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Can you carry a handgun into a bar in virginia?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by alpine0000, Jan 7, 2007.

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  1. alpine0000

    alpine0000 Member

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    ok, i know that about 5 or 6 years ago carrying a handgun into a bar (or maybe even a restaurant that has a bar in it, such as TGI fridays) was a big no-no in virginia ( i live in fairfax county, right outside of DC)

    but, i know that things have changed recently with gun laws after the big 10 year ban ended a few years back, and VA also changed the 3 day waiting period on hand guns as well so that you can now buy a handgun on the spot (assuming you could legally have bought a handgun to begin with).

    i heard from somebody that you can now carry legally into a bar (again, im not condoning this, or saying that drinking and carrying is the right thing to do). i just wanted to clear things because my girlfriend bartends on the weekends and sometimes i stop in to see her (but dont drink) for 30 mins or so on my way home. i hate locking my gun in the trunk everytime, but i also dont want to break the law.

    i googled and found many pages on VA law, but couldnt find anything referring to this specific topic.

    anybody who can direct me to any virginia government links on this topic or that has any answers/insight on this rumor ive heard would be much appreciated! :)

    once again, im not really looking for any discussion on what other options i have with my gun instead of taking it into a bar, im just looking to confirm that it is, indeed, legal to carry it into a bar in northern virginia.

    ps - i have my conceiled carry handgun permit, if that matters.

    thanks,
    william
     
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Since most bars are also eating establishments, if it is legal at all, you'd have to be open-carrying while in the bar.
     
  3. Fn-P9

    Fn-P9 Member

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  4. alpine0000

    alpine0000 Member

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    :confused: huh? i wasnt aware that you had to open carry in restaurants... the way i interpreted that quote was "you have to open carry in restaurants, and if there is a bar attached youd have to open carry there, too, and follow the same law"

    if i interpreted this incorrectly, please explain. :) must i open carry in every restaurant, whether or not they serve alchohol (or have a bar at all for that matter), even though i have a conceiled carry permit?
     
  5. alpine0000

    alpine0000 Member

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    ok, i just read on packing.org that it is illegal to carry concealed in a place that serves alcohol (although you can open carry). that i suspected, which is the original reason for my post. however, i misunderstood General Geoffs post and thought he was saying ALL restaurants are open carry only, alcohol served or not. :what:

    i believe packing.org answers my question here although its last update was in 2005. (although, im assuming that if the law is different now they wouldve updated it) :scrutiny:

    thanks Fn-P9. i saw the site many years ago, but had forgotten about it.
     
  6. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    You may not carry concealed in any business licensed to serve alcohol for on-premises consumption. If they're not licensed to serve alcohol, you can CC.

    Straight from the Code of VA (§ 18.2-308):

    J3. No person shall carry 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; however, nothing herein shall prohibit any sworn law-enforcement officer from carrying a concealed handgun on the premises of such restaurant or club or any owner or event sponsor or his employees from carrying a concealed handgun while on duty at such restaurant or club if such person has a concealed handgun permit.
     
  7. busy_squirrel

    busy_squirrel Member

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    RNB beat me to it...

    If you open carry to the bar and then drink:

    Code of VA (§ 18.2-308):
    J1. Any person permitted to carry a concealed handgun, who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such handgun in a public place, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor....A person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years.

    In Washington state we can't even open carry in a bar.:fire:
     
  8. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Yeah, sorry about the confusion. I thought it was any restaurant, but it's only restaurants that also serve alcohol (which is probably the majority, excluding fast food). In any case, now you have your answer. Open Carry ftw! :)
     
  9. alpine0000

    alpine0000 Member

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    eh, i wouldnt even want to open carry in a bar though if i plan on even drinking a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, as that constitutes being under the influence while carrying a firearm in public - AND showing everybody that im breaking the law, as they can plainly see my gun, and my beverage of choice :( **sigh**

    then again, this law probably protects me more than it hurts me. i wouldnt want some a-hole in a bar who managed to get WAY too drunk one night with a temper, carrying a gun, willing to shoot somebody for bumping into him while walking by on accident :rolleyes:

    i guess i still should just leave the gun in the car or at home if i plan to go out to one of the mentioned places above, as i hate open carrying around here. seems like more people than not are very anti-gun around my area.
     
  10. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    Only if you're not too bright. Lawmakers have to protect me by telling me where I can go when armed? Wow.

    Oh yea the law will stop that. Of course here in NV we have no stupid restrictions on where we can carry based on whether alcohol is served, so we muct have shootouts all the time from "bumping into each other". C'mon, we must have WAY more than VA since they saw fit to put in those restrictions! Funny how that stuff sounds good on paper but doesn't work in the real world, eh?
     
  11. longwatch

    longwatch Member

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    Alpine many people may be antigun in NOVA but guess what they either don't notice or don't care if you open carry. Check out mine and others experiences if you don't believe me. http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/18.html
    Something you should also know that the prohibition against being intoxicated while carrying only applies to concealed carry. Not that you should be drinking and carrying but only the general intoxication statute applies to open carriers.

    J1. Any person permitted to carry a concealed handgun, who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such handgun in a public place, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
     
  12. alpine0000

    alpine0000 Member

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    uh, i am bright. thanks for putting me down though :barf: . and i didnt mean the law would protect me "from myself" cause id be stupid with the gun, i meant the law would protect me from other people being stupipd with a gun. so what does other peoples stupidity have to do with me not being too bright? i know not everybody follows the law and will carry anyways, but id like to think that most people do. wow, relax. i think you took this a little bit too literally

    uh, once again, relax. i was half joking. i dont know about you, but ive never heard of a gun fight because somebody bumped into another person. i was over exaggerating for humors sake. although i did go to a local bar tonight to watch the cowboys vs. seahawks in the playoff football game. lots of drunk people by the end of the game, the cowboys lost, and the guy at the table next to us was a HUGE cowboys fan, and was punching the table everytime they missed a catch, and jumping up and down every time they made a good play. the cowboys lost, and a couple was leaving and as they walked by he heard the girl talking about how the cowboys suck. he stood up and yelled "**** you, go home you fat bitch". her boyfriend didnt like it, and it turned into a fight that had to be broken up. the dallas fan had a HUGE attitude, and was drunk. he was willing to fist fight the girls boyfriend because she said the cowboys suck. so yes, while a gunfight might not break out for bumping into somebody, i sure wouldnt have wanted that drunk guy armed tonight. and yes, i know the law doesnt STOP him from carrying, but assuming he is a normal law abiding, calm tempered citizen when he is SOBER, he wouldve left the gun at home before leaving to go to the bar and get drunk.

    once again, im not saying the law stops people from doing it, but it definitely cuts down on it. and im not saying a gunfight wouldve broke out in the first place, im just saying i wouldnt want somebody THAT drunk and somebody who is that willing to fight in the middle of a bar over something that pety to have a gun.

    thanks for taking the time to post a pointless reply criticizing what i say, but not helping my question (and im not even saying i agree with the law, i was merely trying to find the gold lining in a law that i have to live with. hell, id RATHER be able to carry everywhere i go). i find it annoying that people like to chime in on threads to do just that. its even more annoying when that user has over 2,000 posts and still does it. :banghead:
     
  13. alpine0000

    alpine0000 Member

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    ahh, you are correct longwatch :) thanks for pointing that out. i overlooked that bit about it only being illegal if its concealed and youre under the influence.


    true, but like i said, i just dont like to open carry. im not sure why. i cant even explain it. personal preference i guess :cool:

    thanks for all of your info and responses. my question was answered quickly! (and even another question i had but didnt ask regarding the legal length of a blade for a folding knife that i ran across on packing.org)

    :D

    william
     
  14. longwatch

    longwatch Member

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    Well not to open carry is certainly your choice. For myself, I find it better to be openly armed in a restaurant than to leave it at home or in the car where it get stolen.
     
  15. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

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    wecome to thr !!!

    No you don't!


    You spell it this way "concealed":neener:

    You should support VCDL!
    http://www.vcdl.org/
    I wish everyone were as cool as these folks.
     
  16. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

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    I've heard of some bars in Alabama where, if you're not carrying, you're issued a gun at the door! :D
     
  17. alpine0000

    alpine0000 Member

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    +1 :cool: i laughed out loud. haha
     
  18. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    Longwatch, this could be interpreted different ways. Even thought I may be open carrying, I have a CHP, so am therefore "permitted to carry a concealed handgun". No, I can't in that place, but a slick shyster might argue the point that the statute applies regardless of OC since I'm licensed.

    Of course, I believe that it's setting an extremely bad example to imbibe while carrying. No need to give the anti's any more ammo.
     
  19. hvengel

    hvengel Member

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    You seem to be missing something fundamental about human nature here. A guy that gets into bar fights likely has done this many times in the past and likely has a record that would preclude him from getting a conceal permit and perhaps even owning a gun. This type of person is very unlikely to be "...a normal law abiding, calm tempered citizen when he is SOBER.." Being drunk tends to make people worse if they are bad people to start with but it doesn't make good people become bad. For the most part law abiding, calm tempered citizens stay that way even when they have a few under the belt.

    Acting like good people are fairly likely to snap under what are trivial circumstances is the classic anti-gunner reason for banning guns. Don't believe it second and don't play into it by repeating in public. In addition to it not being true you only help those who would take your guns by doing this.
     
  20. busy_squirrel

    busy_squirrel Member

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    I would agree with zoom that a procescuting lawyer would use the "you were licensed, you should not drink and carry" attack even if you were open carrying and not concealed. The letter of the law doesn't say under the influence while carrying, in such a manner, a handgun.. it says permitted to carry a concealed handgun, who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such handgun so this leads me to think that open carry while imbibing is illegal IF you are licensed.
     
  21. longwatch

    longwatch Member

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    Now I don't drink and carry so I don't have to worry about it, but I believe the phrase 'such handgun' means a concealed handgun. I think if the General Assembly meant being armed in general, they would have said 'a handgun' or 'a firearm'. However I don't know of any case law one way or the other so we should look to see how it has played out in court.
     
  22. steveracer

    steveracer Member

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    Here's the clincher:

    It's not even a violation punishable by law. You can't get convicted of carrying concealed in a bar if someone saw your gun, because by definition, it WASN'T concealed.
    The bar owner can ask you to leave, and if you refuse, you could be charged with armed trespass, which is a misdemeanor.
    "officer, how did you discover that the defendant was carrying concealed?"
    "I saw his gun."
    "Concealed?"
    "Yes."
    "officer, do you have X-ray vision?"
    "No"
    "No further questions."
     
  23. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

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    clincher?

    try it out let us know how it works out if they have net where you'll be living.
     
  24. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    You may want to review the legal definition of a concealed handgun before you rely on that theory. In VA if there is any attempt at all to disguise or hide the handgun then it's a concealed weapon even if it's visible.
     
  25. crazed_ss

    crazed_ss Member

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    The laws here mention a weapon that is capable of being concealed upon the person. So if you want into a bar with a gun on your hip and you try what steveracer said, you'll still be arrested for carrying a weapon that is capable of being concealed.
     
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