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Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 19:55:21
by PeteyDoug
I was recently arrested for carrying a concealed weapon but was soon released by the magistrate for a discrepancy regarding the law.

I was driving from a Walmart in Henrico, VA. When I was stopped for a improper exhaust. I had two female passengers with me since we went halloween shopping. The officer approached me asking for license and registration, I handed the license and I immediately told him that my registration was in my glovebox along with my firearm. He said then said he'll take a look at that in a second while we were discussing my exhaust. He then said he needed the registration and I asked him how he would of liked to proceed and he said he will grab it from the glovebox. I unlocked the door for him and he opened the glovebox which did not have "Keyed lock" but a "locking latch." He removed the firearm and registration, also making jokes "Im not gonna shoot anyone" to the girls. I told him it was in condition 3 with nothing in the chamber. He then said that he thinks I needed to have a keyed lock on the glovebox and told me to wait while he calls his superiors/judges/etc.
After 30 minutes, he told me step out of the vehicle and arrested me for having a concealed weapon. He said the a judge said it needed to be locked, thus allowing him to make the arrest. We went down to the jail, and I stepped in to see the magristrate, The magistrate then said what I did was not illegal and told the officer I did not need to be in jail, the officer removed the cuffs and drove me back to my vehicle.

Cliff notes:
-Pulled over for improper exhaust
-Notified the officer of my firearm immediatly.
-Officer removed firearm and made calls to see if the glovebox needed to be locked or not.
-Got arrested and sent to jail
-Magistrate released me because he said I wasnt doing anything wrong or illegal.
-I still have court for carrrying a concealed weapon

Seeing that the law states this:

"As of July 1, 2010, a concealed handgun permit is not necessary when carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel."

There is no reference for the container or compartment needed to be locked via key and only states secured. Which is why the magistrate released me.

What is yall's opinion on the word "Secured"?

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 20:03:30
by meak99
I, and I believe all here would, agree with the magistrate, but IANAL. The word locked appears nowhere in the law.... to me secured means not immediately accessible (in a case, console or glove box).

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 22:12:05
by Riposite
I'm trying to find my copy of the virginia gun owner's guide, but without a chp doesn't the law specifically exclude glove boxes and center consoles- for the reason the gun must be secure and not readily accessible and they consider both of these readily accessible?

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 22:21:32
by Riposite
do you have a CHP? other wise i think case law in virginia has tended to interpret glove boxes as readily accesible and concealed though. Statue 18.2-308 is the applicable one i believe

Also unless you have a CHP the gun has to be empty to be transported in the car (conditon 3 is empty chamber but loaded magazine correct?) regardless of where it is secured.

I am not a lawyer as well, but it sounds to me that maybe you should talk to one

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 22:25:52
by PeteyDoug
I do not have a CHP, I've taken the training course but have not turned the application in yet.

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 23:32:29
by ProShooter
The officer made a mistake. The securing latch on your glove box is sufficient. There have already been court decisions in your favor on this.

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Sun, 30 Oct 2011 23:56:31
by XSNOWMANx
I have a safe under the back seat in my truck for this reason. There is no way they can say its readily accessible to me while locked in a safe under my back seat. But out of curiousity for when I'm in my car, securing latch meaning what? My glove box doesn't have a lock on it.

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 01:15:42
by Diomed
The magistrate ordered you released after saying you didn't break the law, but you're still looking at a summons on the charge? That doesn't make much sense to me, but then I'm not up on the nitty-gritty of the magistrate system.

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 03:24:01
by PeteyDoug
XSNOWMANx wrote:I have a safe under the back seat in my truck for this reason. There is no way they can say its readily accessible to me while locked in a safe under my back seat. But out of curiousity for when I'm in my car, securing latch meaning what? My glove box doesn't have a lock on it.

The securing latch is a latch that you have to twist in order for the glove box to stay closed, turn it once and it unlocks then you pull in latch down and the glove box opens, my glovebox also doesn't have a keyed lock.

Diomed wrote:The magistrate ordered you released after saying you didn't break the law, but you're still looking at a summons on the charge? That doesn't make much sense to me, but then I'm not up on the nitty-gritty of the magistrate system.

Exactly, the magistrate told me to wait outside then after about 15 minutes the arresting officer came out saying "You have your car keys? C'mon i'm giving you a ride back to your car"

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 08:22:06
by allingeneral
Virginia Code 18.2-308(B)10 wrote:Except as provided in subsection J1, this section shall not apply to:

10. Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel.


Glove boxes and center consoles are considered a "container or compartment".

This code section was just updated this year and went into effect on July 1st [edit: 2010 - how time flies!], if I remember correctly.

I have to ask why you have to go to court if the magistrate let you go? I don't understand.

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 08:43:51
by ProShooter
[quote="allingeneralI have to ask why you have to go to court if the magistrate let you go? I don't understand.[/quote]

Sounds like the Magistrate upheld the summons but ordered him released on a PR bond. That's not unusual, as long as the defendant is not a flight risk. Its a new statute so the Magistrate was wise to send it to the court for a decision.

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 08:49:56
by Riposite
allingeneral wrote:
Virginia Code 18.2-308(B)10 wrote:Except as provided in subsection J1, this section shall not apply to:

10. Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel.


Glove boxes and center consoles are considered a "container or compartment".

This code section was just updated this year and went into effect on July 1st [edit: 2010 - how time flies!], if I remember correctly.

