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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 5/9/2003 10:28:07 PM EDT
Hello,

I will be visiting your beautiful state from the Communist north in a few weeks.

My girlfriend and I want to go to the Shannendoa[SP?] area and western VA to sight-see and maybe camp.
Now I know the law reads I can open carry in VA, but in reality can I? What should I do or not to when I open carry in VA?

Any other info I should know about, how about in national parks located in VA. Can I still open carry there?

Thanks in advance!!
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:34:19 AM EDT
Don't open carry in Falls Church and several other munis.

www.packing.org/state/index.jsp/virginia

open carry will get you strange looks and police hassle everywhere.
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:46:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:

open carry will get you strange looks and police hassle everywhere.



Even though it is legal? Have you tried it before? I will be in the very rural areas of VA
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 8:35:57 AM EDT
Yes, I've done it af few times. The general public doesn't know it's legal, and some cops don't either.

You also might want to look into the open/concealed carry regs in the parks. I don't know the rules for that. (Although I regularly carry concealed w/ a CCW in the Natl Parks in VA)
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 8:43:43 AM EDT
You're going to have to find out from the National Park Service what they think (which is you can't even have a gun IIRC). Just make sure you know what you're doing as far as the National Parks, etc (that is really Federal land) goes before toting a gun around there.

If you're camping, consider where you're going to camp. In a National Parks system, see above. If it's a private campground, the owner gets to tell you what the deal is (rightly so, it's their land) or you can't camp there. So you need to find out what their rules are.

There's many state, local, and national laws you need to research from an offical source. If you're in the rural areas of VA, except for the novelty factor, there isn't much need to carry anything. I understand being prepared, being in remote areas, etc, but these are far safer areas than the cities. I'm not saying it's not your right, blah, blah, blah, and what I wear going into the bowels of Norflolk is probably more than I need, but it's certainly more than if I'm driving to Chuckatuck. I mean just how much firepower do you need in Chuckatuck?

The point I'm getting at is if you feel the need for a handgun, great, but don't approach it as a "novelty right" that you need to wear-out just because you don't get the chance in MD. Be professional about it. You should be prepared for questions from the law if you're open carrying. It doesn't matter where you are, sheeple still get nervous.

No flames intended, but it's just not like everyone down here are gunslingers with a shooting iron on their hip.

Ross
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 8:57:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ross:
...it's just not like everyone down here are gunslingers with a shooting iron on their hip.

Ross



You mean you don't?

I carry twin nickel 45LC's in a cross draw belt with full chaps and a ten gallon hat.....
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 7:00:53 PM EDT
I would definitely do some research on the areas that you will be visiting. I on occasion have carried in the open, but I would say that 95% I carry concealed. I get strange looks from some of the locals when I show up at the range with a pistol on my belt. If you want to carry open and its OK for you to do so. Just carry yourself in a positive way, because a bad image only hurts everyone.
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 10:32:27 AM EDT
Check this out, hopefully it helps.

Mark

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

It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded firearm 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 (i) in any city with a population of 160,000 or more or (ii) in any county having an urban county executive form of government or any county or city surrounded thereby or adjacent thereto or in any county having a county manager form of government. 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 permit to carry such firearm 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.

For purposes of this section, "firearm" means any (i) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol which expels a projectile by action of an explosion and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than twenty rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (ii) shotgun with a magazine which will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered.

Any firearm carried in violation of this section may be forfeited to the Commonwealth pursuant to the provisions of § 18.2-310.

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

(1991, c. 570; 1992, c. 790.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Go to General Assembly Home
Link Posted: 5/11/2003 10:19:45 PM EDT
--------------WARNING-----------

There are absolutely NO GUNS ALLOWED in the FEDERAL parks and Battlefields. I learned that the hard way recently. Almost got into BIG trouble.
There may be some exceptions, I do not know what they are, sorry.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 5:12:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/12/2003 5:14:56 AM EDT by Ross]

Originally Posted By mark5pt56:
Check this out, hopefully it helps.

Mark

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

It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded firearm 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 (i) in any city with a population of 160,000 or more or (ii) in any county having an urban county executive form of government or any county or city surrounded thereby or adjacent thereto or in any county having a county manager form of government. 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 permit to carry such firearm 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.

For purposes of this section, "firearm" means any (i) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol which expels a projectile by action of an explosion and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than twenty rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (ii) shotgun with a magazine which will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered.

Any firearm carried in violation of this section may be forfeited to the Commonwealth pursuant to the provisions of § 18.2-310.

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

(1991, c. 570; 1992, c. 790.)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Go to General Assembly Home



Just to clarify things somewhat, this law only applies to large communities, and then only to guns "equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than twenty rounds...". And silenced guns, folders, and some shotguns.

Just don't put your 33rd mag in your Glock, and you're OK. Stick to 20rds or less and you're OK with the law.

Many don't read the text of the law and think it prohibits everyone from any open carry in big cities. It doesn't at all.

Would you still get hassled? You bet, the bigger the city, the larger the number of lame brains in it that will not know the law and call the cops (who will have to check it out).

Just know what the law says.

Ross
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 9:47:55 AM EDT
Ross hit the nail on the head. Just to emphasize, here is the important part of that section:


For purposes of this section, "firearm" means any (i) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol which expels a projectile by action of an explosion and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than twenty rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (ii) shotgun with a magazine which will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered.


M4,
You cannot open-carry in VA state parks...only concealed (with a CCW).

