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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 Under a 2012 law, a licensee is considered to be carrying “on or about his or her person” while in or on a motor vehicle if the firearm is located in a storage area in or on the motor vehicle.4

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.5

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  1. W. Va. Code § 20-2-5(9).[]
  2. Id.[]
  3. W. Va. Code §§ 61-7-2(10), 61-7-3.[]
  4. W. Va. Code § 61-7-2(10).[]
  5. W. Va. Code § 8-12-5a(A)(3).[]