VA Open Carry


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Aaryq
September 21, 2008, 11:25 PM
Howdy, folks,
Open carry in Norther VA...Where can and can't I? I'm not a VA citizen. Does that affect it? I'm in Northern VA? Woodbridge, Dale City, Fredricksburg, Manassas and Occoquan would be the places most often. I know nothing about the area and don't have reciprocity to have a CCW. HELP ME PLEASE!

**ETA**
There has been at least 1 person shot in the neighborhood I'm in per day. My Brother-in-Law is a firefighter and we hear his scanner and we get at least 1 person shot within 5 blocks so far. I really need to know my options. Help.

**ETAA**
Can I OC with a round in the pipe or do I have to keep it unloaded with a mag on my body somewhere else?

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nalioth
September 22, 2008, 12:07 AM
I'm not a Virginian, but I'd expect the state law to cover anyone while they were there.

We don't have different laws here in Texas for residents of other states.

bnkrazy
September 22, 2008, 12:10 AM
opencarry.org will be your friend. Basically, you can go more places OCing than CCWing in VA.

Places to avoid are the obvious, schools, federal buildings, etc. I do not believe there are any restrictions regarding being a citizen or not.

The folks at opencarry.org in the VA section should be of great help to you.

VARifleman
September 22, 2008, 12:15 AM
Open carry any rifle or pistol that has mags 20 rounds or smaller, and does not have a threaded muzzle. Shotgun mags are 7 or smaller if I recall correctly, but check on that if it applies to you. I do not know if Saiga shotguns are banned under that particular law. Only the mags in the gun count, have whatever you want on your belt.

Off limits...

Dulles and National airport buildings. Parking lots, kiss and ride, ok though.
K-12 schools. Don't go on their property even.
Courthouses
The Jail section of a police station
Federal property
Posted as weapons banned, this includes VCU. Trespass charge
Churches. 100 dollar fine.

It's only CCW that's banned in places that serve alcohol.

Duke Junior
September 22, 2008, 01:08 AM
We don't have different laws here in Texas for residents of other states.

Good point.Neither does Virginia.

http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USOffLimitsN-W.pdf
http://www.opencarry.org

RNB65
September 22, 2008, 01:23 AM
You can OC anywhere in VA except schools, courthouses, churches, air port terminals, federal property, national parks, and posted private property.

MAKster
September 22, 2008, 03:24 PM
What about on the Metro subway? Since it's a federal-state transportation authority, do they have separate rules?

zoom6zoom
September 22, 2008, 03:47 PM
You don't need to be a VA resident to OC. I OC in the areas you listed on a daily basis. To RNB65's list, add state parks (CC OK, OC not). I know several folks who have OC'd on Metro. Caveats - don't get off at Pentagon or forget to get off before the train enters DC. You'll find in depth discussion of much of this over at the Virginia forum on opencarry.org

MJRW
September 22, 2008, 03:51 PM
There has been at least 1 person shot in the neighborhood I'm in per day. My Brother-in-Law is a firefighter and we hear his scanner and we get at least 1 person shot within 5 blocks so far. I really need to know my options. Help.

Where the hell are you that this is happening so I can be certain to stay far away from there?

MAKster
September 22, 2008, 04:03 PM
I am very familiar with Prince William County, VA and the OP's concern about crime is way overblown. The crime rate in Northern Virginia is very low considering the population. In Prince William County, which has approx. 400,000 residents there were 7 murders in 2007. The crime rate is actually dropping.

Mr. James
September 22, 2008, 04:57 PM
Good advice thus far. I'm with MAKster. I live in western Fairfax, not far from Manassas battlefield. PW County is not the war zone depicted in the original post.

Yes, you can carry with one in the pipe. I do all the time.

VARifleman
September 22, 2008, 05:11 PM
A woman was just abducted from Springfield Mall and killed. Crime may be low, but it is still a reality.

Beatnik
September 22, 2008, 05:18 PM
I had to double-take on the church thing...
It is as I remember it - you can't take a dangerous weapon to a place of religious worship while a meeting is being held for religious purposes, without "good and sufficient reason".

A couple points -

First, this specifically mentions religious meetings. Churches regularly host AA meetings, ESL classes, soup kitchens, etc. So it's not as cut-and-dry as so far suggested.

Second, I'm in the crowd that thinks Jeanne Assam put a new spin on what "good and sufficient reason" means. In any case, if you work something out with the PTB at the church, you probably have good and sufficient reason.

That said, I'm pretty sure neither idea has been tested in courts, either.

JJNA
September 22, 2008, 05:31 PM
Did I get this right? One can open carry with a rifle, not just a handgun?

