Open Carry vs Concealed in Virginia

Open Carry vs Concealed in Virginia

This is a discussion on Open Carry vs Concealed in Virginia within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Is there a good definition of open carry versus concealed carry. I.e. in VA its illegal to carry into a restaurant that serves alcohol, however ...

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Thread: Open Carry vs Concealed in Virginia

  1. #1
    Member Array prawls's Avatar
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    Open Carry vs Concealed in Virginia

    Is there a good definition of open carry versus concealed carry. I.e. in VA its illegal to carry into a restaurant that serves alcohol, however you can open carry. I have a tuckable holster for my SIG. If I were to un-tuck the holster so that it is visible (albeit minimally) without a jacket, is it considered open carry?
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    Quote Originally Posted by prawls View Post
    Is there a good definition of open carry versus concealed carry. I.e. in VA its illegal to carry into a restaurant that serves alcohol, however you can open carry. I have a tuckable holster for my SIG. If I were to un-tuck the holster so that it is visible (albeit minimally) without a jacket, is it considered open carry?
    Yes. Open carry is any means of carry that is not concealing the gun. Even if that means just having your shirt tucked UNDER your gun so that the gun is visible vs pulling your shirt over your gun.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Yep/agreed. ^^

    Concealed = Unseen & out of direct view
    Openly carried = Visible & within direct view

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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    The VA Code seems a bit ambiguous on open carry. It has to be easily identified as a firearm. So that leaves it open to interpretation. I know a VCDL member who "open carriers" with an IWB so that just the butt of the gun is visible. He has not had any issues as of yet. A LEO friend of mine was in court and another officer was talking with the judge about an illegal concealed carry charge. The judge asked the officer how he knew that the guy was carrying a gun. The cop said because he saw the holster sticking out from under the guy's jacket. The judge said open carry, case dismissed.

    In a survey by Guns & Ammo something like 60% of VSP surveyed would arrest you for having a loaded gun on the seat of your car. That is considered open carry in VA and so those would be bad arrests.

    Keep in mind you may be arrested and charged with almost anything. It is when it gets to the judge that things get sorted out. Now the LEOs and prosecutors are supposed to weed out the bad cases before they get to the judge, because the judges get rather testy about bad cases. So if you are in the right it shouldn't get that far. It also more or less depends on where you are. Some LEOs are better trained than others on gun laws.

    So to answer your questionin Virginia, it depends. When I open carry I leave no doubt. Strong side OWB.
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    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    Code Section 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry.

    says in part:

    . . . . . . . If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material;. . . . . . . . . .

    he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second violation of this section or a conviction under this section subsequent to any conviction under any substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, and a third or subsequent such violation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony.

    For the purpose of this section, a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's true nature.

    Sounds like that if a common joe can see the gun and recognize that it is a gun, you should be OK.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

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    Quote Originally Posted by samb View Post
    Sorry to butt into your post Scott, please forgive, but I edited the post you quoted
    Actually he is not trying to prove a point. Per Virginia law if a restaurant or other establishment serves alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises we are required to transition to open carry versus concealed carry. Concealed carry is illegal, but open carry is legal. The argument becomes what is "common observation". This is where the hairs get split.

    Also it is a misdemeanor for the first offense. Hardly a bank account draining charge in the Commonwealth.
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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    You should be ok with IWB as long as you leave it exposed (ie uncovered). I've open carried (just uncovering my IWB holster) in restaurants from Vienna to Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn, Leesburg, and Winchester. I haven't had any issues yet and a number of times LEO's were on the premisis and clearly noticed my 1911.
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    I too, have open carried with my IWB holster while in a restaurant (a la Virginia tuck)...no issues.

    I had this same question when I first started carrying--and contacted VCDL. So far, has not been a problem.

    Carry safe.

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    Member Array prawls's Avatar
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    Anybody know how to start to have that rule changed?? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense for me to have to show off my gun in Applebee's. I understand the rule, and don't drink when I carry, but would rather see it for establishments that have age requirements, I.e. bars. Or using the 51% rule that other states have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by prawls View Post
    Anybody know how to start to have that rule changed?? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense for me to have to show off my gun in Applebee's. I understand the rule, and don't drink when I carry, but would rather see it for establishments that have age requirements, I.e. bars. Or using the 51% rule that other states have.
    We've been working on it for what 12+ years now?

    Please if you haven't join the VCDL. Sign up for email alerts as well. The VA legislative session is done for this year, but by being active in VCDL you will know when to start talking to your elected reps about getting this overturned. Maybe 2008 will be our year?
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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prawls View Post
    Is there a good definition of open carry versus concealed carry. I.e. in VA its illegal to carry into a restaurant that serves alcohol, however you can open carry. I have a tuckable holster for my SIG. If I were to un-tuck the holster so that it is visible (albeit minimally) without a jacket, is it considered open carry?
    VA case law seems to rely on "visible from 3 sides," although as stated there is quite a bit of leeway, vast amounts of officer discretion. If you are completely OC but up against a wall, what then? VA LEOs have made arrests for illegal CCW based on R side carry in a vehicle, but most if not all were thrown out of court.

    On occasion before I got my CCWP, I carried as you stated, holster visible. The only problem encountered was with a store security officer. He approached me and asked me if "that" was a gun. Yep. "Do you have a concealed handgun permit?" "Didn't you see it?" "Uh, yeah." "Then it's not concealed, is it?" "Uh..."

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
    Code Section 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry.

    says in part:

    . . . . . . . If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation

    For the purpose of this section, a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's true nature.
    Again, "common observation" has been a sticking point in the law for years.

    What do other states say?

    "Deceptive appearance" is commonly understood to be a reference to cane guns, belt buckle guns, etc., although I can see how it could be applied to situations where only the holster is visible, IF the holster is not obviously a holster, i.e. molded and cut to shape. I would NOT want to be the test case for this!
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    Senior Member Array gwhall57's Avatar
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    The wife and I often eat at places (Outback, Chili's) that serve alcohol, and I have taken to locking up my pistol in the car. I wear an IWB Crossbreed "Super-Tuck" - so all I have to do is just un-tuck my shirt and I am open carrying? That is great news.
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    Senior Member Array Juggernaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwhall57 View Post
    The wife and I often eat at places (Outback, Chili's) that serve alcohol, and I have taken to locking up my pistol in the car. I wear an IWB Crossbreed "Super-Tuck" - so all I have to do is just un-tuck my shirt and I am open carrying? That is great news.
    Hey, there fellow Midlothianite. Yes, that is correct.
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