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Prince William County Firearm Possession Lawyer

To obtain a gun in Prince William County, one must visit a legitimate dealer and fill out various forms that, if completed incorrectly, can lead to criminal charges. A criminal background check is also run on the prospective buyer to ensure the accuracy of the forms.

There are many basic types of guns and ammunition that a licensed individual may purchase, however, some require special permits or licenses. Someone must be at least 18 years old to purchase a rifle or shotgun from a licensed firearms dealer, and at least 21 years old to purchase a handgun.

State law does not impose any general state permit, registration, or licensing requirements on openly carrying firearms, subject to some exceptions such as fully automatic firearms and assault weapons. State law permits residents to carry concealed firearms if they have a valid concealed weapons permit. There is an application process one must go through to obtain such a permit, which involves applying with the circuit court. State police issue non-resident concealed handgun permits.

If you have questions about how to legally purchase and own a gun, speak with a Prince William County firearm possession lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney could ensure that you properly complete all necessary forms and comply with all gun regulations.

Why Might Someone Want to Possess a Firearm?

One of the main reasons why someone might want to possess a firearm is for personal protection. A gun owner may also use their firearm for hunting, especially since Prince William County is relatively close to other areas in and around Northern Virginia that offer recreational shooting and hunting opportunities. Someone might want or need to possess a firearm if it is necessary for employment with a government entity, law enforcement, or the military.

Proper Documentation

A gun holder should always have some form of identification on them to prove their identity in relation to corresponding documentation, entitling them to possess a firearm. Additionally, firearm owner should carry any permits, licenses, or registrations on them that establish that their possession of the gun is legal. Because state law requires gun holders to furnish necessary firearm documentation to law enforcement officers upon demand, they should carry this documentation with them at all times. A firearm possession attorney in Prince William County could explain the necessary documentation that someone must have to own a gun.

Misconduct to Avoid in Public

A gun owner should avoid carrying a firearm in a concealed manner if they are in public, as well as drawing unnecessary attention to themselves or their weapon. One should rarely draw their firearm in public or use it in a threatening manner to avoid liability for related gun crimes. One should also always ensure that their firearm’s safety mechanism is engaged in public and that their weapon is not left in a place where others can access or take it who are not authorized to do so. It is a misdemeanor offense to carry a concealed handgun in public, even with a valid permit, or to consume alcohol while in possession of a firearm.

Illegally Possessing a Firearm

The most common scenarios when an individual may be found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm include a gun holder:

  • Being a convicted felon
  • Is in possession of a firearm while subject to a protective order
  • Carrying a firearm in a concealed manner that they do not have the proper permit for
  • Carrying any firearm that is not lawfully registered to them

The potential charges and penalties that apply to someone illegally possessing a firearm vary upon the nature of the possession and the reason it is illegal. The lowest forms of illegal possession are misdemeanors, but there are certainly serious felony forms of unlawful ownership of a gun.

At a minimum, one can expect to receive a formal criminal charge, and the seizure of the firearm in question, potentially for an indefinite amount of time. A Prince William County lawyer with experience in firearm possession laws could help a gun holder build a defense if they are facing allegations of unlawful ownership.

Gun-Free Zones

Some common examples of designated gun-free zones (GFZ) are government buildings and property, schools, and churches. The penalties for having a firearm on a GFZ are typically harsher than the punishments for general unlawful possession. In some instances, possessing a firearm in a GFZ can lead to prosecution and penalties by both the state and federal governments.

Retain a Prince William County Firearm Possession Attorney

The process and regulations surrounding legal gun ownership can be confusing to understand without a legal aide. Therefore, if you want to purchase a gun, you should speak with a Prince William County firearm possession lawyer to ensure that you comply with all state regulations. To learn more, call today.

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