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Old July 22, 2010, 10:44 PM   #1
Dre_sa
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Virginia

There is a possibility that my family and I will be moving to Virginia.

What is the state like regarding gun laws, and how are owners, Concealed permit holders etc treated there?

I understand that in VA open carry is permitted.

All Virginians, pleas chime in!
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Old July 22, 2010, 10:53 PM   #2
ScottRiqui
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I've been here for about 13 years, and have had a CHL for the past ten. Attitudes are pretty good here in the Tidewater area, and I've never been hassled, even when carrying openly (until recently, we couldn't carry concealed in restaurants that serve alcohol.)

We don't have a formalized "Castle Doctrine" here, but the case law favors the concept.

I would suggest getting a copy of Korwin & Maniscalco's "Virginia Gun Owner's Guide" to answer all of your questions.
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Old July 22, 2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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In general...Va is very gun friendly.

However there are some notorious exceptions such as VA Beach and sections of NoVA (Northern VA inside the beltway) where some people have fits.

If you could tell us roughly where you might move to I can give more specific details.
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Old July 23, 2010, 05:40 AM   #4
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Virginia is a "Shall Issue" state, so if you qualify for a CHP you will get it. Qualifications are on the state police web site.

Private gun sales are legal. I really like that. It makes gun shows more fun and easier to buy and sell at good prices.

I live near Quantico and have a host of great gun shops available to me.

Exactly where you are heading makes a difference... there is Northern Va. and then there's the rest. Traffic in NOVA is unbelievably terrible.
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Old July 23, 2010, 06:19 AM   #5
alloy
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Virginia has great laws for gun owners. Certian areas within the state, as mentioned....not so much...but it's a big state.
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Old July 23, 2010, 06:47 AM   #6
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Traffic in NOVA is unbelievably terrible.
So bad, in fact, that it was one of the two top reasons my wife and I picked up stakes and moved to the Shenandoah Valley
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Old July 23, 2010, 08:43 AM   #7
Unkn0wN
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Not to direct traffic from this great site, but you can also check out the Virginia Gun Owners Forums at vagunforums.net.

They are all great people and are up on the laws here in the state.
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Old July 23, 2010, 10:55 AM   #8
Dre_sa
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I think it would be in or around Fairfax county....

That's pretty far north in the state.

but surely laws are the same throughout the state?
how much does it vary from county to county?
or is it just the people in different parts of the state that make things difficult for others?
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Old July 23, 2010, 01:30 PM   #9
ZeSpectre
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but surely laws are the same throughout the state?
how much does it vary from county to county?
or is it just the people in different parts of the state that make things difficult for others?
Yes, Virginia has "preemption" so the laws are consistent across the state...However it seems that certain areas need to be reminded of that every now and then. The Fairfax county government officials are one of those groups but the VCDL keeps them on a pretty short leash.

VCDL - Virginia Citizens Defense League. A good group, if you are a gunowner in Virginia you should be a member!
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Old July 23, 2010, 04:40 PM   #10
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Look hard at Fairfax.

While the schools are VERY good (Thomas Jefferson High School has been ranked as the best high school in the country) it takes a lot of tax money.

Property values are very high, and the closer you get to Washington, DC the higher the values generally climb.

Average household income is over $100,000.
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Old July 23, 2010, 05:07 PM   #11
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If you do nothing else, go to the VCDL's website and sign up for their free email alerts! No spam, all text, no huge images and they will NOT give your information to ANYONE!

If you can, PLEASE become a member. The cost is very reasonable and it does much more for you than you may know as a gun owner. They are a great group of people whom I dearly miss!
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Old July 23, 2010, 05:18 PM   #12
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Here is a US ATF publication of all of Va's gun laws:
http://www.atf.gov/publications/down...5-virginia.pdf

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Old July 23, 2010, 06:35 PM   #13
Dre_sa
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Thanks for all the great info guys!
I might be able to get away with a county neighboring Fairfax and communte from there...
How are Loudoun and Prince William?
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Old July 23, 2010, 08:59 PM   #14
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Ownership and carry of guns in VA is pretty open and good, just the one handgun a month rule to worry about and CPP holders are exempt.

Shooting is another issue. Localities can control all shooting activities. In most of the state the rules are light or non-exisitance at the local level but urbanized areas generally ban shooting except hunting (if there is some rural areas) or on ranges. Public lands do not allow shooting except for hunting and on ranges.

Self defense is based on case law, but you are not required to retreat if you are attacked unprovoked. If the shooting results from a initial argument or fight then you have to show a willingness to retreat or make peace prior to using deadly force.

Check out the VCDL for lots of good legislative information. http://www.vcdl.org/
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Old July 24, 2010, 09:54 AM   #15
Rmac58
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Much good info has been provided, here's some more.
http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms.shtm
No permit required to open carry state wide with some restrictions, federal property, school grounds for two.
Any business that posts a sign saying so, all they can do is ask you to leave.
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Old July 24, 2010, 04:13 PM   #16
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Northern Virginia

I grew up in Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Family came over about the same time as George Washington. For a little while in the late 90s, I commuted from Sterling to Tyson's Corner. It was a 12-mile drive -- 45min-1hr 30 minutes. Fuggetaboudid. Moved away during college, haven't had any desire to go back.
Cost of living is about three times higher compared to where we live in Lynchburg, several hours away (not to mention quality of life is about three times better here).

