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Old October 31, 2011, 02:41 AM   #1
Peteydoug
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Your definition of "Secured" Glove box carry

I was recently arrested for carrying a concealed weapon but was soon released by the magistrate for a discrepancy regarding the law.

I was driving from a Walmart in Henrico, VA. When I was stopped for a improper exhaust. I had two female passengers with me since we went halloween shopping. The officer approached me asking for license and registration, I handed the license and I immediately told him that my registration was in my glovebox along with my firearm. He said then said he'll take a look at that in a second while we were discussing my exhaust. He then said he needed the registration and I asked him how he would of liked to proceed and he said he will grab it from the glovebox. I unlocked the door for him and he opened the glovebox which did not have "Keyed lock" but a "locking latch." He removed the firearm and registration, also making jokes "Im not gonna shoot anyone" to the girls. I told him it was in condition 3 with nothing in the chamber. He then said that he thinks I needed to have a keyed lock on the glovebox and told me to wait while he calls his superiors/judges/etc.
After 30 minutes, he told me step out of the vehicle and arrested me for having a concealed weapon. He said the a judge said it needed to be locked, thus allowing him to make the arrest. We went down to the jail, and I stepped in to see the magristrate, The magistrate then said what I did was not illegal and told the officer I did not need to be in jail, the officer removed the cuffs and drove me back to my vehicle.

Cliff notes:
-Pulled over for improper exhaust
-Notified the officer of my firearm immediatly.
-I dont have a CHP/CCW but it is not required if the gun is in a "secured container or compartment"
-Officer removed firearm and made calls to see if the glovebox needed to be locked or not.
-Got arrested and sent to jail
-Magistrate released me because he said I wasnt doing anything wrong or illegal.
-I still have court for carrrying a concealed weapon

Seeing that the law states this:

"As of July 1, 2010, a concealed handgun permit is not necessary when 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."

There is no reference for the container or compartment needed to be locked via key and only states secured. Which is why the magistrate released me.

What is yall's opinion on the word "Secured"?
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Old October 31, 2011, 05:32 AM   #2
C0untZer0
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Only the court's opinion counts. But there was a similar case in Illinois:

People v. Holmes, Ill. Supreme Court, Docket # 109130, Opinion filed 4/7/11. The defendant owner/driver of a motor vehicle, an Indiana resident who had been issued a carry license by his home state, was stopped by Chicago police officers for a traffic violation. Pursuant to a search, a 9 mm handgun was recovered from a backseat armrest of the car. The Court noted that “[t]he armrest separated the two back seats and contained a storage compartment that closed with a latch. The compartment could be folded up into the seat or left in a down position.

Illinois State Supreme Court found for the defendant in this case.
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Old October 31, 2011, 06:20 AM   #3
wally626
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Based on what I have read of the new law, the sealed containers do not have to be locked. So you should be good to go after paying the lawyer and seeing the judge of course.

The officier I think did the proper thing, the law was new so he asked for clarification. Then he did what the judge told him. The Judge should have known better, it is not like this law received no publicity. The magistrate obviously did know better.
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Old October 31, 2011, 08:53 AM   #4
TX Hunter
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Wouldnt a locked car be considered Secured ?
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:10 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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Secured does not mean "locked". It means something is shut in such a way as to remain shut. As with a latch or other mechanism. Locks are a METHOD of securing, they are NOT the DEFINITION of "secured".
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:28 AM   #6
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In practical terms (which sometimes has very little to do with the law) it wouldn't make sense to have a lock which requires your ignition key or another key to open. A center console gun behind a latched door (or alternatively a latched glove box is I believe legal in my state.

From http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/florida.pdf...

Quote:
if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use....

"Securely encased" means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access
From http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/virginia.pdf...

Quote:
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 in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel.

Last edited by spacecoast; October 31, 2011 at 09:35 AM.
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Old October 31, 2011, 09:58 AM   #7
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Since the Virginia Assembly didn't specifically define "secure", that means that they meant it to be used as commonly defined. To "secure" an item (in this case), means that it is made firm or fast, that is, to be stowed in a safe manner.

If the Assembly meant for the firearm to be locked away, they would have added language to the effect of requiring it to be secured in a locked container.

