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Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:40:16
by Liberty4me
I'm trying to figure out - with some certainty - the age requirement for carrying a handgun openly in Virginia. I thought it was 18 and I did my best to research the law (I'm not a lawyer).

My 19-year old son was recently pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. He had a holstered handgun on the passenger seat next to him. The police officer returned the gun and ammunition to him and told my son that he wasn't going to be in any trouble for it this time, but the law mandated a minimum age of 21 to possess a handgun.

I know you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun from an FFL or to buy handgun ammunition (federal law). However, I thought the age to possess and carry open in Virginia was 18. Can anyone give me the facts on this? Thanks so much.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:52:28
by Vahunter
18 to possess, 21 to buy from a FFL and get a CHP. 18 can buy from a private party.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:53:35
by Chasbo00
"It shall be unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport a handgun or assault firearm anywhere in the Commonwealth."

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504 ... 18.2-308.7

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:57:11
by Liberty4me
Thank you very much. I wonder why police are so often uninformed on this law?

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 19:13:35
by OakRidgeStars
Liberty4me wrote:Thank you very much. I wonder why police are so often uninformed on this law?


You would be surprised how many lawyers can make a good living of that very thing.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 20:05:00
by Yarddawg
Liberty4me wrote:Thank you very much. I wonder why police are so often uninformed on this law?


Unfortunately, there are far too many laws on the books for LEO's to know them all. For the most part, they do an acceptable job.

Since the officer did not try to push the issue, I believe that the officer was admitting that they did not feel that they were as knowledgeable as they would like to be on the subject.

Did the officer need to make the comment "that he wasn't going to be in any trouble for it this time"? Probably not, since I was not there, I don't know all of the circumstances that may have predicated such a statement. For example, there may have been a perceived action of disrespect towards the officer. Again, I don't know.

Should the officer have stated that the legal age in VA to possess a handgun is 21? Absolutely not! Since the officer wisely decided not to press the matter, I say "no harm, no foul".

Here I will insert the standard disclaimers of IANAL, and YMMV.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 18:36:46
by gunderwood
I had the same thing happen to a friend and they claimed they misread the code which was posted above as "21" vice the very clear "18" is actually is. They even called it into the magistrate and pseudo arrested him (they acted like it, removed him from the scene, impounded his car, but didn't read him his rights or book him...of course they questioned him for hours). Some localities like to harass you, so make sure you son knows how to handle it or else his statements could be used against him.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:19:30
by zephyp
Gee, I thought most of these folks carried some kind of communications device...like maybe a couple radios in the car, belt radio, cell phone, etc, etc, etc...how difficult is it to make a quick call to someone knowledgeable and ask a simple question rather than attempting to terrorize a law abiding citizen...

And, before some genius points out that most dispatchers wont know the answer either, the VA Code is posted on line and even most idiots these days know how to use a computer.

I'm not by any stretch of the imagination inferring that LE are idiots, merely saying anyone in doubt can have a code cite pretty quickly if they want one...

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 15:50:18
by Jakeiscrazy
zephyp wrote:Gee, I thought most of these folks carried some kind of communications device...like maybe a couple radios in the car, belt radio, cell phone, etc, etc, etc...how difficult is it to make a quick call to someone knowledgeable and ask a simple question rather than attempting to terrorize a law abiding citizen...

And, before some genius points out that most dispatchers wont know the answer either, the VA Code is posted on line and even most idiots these days know how to use a computer.

I'm not by any stretch of the imagination inferring that LE are idiots, merely saying anyone in doubt can have a code cite pretty quickly if they want one...


Better yet carry the code on you! Thats what I do, I keep a small excerpt in my wallet that pertains to the stuff I carry. There is less arguing when your informed enough to pull it out of your very own pocket and have them read it.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 16:22:22
by davasmith
Maybe ya'll in the northern part of the state can get together and post some signs on the side of the road, or perhaps get some bulletin boards that state the laws and codes pertaining to open carry, concealed carry and possession with the help of our new governor? MAYBE.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 16:35:37
by moss20
I went to Va. State Police & NRA websites and printed the gun laws listed on both and keep them in my glovebox just in case I come across an ill informed LEO. Your son might want to do the same.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 16:41:58
by gunderwood
Printing out the code (not just the words, but the reference/url/etc.) is a great idea.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Sat, 02 Apr 2011 17:08:13
by TimberWolf
My concealed instructor was a retired cop. He said if the cop mis-stated the law, hassled you or ran the serial number on your gun (without cause) then you shouldn't argue with the cop at the stop, but you should call their supervisor later. He said if the officer is ill-informed or mis-informed then arguing is just going to aggravate the officer.

