People in Virginia are oftentimes surprised to find out that the places they believed they could not carry a firearm are in fact locations where carrying a firearm is entirely permissible. One of the most common places that there seems to be confusion about is banks.
What the law says
In Virginia, you can open carry in a bank or carry a firearm concealed if you possess a valid Concealed Handgun Permit (“CHP”). It seems worth mentioning that one should be mindful when open carrying in a bank. Naturally, other patrons in a bank will potentially be concerned upon seeing someone walk into a bank while open carrying. After all, banks are often targeted by armed robbers.
In addition, should you be unfortunate enough to be open carrying in a bank when someone attempts to rob it, you will immediately become a target. This is not to say “don’t carry in a bank.” It just means that when carrying in a bank, we have to be hyperaware of everything else that is going on around us and how we are going to be perceived.
What about the FDIC?
People also sometimes get confused when their bank or credit union says “FDIC Insured.” “FDIC insured” means that the money in the bank is federally guaranteed, but does not turn the property into federal property where weapons are prohibited. Even if your bank or credit union has a big “FDIC Insured” sign visible, unless it is on federal property, such as on a military base, you will still be able to carry a firearm there in Virginia.
Keep in mind that while it is generally legal to carry in a bank, should the bank decide to post “no gun” signs and you ignore them, you run the risk of a trespassing charge in Virginia. If your bank has “no gun” signs, you may wish to consider a different bank or even online banking!
For more questions about carrying into a bank or any other facility, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.