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What constitutes "concealed" in VA?

MAC702

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Jul 31, 2011
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Nevada
Is there a "1/3 visible" rule as to what constitutes a concealed versus an openly carried handgun in VA?

I read a post on another forum that doesn't make people cite their assertions, but I've been reading VA-heavy OCDO so long that I thought I'd have seen it discussed here if it were true.

I tried a search, but didn't come up with anything that showed where you draw the line.
 

jegoodin

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Jul 9, 2006
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Stafford, Virginia, USA
Is there a "1/3 visible" rule as to what constitutes a concealed versus an openly carried handgun in VA?

I read a post on another forum that doesn't make people cite their assertions, but I've been reading VA-heavy OCDO so long that I thought I'd have seen it discussed here if it were true.

I tried a search, but didn't come up with anything that showed where you draw the line.
There is no such thing as a 1/3 rule in VA. The standard in VA is "hidden from common observation".


§ 18.2-308. Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions; penalty.

A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second violation of this section or a conviction under this section subsequent to any conviction under any substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, and a third or subsequent such violation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. For the purpose of this section, a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's true nature. It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of clause (i) regarding a handgun, that a person had been issued, at the time of the offense, a valid concealed handgun permit.
 

MAC702

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Thank you! I passed it on with the full citation of the law. Why do people talk out of their ass?
 

Grapeshot

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We operate on the 100% rule - ifn you can sees enough of it to know what it is, then it be 100% good.

Note to Mac - some people tend to talk out of the oriface furtherest from their brain.
 
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skidmark

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Thank you! I passed it on with the full citation of the law. Why do people talk out of their ass?
Because it's so close to their brain?



Sorry. I just could not resist that straight line.

stay safe.
 

TFred

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Most historic town in, Virginia, USA
We operate on the 100% rule - ifn you can sees enough of it to know what it is, then it be 100% good.
This would seem to be quite sufficient. You might raise this question on your other forum: Under what circumstance could having less than some arbitrary percentage of a gun visible cause a problem? No matter what the number may be, any potential law enforcement officer is either going to (A) see it and recognize it for what it is, or (B) they are not going to see it well enough to recognize what it is.

In the case of (A), then it's obviously NOT concealed, because they saw it and recognized it for what it was.
In the case of (B), if they don't see and recognize it as being a gun, why would they be talking to you about it?

TFred
 

Grapeshot

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This would seem to be quite sufficient. You might raise this question on your other forum: Under what circumstance could having less than some arbitrary percentage of a gun visible cause a problem? No matter what the number may be, any potential law enforcement officer is either going to (A) see it and recognize it for what it is, or (B) they are not going to see it well enough to recognize what it is.

In the case of (A), then it's obviously NOT concealed, because they saw it and recognized it for what it was.
In the case of (B), if they don't see and recognize it as being a gun, why would they be talking to you about it?

TFred
In my previous life, when I worked for compensation, that is exactly the point I raised with a RPD officer when he asked, "Do you have a permit for that?"

Smiled, did not show permit, and since my 7-11 purchase was complete I returned to my truck and departed :)
 

SouthernBoy

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Western Prince William County, Virginia, USA
I know of a case* some years back where a man was arrested by an officer who saw most of his belt holster. In court when the judge heard the case, he threw it out and admonished the officer because he had not seen a firearm.... just a holster so he had no PC for the arrest.


* I heard this from a very precise co-worker years ago and have no first person knowledge of this case.
 

ProShooter

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Why do people talk out of their ass?
Because sadly, a large majority of gun owners "think" that they know the law.....just like they "think" that they know how to shoot. These are the people who heard this or that from someone, or read it on the internet, or learned it from the kid working at the local gun store.

When you suggest real training to them, like taking a class on the law, or learning how to shoot, most can't be bothered. You know what I hear from them? "Why should I pay for a class when I can get my info for free from the internet?"......When it comes to shooting, I hear "I've been shooting all my life/hunting/army/marines/navy/used to be something somewhere/etc." These are the same folks that shoot holes in the ceiling at your local range, or sweep you with their gun. They're also the same people who will dump $200 in ammo down the toilet because they can't hit the target with consistency, but they wouldn't dream of spending $40 for an hour with an instructor who can really teach them how to shoot a handgun. Aside from that, I don't know why people talk out their ass :)


Aren't you glad that you asked?
 