But, as was said earlier, the only definition that counts is the court's. To the officer's credit, he did make a good attempt to clarify the law. Unfortunately, he got bum advice. But at least he tried.
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Old October 31, 2011, 05:09 PM   #8
KyJim
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Quote:
-Magistrate released me because he said I wasnt doing anything wrong or illegal.
-I still have court for carrrying a concealed weapon
Sounds like you were released on your own recognizance; i.e., without bail to secure your attendance. You need to get an attorney. There is probably case law in Virginia on this. That is the only law that counts here.

Quote:
He said the a judge said it needed to be locked, thus allowing him to make the arrest.
It is completely improper for a judge to give advice to a police officer on an arrest. Maybe he said he got advice from a county attorney or city attorney?

Quit posting and get an attorney.
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Old November 1, 2011, 01:48 AM   #9
youngunz4life
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plead not guilty. I am an optimist sometimes, but I find it to be ridiculous thatn they even arrested you...sounds over the top to me even though they figured you were good in the end they just were like eff it, let the court figure it out and/or get some money.

USUALLY I AM THE ONE that laughs at the conspiracy theories on here, but I personally feel you were treated incorrectly. DO NOT accept paying a fine to make it going away while taking blame. plead not guilty...this is a no brainer to me.

a weapon, legally, is Usually considered secure if it is within the glove compartment and or the center console as long as they shut properly(they are not defective due to age as an example). The same goes for a trunk. in other words and another example for the use of the same terminology of consoles, trunks, glove boxes, etc: you might be in deep doo doo to have the gun under a seat(even if its not in your vicinity), but you are clear if it is is the glove box. Personally, I feel like this guy refused to give you the littlest break even after you were honest and legal. --you know the little guys count too--. it comes off as "what the heck, I'll take him done for the larger cause". called a judge, please
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Old November 1, 2011, 01:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
But, as was said earlier, the only definition that counts is the court's. To the officer's credit, he did make a good attempt to clarify the law. Unfortunately, he got bum advice. But at least he tried.
and this "judge" knew in grad school that time and time again the glovebox has been ruled in courts as acceptable. sounds like he would be interested in having a swing at this one.

hate being untrusting, but this one smells so bad
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Old November 1, 2011, 05:41 PM   #11
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Boy stuff like this drives me nuts. He should have left the courts out of it. It was an ok stop and you alerted the officer. He should have used his discretion and recognized that you were not a threat. Having secured the firearm, he then should have returned it at the end of the stop and simply said "You may want to look into whether or not you can carry like that because I'm not sure if that is ok". End of story.

It was a waste of time (yours and his) to contact his superiors for help. You obviously were not toting the gun around in a dangerous manner. He pulled you over for the exhaust and the gun was another issue entirely. Once he felt safe he should have let it go. Cops used to have this thing called "police discretion" but it seems to be in short supply these days.
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Old November 1, 2011, 08:26 PM   #12
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I didn't know Virginia changed the law. For decades anyone could have a loaded gun in the car as long as it was in plain sight. You had to keep it on the dash or on the passenger seat (and not covered by a jacket or newspaper either.) You could not keep it in the glove box or console because that made it a concealed weapon.

I have a carry permit, so I don't really need to know about this change, but I'm surprised I missed it.

I'm not surprised the officer didn't know either.

Fwiw, years ago a buddy got stopped one night for broken brake light on Broad Street in front of City Hall. We'd been shooting at his country place and he had 7 loaded handguns on the bench seat of his pickup. A couple of cops ended up gathered 'round talking guns with him. He got a warning for the broken light.

John
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Old November 2, 2011, 10:16 AM   #13
youngunz4life
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RV and/or Vehicle Carry without a permit or license

virginia law

18.2-308 Personal Protection;Carrying Concealed Weapons;When Lawful to Carry

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 in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel.
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Old November 2, 2011, 10:29 AM   #14
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10. 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.

http://leg1.state.va.us/000/cod/18.2-308.HTM
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Old November 2, 2011, 01:08 PM   #15
youngunz4life
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secured does not mean locked

