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West Virginia generally permits the open carrying of an unloaded long gun or handgun in a motor vehicle, with no license or permit required, although at certain times of day the firearm must be encased.1 West Virginia prohibits carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, except as authorized by law.2

Any person who carries a concealed deadly weapon “on or about the person” without a state license or other authorization provided by statute is criminally liable for a misdemeanor.3

State law says that a person may keep an otherwise lawfully possessed deadly weapon, firearm, or pepper spray in a motor vehicle in municipal public parking facilities if the vehicle is locked and the deadly weapon, firearm, or pepper spray is out of view.4 Similar law restricts private property owners from prohibiting customers, employees, or invitees from possessing any legally owned firearm so long as it is out of view and locked inside or locked to a motor vehicle in a parking lot.5


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  1. W. Va. Code § 20-2-5(9).[]
  2. Id.[]
  3. W. Va. Code § 61-7-3.[]
  4. W. Va. Code § 8-12-5a(A)(3).[]
  5. W. Va. Code § 61-7-14(d).[]