Covington VA –-(Ammoland.com)- Several months ago I had asked my Delegate, Lee Ware, to put in a request to the Attorney General to clarify the law on someone without a CHP having a firearm “secured” in a container or compartment in a motor vehicle.
As it turns out Senator Stephen Newman beat me to the punch. He asked the same question and also a couple of other related questions, making Senator Newman’s request a better one for the Attorney General to answer than my less encompassing question submitted by Lee Ware.
The main question centers around the word “secured.” Does it mean the container or compartment must be locked? (VCDL has always contended “no” to that question.)
This had become an important issue as some people had been arrested and charged because either the police, the Commonwealth Attorney, or the judge had felt that “secured” meant locked. Others were not arrested or charged because “secured” was not interpreted to mean locked.
Cuccinelli’s opinion says, correctly, that the container does NOT need to be locked!
The opinion says that the gun can be loaded while secured in the container or compartment and can be within reach of both the driver and passengers. Again VCDL concurs.
This is good news for permit holders, too. For example, it would prevent a spouse or passenger without a permit from being charged for a gun left in a glove box or console by a permit holder who has stepped away from the vehicle.
The opinion also says that private property owners can ban guns in vehicles if they so choose. We need to fix that one. A gun stored in a vehicle should always be allowed so that the gun owner is not disarmed while traveling to and from the private property. This is a clash of rights – the private property owner’s right to control who and what is on his property vs someone else’s right to be able to protect themselves while NOT on that private property. Allowing guns to be stored in vehicles is a good compromise position for both parties. In fact, there are some states that consider a person’s private vehicle to be an extension of their home.
Thanks to Senator Newman and Delegate Lee Ware for asking the question and to Attorney General Cuccinelli for a clear and concise opinion.
Cuccinelli opinion clarifies gun-transport law
By David Sherfinski
The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Virginians who can lawfully possess firearms do not need concealed-weapons permits to keep loaded handguns within reach in vehicles, according to Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II.
The official advisory opinion does not codify anything new — that job would be the General Assembly’s — but clarifies what some had seen as a potentially nebulous recent change to state gun law…
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right. Visit: www.vcdl.org