Like most states, Virginia has enacted a host of gun laws that pertain to the individuals who may carry guns, where they may carry them, and how they may carry them. Virginia law also criminalizes various acts that involve guns. If you are accused of a firearm violation, then a Culpeper County gun lawyer may be able to help you. Reach out to a dedicated criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to learn how a legal professional could advocate for you.
Under Virginia law, there are certain groups of people who are prohibited from possessing, transporting, using, or buying firearms. As a Culpeper County gun attorney can tell you, these individuals include those who are acquitted of crimes by reason of insanity, individuals who are legally incompetent or mentally incapacitated, people who are involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, individuals subject to protective orders, people convicted of two or more drug-related misdemeanors, and those who have been convicted of a felony.
Individuals in Virginia must have a permit to carry concealed weapons, including firearms. A first violation of this law is a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308, but second and subsequent violations of this law are felonies. However, a concealed carry permit is not required to possess firearms in certain locations, including in one’s home or business. For more information, reach out to a knowledgeable criminal lawyer.
Virginia law prohibits firearms in places of public worship during religious meetings, in courthouses, and airport terminals. While openly carrying guns is permissible in many public places in Virginia, it is illegal to carry the following in public places, but only in certain cities and counties:
According to Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-279, it is illegal to maliciously discharge a firearm within any building or at any dwelling occupied by one or more individuals so as to endanger their lives or put them in peril. This criminal offense is a Class 4 felony, but if death occurs as a result, it is murder in the second degree.
If the discharge is unlawful as opposed to malicious, it is a Class 6 felony, or involuntarily manslaughter if death results. Discharge of a gun at or within a school building is a Class 4 felony.
Under Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-280, the willful discharge of a firearm in any street in a city or town or in any public place that results in bodily injury to another is a Class 6 felony. If no bodily injury occurs, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, except that it is a Class 4 felony if the willful discharge occurs on school grounds or on public property within 1,000 feet of school property.
According to Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-286, it is a Class 4 misdemeanor to discharge a firearm across a road. Under Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-286.1, it is a Class 5 felony to intentionally discharge a firearm from a vehicle so as to create the risk of injury or death to another or to cause another to have a reasonable apprehension of injury or death.
Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-282 prohibits the pointing, holding, or brandishing of a firearm to reasonably induce fear in another or doing so in a public place to reasonably induce fear in another of being shot or injured. Violation of this section is Class 1 misdemeanor, except that it is a Class 6 felony if the action occurs on school grounds or on public property within 1,000 feet of school grounds.
Gun offenses are complicated and detailed. They also change on a frequent basis, especially in recent years, so it is essential for you to stay updated on these laws in order to lawfully own and carry a firearm. Any potential violations of Virginia gun laws can have severe penalties. If you are facing firearm charges, contact a dedicated Culpeper County gun lawyer today.