2015 Update to Edition 8
THE VIRGINIA GUN OWNER'S GUIDE
Bring your book up-to-date
The perfect companion to this book:
P18 The McDonald case in 2010 made it clear the Second Amendment applies to all the states, not just the federal government.
P19 Three more titles of the Virginia Code now contain gun law: Title 30 General Assembly, Title 58.1 Taxation, and Title 64.2 Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries, bringing to 19 the titles containing gun law. Motor Vehicles is now Title 46.2 (was 46).
P23 Pneumatic guns remain banned, “except on private property with permission of the owner and where reasonable care is taken to ensure the projectile does not leave the property.”
P26 Foreign nationals (aliens) may not possess, transport or carry assault weapons, as defined, openly or concealed.
P27 Rights are restored automatically when certain drug or juvenile offenses are rectified, described on page 26 under items 7 and 8. Other rights-restoration improvements from 2015 are described.
P31 A closed container for having a gun on school grounds does not include a glove box or console, but does include (not “must include”) a locked vehicle trunk. The info has been fine tuned for clarity of these confusing rules. (e.g., placing a gun in the trunk must be done off school property, so you don’t expose it while on the grounds).
P35 The one-handgun-a-month shopping limit has been repealed, so that language no longer applies.
P36 Clarified: these rules cover sale from licensed dealers. The repealed one-gun-a-month infringement details are removed. The SP-65 state form has Virginia specific questions not on the federal paperwork.
P38 The background check now uses five databases, since the calendar file is no longer needed for the repealed one-gun-a-month infringement file. Although Virginia law frees dealers to complete sales within a single day if state police do not respond, federal law requires dealers to wait three business days, and some dealers are afraid to make sales at all if feds do not respond.
P37–39 Delete the entire set of repealed one-gun-a-month shopping rules.
P39 Out-of-state purchases can be legally completed by a dealer in your home state, after the gun is shipped to a dealer in your home state, whether purchased from a dealer or a private person elsewhere.
P40 Last graf about gun shows: A firearm being sold to a non-resident must be shipped from a dealer in the gun-show state to a dealer in the purchaser’s home state, where the background check and transfer will then be completed.
Only long guns can be shipped through the U.S. Post Office.
P41 Fine tune Interstate Travel to clarify that the federal guarantee to transport unloaded firearms in your trunk may only apply on direct trips with no side trips or extra stops. The federal law may apply as a “defense to prosecution,” where you are charged with crimes and have to prove innocence, an abusive affront to honest people, and law, by bigoted “officials.”
Many states now recognize gun-carry permits, depending on what state issued it, reducing formerly constitutional rights to government issued papers with taxes, tests and expiration dates. Virginia “officials” are in the midst of disallowing many formerly reciprocal states, check their website.
P44 Former loss of hunting rights for life has been reduced to five years.
P51 The odious and repealed one-gun-a-month infringement requirement has been removed from the books.
Clarify out-of-state purchases: You may purchase a handgun outside of your home state but you must have a licensed dealer there ship the handgun to a licensed dealer in your home state for a background check and transfer there, if dealers in both states are willing to arrange such a transaction, usually for a fee.
P54 Car carry exceptions are noted. Since 2010 it has been legal to keep handguns in a vehicle, loaded or unloaded, stored in a glove compartment, console or other compartment or container as long as the compartment or container is closed and latched. The container need not be locked but it may be. You cannot conceal a gun anywhere else in the vehicle if you don’t have a permit. Do not put it under the seat or throw something on top of it, or place it under the floor mat, etc. Previously, concealed guns in cars were banned.
P55 Ironically, a gun nearby properly concealed is OK, but a gun further away improperly concealed is an offense.
P56 Delete: “car console (Leith 1994)”
State police can no longer say ‘a weapon is concealed when, without a permit, it is hidden from common observation and is placed in a location within reach so that without an overt act it can be retrieved,’ because now the new exceptions apply.
