• We are now running on a new, and hopefully much-improved, server. In addition we are also on new forum software. Any move entails a lot of technical details and I suspect we will encounter a few issues as the new server goes live. Please be patient with us. It will be worth it! :) Please help by posting all issues here.
  • The forum will be down for about an hour this weekend for maintenance. I apologize for the inconvenience.
  • If you are having trouble seeing the forum then you may need to clear your browser's DNS cache. Click here for instructions on how to do that
  • Please review the Forum Rules frequently as we are constantly trying to improve the forum for our members and visitors.

Virginia Legal Definition of Open Carry

Thundar

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
4,945
Location
Newport News, Virginia, USA
Newport News passed an open carry ban in municipal buildings last week. This week I spoke at a zoning board meeting at the city hall council chambers. I was carrying something in a CZ82 flap holster. Police officer approached me and said “open carry was illegal”. I told him there was no visible firearm and he said “have a good night“ and left.

So my question is simple. What is the legal definition of open carry in Virginia?
 

color of law

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
5,842
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Well that is in the eye of the beholder. The definition is allover the place. If I remember right Florida's law is if you can discern it is a gun then it being openly carried. I other words printing is open carry.

Per Virginia law: § 18.2-308. Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions; penalty.
A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation,.......
 
Last edited:

Thundar

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
4,945
Location
Newport News, Virginia, USA
Yes, I am familiar with the hidden from common observation language in § 18.2-308 for concealed carry. That logic also makes the assumption that what is not concealed carry is open carry. Not sure that will fly. It will be very interesting to see how the Virginia courts interpret the definition of open carry.
 

color of law

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
5,842
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Well if you knew that, then the firearm you were carrying in a flap holster was being openly carried. The officer's common observation was you were carrying. Now, as to the city banning open carry in city buildings runs against the Virginia's constitution and statutory law. But if that is the case then they must be allowing concealed carry without a license to carry in the buildings. They can't have it both ways.

Legislatures have the right to enact laws in regard to the manner in which arms shall be borne, but noting that a statute that destroys the right altogether under the pretence of regulating the manner of carry would be clearly unconstitutional. Courts have long held that although a State may prohibit the open or concealed carry of firearms, it may not ban both because a complete prohibition on public carry violates the Second Amendment and analogous state constitutional provisions.

I suggest you do some research and you may find that I'm not far off the mark.
 

2a4all

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
1,848
Location
Newport News, Virginia, USA
Well if you knew that, then the firearm you were carrying in a flap holster was being openly carried. The officer's common observation was you were carrying. Now, as to the city banning open carry in city buildings runs against the Virginia's constitution and statutory law. But if that is the case then they must be allowing concealed carry without a license to carry in the buildings. They can't have it both ways.

Legislatures have the right to enact laws in regard to the manner in which arms shall be borne, but noting that a statute that destroys the right altogether under the pretence of regulating the manner of carry would be clearly unconstitutional. Courts have long held that although a State may prohibit the open or concealed carry of firearms, it may not ban both because a complete prohibition on public carry violates the Second Amendment and analogous state constitutional provisions.

I suggest you do some research and you may find that I'm not far off the mark.
As of July 1, 2020, Virginia localities have the statutory authority to regulate the carry of firearms within or upon local government facilities. Newport News has chosen to ban open carry. The new ordinance hasn't been posted yet, as extensive signage is required to provide proper notice. Probably why the cop let Thundar off.
See: https://nngov.civicweb.net/document...h.pdf?handle=709CA50E01234648A3861F857C2ABC11
 

color of law

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
5,842
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
As of July 1, 2020, Virginia localities have the statutory authority to regulate the carry of firearms within or upon local government facilities. Newport News has chosen to ban open carry. The new ordinance hasn't been posted yet, as extensive signage is required to provide proper notice. Probably why the cop let Thundar off.
See: https://nngov.civicweb.net/document/14283/Ordinance Amending and Reordaining City Code Ch.pdf?handle=709CA50E01234648A3861F857C2ABC11
But not constitutional authority. Unfortunately your state has been over run by communists, including, I'm sure, the courts. You guys had a chance to stop it, but you wussed out. "We shall not comply" and then you all complied.
 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
9,319
Location
here nc
So tell us what we should have done, and how we should have gone about it.

