Firearms of all styles are very popular in Virginia, just as in many other states, but not everyone who owns a firearm truly understands the rules that apply to their use, ownership and transportation. You may have no hostile intentions whatsoever, but you could still wind up charged with a weapons offense in certain circumstances, particularly if you have a firearm with you in your vehicle when you encounter police.

For example, if you get stopped by an officer for a traffic issue and have an improperly secured weapon or a gun that shouldn’t be in your vehicle, you could wind up facing weapons charges, even if your ownership of the weapon itself is totally legal.

Typically, only handguns are legal in the cabs of vehicles

If you have a shotgun, rifle or similar firearm, it’s usually best if you secure it in an appropriate case and place it in the trunk of your vehicle. also, when you transport it, you must ensure it is unloaded. If you get caught driving around with a loaded shotgun in the cab of your vehicle, you might get into legal trouble as a result.

While it is legal to drive with a handgun in your vehicle with no permit required, there are still restrictions on how you may do so. With the exception of certain scenarios for those with licenses to carry concealed weapons, anyone with handguns in their vehicles should have them  secured. That typically means placed in a compartment like a glovebox. While the glovebox does not need to be locked, it should be closed and the firearm not unsecured within the vehicle.

Knowing your rights and responsibilities when it comes to transporting firearms in a vehicle in Virginia can help you stay safer and avoid an arrest.