So I can open carry with a Mini-14 (20 round mag, no threaded muzzle, fixed stock)?

Duke Junior
September 22, 2008, 05:41 PM
What about on the Metro subway? Since it's a federal-state transportation authority, do they have separate rules?


Good question.I'm trying to find the answer since I take it once in a while.

fairfax1
September 22, 2008, 05:55 PM
Metro follows whatever the gun laws are of the state you are in (DC/MD/VA). You can carry on the bus/train in VA. One exception: you have to cross federal property (when you actually enter/exit the station) at the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery stops on the rail line. Just be careful you don't accidentally stay on to long and end up in MD or DC.

Here is the announcement from WMATA:
http://www.virginia1774.org/METROLetter.jpg

VARifleman
September 23, 2008, 04:08 PM
Did I get this right? One can open carry with a rifle, not just a handgun?

So I can open carry with a Mini-14 (20 round mag, no threaded muzzle, fixed stock)?
No, you can open carry a handgun or a rifle (or a shotgun, but that's a 7 or less magazine), but the same restrictions apply if you're going to be in the urban areas. There's a list around here of what counts, but most of northern VA counts, as well as richmond and around norfolk. I would find out what counts and what doesn't before I would open carry something that has a 21+ round mag or a threaded muzzle. I have also never tried to open carry my rifle, I'd imagine that it would be a little different in reaction than the open carrying of a handgun, but you never know until you try it. I do have 20 round mags for this purpose though...

Dgreno
September 23, 2008, 04:59 PM
I'm in Northern VA? Woodbridge, Dale City, Fredricksburg, Manassas and Occoquan
The northern VA areas are typically gun un-friendly. Open carrying in those areas is legal, but it definitely will freak people out and could get police attention. Carrying with one in the chamber is not restricted either. Are you in those areas on business?
Your location says you are moving to NC, If you get a NC permit, you can ccw in VA, just an fyi.

ETA, just so you know, I spent the first 21 years of my life in Richmond. I also still have a VA CCW permit.

brickeyee
September 23, 2008, 08:18 PM
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-287.4

18.2-287.4. Carrying loaded firearms in public areas prohibited; penalty.

It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded (a) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (b) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered on or about his person on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to law-enforcement officers, licensed security guards, military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, or any person having a valid concealed handgun permit or to any person actually engaged in lawful hunting or lawful recreational shooting activities at an established shooting range or shooting contest. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The exemptions set forth in 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section.

(1991, c. 570; 1992, c. 790; 2003, c. 976; 2004, c. 995; 2005, c. 160; 2007, c. 813.)

Duke Junior
September 23, 2008, 09:25 PM
Quote:
What about on the Metro subway? Since it's a federal-state transportation authority, do they have separate rules?


Good question.I'm trying to find the answer since I take it once in a while.

Thank you all for the answers.

VARifleman
September 23, 2008, 09:42 PM
The northern VA areas are typically gun un-friendly. Open carrying in those areas is legal, but it definitely will freak people out and could get police attention. Carrying with one in the chamber is not restricted either. Are you in those areas on business?
Your location says you are moving to NC, If you get a NC permit, you can ccw in VA, just an fyi.

ETA, just so you know, I spent the first 21 years of my life in Richmond. I also still have a VA CCW permit.
Northern VA has actually become much less of a problem for open carriers than other parts of the state...(I'm looking at YOU Norfolk!)...because of all of the media attention initially when the open carry movement started about 4 years ago...at a Starbucks of all places. Now many of us are more comfortable open carrying in Fairfax than other parts of the state.

JJNA
September 24, 2008, 12:27 AM
18.2-287.4. Carrying loaded firearms in public areas prohibited; penalty.

It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded (a) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (b) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered on or about his person on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to law-enforcement officers, licensed security guards, military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, or any person having a valid concealed handgun permit or to any person actually engaged in lawful hunting or lawful recreational shooting activities at an established shooting range or shooting contest. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The exemptions set forth in 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section.

(1991, c. 570; 1992, c. 790; 2003, c. 976; 2004, c. 995; 2005, c. 160; 2007, c. 813.) So, if I read this correctly, a person with Virginia CCW permit CAN open carry an auto-loading rifle.

Even those without a CCW permit CAN carry a rifle, so long as the rifle 1) has a magazine that hold no more than 20 rounds 2) does not have a threaded barrel to accomodate a suppressor and 3) does not have a folding stock.

Did I read that correctly?

VARifleman
September 24, 2008, 12:29 AM
That seems to be correct. I have never tried it, nor do I know anyone who has, so I don't know what it would be like. If you do, make sure it's on a sling in a proper manner and have a voice recorder to record any possible problems.

