Visiting Virginia - Open Carry in Restaurants


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MeanStreaker
August 17, 2006, 09:30 PM
I've read all of the code and realize that a valid CHL holder is not permitted to carry concealed in an establishment that dispenses liquor. We are allowed to open carry.

Could you tell me how accepted this practice is? I am prepared to exercise my rights to the fullest here at home, but don't want to be hassled or unnecessarily detained on my vacation. I don't think the wife would be too happy.

So... while we all know that it's perfectly legal to open carry in Virginia restaurants that serve, do people get hassled for it? Am I destined to be questioned?

Thanks.

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cavman
August 17, 2006, 09:34 PM
good question.

I know Virginians can...

Glock_10mm
August 17, 2006, 09:48 PM
No offense as this is my personal opinion...but why advertise?

I think the idea of open carry is novel, but in practice, I'd rather have the upperhand. If someone is looking to jack you they know they have to disable you quickly or get the gun to do so. Though it might deter some (as I''m sure it does), it may force the situation to escalate with others. I read something about how armed security guards were being targeted by criminals for easy acquisition of firearms. The guards often didnt have the firearms retention training necessary (as lets say a Police Officer would), and were not expecting the hit. The criminals would stage a guy behind and in front asking for directions, then mace and stungun/sap the guard taking his gun. I would suggest that if you have not had firearms retention training, that you think twice before open carrying.

Not saying I don't avertise either...I have 'protected by glock ' stickers on my car, but the bad guy doesnt know where it is in the car or if its even really there, and thats only when I'm in the car.

I dont mean to rain on your parade or anything, because I would like to open carry once just to see the looks I get, but I hope I can add a little devils advocate to help you from ending up on the wrong side of your iron.

Take it or leave it, I'm not judging your decision, just want you to remain safe.

Since you cant ccw specifically in those establishments, you need to consider the risk of taking it verse leaving it in the car. Inside a restaraunt, if its legal your probably safe open carrying, but I'd ccw it as soon as you were outside.

MeanStreaker
August 17, 2006, 09:56 PM
No problem, 10mm, thanks for your thoughts. EDIT TO ADD: I noticed you just added the last couple sentences to your post after I wrote below, so now it looks like we're on the same page. :)

I don't want to advertise either. There's a time and place for making a statement, but I carry 99% of the time for protection and want to keep the tactical advantage of surprise.

With that being said.

I won't keep it concealed because I'm a stickler about not breaking the law, and it's illegal to conceal in an alcohol serving restaurant in VA. I don't want to disarm because that leaves me defenseless... plus we're traveling by motorcycle and have no sure way of securing it when it's not on my body.

I would appreciate it if people would stick with the topic at hand and help me figure out if this niche in the law is seen enough that it's commonplace in VA's neck of the woods or if I'm asking for trouble for following the law.

Technically, open carry is legal in Ohio... but you're going to be stopped, disarmed, and questioned (at least) for trying it.

gunsmith
August 17, 2006, 10:04 PM
http://www.vcdl.org/

As soon as I have $ again , they get some!

cassandrasdaddy
August 17, 2006, 10:10 PM
but you might get more attention than you want.we have some cops not well informed who have gone so far as to confiscate guns. and then return em with apologies. hopefully the publicity got the word out but no guarantees the link someone else posted is a great help, might wanna copy the story and keeep it to show some not too swift cop who might not know the law

dk-corriveau
August 17, 2006, 10:27 PM
It all depends on where you are, both geographically in Virginia and what eating establishment. Northern VA is not known for it's acceptance of open carry, while other more rural areas don't even take notice. Likewise, the chain restaurants don't look kindly on it in some cases. Definitely check out the VCDL website; it has a list of non-gun friendly companies, including restaurants.

My advice is this, if you carry 99% of the time and you feel the need to carry while on vacation, then open carry. Will you be harassed by restaurant management, law enforcement or other patrons, maybe. When I open carry (I have my CHL) in a restaurant I usually simply relocate my shirt to display my sidearm prior to entering the establishment, request a booth and sit with my sidearm on the inside. More often than not nobody notices on my way in and by the time I get up to leave it is all over. I have no problem defending my right to carry, I just try to be as subtle about it as possible while remaining within the law. Bottom line, use your best judgment.

mmike87
August 17, 2006, 11:45 PM
You'll either open carry in restaurants or you will eat unarmed. Or, you'll break the law.

You're not open carrying in a restaurant by choice - the law demands it. Obey the law.

You're in the right - don't be afraid to obey the law.

