The statutory scheme for gun ownership and possession in Virginia is very complex and penalties for violation of firearm laws are often severe. Therefore, a Fairfax gun lawyer who has experience helping clients navigate these laws can give those charged with a weapons offense the best chance of a positive outcome. If you have been arrested for a gun-related charge, you can learn more about our criminal defense team.
Gun laws can be tricky in Virginia, particularly in Fairfax and Northern Virginia where there is a mix of urban and rural demographics. Virginia does not require gun registration nor is it necessary to obtain a permit before carrying a firearm openly about the person except where prohibited by statute. The tricky part comes in the interpretation of the phrases “carrying a firearm openly about the person” and “where prohibited by statute.” A Fairfax lawyer can provide specific details on where guns are prohibited and other information.
To best understand the permitted carrying of certain weapons openly about the person, it is best to know what is prohibited. As relaxed as state gun laws may be about owning and possessing firearms under the circumstances allowed, state laws strictly regulate carrying concealed guns of any type. It is unlawful in Virginia to carry a weapon on your person that is “hidden from common observation.” The weapons prohibited from concealment include all types of handguns and also includes certain types of prohibited knives (Virginia Code Section 18.2-308). The concealment prohibitions do not apply to:
Concealed weapons offenses are vigorously enforced and prosecuted throughout Virginia and unfortunately involve many gray areas over the interpretation of the various exceptions. A Fairfax lawyer could provide meaningful assistance and help someone determine what actions may be best to take in their gun case.
In Fairfax County, concealed handgun applications are available at:
Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk’s Office
Civil Intake Division
4110 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
In accordance with Virginia Code Section 18.2-308, anyone older than 21 (or any member of the United States Armed Forces) may apply for a concealed carry permit by writing to the Clerk of the Circuit Court where he or she lives or the county or city in which he or she is domiciled. If a permit is issued, it will be valid for five (5) years. Residents in other counties should apply to the Clerk of the Circuit Court where they reside. Out of state residents must apply through the Virginia State Police website. Our attorneys in Fairfax could help someone obtain a permit to carry a concealed gun.
Even if one has a permit to carry a handgun, guns of any type – and Virginia does not distinguish between handguns, rifles, and shotguns in this regard — may not be carried in certain places that include:
Furthermore, it is prohibited to carry a loaded gun in public places, Va. Code 18.2-287.4.
When confronted with any issues concerning the possession, ownership, or use of firearms in Fairfax or any part of Virginia, you need sound legal advice and representation. Our experienced Fairfax gun lawyers can help you achieve the best possible outcome. Call our firm for a free consultation today.
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