Hand holding a gun up

Five Things to Know About Weapons Laws in Virginia

If you are facing any kind of weapons charge in Virginia, it is critical to begin working on your case with an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney. If you are convicted, you could face significant penalties that include monetary fines and jail time. You might not realize it, but you could end up breaking one of Virginia’s laws concerning the lawful carry of a firearm or another weapon even if you are licensed to own the weapon. The following are five things to know about weapons laws in Virginia. And when you need assistance fighting weapons charges, you should get in touch with our firm to learn more about your options for developing a defense strategy.

  1. Some Knives Are Illegal to Possess in the State of Virginia

Some knives and other weapons that are not firearms are unlawful to possess or carry in the state of Virginia. For example, when it comes to illegal knives, under Virginia law (Code of Va. § 18.2-311) it is unlawful to possess or sell switchblade knives or ballistic knives. In addition, it is unlawful to possess or sell blackjacks (weighted weapons that resemble clubs), brass or metal knuckles, or discs with at least two points or pointed metal blades that are designed to be thrown. Carrying brass knuckles may result in misdemeanor charges, fines, and even jail time.

  1. Open Carry of a Loaded Weapon is Unlawful in a Variety of Outdoor Public Places in Virginia, Even if You Are Legally Permitted to Own a Firearm

You cannot carry a loaded weapon in certain public places even if you are lawfully allowed to own or possess the weapon. Under Virginia law (Code of Va. § 18.2-287.4), you cannot carry a loaded semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol, or a shotgun with a magazine holding more than seven rounds “on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public” in a number of cities in Virginia, including Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church (to name a few), or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudon, or Prince William.

  1. Possessing a Weapon in Certain Indoor Private and Public Spaces is Unlawful

Even if you legally own a gun, it is unlawful to carry weapons in courthouses, airports, on school property, and in most places of worship.

  1. You Cannot Buy More than One Handgun Per Month in Virginia

Recent changes to Virginia’s gun laws, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, have taken effect. Accordingly, you cannot buy more than one new handgun per month in the state.

  1. You Need a Permit to Carry a Concealed Handgun

If you want to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia, you need to have a permit. Failing to have a permit can result in criminal charges.

Get Started on Your Defense with a Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing weapons charges of any type, you need to have an experienced and aggressive Fairfax, VA criminal defense attorney on your side to help you fight these charges. Do not make the mistake of trying to build a defense on your own when your freedom is at stake. Beyond sentencing, if you are convicted of a weapons offense, you will also have a criminal record that you may need to disclose on certain job applications, when you try to rent a home, or if you apply for certain types of credit.

Our criminal defense lawyers can develop a defense strategy that is tailored to the specific facts of your case. We want to give you the best chance of beating the charges you are facing. Contact Family Law Group for more information about the services we provide to clients facing criminal charges in Fairfax, Manassas, and throughout Northern Virginia.