Northern Virginia is a mixed bag when it comes to gun friendliness. There are a lot of government/military/law enforcement types up there. It is not uncommon to see someone carrying plainclothes, so folks aren't too freaked out when they see it.... depending on where you go. There are just as many whiney pencilnecks up there. Do whatever you want, but I wouldn't open carry up there. The CCW process is probably too simple (IMHO). Pretty sure you can take an online test to qualify these days.

This is not to mention that much of the DC metro area can be a mix from one neighborhood to the next of haves and have-nots. It's hard to know exactly where you are from one minute to the next and it can set the stage fairly well for property crimes. Just FYI.

And not to unjustly take a dump on another forum, but I think vaguntrader.com has far FAR fewer tinfoil-hat-wearing folks looking out for the black helicopters (as compared to the other forum suggested) if you're looking for local connections.

Finally, don't get your legal advice about the state's concealed carry statutes and case law from the Internet -- as if anyone needed to tell you that. I won't get into it, but there is more than "no duty to retreat" in the commonwealth's use-of-force law. Best to shell out the cash to take a course, even if you do open carry, to get qualified advice.

Last edited by tackdriver; July 24, 2010 at 04:22 PM.
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Old July 24, 2010, 06:05 PM   #17
chris in va
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I lived in NOVA from 98 to 2005, then in Winchester to 2008.

Gun laws are quite good and a lot of progress has been made to decriminalize law abiding gun owners. I really applaud everyone out there for having the restaurant carry law repealed recently.

NOVA has a few ranges. NRA headquarters is in Fairfax and has an excellent 50 yard that allows rifles. If you have a vehicle with decent ground clearance, The Cove Campground in Gore has what I call a 'junkyard' range at the top of a hill. Bring anything, shoot with anything, at anything.

Living conditions, hope you have a GOOD job lined up. Quite 'spensive to live in Loudoun/Fairfax counties. I lived in Manassas (Prince William) and things were cheaper, but the commute was horrid to say the least. Anyone that has been stuck on I-66 at 4:30-7:30 will understand. They had HOV lanes when I left, so if you have a motorcycle or hybrid, it helps.



I had to move because the crime in Manassas was through the roof. I understand a certain element has since left town because of the economy, but haven't checked recently how that is coming along.

You can open carry, yes. I did it a few times and also attended a couple VCDL dinners. One Olive Oyl look alike did give me grief in Front Royal one time, but that's about it. Everyone else just kept asking questions or making comments.

On a side note, I really miss the rivers and streams in VA. Hope you like paddling and fishing/boating.
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Old July 24, 2010, 06:44 PM   #18
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Come on Chris! That isn't a picture of a NoVA traffic jam, is it? I don't recall any 8 lane highways anywhere in the entire area. That looks like a California traffic jam. We have 'em just as crowded as that, as you know, but just not that wide.

If only "rush hour" lasted only one hour! And why is it called "rush" hour? It should be called "sitting still and burning up you and your engine" hour.
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Old July 24, 2010, 08:43 PM   #19
ZeSpectre
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Come on Chris! That isn't a picture of a NoVA traffic jam, is it?
Hell-yeah it is, looks like I-66 just outside of Reston or maybe closer to Tyson's Corner.
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Old July 24, 2010, 09:13 PM   #20
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Don't go near the Springfield interchange where I-95 meets the bottom of the Beltway.




I left Rockville, Maryland in 1968 - too much traffic.
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Old July 24, 2010, 10:58 PM   #21
Mal H
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Hell-yeah it is, looks like I-66 just outside of Reston or maybe closer to Tyson's Corner.
Nope, I-66 gets no closer to Reston than about 6 to 7 miles as the crow flies (it is 4 lanes only at that point), and it is about 2 miles from Tyson's (495 goes through Tyson's, not 66). I-66 may be 6 lanes at some spots during the day, but one of those is a carpool lane, and one is a rush hour shoulder lane. In addition, Virginia doesn't use the domed glass lane dividers seen at the right of the pickup, and almost all roads are asphalt - that one is concrete.
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Old July 25, 2010, 04:35 AM   #22
ZeSpectre
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Mal H
Your probably right....but I-66 traffic sure felt like it was 30 lanes wide and going nowhere
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Old July 25, 2010, 11:44 AM   #23
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Some folks may be preoccupied with Virginia's widespread traffic problem.



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Old July 25, 2010, 12:11 PM   #24
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"The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide" is probably better than just about any course you could take. it has cites to enough cases to keep your reading for a while.

ALL Virginia lethal force law is case (common) law.

we have no real statute law for lethal force.

The state law for concealed carry is here:ยง 18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons; when lawful to carry.

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-308
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Old July 25, 2010, 05:49 PM   #25
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some great pics alloy,

makes me want to leave florida all the more
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