is good in Va. If demanded by a law enforcement officer, and you're carrying concealed, you must produce the CHP and a photo-identification produced by a governmental agency.

5) Note that Virginia does cities, counties, and towns differently than any other state. In some places you can be stopped by a sheriff's deputy AND a local cop; in others, only by a deputy, in others, only by a cop, and anywhere by a state trooper in addition to the others. If a jurisdiction has a police department, then the sheriff's deputies do not have general arrest powers within that jurisdiction; otherwise, the sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer. A "town" is entirely within a county. A county may have its own PD, and the town may or may not. A "city" is independent of any county, and will have its own PD or sheriff, but there are no county LEO's with jurisdiction in a city. So the car that stops you may be a white police car, a white sheriff's traffic control car, a brown sheriff's car, a grey and blue VSP trooper's car, or an unmarked car. The flashing lights will be blue, red, or blue and red, depending on the nature of the jurisdiction. Is that clear as mud?
 

peter nap

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Now you have it 09!

This site is blessed with legal knowledge including our own legal scholar (User).

I generally try to double check everything I get on the net except User's posts. His information is written in stone.
 
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