Virginia State Law Regarding Carrying a Loaded Gun in Public

You waited for over six months for your WWII Luger P08 to be shipped from Germany and it finally arrived. You were so excited that as soon as you got it, you immediately took it to the gun range to fire a few shots. You now want to go show it off to your buddies, but they’re all at work for another three hours. Although you know you should probably just wait, the anticipation of seeing their jealous faces is just too much for you to handle.

You decide that you just can’t wait a second longer, jump into your car and head downtown to your best friend’s office building. You’re so excited that you put the pedal to the floor and race past a policeman without even noticing. As he turns his lights on and forces you over to the shoulder, you realize that you have absolutely no idea what the Virginia gun laws say about open carrying.

What are you going to do?

As he saunters up to your window, you really wish you had read up on handgun laws before you decided to do show-and-tell.

Virginia “Open Carry” Laws

The laws in the United States pertaining to openly carrying a firearm on one’s person vary from state to state. Some states place strict limits on when and where you can have a gun in public while other states are more lenient. Federal law does not restrict the open carrying of firearms in public, although specific rules may apply to property owned or operated by the federal government. For the most part, gun legislation is up to each individual state.

The Virginia Legislature has made their position clear by enacting Code 18.2-287.4. This code states that open carry isn’t illegal unto itself, but has the following stipulations:

  • Semi-automatic rifles or pistols that have the ability to shoot single or multiple projectiles and are equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition cannot be carried in public.
  • Firearms equipped with silencers or that are designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer shall not be allowed in public.
  • Shotguns with a magazine that holds more than seven additional rounds for which it is chambered shall not be allowed to be carried on or about a person.

 The above rules pertain to all persons except:

  • Law-enforcement officers
  • Licensed security guards
  • On-duty military personnel
  • Any person having a valid concealed handgun permit
  • Persons engaged in lawful hunting
  • Persons engaged in lawful recreational shooting activities at an established shooting range

The rules also pertain to all public areas that fall under the following classifications:

  • Any city with a population of 160,000 or more, or having an urban county executive form of government or county manager form of government
  • Any public streets, roads, alleys, rights-of-way or sidewalks
  • Public parks
  • Any place open to the public

Knowing the Law Can Save You and Your Friends More Than Just a Ticket

Make sure your family and friends aren’t caught unaware. Use your social media to share this information with them via Facebook or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about open carry laws, tickets, or convictions. We’re here to not only help you understand your rights, but make sure that your rights are upheld. Call today for more information.