Monday, May 24, 2010

Changes to Gun Law in Virginia

You can keep up with all this at the VCDL site but I wanted to mention the following changes and I'm quoting from the VCDL release...


Starting July 1, CHP holders can carry concealed in restaurants and clubs that serve alcoholic beverages for on premise consumption, however the CHP holder cannot drink alcoholic beverages while carrying concealed. Police officers, on and off duty, as well as Commonwealth Attorneys, can carry concealed and drink responsibly.

There is NO requirement to notify anyone that you are carrying concealed in a restaurant or club and VCDL recommends taking a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The restaurant or club has the right to notify customers that guns are prohibited, or that a particular type of carry is prohibited (such as "no open carry" or, perhaps, "open carry only"). Regardless, if there was no obvious signage posted or you were not told verbally that guns are not allowed, you are NOT required to ask
permission and I suggest that you don't - just go about your business.

Open carry remains unchanged by the new law and allows for responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.


For those who do not have a CHP, starting July 1 they can have a loaded handgun with them concealed in their motor vehicle or vessel as long as the handgun is secured in a container (such as a zipped bag, closed gun case, closed briefcase, etc.) or in a compartment (glovebox, console, etc.).

NOTE: Remember that if you don't have a CHP, you generally can't carry a handgun in such a closed container OUTSIDE of your motor vehicle or vessel.


The new vehicle carry law, above, has an additional benefit for BOTH CHP holders and non-CHP holders. Under the law effective July 1, a loaded handgun can be kept in a secured container or a secured compartment in a motor vehicle while on K-12 school property.

The new vehicle carry law (18.2-308 B 10) is in the list of general exemptions from the concealed weapon law. Police officers and Commonwealth Attorneys, for example, are listed in 18.2-308 B. The key is that in the third paragraph of the K-12 school weapons law (18.2-308.1) it says that anyone exempted from the concealed weapon law
is also exempted from the ban on guns on K-12 school property.

Thus, as long as your loaded handgun is in a secured compartment or a secured container BEFORE you pull onto school property and REMAINS SECURED in that compartment or container UNTIL AFTER you pull off the property, you are legal.

In case those of you with CHPs are wondering why you can't carry outside of your vehicle on K-12 school property, that's because the CHP wording (18.2-308 D) is NOT in the list of exemptions to the concealed weapon law (18.2-308 B and 18.2-308 C). Instead, you can think of your CHP as a "get out of jail free" card. You are not actually exempted from the concealed carry law, but you have an affirmative defense against any prosecution.

I think we should be working to exempt CHP holders from the concealed weapon law.

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