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  1. #1
    us
    Apr 2009
    2

    metal detecting in Virginia

    Where can I legally metal detect in the state of Virginia.........getting too many different answers.

  2. #2

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    6,129
    1784 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: metal detecting in Virginia

    Just avoid state owned and federally owned parks. All the city and county level parks, school yards, etc... usually have nothing about detecting in their rules/laws. If you are skittish, you can always check their rules yourself. Like, rules are usually posted at the entrance on the wooden sign, or available on city/county websites. Do a keyword search under "metal detectors" or whatever. If it is silent on the issue, then I'd consider myself no differerent than any other park user. Naturally be discreet, avoid busy-bodies, don't go if there's a convention of archaeologists meeting there that day, don't be in the middle of deep retreivals when park personell are watching, etc... Ie.: kind of like nose-picking: if you're discreet, no one probably cares.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  3. #3

    Mar 2008
    Virginia
    Tesoro Tejon
    243
    8 times

    Re: metal detecting in Virginia

    Which part of VA are you in? Im in the Richmond area and pretty much the only public places off limits are the state and federal parks. I believe in the City of Richmond you can get a license that will allow you to detect in the city parks, but I have never been successful getting in contact with anyone from city hall.

  4. #4
    us
    Apr 2009
    15

    Re: metal detecting in Virginia

    I live in Herndon, and I go to the parks in fairfax county and detect all the time. I've never had a problem.

  5. #5
    us
    Oct 2006
    Herndon Virginia
    Minelab EX II & Musketeer, White's Classic
    4,203
    832 times

    Re: metal detecting in Virginia

    Quote Originally Posted by RonPaul2012
    I live in Herndon, and I go to the parks in fairfax county and detect all the time. I've never had a problem.
    RP,

    I've been kicked out of parks in Herndon... Really! I was asked to leave Bruin Park by the maintenance guys. They were not happy that I might be digging up what little grass there was in the park.

    Technically, it is a class one misdemeanor to "disturb relics" on Virginia "public property". Relics are defined as anything to indicate human inhabitants. Public property is federal, state, county, city... owned. Enforcement is left up to local jurisdictions.

    I've discussed this topic with Fairfax County police officers. The general concensus was they couldn't care less about MDing at parks, schools (as long as you are not in designated battlefield parks).

    DCMatt
    While I have aimed in my postings to be irenic and conciliatory, rather than polemic, I have yet endeavored to set forth the
    truth, let it favor or impugn whom it might. Any notice of misrepresentations or mistakes occurring in these prose will be most thankfully received
    by the author.

  6. #6

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    6,129
    1784 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: metal detecting in Virginia

    Matt, if I saw something written, in the context of any particular state, regarding their "public property", I would take that to mean the STATE owned public property, NOT other entities within that state (ie.: county, city, etc...). Because if you are reading state law, and the phrase "public property" comes up, then by simple definition, it is in the context of what the state owned/operated.

    This is a common mistake people make for other countries too: Someone reads that "no metal detecting is allowed in such & such country", so they think that means ...... the entire country. But since you are reading that country's federal level rules, then, in context, it applies to federal level land. You would not be in violation going to, for example, farmer Bob's potato field with his permission, or city level lands, etc....

    I mean, it would no different than reading that the USA disallows detecting on their federal lands, etc... But that has no bearing on individual state's or cities. It would only apply to the federal land within those states or federal land within a city, etc.... We do not conclude that the entire USA disallows detecting, because perhaps the fed. govt. doesn't allow it in their parks or land. See?

    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  7. #7
    us
    Oct 2006
    Herndon Virginia
    Minelab EX II & Musketeer, White's Classic
    4,203
    832 times

    Re: metal detecting in Virginia

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA
    Matt, if I saw something written, in the context of any particular state, regarding their "public property", I would take that to mean the STATE owned public property, NOT other entities within that state (ie.: county, city, etc...). Because if you are reading state law, and the phrase "public property" comes up, then by simple definition, it is in the context of what the state owned/operated.

    This is a common mistake people make for other countries too: Someone reads that "no metal detecting is allowed in such & such country", so they think that means ...... the entire country. But since you are reading that country's federal level rules, then, in context, it applies to federal level land. You would not be in violation going to, for example, farmer Bob's potato field with his permission, or city level lands, etc....

    I mean, it would no different than reading that the USA disallows detecting on their federal lands, etc... But that has no bearing on individual state's or cities. It would only apply to the federal land within those states or federal land within a city, etc.... We do not conclude that the entire USA disallows detecting, because perhaps the fed. govt. doesn't allow it in their parks or land. See?

    Tom,

    Once upon a time, I read the Virginia statute. I don't recall the exact words. I was having a debate via email with a Fairfax county historical resource official (ie - local gov't archie). The state law is written with deliberate generality and left to the interpretation of local authorities. Fairfax law is written as I explained in the previous post - public property is defined as owned by federal, state, county, city... Nearby Arlington and Alexandria laws are different. In Alexandria, it is a class 2 misdemeanor for relic hunting and Arlington has only "park rules" (not laws) against relic hunting in parks.

    I was inquiring to the county about ownership of a piece of land adjacent to a battlefield area that is between two major roads and an on-ramp (essentially a large road easement). This area is considered public property and is protected by the Fairfax laws.

    So the bottom line is... it is very confusing. So I hunt private property with permission...

    DCMatt

    P.S. I am not a lawyer nor have I ever played one on TV.
    While I have aimed in my postings to be irenic and conciliatory, rather than polemic, I have yet endeavored to set forth the
    truth, let it favor or impugn whom it might. Any notice of misrepresentations or mistakes occurring in these prose will be most thankfully received
    by the author.

  8. #8

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    6,129
    1784 times
    Banner Finds (3)

    Re: metal detecting in Virginia

    Matt, no doubt, if you ask enough archies, you'll find ones to interpret as you have found. I mean, go figure, if they'll say "detecting is not allowed" (because they hate md'rs from the get-go), so of course they'll say "this law means such & such" EVEN if it doesn't really hold water legally.

    I suppose if I asked enough senators, congressmen, consulates, etc... "Can I metal detect in California?" I would probably find someone to tell me "no". But the reality is, we metal detect here, and no one really cares less, unless you're trying to hunt an obvious historical monument or something. I would imagine it's the same in other states, where if you ask high enough up the ladder "can I metal detect this abandoned land next to a freeway on-ramp", you will eventually find someone to say "no".

    It's the old addage: "Sometimes no one cares ..... UNTIL you ask"
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

 

 

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