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Old September 5, 2018, 07:36 PM   #1
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AR Pistol Concealed Carry - OAL Greater than 26”

Is an AR pistol with an overall length greater than 26” and without any type of vertical forward grip, still considered a pistol in terms of concealed carry laws? I’m trying to determine if it’s legal to carry loaded and concealed in a vehicle in VA with a valid concealed carry permit.
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Old September 5, 2018, 09:18 PM   #2
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Concealed carry laws are a state and local issue and they vary from state to state and sometimes from locality to locality. The AR pistol you describe is still a pistol under federal law, since there’s no overall length limit on a pistol as far as the feds are concerned. But the answer to your question lies in Virginia state law (and perhaps also your local law), not federal law. And state and local laws often have different definitions of specific firearms than the feds do.

I’d recommend starting by looking up VA state law in regards to what kind of firearms are allowed to be carried with a VA concealed carry permit. Then make sure your AR pistol meets the definition of one of those firearms.
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Old September 5, 2018, 09:35 PM   #3
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State laws vary.
Check yours.

The only state that I can say for certain would have some grey area there would be Utah. Any 'handgun' with an overall length, "not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech," over 12 inches is difficult to categorize in Utah. Depending upon how you interpret the definitions, it is a 'Dangerous Weapon', or a 'Firearm', or maybe both. But, it is definitely not a handgun.

...But Utah licenses concealed 'weapons', not just handguns, so it's almost a moot point.
(It used to be worse. They fixed the definitions of 'Dangerous Weapons' and the 'Firearm' catch-all a few years ago. Prior to that, a handgun that exceeded the state definition of overall length could have arguably been classified as an unlicensed Short Barreled Rifle. )

This is still a 'handgun':

The photo was staged as a joke, but it was still legally a 'handgun' under Federal (and my state's) law.
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