I took mine right off of www.handgunlaw.us

I forgot the #10 part only. Either way(as it seems I might have made a mistake on that one), I know of no law in Virginia which states that the glovebox needs to be locked...or the trunk...or the console. the terminology 'locked' is always added if that is what they want. I am not a lawyer, but secured his gun was in my opinion. The law stated above should protect him and I do not think he should accept anything besides a not guilty verdict. I do not think they would go to trial on this one, and the OP has that right as a defendant.
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Old November 2, 2011, 01:22 PM   #16
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I didn't mean to come across as snarky. I agree 100% with you on what the law means. And I agree, and hope, that the OP pleads Not Guilty. In his situation, I know that I would.
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Old November 2, 2011, 02:32 PM   #17
youngunz4life
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I appreciate you correcting me Hardcase. I should've put in the 'secured' part.
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Old November 5, 2011, 08:36 PM   #18
wally626
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The specific issue of a locked container did come up during the legislature session and having the law only refer to locked containers was rejected.
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Old November 5, 2011, 11:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
...I immediately told him that my registration was in my glovebox along with my firearm.
Slight hijack, but this is the main reason that I always advise people NOT to store a handgun in the glovebox. There's almost always stuff in there that you'll need for a traffic stop, and even if you plan to inform the officer (where it's optional) NOT having to deal with reaching past a firearm to get to your registration/insurance/whatever will always be a good idea.
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Old November 6, 2011, 05:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Slight hijack, but this is the main reason that I always advise people NOT to store a handgun in the glovebox. There's almost always stuff in there that you'll need for a traffic stop, and even if you plan to inform the officer (where it's optional) NOT having to deal with reaching past a firearm to get to your registration/insurance/whatever will always be a good idea.
Very good advice John.
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Old November 6, 2011, 08:08 AM   #21
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
Slight hijack, but this is the main reason that I always advise people NOT to store a handgun in the glovebox. There's almost always stuff in there that you'll need for a traffic stop, and even if you plan to inform the officer (where it's optional) NOT having to deal with reaching past a firearm to get to your registration/insurance/whatever will always be a good idea.
That's also the reason why I no longer keep my wallet in my right back pocket when I carry, the gun being at the 330 position... nervous this makes the police man.
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Old November 6, 2011, 08:35 AM   #22
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Quote:
He should have left the courts out of it. It was an ok stop and you alerted the officer. He should have used his discretion and recognized that you were not a threat. Having secured the firearm, he then should have returned it at the end of the stop and simply said "You may want to look into whether or not you can carry like that because I'm not sure if that is ok". End of story.
And if the headlines later read: Man Kills Neighbor While Trick or Treating
Officer Jim Friendly stop the suspect last night for a routine traffic stop and knew there was a loaded firearm in the car. Instead of arresting the individual, he told the suspect to "look into whether or not he could legally carry the gun in his glove box" because he was not sure if it was legal or not.

I do not fault this police officer for his actions. (Although I do question why a judge was contacted, if it went to trial, wouldn't he have to recuse himself?) He had a question, he had it answered, he acted based upon that answer.

I "caused" a pretty good accident while I was a police officer in the military. I used my discretion to not apprehend a couple of drunks. I figured I would just have them park their car and give them a ride back to the barracks. A few hours later they decided they would retrieve their car and on the way back to the barracks, ran in to the officers club... Literally. Lucky for me our Wing Commander just chewed my posterior.

Civilian police officers face the chance of lawsuits much more readily than us military police did. Sometimes the better part of discretion is to not take chances. I am glad this worked out for the OP.
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Old November 6, 2011, 10:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
The specific issue of a locked container did come up during the legislature session and having the law only refer to locked containers was rejected.
Virginia does not use 'legislative intent.'

Lawyer up, even though it is only a misdemeanor (the first timer).
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Old November 6, 2011, 11:59 AM   #24
KyJim
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Quote:
Slight hijack, but this is the main reason that I always advise people NOT to store a handgun in the glovebox.
In my state (Kentucky) a gun is not considered to be concealed if it is the glovebox but is if it is in any other enclosed area, like the center console storage area. If you have a CCL, it doesn't matter of course.
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Old November 6, 2011, 05:05 PM   #25
youngunz4life
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just my gut, nothing else

Quote:
I do not fault this police officer for his actions. (Although I do question why a judge was contacted, if it went to trial, wouldn't he have to recuse himself?) He had a question, he had it answered, he acted based upon that answer.
I have serious doubts a judge was contacted. It sounds like a 'spin' to me.
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