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Open carry in martinsburg

PlateKiller

Regular Member
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
10
Location
Martinsburg, WV
I would like to open carry around martinsburg. I have read a lot on it (laws and forums). I would like advice from those who have done it or know more than me of what possible pitfalls there are.

I would have my wife and son with me so I don't think anyone should feel threatened or too uneasy (a man with a toddler in his arm isn't too scary). I am waiting on my CHL and would like to start carrying so I think open carry is the ticket. Once I get my CHL I would still like to open carry when my attire isn't conducive to concealing or when I Carry a full size pistol.

My biggest question is how do I store the pistol in the car? Once my CHL comes back I know on my hip is the best, but until then what are my options? Remember my wife in the passenger's seat and my son in the back in his car seat.

So any advice would be great. Thanks in advance.
 
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PistolPackingMomma

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
1,898
Location
SC
Have you tried using the search feature?

I OC in Martinsburg when I visit family, and haven't had any problems, but I can't really answer your question as I don't disarm/store my weapon in the car.

Hopefully either a previous thread or another member can help you.
 

PlateKiller

Regular Member
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
10
Location
Martinsburg, WV
I did search but found older info and am not sure if lots has changed. I have only seen 2 people oc since I have been here. I moved from md so I'm very cautious.

The car thing was from reading other threads that it is best to put it on the seat as it's in plain view. I would rather keep the pistol on my hip but don't want trouble if I'm pulled over (not that I plan on it).

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JamesCanby

Activist Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Messages
1,480
Location
Alexandria, VA at www.NoVA-MDSelfDefense.com
According to the Traveler's Guide to Firearm Laws of the 50 States (2013 edition):

Standard firearms ownership: unrestricted, no permit or license required
Semi-auto gun ownership: unrestricted, no permit or license required
Firearm Law uniformity: preemption statute, localities prohibited from enacting new laws regulating firearms; pre-1999 laws are grandfathered
Right of self defense: NRA-model castle doctrine, stand your ground in public areas
Open carry: unrestricted under state law; some localities may regulate this independently
Concealed carry: licenses granted to residents on a shall-issue basis
Vehicle carry by non permittees: all firearms must be unloaded and may be carried in plain view except at night when they should also be cased
State parks: concealed handgun carry by recognized licenses permitted
Restaurants serving alcohol: permittees may carry while eating in dining areas
Duty to notify LEO of permit status: upon demand of police officer
Vehicle gun possession at colleges: subject to college administrative policy
All persons: Shotguns and rifles kept in vehicles should remain unloaded for everyone, even recognized permittees. Permittees are not authorized to carry loaded long guns.

Note: As a Virginian, I have openly carried in Martinsburg and have had no problems.
 
Last edited:

PlateKiller

Regular Member
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
10
Location
Martinsburg, WV
Yeah that's why vehicle is my main question. If I have to unload to go somewhere then load when I get there then it isn't worth the hassle. I'll wait on my CHL.

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JamesCanby

Activist Member
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Jul 2, 2010
Messages
1,480
Location
Alexandria, VA at www.NoVA-MDSelfDefense.com
Yeah that's why vehicle is my main question. If I have to unload to go somewhere then load when I get there then it isn't worth the hassle. I'll wait on my CHL.

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Probably a good idea.

More from the same text:

The State requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun on one's person or in a vehicle. A permittee may carry a loaded, concealed handgun in his vehicle or on foot in most public areas. Along with universally restricted areas, carry is prohibited in courthouses, schools, the state capitol and any provate property that posts signs against carry.
 

PistolPackingMomma

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
1,898
Location
SC
I did search but found older info and am not sure if lots has changed. I have only seen 2 people oc since I have been here. I moved from md so I'm very cautious.

The car thing was from reading other threads that it is best to put it on the seat as it's in plain view. I would rather keep the pistol on my hip but don't want trouble if I'm pulled over (not that I plan on it).

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Congrats on your escape from MD!

I would personally advise against putting it on the seat; it is not secured, which is not safe, and can agitate an excitable cop if you are pulled over.

I think your best defense is to wear it, know the law ( especially re: plain view) and say nothing without consulting an attorney in the event you are stopped.

Hopefully someone from the area can help you more.
 

PlateKiller

Regular Member
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
10
Location
Martinsburg, WV
Congrats on your escape from MD!

I would personally advise against putting it on the seat; it is not secured, which is not safe, and can agitate an excitable cop if you are pulled over.

I think your best defense is to wear it, know the law ( especially re: plain view) and say nothing without consulting an attorney in the event you are stopped.

Hopefully someone from the area can help you more.
The escape is bitter sweet. I have lived in Maryland most my life and like the state, but hate the politics. Everything is better for my family here and the gun rights are nice too.

As far as on the front seat, I had the same thought as you.

It's not worth the risk right now as I should have my CHL in 2 weeks. Then I can carry on my hip open or concealed and in a vehicle


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PlateKiller

Regular Member
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
10
Location
Martinsburg, WV

PlateKiller

Regular Member
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
10
Location
Martinsburg, WV
Well I have been CC-ing a lot lately. Not sure still about OC, don't really want the attention

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PistolPackingMomma

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2011
Messages
1,898
Location
SC
You'd be surprised how few people actually notice, and the ones that do are generally positive in their response, IME.

The key thing that people do notice is your behavior; if you're nervous, they'll pick up on that. If you are comfortable, you remain in the peripheral zone.
 