If you get looks, ignore them. If someone asks a question, answer it politely and accurately. If someone asks you put your gun in your car, politely state you'd rather not if that's OK with them - if necessary explain why. If they insist, politely leave and dine elsewhere.

I have never been asked to leave a restaurant. I have been questioned once - by the cashier at a Burger King - and it went no where.

If the cops harass you, remember that you're in the right and they are wrong. Know the law, and you'll be fine.

We should never be afraid to exercise our rights. Any of them.

XLMiguel
August 18, 2006, 12:05 AM
Hello-
I just moved out of NoVA to NM, I have open carried in a variety of eateries from expensive to not and by and large, it isn't a big deal. Worse case is that they'll tell you they don't want your business and you can leave.

General practice is to just uncover as you enter, be cool, and mind your own business. There is a certain [rare] amount of bliss-ninney crap in some places (Fairfax Co.), but mostly, you'll just maybe get a few odd looks (if that), most people just don't pay attention, and unless you look way young/counterculture/hip-hop/gangsta/punkazoid, or are carying a 10" BFR, no big deal.

10MM Glockie is entitled to his opinion (no offense), but it doesn't sound like he read the question/VA law/ or has been in VA.:neener:

VA law says no CCW in establishments that serve alcohol, obey the law, carry open. Stay out of the bar area. Most places really don't care if you look presentable. If you drink at all, drink very moderately (i.e. a beer or two/wine with dinner), as DUI limits apply to you whioe armed - you don't need the hassle.

Enjoy your visit to the Old Dominion.

In the unlikely event you actually have a problem (assuming you are otherwise behaving), call VCDL, they're wonderful people and are very good at straightening out the local constabulary

Diomed
August 18, 2006, 02:46 AM
Perhaps consider printing out the relevant section of the state code and the state police guidance page, just in case they call the cops and they are ignorant of the law. If you're asked to leave, go ahead and do so, in a pleasant and polite manner.

You probably don't have much to worry about unless you're in NoVa or an urban area.

10 Ring Tao
August 18, 2006, 02:55 AM
I think the idea of open carry is novel, but in practice, I'd rather have the upperhand. If someone is looking to jack you they know they have to disable you quickly or get the gun to do so.

This isn't a choice as in other states.

You cannot carry concealed in a place that serves alkeehal.

From what I've read and been told, there has been enough exposure of this topic that the police are aware of the state laws.

LiquidTension
August 18, 2006, 08:32 AM
I have been questioned once - by the cashier at a Burger King - and it went no where.

Burger Kings in VA serve alcohol?

LAK
August 18, 2006, 08:49 AM
The more people that do this, the less the harassment will be in the long run.

As far as restaurants go, let them post notices. Let armed people avoid them accordingly. Then let's see which ones get robbed the most frequently - and which ones suddenly decide having patrons carrying pistols is actually a good idea.

This principle carries throughout the legal open carry issue. Use it - or lose it.

-----------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Bubbles
August 18, 2006, 09:15 AM
I've carried openly in many NoVA restaurants. When the law initially changed ten years ago the cops were called out fairly often. Since then the police/dispatchers have become pretty well educated.

Some tips:

- Most folks are in condition white and won't notice the gun.
- Dress decently, at least business casual or better. The folks who do see the gun often think you're some sort of local or Fed LEO. I've been asked "What agency are you with?" several times.
- The worst problems I've had with the owners/managers/staff have been at "American" family-oriented places like Applebees, Friday's, etc. The sole exception is Lone Star Steakhouse. Staff at the ethnic places, especially asian cuisine, didn't bat an eye - and a few even liked it.
- This is obviously not the time to open carry your shiny stainless steel .44 magnum with 6" barrel.

zoom6zoom
August 18, 2006, 09:36 AM
Check out the Virginia sub-forum at www.opencarry.org for "man-in-the-street" reports on OC. Lots of feedback, especially from NoVA.

LAK
August 19, 2006, 09:17 AM
BubblesStaff at the ethnic places, especially asian cuisine, didn't bat an eye - and a few even liked it
This is an interesting phenomenon. Some of it can be attributed to the modern history of SE asia - and perhaps the older history as well. But there seems to be a disproportionate affection coupled with respect for firearms among these people.

--------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Superpsy
August 24, 2006, 05:05 PM
check out www.opencarry.org

crebralfix
August 24, 2006, 07:40 PM
No offense as this is my personal opinion...but why advertise?

...Because it is the law in Virginia. One cannot (legally) carry concealed in a restaurant that serves alcohol.

Unattended cars are not secure locations for guns under any circumstances.

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