Here are some places you cannot carry:

ANY Courthouse
ANY Federal Property (Federal Offices/National Parks/Post Offices)
Military Facilities
Place of Worship During a Service "Without Good and Sufficent Reason"
Places With On-Premises Alcohol - Owners/Employees/Open Carry Exempted
Private Property / Business When Prohibited by Owner or Posted
Public/Private/Parochial School Buses
Public/Private/Parochial School Functions
Public/Private/Parochial School Property
State Parks (CCW Ok. Open Carry Not Allowed)
Virginia Commonwealth University

Move to VA and get a permit!

As far as what to do or not do, just be careful. If someone gives you a hard time, keep a cool head and be polite. Remember, if someone asks you to leave private property, you must even if you are legally carrying. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 9:59:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chimborazo:
M4,
You cannot open-carry in VA state parks...only concealed (with a CCW).

Here are some places you cannot carry:Carry concealed or carry at all?

ANY Courthouse
ANY Federal Property (Federal Offices/National Parks/Post Offices)
Military Facilities
Place of Worship During a Service "Without Good and Sufficent Reason"
Places With On-Premises Alcohol - Owners/Employees/Open Carry Exempted
Private Property / Business When Prohibited by Owner or Posted
Public/Private/Parochial School Buses
Public/Private/Parochial School Functions
Public/Private/Parochial School Property
State Parks (CCW Ok. Open Carry Not Allowed)
Virginia Commonwealth University

Move to VA and get a permit!

As far as what to do or not do, just be careful. If someone gives you a hard time, keep a cool head and be polite. Remember, if someone asks you to leave private property, you must even if you are legally carrying. Hope this helps.



When we shoot down at Hite Hollow we are on the National Park land, many of us have carried while on the range. The rangers, nor the PD said anything to us, even when off the firing line.

Any insight?
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 10:56:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/12/2003 11:00:36 AM EDT by SlimHazy]

Originally Posted By SHIVAN458:

When we shoot down at Hite Hollow we are on the National Park land, many of us have carried while on the range. The rangers, nor the PD said anything to us, even when off the firing line.

Any insight?



I think the distinction is between US National Parks and National Forests. National Forests allow weapons and hunting in some areas, and also have the shooting ranges. The National Mall in DC is a National Park; most a are in built-up areas or are battlefields, historical areas, etc.

When I shot with the FDCC at Osceola National Forest Range, there was much carry and shooting of weapons, and it was good.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 11:15:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN458:

When we shoot down at Hite Hollow we are on the National Park land, many of us have carried while on the range. The rangers, nor the PD said anything to us, even when off the firing line.

Any insight?



As long as your on the range or in transit to or from your OK. Let the Game Warden catch you in the woods with a firearm outside of hunting season and you might as well give it to him because you ain't gettin' it back. As far as they're concerned, your hunting, which equals poaching ouside the hunting season.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 11:58:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SlimHazy:

I think the distinction is between US National Parks and National Forests. National Forests allow weapons and hunting in some areas, and also have the shooting ranges. The National Mall in DC is a National Park; most a are in built-up areas or are battlefields, historical areas, etc.

When I shot with the FDCC at Osceola National Forest Range, there was much carry and shooting of weapons, and it was good.





Exactly correct , a national forest is not a national park , Hite Hollow is in GW National Forest . Bull Run is a national park.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 4:37:21 PM EDT
As for open carry outside a park, as noted here, there isn't a state law against it... other than those listed in the above post. That prohibition is the VA version of an AWB. God love the Commonwealth.

It is legal in MOST areas to carry open. There is a catch though. While I could legally open carry into the Springfield Mall, they would certainly slap me with a destrubing the peace fine. This isn't a concern in rural areas but open carry is frowned upon in the urban areas. You wont get a firearms related charge but will get a desturbing the peace citation. Argue with the cop and he'll find more to charge you with.
Link Posted: 5/12/2003 9:22:08 PM EDT
Yeah, I guess it is too much of a hassle to do something legally.

Thanks for all your posts guys! I will be looking at LEO jobs this fall in VA so I do hope I can live there ASAP!

Thanks again!
Link Posted: 5/13/2003 5:52:00 AM EDT
I strongly suggest you take a look at Henrico County Police. Great organization, good pay, take home cars, etc. Low cost of living in Henrico (compared to NoVA), and it's a nice place. Good luck.
Link Posted: 5/13/2003 6:09:27 PM EDT
Chimborazo,

Man, you can say that again!
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 6:20:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By M4_Aiming_at_U:
Chimborazo,

Man, you can say that again!



I strongly suggest you take a look at Henrico County Police. Great organization, good pay, take home cars, etc. Low cost of living in Henrico (compared to NoVA), and it's a nice place. Good luck.




Just kidding. I don't know how the hell I mananged to post that so many times. I'm glad there's a delete button!
Link Posted: 5/14/2003 9:23:50 PM EDT
Chimborazo,

Is that where you work?
I think I will check out that area soon to see if I would enjoy living there. Then I will apply. I see they start out at 32k a year which if abou the same around here where I live but like you said the cost of living is lower so its a better deal on the whole.
Link Posted: 5/15/2003 10:11:27 AM EDT
No, but I live in Henrico County. I lived in the City of Richmond for 9 years before that. I'm not an LEO, but I studied criminal Justice while in college. Not only were there several Henrico cops in the classes, a few were teaching them. One had 15 years with the department, taught for 10 years at the University, and was almost finished with his PhD.

Where in MD do you live?
Link Posted: 5/15/2003 10:42:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chimborazo:

Where in MD do you live?



I live near Annapolis, so its not too far.
I have been to Richmond a few times and fell in love with that city. I am a little familiar with the area. I think I will apply at Henrico among other places.
Link Posted: 5/15/2003 10:53:07 AM EDT
Richmond's great. Drop me a line the next time you come into town and we can grab a beer or something. You know there's a gun show in Richmond this weekend, right?
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