If they actually arrest you then I wouldn't said a word until have a lawyer present. Anything you say can and will be used against you. The key word being "against".

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Sat, 02 Apr 2011 22:12:12
by Jakeiscrazy
TimberWolf wrote:My concealed instructor was a retired cop. He said if the cop mis-stated the law, hassled you or ran the serial number on your gun (without cause) then you shouldn't argue with the cop at the stop, but you should call their supervisor later. He said if the officer is ill-informed or mis-informed then arguing is just going to aggravate the officer.

If they actually arrest you then I wouldn't said a word until have a lawyer present. Anything you say can and will be used against you. The key word being "against".


Mostly true but if a little trouble can be avoided but cited the law then I'm all for it. Also according to a rep for FairFax PD if you ask them to call their supervisor on seen they are obligated to.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Sun, 03 Apr 2011 10:48:43
by SgtBill
Also according to a rep for FairFax PD if you ask them to call their supervisor on seen they are obligated to.[/quote]

Not realy true. Depending on the Department's policy and proceedures will decide if a Supervisor will come to the sceen. Some Departments will wait untill it gets within the wall's of the department before a supervisor will get involved. Also remember that you just might piss off the LEO when you ask for his Supervisor to appear on the sceen. Your choice.
:roll:
Bill

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Sun, 03 Apr 2011 15:22:32
by Jakeiscrazy
SgtBill wrote:Also according to a rep for FairFax PD if you ask them to call their supervisor on seen they are obligated to.


Not realy true. Depending on the Department's policy and proceedures will decide if a Supervisor will come to the sceen. Some Departments will wait untill it gets within the wall's of the department before a supervisor will get involved. Also remember that you just might piss off the LEO when you ask for his Supervisor to appear on the sceen. Your choice.
:roll:
Bill[/quote]

Yeah it also seems like it would piss of the supervisor a little.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Mon, 04 Apr 2011 09:18:41
by SgtBill
Not all supervisors would get pissed off. I got called many times and for the most part I stayed professional about the request to see me. Altho there were times when a request to see a supervisor would piss me off to no end when I was tied up with something that was a hell of a lot more important to Public Safety.
Bill

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Tue, 05 Apr 2011 05:22:33
by zephyp
TimberWolf wrote:My concealed instructor was a retired cop. He said if the cop mis-stated the law, hassled you or ran the serial number on your gun (without cause) then you shouldn't argue with the cop at the stop, but you should call their supervisor later. He said if the officer is ill-informed or mis-informed then arguing is just going to aggravate the officer.

If they actually arrest you then I wouldn't said a word until have a lawyer present. Anything you say can and will be used against you. The key word being "against".


Yep, if you aggravate them then you run the risk of getting into a situation where you actually do break the law.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Thu, 05 May 2011 12:16:01
by ShortMan
If you really think about it, kinda stupid that an 18 year old can own and carry a pistol, but cant buy it.
Understandable that many people (even cops) would get confused on the issue.

On an unrelated note, I would never have a gun in my car anywhere except on my person (pocket or hip) or in a case in the trunk or back seat. Any gun in your car should be under your direct control or locked away and unloaded.
Leaving it on the passengers seat, loaded, is not such a great idea. If he slams the brakes the gun will launch forward off the seat. Or at a stop some slick bastard might smash the window and nab it.

Re: Open Carry Rules

PostPosted: Thu, 05 May 2011 12:49:21
by gunderwood
ShortMan wrote:If you really think about it, kinda stupid that an 18 year old can own and carry a pistol, but cant buy it.
Understandable that many people (even cops) would get confused on the issue.

They can buy it, they just can't buy it from a FFL.