I have to ask why you have to go to court if the magistrate let you go? I don't understand.



ah cool - thanks for the clarification


so does loaded or unloaded make a difference?

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 08:57:05
by newdovo
Riposite wrote:...without a chp doesn't the law specifically exclude glove boxes and center consoles- for the reason the gun must be secure and not readily accessible and they consider both of these readily accessible?

I did a little digging on the state police website, and couldn't find anything specific on what the word "secured" means. But I'm not so sure that it means "not readily accessible." The title of the code that has the reference is § 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry. If the intent is personal protection, a gun that is not readily accessible is useless.
PeteyDoug, keep us posted on the outcome of your court hearing.

Parry

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 09:52:36
by dorminWS
PeteyDoug:

Whatever you do, LAWYER UP!. Don't go to court unrepresented. And get a lawyer who knows this area of the law.

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 12:11:21
by Chasbo00
DorminWS is right - get a gun-law savvy lawyer. You might even have a false arrest case and be able to turn a hassle into some extra spending money.

Please keep us posted. I'm sure many of us here on the forums are interested in the outcome.

Good luck!

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 13:50:26
by Riposite
Now i have a question -even if the glove box falls under a secured container:

"3. Any regularly enrolled member of a target shooting organization who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported; "
the statue states the weapon must be unloaded; and the original poster states the weapon was in condition 3,ie no round chambered, but a full magazine in place-doesn't that make it a violation? (since they are not a chp holder)

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:23:49
by TenchCoxe
It looks like there are a few here in this thread who are not entirely clear on the applicable provision of the law at issue here.

Virginia Code § 18.2-308 is the section that addresses carrying concealed weapons. As we all know, it generally forbids carrying various weapons concealed, but then allows carrying a concealed handgun, with a permit.

Subsection B of section 18.2-308 states: "Except as provided in subsection J1, this section shall not apply to:" and then lists 10 exceptions to the permit requirement.

The 10 exceptions include:

"Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel."

So - if you are not otherwise prohibited from being in possession of a firearm, you legally can carry a handgun in a "personal, private motor vehicle or vessel" (so, not your company work truck) IF that handgun is "secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel."

There is no requirement that it be unloaded.

This exception was enacted in 2010, so if you're reading an older printed version of the Virginia Code, it won't be in there.

There is a DIFFERENT exclusion for:

"Any regularly enrolled member of a target shooting organization who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported."

That exception DOES require the gun to be unloaded, but it does not require it to be "secured in a container or compartment." They must be "securely wrapped" - whatever that might mean.

In this case, the question is what does it mean, or what is required, for a handgun to be "secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle"?

The statute does not define the term. Where a statute does not define a term used, Virginia court typically look at the generally-accepted definition - i.e., they look it up in the dictionary.

A quick look at Merriam-Webster gives this for "secure":

a : to relieve from exposure to danger : act to make safe against adverse contingencies <secure a supply line from enemy raids> b : to put beyond hazard of losing or of not receiving : guarantee <secure the blessings of liberty — United States Constitution>. It then gives the following examples:

* We must secure the country's borders.
* Secure your belongings under the seat.
* secure a child safety seat
* The seat is secured to the base by three screws.
* She scored a goal to secure the team's victory.

So it pretty much means to keep the gun safe - i.e., so it's not just rattling around inside your car somewhere.

Perhaps even more tellingly, looking at the scant legislative history of this provision, the original bill language used the word "secured" in a vehicle.

Then it went to the Senate, where it was amended to replace "secured" with "locked" - so it would have required the gun to be "locked in a container or compartment in a vehicle or vessel."

And in fact, that was the version that actually passed the house and senate! But thankfully, the Governor sent it back with a recommendation to change "locked" back to "secured." Which the General Assembly did. So the final version, enacted by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor, used the word "secured" instead of "locked." So that demonstrates that the requirement to keep the gun "locked" in a container or compartment was considered but then rejected, in favor of requiring it to be "secured" in a container or compartment in the vehicle.

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:26:09
by Chasbo00
Riposite wrote:Now i have a question -even if the glove box falls under a secured container:

"3. Any regularly enrolled member of a target shooting organization who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported; "
the statue states the weapon must be unloaded; and the original poster states the weapon was in condition 3,ie no round chambered, but a full magazine in place-doesn't that make it a violation? (since they are not a chp holder)



http://leg1.state.va.us/000/cod/18.2-308.HTM

You quoted B.3. Take a look at B.10.

10. Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel.

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:30:50
by TenchCoxe
If the magistrate said that what you did was not illegal, I'm trying to understand why you still have to go to court for carrying a concealed weapon.

If you still have a court date, you need to get yourself a good lawyer NOW.

As suggested, it could be that magistrate personally felt that you had not violated the law, so you could be let go, but wanted to leave it up to the court to make the decision as to the correct interpretation of the law.

Get a lawyer!

Re: Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

PostPosted: Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:33:32
by TenchCoxe
By the way, I see people talking about whether it's "readily accessible." There is nothing in the statute about whether the gun is "readily accessible."

Being that anyone who is legal to possess a handgun can carry one openly, it would not be illegal to drive around with a pistol sitting on your dashboard, in full view. It's not concealed, but it is "readily accessible." But it's not illegal to have a gun "readily accessible;" it's illegal to have one "hidden from common observation" without a permit.

It need only be "secured in a container or compartment in a vehicle." I certainly would argue that based on the plain language of the statute that having the gun inside a closed, latched glovebox is "secured in a compartment in a vehicle."