The Restaurant Has a Bar. Can I Carry? Virginia

Spring Break is here, and everyone is thawing out after a long winter. Watch Independent Program Attorney Ed Riley instruct you on the law before walking into a restaurant or bar with your firearm.

What is the Law in Virginia for Bars and Guns?

Generally, alcohol and Firearms do not mix. In Virginia, there are a few key laws that you need to be aware of concerning alcohol and the carrying and possession of firearms in Virginia.

Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-308.012, you cannot conceal carry a handgun on the premises of a restaurant or bar that is controlled by the Virginia ABC Board and consume an alcoholic beverage. This statute also makes it illegal for any person licensed to conceal and carry a handgun to be under the influence and carry that handgun in a public place.

If convicted under this statute, your concealed carry permit will be revoked and you will not be eligible to reapply for that permit for five years. 

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It’s important to note that most establishments that sell alcohol are licensed by the Virginia ABC Board, or privately owned. That means they are private property and the owner of such property has the right to ban firearms from their establishment.

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Comment section

5 comments on “The Restaurant Has a Bar. Can I Carry? Virginia

  1. It says you may not consume alcohol. But if your not drinking you can still carry right?

    • Hi Tony and thank you for your question. As long as you are not drinking, as a concealed carry permit holder, you can still conceal carry in the restaurant or bar. Of course, as the video says, many of the bars and restaurants are private establishments and can ban firearms, so if you are asked to leave please do to prevent any risk of trespassing charges.

  2. I assume this applies to open carry as well? Are you allowed to open carry at a restaurant or bar without drinking?

  3. In the stateof Virginia do I have to answer a police officer that is asking if I have my hand gun on me. I do have a conceled permit.

  4. Yes Jim, in the state of Virginia you are required to answer the police officer if you are carrying a firearm BUT only if you are asked even if you are not being detained. Other states require you announced the presence of a firearm on you without even them asking and others states do not require any announcement even if asked by police if you are not being detained

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