PlateKiller

Regular Member
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
10
Location
Martinsburg, WV
Open carried tonight for the first time. My cover garments werre in the washer and I felt like carrying my Beretta 92. The lady at bedbathandbeyond was looking down then up several times according to my wife but no dirty looks or anything really. Went in to target to get milk for my son and had no issue. I prefer concealing but it was nice to have a full size pistol.

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Shallnotbeinfringed

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
88
Location
Martinsburg, West Virginia, USA
Plate Killer,

I OC around Martinsburg/Ranson and Charlestown regularly. Lowes, Sheets, 5 Guys, Home Depot, WalMart (Spring Mills, M'burg & Chastown), Michaels, Pet Smart, downtown M'burg and a few other place I've probably forgotten. Only once have I had someone say something. It was a lady in Lowes who asked "Why are you carrying a GUN?!?!?" To which I replied "Ma'am, I have a small penis."

You were wise to wait for your license. There is a portion of the state code which prohibits carrying a loaded firearm in a "conveyance or its attachments" and requires a person to both possess their licence AND carry the firearm "in a concealed manner".

I'd suggest you also join the West Virginia Citizens Defense League (WVCDL) facebook page, and West Virginia Open Carry (also on Facebook) you can find a lot of good info and meet up with some good local people.

While I'm on the subject of Facebook, be careful what info you believe. If the law isn't cited (and a link provided) don't believe it without researching it.

There is an Unofficial WVCDL Picnic and Range Day on July 12th in Morgan County. You are welcome to come if you'd like. I sent you a PM with my facebook contact info, hit me up and I'll send an invite.


Link to WV Code http://www.legis.state.wv.us/wvcode/code.cfm

Code that prohibits carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle:

§20-2-5. Unlawful methods of hunting and fishing and other unlawful acts.
Except as authorized by the director, it is unlawful at any time for any person to:

(9) Have in his or her possession a crossbow with a nocked bolt, a loaded firearm or a firearm from the magazine of which all shells and cartridges have not been removed, in or on any vehicle or conveyance, or its attachments, within the state, except as may otherwise be provided by law or regulation. Except as hereinafter provided, between five o'clock postmeridian of one day and seven o'clock antemeridian, eastern standard time of the day following, any unloaded firearm or crossbow, being lawfully carried in accordance with the foregoing provisions, may be so carried only when in a case or taken apart and securely wrapped. During the period from July 1 to September 30, inclusive, of each year, the foregoing requirements relative to carrying certain unloaded firearms are permissible only from eight-thirty o'clock postmeridian to five o'clock antemeridian, eastern standard time: Provided, That the time periods for carrying unloaded and uncased firearms are extended for one hour after the postmeridian times and one hour before the antemeridian times established above if a hunter is preparing to or in the process of transporting or transferring the firearms to or from a hunting site, campsite, home or other place of abode;


Code that allows carrying a handgun in a vehicle:

§20-2-6a. Carrying a concealed handgun.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to the provisions of section four, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code who is not prohibited at the time from possessing a firearm pursuant to the provisions of section seven, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code or by any applicable federal law may carry a handgun in a concealed manner for self defense purposes while afield hunting, hiking, camping or in or on a motor vehicle.
(b) The provisions of this section shall not exempt any person from obtaining any hunting or fishing license or stamp required by the division of natural resources.
 

2ndAmendmentMom

Regular Member
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
35
Location
Eastern Panhandle of WV
I've opened carried in Martinsburg infrequently but each time I haven't had any issues. Hoss's in Martinsburg is very OC friendly and pretty soon the WVCDL is going to have a meeting there (Sept 7th at 12:30pm OC/CC/NC). I usually OC in Charles Town (home depot, petco, weiss, martins, etc).
 

PlateKiller

Regular Member
Joined
May 31, 2014
Messages
10
Location
Martinsburg, WV
Open carried a little more today. Spent a couple days camping and was OCing on the way home. We stopped at McDonald's and it was packed (got a few looks) so we went to sheets. It was uneventful. A few looks but no one said anything.

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darrylta

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
24
Location
West Virginia
I'm a Maryland transplant as well

I've live in Martinsburg and have had my Concealed Carry Permit for more than a year.
I've never seen a handgun open carried yet, I've concealed carried many times with my
sneaky pete holster. Being from Maryland, I'm a little / lot apprehensive on the matter.
Has anyone been questioned by the local PD?
What gun clubs are in the Martinsburg area?
Darryl
 
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2ndAmendmentMom

Regular Member
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
35
Location
Eastern Panhandle of WV
I've been in Martinsburg and have my Concealed Carry Permit for more than a year.
I've never seen a handgun open carried yet, I've concealed carried many times with my
sneaky pete holster. Being from Maryland, I'm a little / lot apprehensive on the matter.
Has anyone been questioned by the PD?
What gun clubs are in the Martinsburg area?
Darryl
I've seen people open carry in Martinsburg every day. At least one person. And if there is a WVCDL meeting, even more will do so as they OC at Hoss's in Martinsburg.

WVCDL : www.wvcdl.org check them out, its a WV-wide club.

Gun ranges: Tango Down Range, 340 Defense, Valley Guns II, Peacemaker National Training Center, Glockcop

Never been questioned by law enforcement, no negative confrontations yet.

Heck two women open carried at Sam Michael's Park yesterday during the 4th of July celebration.
 
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