When it comes to state gun laws and gun rights, ownership restrictions can vary widely from state to state. Virginia gun control laws prohibit the ownership of sawed-off shotguns, machine guns, and silencers, and also restrict who is permitted to own guns. For example, individuals convicted of a felony or who are subject to a protective order may not own or purchase guns.
Virginia gun laws protect residents’ constitutional rights to bear arms. They also prohibiting people from bringing guns into certain areas or discharging a firearm in an unsafe or knowingly harmful way. Common areas where guns are prohibited or restricted for citizens include:
- Air carrier terminals, unless traveling (see FAA guidelines)
- Possession of illegally altered gun, such as a sawed-off shotgun or rifle
- Discharging a firearm from a vehicle
- Hunting with a firearm while intoxicated
Residents may openly carry a handgun without presenting a permit once they turn legal age. Those with a concealed handgun permit are allowed to carry a concealed weapon.
If you have any questions about your gun rights click here to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Restoration of Gun Rights/Restoration of Rights
A felony conviction is a life-changing event. Among the many consequences of a felony conviction is that the individual automatically loses their right to possess a firearm. The felony could have been a simple shoplifting charge where the value of the property was just over the felony threshold.
Under Virginia law, your political rights must be restored before you may petition the Circuit Court for a restoration of your gun rights. Political rights include:
- the right to vote
- to run for and hold public office
- to serve on juries, and
- to serve as a notary public.
Since July 15, 2013 political rights are automatically restored for persons convicted of most non-violent felonies upon their release and the completion of certain milestones. However, this does not apply to:
- Those released from custody prior to July 15, 2013
- Those whose crimes are deemed “violent/more serious”
If you fall into either of these categories, you must submit an application for political rights restoration. In addition, those convicted of crimes which are deemed to be “violent/more serious” may have to wait up to five years after any sentence served, or completion of supervised probation and parole, before they may apply for political rights restoration.
If you are eligible to have your political rights restored but have not yet to do so, we can assist in that as a part of the firearm rights restoration process. First you need to restore your political rights. Then you are ready to put together your petition for restoration of your gun rights.
People who have been convicted of felony charges and are interested in having their gun rights restored once they have completed their sentence should especially discuss their case with an experienced attorney. In these situations, retaining counsel will be beneficial. This will be able to provide the appropriate advice and defense strategies to help someone regain those rights.
If you want to restore your rights, click here to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers.