Virginia open carry policy?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by esheato, Aug 4, 2013.

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  1. esheato

    esheato Member

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    Hey everyone,

    Brand spanking new to VA by way of Southern California! What a refreshing, wonderful place this is.

    I am prior military and know of the provision where you can provide a DD214 and get a CCW, but in the meantime, I know VA is an open carry state.

    Can anyone give me the quick and dirty about open carry here in VA? I live in Manassas, Prince William County if that helps.

    Thanks in advance!

    Ed
     
  2. 2wheels

    2wheels Member

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    Open carry is legal, nothing much more to say. Go ahead and holster up.

    Open carry in your car is also legal, and securing your gun while driving in a glovebox or other "container" is legal and not considered concealed.

    OC is not very common in many parts of PW county, I live over towards Woodbridge, but even so you shouldn't encounter many problems. Many PWC cops that I have had encounters with are friendly and understanding towards open/concealed carry and I've never had an issue.
     
  3. CPO15

    CPO15 Member

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    Ditto on 2wheels' comments. OC legal, but not common; kinda just draws attention, no all of it good.

    Get your carry permit; go to Circuit Court Clerk's office for the application if it is not online. You'll need some proof of minimal training but the bar is pretty low. Your dd214 should be good.

    If you like NoVa, try to get to SW Va; it's waaaay nicer, with a lot less traffic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  4. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    Bookmark VCDL's site, refer to it often! Plenty of good legal info there as well as downloadable documents (official state stance / rulings, etc).
    http://www.vcdl.org/

    As others have said, go get your CHP ASAP!
    There is a VA Concealed Carry link at the top of VCDL's page.

    And welcome to the Old Dominion!
     
  5. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    This will get you started:

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/virginia.pdf

    This site is an excellent reference site. Every page they update for each state contains links to various sites concerning state laws and such. Each state entry also does a fair job at summarizing the various state laws, and they are all done in the same format for each state so it's easy to find similar information for whatever state you look at.

    By the way, Manassas is a beautiful area. My oldest brother and his wife live up there.
     
  6. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Welcome to Virginia!

    You find yourself in a very gun-friendly state. I occasionally OC, have even visited an Old Dominion Starbucks with a .44Magnum on my hip. Nobody had a negative word to say.
     
  7. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    "policy" is a good choice of words- many regions here in the Commonwealth seem to have different attitudes towards Open Carry.

    Here in Tidewater, it's not *common* but but it seems to be pretty well accepted- I've had more complements or friendly questions about my pistol than negative attention.

    Trips up around the DC area I have caught a few stares and comments.

    I do have my CC, and usually carry concealed, but it's nice to be able to ditch a cover garment on hot days or for vigorous activity with out having to disarm.
     
  8. chriscw81

    chriscw81 Member

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    Welcome to Virginia!! I'm from Texas but the spousal unit is from San Diego. I got orders out here before separating. I really like how you can open carry here bit I prefer not to. People do tend to look at you like you're crazy, but those folks.......well, I'll keep my opinion to myself :)




    Sent from my Nexus using Tapatalk 2
     
  9. esheato

    esheato Member

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    Awesome, thanks.

    I got a VA license and plates as soon as I arrived. I'll be rocking it as soon as my stuff (holster/belt, etc) arrives.
     
  10. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    open carry is legal. join the vcdl, join the nra, visit Bernie at Virginia arms.
     
  11. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    From everything I have read posted by people who actually do open carry in Virginia on a regular bases, Virginia is similar to Washington in their acceptance of open carry - it's perfectly legal and 99% of the population won't notice, or won't indicate that they notice and you will have very minimal issues, and I open carry 99% of the time in WA. So, for me personally there is no need to conceal the gun HOWEVER....

    While I do not like having to obtain a permit, I have my Washington CPL and I would advise you to obtain the VA permit for a couple of reasons:

    Federal law prohibits you from carrying a loaded firearm (openly or concealed) on public property within 1000' of a school unless you have a license issued by the same state that the school zone is located in. That applies in Virginia as it does in Washington (and all the other states). So that is reason #1, if you wish to comply with the Federal law and not have any concern about it ever being enforced.

    I don't know if VA is the same, but the CPL in Washington state makes it legal for me to carry in a couple of places that would be illegal without the permit. For example, again in WA - on school property when picking up or dropping off a student. Yes, I open carry when I do that; no, it has never been a problem. Also in WA, in stadiums and convention centers owned and operated by municipal governments I am exempt from firearms prohibitions they might have with my CPL.

    Unlike VA, I have to have a CPL to keep my gun loaded inside a vehicle.