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SouthernBoy

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Because sadly, a large majority of gun owners "think" that they know the law.....just like they "think" that they know how to shoot. These are the people who heard this or that from someone, or read it on the internet, or learned it from the kid working at the local gun store.

When you suggest real training to them, like taking a class on the law, or learning how to shoot, most can't be bothered. You know what I hear from them? "Why should I pay for a class when I can get my info for free from the internet?"......When it comes to shooting, I hear "I've been shooting all my life/hunting/army/marines/navy/used to be something somewhere/etc." These are the same folks that shoot holes in the ceiling at your local range, or sweep you with their gun. They're also the same people who will dump $200 in ammo down the toilet because they can't hit the target with consistency, but they wouldn't dream of spending $40 for an hour with an instructor who can really teach them how to shoot a handgun. Aside from that, I don't know why people talk out their ass :)


Aren't you glad that you asked?
Man are you on spot with this. I have heard so much hogwash in my lifetime about all manner of things involving firearms and cars. Same sort of folk, same mindset, and same BS.

There is never any harm in saying, "I don't know". Humility opens the door to knowledge; arrogance seals that door shut.
 

The Wolfhound

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Sep 3, 2009
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Henrico, Virginia, USA
[QUOTEWhy do people talk out of their ass?[/QUOTE]
That way they don't have to stop talking to breathe.
If I had a nickle for every "good shot" that was lucky to find the paper at 25 meters, I would be quite comfortable financially.
 

paramedic70002

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Jun 14, 2006
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Location
Franklin, VA, Virginia, USA
This question has dogged my consciousness for years. Not sure if there is much if any case law for many of the shades of gray that could rear up.

1. If only the holster is visible, is the gun concealed or not? Say you have an OWB holster with a short jacket or tee shirt covering the "top" portion of the gun. I'd rather not bet my freedom on every cop, magistrate and judge having "common sense" in this matter.

2. If a visible holster is sufficient to be "open carry," then is a closed holster (flap holster or dare I suggest...fanny pack holster) still open carry?

2a. What if the fanny pack is left unzipped?

3. If a closed (fanny pack) holster is plainly labeled with something like "FIREARM INSIDE" or even carries a brand name or NRA logo, is it "hidden from common observation" per the Code? What is the legal definition of "hidden" and "common obervation?" Obviously winning a case like this would require a smart attorney.

4. If a gun is plainly visible under a tight tee shirt because it is printing, is it concealed?

5. If a gun is enclosed inside a pouch, but the gun is visible because the pouch has clear plastic or mesh panels, is it "hidden from common observation?"
 

jegoodin

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Joined
Jul 9, 2006
Messages
337
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Stafford, Virginia, USA
This question has dogged my consciousness for years. Not sure if there is much if any case law for many of the shades of gray that could rear up.

1. If only the holster is visible, is the gun concealed or not? Say you have an OWB holster with a short jacket or tee shirt covering the "top" portion of the gun. I'd rather not bet my freedom on every cop, magistrate and judge having "common sense" in this matter.

2. If a visible holster is sufficient to be "open carry," then is a closed holster (flap holster or dare I suggest...fanny pack holster) still open carry?

2a. What if the fanny pack is left unzipped?

3. If a closed (fanny pack) holster is plainly labeled with something like "FIREARM INSIDE" or even carries a brand name or NRA logo, is it "hidden from common observation" per the Code? What is the legal definition of "hidden" and "common obervation?" Obviously winning a case like this would require a smart attorney.

4. If a gun is plainly visible under a tight tee shirt because it is printing, is it concealed?

5. If a gun is enclosed inside a pouch, but the gun is visible because the pouch has clear plastic or mesh panels, is it "hidden from common observation?"
Just duct tape it to your forehead. (But make sure to keep 1/3 of it exposed.)
 
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Grapeshot

Legendary Warrior
Joined
May 21, 2006
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That's why I can never be a passenger in a car. I have a driver's license.
You can if an immediate member of your family is operating the vehicle or if you are instructing someone between the ages of 16 - 18 who has a learners permit, but only during daylight hours :p
 
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