Restaurants, Guns, and Alcohol in Virginia: Stiff Penalties for Getting it Wrong

You may have watched the Guns in Virginia Bars and Restaurants video and had additional questions about how the state regulates the carry of firearms into establishments that sell alcohol. To learn more on the topic so you can stay legal while you carry, check out this excerpt from our brand-new book, Virginia Gun Law, Armed And Educated:

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Private property

Any private party can ban the open carry of firearms on its property. A private party can also ban the carrying of a concealed handgun with a CHP. See Va. Code § 18.2-308.01 (C). The Second Amendment acts as a restraint on government, not private parties.

Can I carry my gun into a nightclub or bar? 

It depends. An owner of private property may ban firearms from its property. If there is no private property weapons ban, then an individual may open carry a firearm. If a handgun is lawfully being carried concealed by a CHP holder, and there is no private property weapons ban, then the handgun may be lawfully carried while concealed as long as CHP holder does not consume alcohol. It is important to note that guns and alcohol don’t mix.

§ 18.2-308.012. Prohibited conduct. 

A. Any person permitted to carry a concealed handgun who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such handgun in a public place is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Conviction of any of the following offenses shall be prima facie evidence, subject to rebuttal, that the person is “under the influence” for purposes of this section: manslaughter in violation of § 18.2-36.1, maiming in violation of § 18.2-51.4, driving while intoxicated in violation of § 18.2-266, public intoxication in violation of § 18.2-388, or driving while intoxicated in violation of § 46.2-341.24. Upon such conviction that court shall revoke the person’s permit for a concealed handgun and promptly notify the issuing circuit court. A person convicted of a violation of this subsection shall be ineligible to apply for a concealed handgun permit for a period of five years.

(Effective until July 1, 2018) No person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in § 4.1-100 for which a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 may consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of such a restaurant or club and consumes alcoholic beverages is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, nothing in this subsection shall apply to a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer.

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To learn more Virginia gun law, get the authoritative resource: Virginia Gun Law, Armed And Educated. Click here to order. Or attend a Gun Law Seminar. Click here to find a location and time convenient for you.

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