VA Atty General opinion on carrying in a vehicle
Story here. Gist of it appears to be that, pursuant to a 2010 amendment, a person without a CCW permit may carry a firearm in the glove compartment or other container, so long as it is closed, but not necessarily locked.
That's what the law was here in Arizona, until they repealed the CCW restriction entirely.
I must say I never thought we'd see that change in my lifetime. For most of my life, AZ followed a simple rule: anyone could carry openly with virtually no restrictions, but no one but a peace officer could carry concealed, period. No permits. There was even an Attorney General opinion on whether a Justice of the Peace could carry concealed, and the answer was: generally, no. A JP is only a peace officer, and allowed to carry concealed, if he is responding to a riot. (One of the traditional duties of a JP, and presumably why the office was Justice of the Peace, was to respond to a riot. In England, that also meant reading the Riot Act. Literally. Only after the Riot Act was read, and the rioters refused to disperse, did rioting become a felony, meaning deadly force could be used to suppress it. Until the Act was read, so long as the rioters hadn't yet committed felonies -- arson, theft, etc. -- no felony was involved. Of course reading the Act to a hostile mob was not a popular, nor safe, duty.
Whether or not you agree with the law, it was still important for the attorney general to clarify the limitations of the law. I believe it makes sense to think of a car as an extension of your private property as long as it is safely contained and legal.
Posted by: Melinda P Cases at May 31, 2012 01:30 PM
In my Missouri concealed carry class it was mentioned that all the state's restrictions on "carry" in vehicles were removed because it used to be a "must be visible" regime like you describe Arizona's old one.
The problem was, people would be stopped by the police and then furiously make their handgun visible and thus legal, which was not good for the blood pressure of all involved. So now, as long as you're not a prohibited person, you can carry concealed in your vehicle, and the instructor said quite a few people don't bother to get their licenses after they learn that (it is quite expensive in Missouri, in addition to the course $100 initially and $50 every 3 years, however any other US locality's license will do).
Posted by: Harold at May 31, 2012 08:47 PM