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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cuccinelli: Stored Loaded Firearms in Vehicle Need Not Be in Locked Compartment

The Washington Times reported yesterday that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has issued an opinion related to storing loaded firearms in a vehicle.  The opinion, which is advisory, does not codify anything new but clarifies what some had seen as a potentially unclear recent change to state law.

Before 2010,  the law that prohibited carrying a concealed weapon without a permit also barred transporting a handgun “in a concealed manner” in a vehicle with a few exceptions. This included firearms that were stored in glove compartments or center consoles.  The 2010 Session of the General Assembly added the exemption for “any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel” — an exception that applies when the firearm is secured in a container or compartment.  What was unclear was whether that container or compartment needed to be locked.  The AG's Opinion stated that it need not be locked.

Cuccinelli however did state that private property owners (i.e. employers) may prohibit firearms on their property.  You can read the AG's full opinion here.

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