JJNA
September 24, 2008, 12:30 AM
A base model Mini-14 with either the factory 10-rounder or the "military/police-only" 20-rounder would fit the bill, too, no?

W.E.G.
September 24, 2008, 12:33 AM
If you open-carry a rifle anywhere other than an area where hunting is the primary recreational activity, PM me before you do it. I want to get the video.

VARifleman
September 24, 2008, 12:39 AM
As long as the 20 round mag doesn't actually hold 21 rounds, and you aren't using a folding stock or it has a threaded barrel, yeah. I don't know much about the Mini-14 though, so make sure to examine it to see.

Maybe over on OCDO we could set up a picnic at burke lake park again...see if the same thing happens. That was some funny video after that occurrence.

Also, it seems that a 18.5" barreled shotgun with a mag extension would fit the bill too. That would be interesting.

Aaryq
September 24, 2008, 08:51 AM
So, since I'm in Prince William County, I can't open carry then? Now it says a loaded firearm. If I were to carry an empty firearm and spare magazines/speedloaders elsewhere on my belt, would that still be considered loaded?

I am here on vacation. I have to wait until I get my place in NC. I just transfered from CA so I'm still kind of trying to get set up. I can't get an NC CCL because I'm not a NC resident, I'm an ND resident on active duty. I can, however, and am working on it, getting a non-resident VA CPL. I just need to go armed, my first 3 days 3 or 4 people have been shot withing a mile of where I'm staying.

Thanks for all of the answers, you're helping me out a lot.

VARifleman
September 24, 2008, 10:31 AM
Read the whole section. You can open carry a loaded pistol, just don't have a mag in it that holds more than 20 rounds or one that has a threaded barrel.

YetAnotherSam
September 24, 2008, 11:53 AM
In Virginia, you can carry a firearm on school property IF:
1) You have a concealed carry permit.
2) Firearm stays in car.
3) Firearm is concealed.

VARifleman
September 24, 2008, 11:57 AM
YAS, that is true, but is not pertinent to this thread because we are talking about unlicensed open carry. Welcome to THR.

YetAnotherSam
September 24, 2008, 12:11 PM
The Walther P-22 is a rather common firearm, but it looks like it would not be allowed under VA's open carry law: it has a threaded barrel and could accept a suppressor.
If I interpret this correctly, somebody could get in a heap of trouble quite by accident if the cop knows guns.

VARifleman
September 24, 2008, 12:28 PM
Therein lies the problem with crazy gun laws like what we have. Non-criminal behavior can get you in serious trouble. But specifically that, only in the localities noted in that section is it unlawful to open carry a weapon with a threaded barrel without a CCW.

MAKster
September 24, 2008, 02:48 PM
The Virginia law says centerfire rifle or pistol, so a Walther 22lr with a threaded barrel would still be legal to open carry.

Aaryq
September 24, 2008, 02:58 PM
Okay, here's where I'm confused then (yes, I'm a rock but I want to make crystal clear that I can do this so I don't get in trouble).

The law says: 18.2-287.4. Carrying loaded firearms in public areas prohibited; penalty.

It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded
(a) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (b) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered on or about his person on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to law-enforcement officers, licensed security guards, military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, or any person having a valid concealed handgun permit or to any person actually engaged in lawful hunting or lawful recreational shooting activities at an established shooting range or shooting contest. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The exemptions set forth in 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section.

(1991, c. 570; 1992, c. 790; 2003, c. 976; 2004, c. 995; 2005, c. 160; 2007, c. 813.)

So I can OC in Prince William County, just not the firearms that meet that specific criteria, right?

Man, I love you folks. Thanks for your paitence.

VARifleman
September 24, 2008, 03:46 PM
The Virginia law says centerfire rifle or pistol, so a Walther 22lr with a threaded barrel would still be legal to open carry.
That is right...I missed that when responding. Thanks for correcting me.

JJNA
September 24, 2008, 04:00 PM
If you open-carry a rifle anywhere other than an area where hunting is the primary recreational activity, PM me before you do it. I want to get the video.Well, I am not sure that I am quite ready to be a martyr just yet.

But the thought did cross my mind that perhaps I ought to open carry a Mini-14 (provided it meets the legal criteria) on my HOA property where ATVers trespass on a weekly basis every Saturday and Sunday, despite many warnings, etc.

I do not plan to be threatening in any way, of course, or even speak to the trespassers -- just walk about on my own HOA property, exercising my open carry rights in VA.

Aaryq
September 25, 2008, 12:08 PM
Quick BTT so I double check clarification.

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