uh, a good start would’ve been to raise h3ll way back when as Bloomberg bought the VA legislative body...

so guess the next course of action would be that the good gun toting VA citizens should start getting active in usurping those overseeing idiots currently in the state Legislative & local community Councils who are passing these well conceived governances on the citizens they represent!

Oh and 2a4all, et al., please do not reference the debacle(s) which occurred earlier this year as well as in more recent years as examples of “WE HAVE BEEN!” as the State’s legislative body did more harm to gun rights after the gatherings then ever before!

Guess i missed the news on the attempts at recall elections of those overseers who successfully requested & pushed the new legislation through from the masses affected after the legislative activities subsided...

only course of action is dethrone those overseers...BUT...who is going to whip up the masses?
 

BB62

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
4,046
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Newport News passed an open carry ban in municipal buildings last week. This week I spoke at a zoning board meeting at the city hall council chambers. I was carrying something in a CZ82 flap holster. Police officer approached me and said “open carry was illegal”. I told him there was no visible firearm and he said “have a good night“ and left.

So my question is simple. What is the legal definition of open carry in Virginia?
May I suggest the Freedom Cover? (not that this it is freedom, but anyway...)

 

user

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
2,516
Location
Northern Piedmont
Well if you knew that, then the firearm you were carrying in a flap holster was being openly carried. The officer's common observation was you were carrying. Now, as to the city banning open carry in city buildings runs against the Virginia's constitution and statutory law. But if that is the case then they must be allowing concealed carry without a license to carry in the buildings. They can't have it both ways.

Legislatures have the right to enact laws in regard to the manner in which arms shall be borne, but noting that a statute that destroys the right altogether under the pretence of regulating the manner of carry would be clearly unconstitutional. Courts have long held that although a State may prohibit the open or concealed carry of firearms, it may not ban both because a complete prohibition on public carry violates the Second Amendment and analogous state constitutional provisions.

I suggest you do some research and you may find that I'm not far off the mark.
I agree completely.
 

solus

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
9,319
Location
here nc
User sorry this member is unable to send you a PM regarding it is good to see your smile and commentary...
 

user

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
2,516
Location
Northern Piedmont
"hidden from common observation" means that if you'd bothered to look, and still couldn't see it, it's "hidden". That came up a lot for me about 20 years ago, when there was a statewide rash of carrying concealed without a permit cases. What the cops were doing is stopping motorists and making them get out of the car while they did a cursory search (what they could see from the windows using flashlights). If the motorist had a gun in a holster, openly, or a gun on the passenger seat, the cops would say that, since they were unable to see the gun when they approached the vehicle (right? not even close enough to actually look) that the gun was therefore "hidden from common observation". I always tried those cases (when the client didn't chicken out and take a plea) and in cross examining the cop I would ask questions about how diligent he'd been in looking (they had never bothered to look until after the driver had been detained - i.e., there had never been probable cause to detain the driver much less issue a criminal charge). I also made a big deal out of the fact that when they did bother to look, they had no trouble seeing that which had been open to public viewing all along. They stopped doing that as other attorneys picked up my techniques.
 
Last edited:

color of law

Accomplished Advocate
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
5,842
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Kenosha County Case Number 2016CM000842 State of Wisconsin vs. Guy A Smith
That is not a link. A link is a reference to data that can be followed by clicking or tapping it.

Here is a link to a story. https://www.jsonline.com/story/news...g-while-armed-case-against-trucker/610144001/

A case that might have clarified whether you can drive while armed in Wisconsin was dismissed Monday, the day it was scheduled for trial.

The issue is whether you can drive with a loaded handgun within reach, even without having a concealed carry permit.
 
Top