Gun Laws in Virginia
Gun laws in Virginia are taken very, very seriously and are enforced very strictly. If you have been charged with a gun offense, you should consult an attorney. An adept gun lawyer could devote the time and resources necessary to protect your gun rights.
What Makes Virginia Gun Laws Less Strict Than Other States’ Laws?
Virginia gun laws are less strict than other places in the U.S., but more severely enforced when a person is alleged to have broken the law. If a person does a restoration process (people who are convicted of felonies), then there are certain things that individuals can do without specific concealed carry permits like transporting guns to and from places.
If a person breaks the law, i.e., they are a felon in possession of a firearm; he is improperly concealing a weapon; he is improperly concealing a weapon without permission to do so; or if he does not have a permit; then the person is going to face active jail time, even if it was deemed to be an honest mistake by the charged person. These are situations that Virginia does not forgive. Even though the laws themselves might not be as strict as in other states, they are enforced much more severely.
Prevalence of Guns in the Violent Crime Landscape
Compared to other weapons, gun charges are quite prevalent in the violent crimes landscape of Virginia. Guns are involved in most violent felonies and violent sex offenses.
Any kind of violent felony could also be coupled with a felony possession of a firearm offense; or the aggravating factor of the underlying charge that there was a deadly weapon, which would be a gun in that situation. It is extremely common.
Moving to Virginia as a Gun Owner
Despite coming from another state, individuals are still expected to follow gun laws in Virginia. Depending on the type of gun and how the person got the gun, the gun might need to be registered. The individual might need a concealed carry permit. The individual might not be eligible to have a weapon in Virginia until they petition Virginia for firearms rights restoration. The individual may have to transport the firearm in certain ways. It really just depends on the type of gun and the individual’s history.
Ways Gun Laws Could Change in the Future
Gun laws in Virginia are not fixed, and as gun control becomes a pertinent issue, changes in gun laws could occur. Potential changes to gun laws include changes to the background checks that are necessary to purchase firearms. The laws might change the ways that they can apply to have their firearm rights restored. That does not happen automatically.
The prior administration has been floating ideas about people who were previously convicted of felonies no longer being eligible for gun rights restoration. That is something that could be coming down the pipeline if Virginia Legislature gets ahold of that as well. The law could change in the future which would require different types of licensing for different types of firearms or some kind of record-keeping as far as firearm sales or ammunition sales. It depends on the trend of the current administration and who is currently in power.
Where to Find More Information About Virginia Gun Laws
Before a person is arrested for some type of illegal possession or use of a gun, they should call an attorney and ask questions concerning gun laws in Virginia and what the penalties for violating those laws are. Otherwise, an individual can look in the Virginia Code for the actual law as well on the Virginia State Police website which has a large section of firearms, describing prohibitions and other conduct under the Virginia Law.