Because state firearm laws can be complicated to understand fully, law-abiding citizens can unintentionally violate these regulations. All individuals who wish to own firearms should be fully aware of the applicable laws before possessing or purchasing a gun.
State law regulates who may owe a firearm, where an owner may have their weapon, and how they may use it. Any violations of these laws may carry harsh penalties and may affect your ability to possess firearms in the future. By consulting with an attorney before purchasing a firearm, you could ensure that you are not in danger of violating any McLean gun laws and facing criminal charges as a result.
State law prohibits some individuals from intentionally buying, possessing, or using firearms. For example, if a judge or jury has found someone not guilty of a criminal charge because of insanity, they may not possess a gun under Virginia Code §18.2-308.1:1. Similarly, if a court has ruled an individual to be legally incompetent, mentally incapacitated, or involuntarily commits them to a facility, they may not own a weapon.
Some criminal convictions automatically remove firearms rights from individuals. For instance, any felony conviction eliminates the ability of that person from owning or possessing a weapon. Other circumstances that prohibit individuals from possessing firearms may include:
The resulting criminal charges from illegally possessing firearms can have severe consequences. A McLean attorney who understands state firearm regulations could determine if an individual is allowed to own a gun.
Although open carry in public is legal in some places, there are zones in which the law prohibits it. Under Va. Code § 18.2-308.1, individuals may not carry guns onto school property. Gun-free zones also include courthouses, churches, or other places of public worship.
Penalties for these offenses vary. For example, illegally carrying a gun on school property is a Class 6 felony offense. Whereas, unlawfully carrying a weapon into a place of worship is a Class 4 misdemeanor, and into a courthouse is Class 1 misdemeanor.
Individuals can face various criminal charges for illegally using guns. Under Va. Code § 18.2-282, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to point, hold, or brandish a weapon in a way that causes others to reasonably fear for their safety. This misconduct increases to a Class 6 misdemeanor, however, if an individual commits a crime on school property or any public property falling within 1,000 feet of a school.
Gun laws in McLean also prohibit individuals from discharging a firearm in certain situations. For instance, maliciously discharging a weapon at a building, school, or home to put another in danger is a Class 4 felony offense. Additionally, these charges may be enhanced if the discharge results in death.
Similarly, under Va. Code § 18.2-280, individuals may not willfully discharge a firearm on the street within city or town limits, or in any public place. If no bodily injury occurs, this offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, if an individual suffers injuries, the law classifies this misconduct as a Class 6 felony.
Anyone who owns a firearm should be aware of McLean gun laws to avoid facing criminal charges and the penalties that accompany a conviction. A lawyer could explain pertinent firearm regulations if you are considering purchasing a weapon. Additionally, if are facing allegations of committing a gun-related offense, an experienced attorney could build a case in your defense. For legal guidance, call today.
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