    So... I would also advise to obtain the VA permit, just to stay legal in some instances and if you decide to conceal the gun, it gives you the option to do so.
     
  12. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    the above is good advise. get a ccw permit, but until it comes in you can open carry as its your only choice for the mean time.
     
  13. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

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    Congratulations on your escape from California and welcome to the United States. No matter what state your in, it has to be an improvement over CA as far as anti-gun laws are concerned.

    Signed; Another Ex CAer. :)
     
  14. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    Welcome to Virginia. I don't open carry often these days, but have in the past. I'm just down 95 from you, and never encountered a negeative reaction to open carry anywhere I've ever gone. As far as I could tell few people noticed, even fewer seemed to give a hoot. I've seen more reaction over a "cool" cell phone. And yes, I have seen others open carrying too.
     
  15. usp9

    usp9 Member

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  16. Creature

    Creature Member

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    Welcome! And holster up.

    And OC is quite prevalent in the Hampton Roads/Tidewater region. Ya'll just must not be paying enough attention to passersby.
     
  17. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator In Memoriam

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    Welcome my friend. Indeed join VCDL.
    If you get to the Tidewater area PM me.
    OC is not a big deal as long as it is not tourist season, seems the northern folks freak a little.
    Funny story, we were at breakfast with friends and had removed our motorcycle vests, showing nice stainless revolvers, when some lady with a heavy Jersey accent said "That would not be allowed back home" My wife told her, "Then carry your fat butt back home"
    :)
     
  18. blahpony

    blahpony Member

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    I went to lunch in Leesburg last Friday while OCing. There was a uniformed police officer and three plainclothes officers. I walked by them to get some hot sauce and they all totally ignored me. That's exactly how it should be.

    I have gotten a few double-takes while OCing, but no other reactions.
     
  19. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    Welcome to VA!

    People are getting better about their reaction to open carry, but you still will get hassled from time to time. Just the nature of the beast. Most don't notice.
     
  20. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    The only thing I will add to the above is to suggest you know what the provisions are for a Terry Stop. Google the term and learn how it applies to firearms carry.

    Learn the difference between a seizure (being detained) and a ‘friendly chat’. The police cannot detain you for lawful behavior. Since open carry is a lawful behavior the police cannot detain you merely for doing so. They can, however, engage you in a friendly chat which can appear to be the same as being detained.

    This is why we suggest that if the police stop you while you’re carrying openly you should immediately ask, “Am I being detained?” If they don’t answer then ask again. If they say no, politely wish them a nice day and move along. DO NOT engage them in a debate or try to educate them on the lawfulness of open carry- they already know. If they say yes, that you are being detained, ask, “For suspicion of what crime are you detaining me?” If they offer something that isn’t a crime like, “You have a gun so we have to ID you” or “We got a call about your gun so…” ask for a supervisor. Again, do not try to debate or educate, that’s not why they’re there so you’ll be wasting your breath. Most of the time, if it even gets that far, they know the ‘concerned citizen’ is watching so they want to appear to be doing something about it- this is why they seem to want your ID so badly- for appearances. Don’t give it to them unless they are going to issue you a citation (jaywalking or whatever).
     
  21. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    Man.. I live in Manassas Park.

    OC, I've not had an issue.. we'll have to get together for a coffee some time.

    PM headed your way man.
     
  22. GoWolfpack

    GoWolfpack Member

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    If you don't join VCDL, at least get on their email list. Their site and their updates are a wealth of information about legal goings on in the commonwealth.

    The Richmond gun show is coming up in a couple of weeks. You should check it out.
     
  23. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    In many jurisdictions, not showing an ID upon request will get you in hot water quicker than O.C.

    The whole potential hassle scenario is a good enough reason to get a carry permit, IMHO.
     
  24. GoWolfpack

    GoWolfpack Member

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    He's getting a carry permit, just bridging the gap until then by carrying openly. I've never had any issues with police while open carrying. Been to walmart, Lowes, grocery store, restaurants, pizza parlors, all kinds of good stuff like that.

    Got asked to leave a mall once, but I didn't want to be there anyway.

    Be smart and act like what you're doing is legal, because it is.
     
  25. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    ALL Virginia lethal force law is common (case) law.

    Even the police operate under this common law.

    Purchase ad read "The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide" (Bloomfield Press) for the details and applicable case law.

    It is relatively detailed (we have had a few hundred years to build it up).

    If you had no part in initiating an incident there is no duty to retreat from any place you are legally allowed to be, and may meet force with force, including deadly force, under a reasonable man standard.
     
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