Can I Carry a Handgun in a Box in my Car?

Virginia law prohibits carrying a concealed weapon unless you have a permit to do so. So what about carrying a handgun inside a box of some sort in your vehicle? Is that against the law?

A lot of people end up charged with this offense. Let’s say you’re pulled over for speeding, for some reason the officer ends up searching your vehicle, and they find a handgun in some type of container in your vehicle. Then you end up being charged with possession of a concealed weapon.

But can you beat that charge in court?

The good news is that we have a strong defense for a possession of a concealed weapon charge if the weapon was a handgun, if you were legally allowed to possess a handgun, and if it was in a secured container inside your motor vehicle.

The big piece of the puzzle usually revolves around if it was in a secured container in your motor vehicle. That is a specific exception under the law of concealed weapons where it says that if you have a handgun in a secured container inside your motor vehicle, that’s okay.

But what does secured mean? In a lot of cases that is the real issue to determine. In passing that exception to the law, the legislature at first has used the word “locked” to mean obviously it had to be locked in some way, such as a gun box that has a lock or a locking glove box; however, before the statute was passed, the word was changed to “secured.” The word secured obviously has a much broader meaning. For example, I would argue in court that a zippered backpack is secured as long as it’s closed and the zipper is shut. The same can be argued for a satchel or something that has a buckle on it, as long as the container is shut and the gun inside can’t be reached unless you undo the fastener.

This is a big area where you need to talk to an attorney. If you were carrying a concealed weapon inside your motor vehicle, you need to call an attorney immediately so you can discuss what happened in your case. Then you can determine if you have a defense and what punishment you may be looking at. For cases in my area, give me a call today for your free case strategy session.

Photo by: Darwin Bell

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Avvo. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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