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Shotgun/Rifle Carry in Vehicle?

Discussion in 'Glockers of the Old Dominion' started by pjva04, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. pjva04

    pjva04 Snub Lover

    I have been perusing the Virginia State website and cannot seem to get a clear answer from reading there. What is the law as it pertains to carrying a loaded shotgun (over 18" barrel) or carbine/rifle (semi auto) in my vehicle? If it is allowed, does it need to remain in plain view if I have a CWP, or can I throw a blanket over it.

    I have been considering carrying a shotgun behind the seat of my pickup, but want to make sure I am not breaking any law.
  2. I don't think there is any law in VA code restricting the carry of a loaded rifle or Shotgun that you are talking about. There may be some restrictions on the amount of rounds one can hold and such. However different localities have restrictions. In Stafford VA, you are not allowed to carry a loaded shotgun or rifle (Stafford Code Sec 26-2) in your vehicle, but right across the Rappahannock river you can in Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg because there is no law against it that I know of. So I think it will depend on what locality you are in. You can look at VA code sections 18.2-287 and 18.2-308 they outline most of the restrictions on possessing and carrying weapons in Virginia. Don't take my word for it though if you are worried I would contact your local govt. for the answer.

  3. IIRC loaded long guns fall under hunting rules and vary by county.

    There is one interesting exception for people who need a loaded shotgun as part of their profession. (wonder if I need one to protect me while carrying computer parts?)

  4. pjva04

    pjva04 Snub Lover

    Thanks for the info. Though I have a Fredericksburg address, I am officially in Stafford County, so I guess that is a no no for me.
  5. watsoncb

    watsoncb CLM

    Dec 31, 2006
    Falls Church
    Was it last year when the Virginia State Trooper was killed by the loaded rifle that discharged accidently when investigating a car accident - didn't they charge the driver with having a loaded rifle in the car?
  6. dbrowne1

    dbrowne1 Senior Member

    Jan 7, 2000
    To give a little background, counties and cities in the Commonwealth have only those powers given to them by the Commonwealth. They cannot legislate on their own outside of the areas provided for in their formative documents (charters) and provided in the Code. That's where the Code section above that vafish quoted comes in - it authorizes localities to enact these regulations if they so desire, but does not require it.

    So, you'll need to check to see whether the locality or localities in which you will be traveling have any prohibitions.
  7. pjva04

    pjva04 Snub Lover

    Thanks for the all the info. In Stafford County, where I reside, carrying a loaded shotgun or rifle on public roads is prohibited.
  8. Truckee

    Truckee Aging Goat

    Jul 17, 2005
    Shenandoah Valley
    Indeed, Trooper Kevin Manion... February 18, 2006... RIP Brother.

    I believe it was a 30.06 rifle that had been stolen that morning from a residence.

    I don't recall that Ferrebee was charged with "having a loaded rifle in the vehicle." However, his charges were way over an above that one... and with like situations, a -lesser charge- is usually not levied, viewed as just adding unrequired fluff.

    Onward to your OT, as stated by others, long guns can be controlled by local statute. Your CHP has no effect on long-arms... hence, Virginia was careful when name changing from the "CWP" to a CHP (Concealed 'Handgun' Permit).

  9. MD2010


    Feb 17, 2007
    Norfolk, VA
    Anybody from Norfolk area know Norfolk's rules regarding this? That website from DGIF didn't have anything for City of Norfolk.
  10. You can read through the City of Norfolk Code here:

    I typed in "gun" in the search field and I couldn't find anything saying that you can't have a loaded shotgun in you vehicle. But like I said before you should call the local gov. to find out but they dont always know the exact laws either.
  11. Scott30


    Dec 8, 2006
    Central VA
    As stated before, carrying a loaded long gun in your vehicle laws vary from county to county. I would suggest calling your local sheriff's department and/or the Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries to find the answer for your county.
  12. rifle-cop624


    Sep 4, 2004
    The key word here being, LOADED. Just to play devils advocate, if the shotty is not loaded, but has a Speedfeed stock that has shell in it, or a side saddle with shells in it, would that constitute "LOADED" to the commonwealth attorney, or an overzealous officer/trooper/deputy?

    All of us pro-gun LEO's understand that shells ON the gun do not constitute LOADED which is shells IN the gun.
    Shocker, there are actually folks in LE and prosecutors that are not gun friendly.
  13. pjva04

    pjva04 Snub Lover

    You offering to come down this way and run for office?
  14. rifle-cop624


    Sep 4, 2004
    There have been a couple of business owners that suggested it to me. No thanks, though. As tempting as it is to want to fix what's broken with local LE, here, I've had my taste of small-town, redneck politics. can't say I enjoyed it much.
  15. pjva04

    pjva04 Snub Lover

    Well, looks like you're building something up there, anyhow.
  16. solie


    Apr 19, 2004
    Central Virginia
    So what about this?

    "It is unlawful to possess a loaded firearm on the road except when permission to hunt is obtained from landowners on each side."

    Does that include pistols?
  17. pjva04

    pjva04 Snub Lover

    Check out the VCDL website, as they were instrumental in just getting the wording changed on that. It was just signed by the Governor, and now excludes those legally carrying a handgun for self defense purposes.