P56–57 The old list (delete 1–6) for carrying discretely without a permit is replaced with a new list:
1–Any person while in their own place of abode or the curtilage thereof;
2–Any person while in their own place of business;
3–Any regularly enrolled member of a target-shooting organization who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while transported;
4–Any regularly enrolled member of a weapons-collecting organization who is at, or going to or from, a bona fide weapons exhibition, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while transported;
5–Any person carrying such weapons between their place of abode and a place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while transported;
6–Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting, as authorized by the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, under inclement weather conditions necessitating temporary protection of the firearm from those conditions. Possession of a handgun while engaged in lawful hunting shall not be construed as hunting with a handgun if the person hunting is carrying a valid concealed handgun permit;
7–Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel.
P58 As of 2015, there are more than 410,000 active Virginia carry permits.
P59 If you don’t have the permit with you when carrying a concealed handgun, the court can levy a $25 civil fine against you, which can be waived if you produce your valid permit in court.
P59 The rules for going out drinking while armed have changed: 1–You cannot carry a concealed handgun into any club or restaurant where alcohol is sold and served for consumption on the premises and consume alcohol (but federal, state, or local law enforcement officers can carry and consume alcohol); a club is defined as a private non-profit organization operated for a national, social, patriotic, political, athletic or similar purpose. A person who is openly carrying a handgun, in a bizarre quirk of law, is not prohibited from consuming alcohol in a restaurant or club;
In item 3, state parks is now state forests.
P60 Under disqualification, §18.2-308 is now §18.2-308.09.
P62, 63 Fingerprinting is no longer required, and localities cannot take it upon themselves to perform it for a carry permit. All the business about getting the cards back and copies is now deleted.
P63 Notifying CHP authorities of a change of address is no longer required, but you may do so, to your original Court Clerk, and get a new card for $10.
P64 Only about 3.4% of the public nationwide applied for permits by 2014.
P64–66 Five reciprocity lists are in constant flux—reciprocity, we recognize you, you recognize us, you can get their permit and freedom to carry (no permit needed)—are in the book, and cannot be relied upon. They are now being gutted by Va. “officials.” For the most up-to-date lists check with the State Police, and ask why the Second Amendment isn’t enough. As we go to press, 25 states are scheduled to lose reciprocity, a predicted result of CHP.
P69 Carry in a place of worship while a religious meeting is under way requires “good cause.” A Virginia Attorney General opinion from 2011 stated that carrying a firearm for self defense qualifies as a good and sufficient reason.
Clarification: The state violation for illegal possession on school grounds requires knowingly being in possession.
Item 4, the bizarre drink-while-open-carrying, but not while discreetly carrying rule, with LEO exceptions, is the same as on P60 above.
P70 The rule for special guns in cities with a population of more than 160,000 has been changed to a cities-and-counties list: Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach, or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William. Shotguns in those places cannot have an eight-round or greater capacity of the longest ammunition for which the firearm is chambered.
Permit holders are exempt from some Game and Inland Fisheries regulations on gun possession while carrying a concealed handgun.
P71 State and local Parks, and State Forests. After a long drawn out battle with officials, open and concealed carry are allowed in state and local parks. Open carry is currently prohibited in state forests.
National Parks and Wildlife Refuges. Federal authorities have since 1983 banned all operable firearms in these locations, without apparent delegated authority to do so. In 2008 under enormous pressure from the public and Congress they repealed the ban for National Parks, freeing people to bear arms based on state law for the park’s location. In Virginia, concealed carry with a permit and open carry are legal and therefore both are legal in a National Park in Virginia. Carry and possession remains prohibited here in Wildlife Refuges.
P75 You can conceal a firearm: In a glove compartment, console, or other closed and latched (but not necessarily locked) compartment or container in your vehicle or vessel.
P79 Item 4 “firearms” is now sawed-off shotguns less than .225 caliber, which are now excluded. The silencer ban is repealed (item 6). Subsequent items are renumbered.
P84 The one-gun-a-month rule has been repealed (last line on the page).
P87 Armor-piercing ammo has several uses (with a “sporting purposes” exemption for some armor-piercing ammunition).
P91 Adding to the patchwork described, laws existing prior to Oct. 1, 1987 were “grandfathered,” with only new laws being preempted at the local level.
P92 Delete §15.2-915.3. Cities and counties cannot require fingerprinting.
§15.2-915.5. Requires that any locality that participates in a “gun buy up” must first attempt to auction off any guns they acquired to a licensed gun dealer. Any guns that could not be sold can then be destroyed if the locality chooses to do so.
