Legality of Transporting Loaded Rifles

Hello All,

What are the laws in your area when it comes to loaded rifles in vehicles? Pistols are good for CC, but it would be nice to have access to a rifle if you needed it (And able to retrieve it, etc). I’m also curious to know if a CCW license also extends to rifles (Transporting them loaded in vehicles, etc). The Texas shooter made me think of this. At such range, a pistol would be ineffective in the hands of many people.

Also… How would you carry a rifle without risking a brandishing charge? Slung on your shoulder?

I’m not looking for a universal answer, just for your state. :slight_smile:

In Virginia, it appears that § 15.2-915.2. Regulation of transportation of a loaded rifle or shotgun covers this:

The governing body of any county or city may by ordinance make it unlawful for any person to transport, possess or carry a loaded shotgun or loaded rifle in any vehicle on any public street, road, or highway within such locality. Any violation of such ordinance shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100. Conservation police officers, sheriffs and all other law-enforcement officers shall enforce the provisions of this section. No ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be enforceable unless the governing body adopting such ordinance so notifies the Director of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries by registered mail prior to May 1 of the year in which such ordinance is to take effect.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to duly authorized law-enforcement officers or military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, nor to any person who reasonably believes that a loaded rifle or shotgun is necessary for his personal safety in the course of his employment or business.

It appears that in VA I can legally transport a rifle it in my vehicle, as long as it is unloaded. It doesn’t appear that a CCW allows me to transport it loaded.

I checked the local ordinances in VA, and many counties in VA have ordinances which state the following:

It is unlawful to transport, possess, or carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in any vehicle on any public street, road or highway.

What it is interesting about this is that it seems the only restriction is carrying a loaded firearm while it is in a vehicle. It appears that you could stop, get out your vehicle, load it, and walk, and that would be perfectly legal.

What about your state?


In Kentucky open carry is legal for 18 and over and concealed carry is legal for 21 and over. Kentucky also does not consider any firearm kept in any factory installed container to be concealed. Keeping loaded firearms in a vehicle is legal.


Hi friend,

In Louisiana, the law states that a vehicle is an asset to a person(s) home therefore, a person(s) may store any (legal) firearm in their vehicle. However, rifles and shotguns “should” be carried in the interior space of a car or truck when visible and handguns “should” be out of view when traveling. (I would prefer to keep it out of sight anyways)

Although, as a friend, I would highly advise against strapping a rifle to you even if it is “legal”. Now depending on Virginia law, you could have a right to do so. I still strongly advise against such action. You may be assured a handgun (Your favorite) along with education and training…even more, training and when you just think you got it some more education and training will protect you and others.

I don’t know exactly what Virginia law is on long guns but do some extensive research before you make any sudden moves. Regardless of what you discover and decide, please stay safe!

Best wishes,

Randall W. Anderson

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Thank you for the feedback and advice, @Randall318 ! I greatly appreciate it! I am curious though as to why you are against using a rifle sling? Please excuse my ignorance.

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Thanks for the info, @MikeBKY! It is interesting to see how the laws vary. Here is a reference on transporting firearms in Kentucky. It is interesting to see in that piece of law at least, they don’t differentiate between rifles and pistols.


I’m by no means against a rifle sling, but the gesture of strapping a rifle to my shoulder (Unless hunting or in the time of war) just scares me because you never know what one might assume these days and you could get hurt or even worse.

However, I love the second amendment and all the rights it applies, trust me we wouldn’t be having this conversation here if I were not. To better emphasize, I’m going through the fire-arm safety class Saturday for concealed because I’m tired of others giving me that stare when I go places; Likewise, I have been open carrying since about the age of eighteen (18) or (19) so, that was right at about ten (10) years give or take some.



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As far as I am aware must be unloaded, in a case, and you must have a valid FOID Card here in IL

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I see what you are saying. Yes, rifles scare folks, and I can understand that. Thanks for taking the time to clarify!! Have a great evening!

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In general VA follows FEDERAL regulations pertaining to long arms in a POV. The quote you mentioned above is remarkably similar to that in the hunting regulations hand book which applies during certain game seasons (deer). In general it is unlawfull to transport a loaded long gun on most roads and highways. During hunting season it incurs additional bits under poaching.



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In Michigan a rifle must be unloaded and in a case to transport it. However an AR pistol is still a pistol…I could have one loaded with a 100rd drum and be good to go.


The link you provided is accurate, however I would not suggest Gifford’s Law Center as a primary source for information on firearms.


Missouri is constitutional carry - open or concealed, rifle or handgun.

If you are pointing it around, waving it at people, threatening folks, you’re going to be in for brandishing or terroristic threats or some other charges, but slung on your back? You’re good.

Technically, you can get all tactical, wear plate armor and carry it dangling in front on a single point sling too, and you’re not breaking the law - but as we saw recently, if you do that in a Walmart, within a week of a mass shooting in another Walmart, you’re gonna scare people and someone will stick a gun in your ear until the police come and arrest you for scaring people. But not, actually, for having a loaded rifle open carried in public. More for being an insensitive jerk and scaring people.

Missouri: SB 656 allows for permitless concealed carry for anyone who may lawfully own a gun. The bill was passed by the legislature in 2016, but Governor Nixon vetoed it on June 27, 2016. The legislature reconvened for the veto-override session on September 14, 2016. The Senate voted to override the veto with a 24 – 6 vote (23 required) and the House followed through shortly thereafter with a 112 – 41 vote (109 required). No permit is needed for open carry or concealed carry and applies to both residents and nonresidents. While no permit is required for either form of carrying, only concealed carry falls fully under state-preemption. Therefore, unlicensed open carry can still be restricted by local city ordinances unless one possesses a concealed carry permit, thus exempting them from local open carry restrictions. The law went into effect on January 1, 2017.


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