P93 §15.2-1206. Repealed. Counties can no longer impose a license tax of up to $25 on a handgun dealer.
§15.2-1207. Repealed. This law had allowed counties to require sellers of handguns to report the sale to the clerk of the circuit court. The repeal also requires the county to destroy any such records that might still exist.
P94 Local officials can no longer act to limit or control permit-holder activity.
P95 Under the current preemption law, even duplicating state laws is not legal and localities are continuing to repeal such duplications on their books.
P96 The Local Ordinance Sampler is updated to 2015. Many samples have been repealed due to new state limitations on local abuse. For example, no longer valid:
It is unlawful to transport or possess a loaded shotgun or loaded rifle in any vehicle on the road from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.
– No discharge of firearms except on approved ranges.
– It shall be unlawful to discharge or shoot any firearm or other weapon in or along any public road or street or within 100 yards thereof or within 100 yards of any building occupied or used as a dwelling or place where the public gathers, not his own dwelling or residence.
– It is unlawful to discharge any firearms, spring-propelled rifle or pistol, or air-propelled rifle or pistol from, on, across or within 150 yards of any city building, dwelling, street, sidewalk, alley, roadway or public place within the city limits: check local county/city ordinances.
11–No discharge of rifles larger than .22 except on approved ranges.
12–It shall be unlawful to discharge a firearm within any densely populated area: within 200 yards from any structure or within 100 yards from any public street, secondary road, or highway within the city, except on a permitted firing range or at or upon the property of another without permission.
13–No discharge of firearms across or within 150 yards of any building, dwelling, street, sidewalk, alley, roadway, public land, or public place.
14–Discharge of firearms is prohibited within 100 yards of public park or school.
P103 Common law has been in place in Virginia since 1607.
Your civil liability (getting sued) in a shooting case is fairly low in Virginia, as such lawsuits usually do not succeed. However the chance of a lawsuit against you is not zero and is a real risk.
P114 If reckless, wanton gun handling results in serious bodily harm to another it is a class 6 felony. Revocation of hunting privileges for reckless handling while hunting is reduced from life to five years, at court discretion. A person restricted, caught hunting and in possession of a firearm may be further restricted from hunting while armed for one year to life.
P117 It is a class 3 misdemeanor if you recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm where a child under the age of 14 can get access to it.
Remain Alert: City councils and various authorities have attempted novel legal strategies in an effort to infringe upon rights gun owners presently enjoy. Join your local gun-rights groups to stay alert to changes that may occur in unannounced or haphazard or ways. GunLaws.com updates list keeps you posted, on our home page.
P126 Loaded handguns possessed or transported by concealed-handgun-permit holders are exempt from the state ban in National Forests (4VAC15-40-60 (G).
“325-02-1 §” is now “64VAC15-40-60 (A)”.
P127 People who are legally carrying or transporting a loaded firearm concealed without a permit, now that this is legal, in a Virginia National Forest where regs say this can only be done with a CHP, could find themselves violating this contradictory state regulation inadvertently. It needs fixing.
“valid CHP holders” at the page bottom s/b “handguns” since open carry is allowed in state parks, in addition to discreet carry with a permit.
P129 Landowners, their family members or persons with the landowner’s permission on the landowner’s property are exempt from the Sunday hunting ban.
The number of county and city firearms and hunting ordinances has risen to 83 from 52, in 64 jurisdictions, up from 55.
P132 Updated hunting rules are listed.
P137 • Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 is added, which has the National Parks carry amendment, effective 2/22/2010.
National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, Sec. 1087. Authorizes transfer of 10,000 U.S. Army surplus model M1911 .45 caliber semi-auto pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program for sale to civilians.
P149 The new federal laws are described here (and on our website, GunLaws.com).
P153 Minor small improvements are scattered through the gun-safety chapter.
P185 New phones and addresses added.
P189 Link to every current gun law in the nation using our National Directory, linked from our home page, and check out our full line of books, DVDs and more for gun owners at GunLaws.com! Appendix D, the compilation of gun statutes, took a lot of changes in this review—legislators don’t stop tinkering with our gun laws.
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