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Firearm Curbs from VA Protective Orders

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Firearm curbs from VA protective orders- Fairfax criminal lawyer comments

Firearm curbs are an unfortunate result of Virginia protective orders, says Fairfax criminal lawyer

Firearm curbs are part and parcel of a Virginia protective order (also known as stay away and no-contact orders, commonly issued in tandem with assault claims). As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I see such curbs as flying in the face of the letter and spirit of the Second Amendment right to carry and bear arms, and I say this as a person who believes in freedom of choice with firearms and chooses not to own any.

What happens to my Virginia firearm and concealed carry rights during the pendency of a protective order?

With these firearm curbs, for a person subject to a Virginia protective order it is unlawful “to purchase or transport any firearm while the order is in effect. Any person with a concealed handgun permit shall be prohibited from carrying any concealed firearm, and shall surrender his permit to the court entering the order, for the duration of any protective order referred to herein. A violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor.” Virginia Code § 18.2-308.1:4.

Do these Virginia firearm curbs and concealed carry limitations apply even to emergency protective orders?

Unfortunately, these firearm curbs and concealed carry limitations apply to all Virginia protective orders, including the short-lived emergency protective orders that commonly are issued parallel to the issuance of domestic assault warrants of arrest/ criminal charges. It is a rude awakening and the pouring of salt in the wounds for a Virginia criminal defendant not only to face assault charges, but on top of that to also be subject to an emergency protective order, to possibly need to defend against a subsequent preliminary protective order, and then — upon the issuance of the first protective order — to have one’s firearms and concealed carry permit seized.

Can I get five convictions for possessing one firearm while subject to five protective orders?

This week, the Virginia Supreme Court affirmed an intermediate appellate court firearm curbs opinion that confirmed that the possession of one firearm while subject to multiple protective orders (here there were five such orders) allows a conviction for each such protective order. Groffel v. Virginia, Record Nos. 191233 and 191360  (Va., Nov. 19, 2020) (affirming Groffel v. Com., 70 Va. App. 681 (2019). On top of that, Groffel confirms that because Groffel was a convicted felon at the time of his possession of a firearm, he was subject to an additional conviction for violating that law, but that he could not be convicted both for firearm and ammunition possession while a convicted felon, rather than only for possessing a firearm or ammunition. Groffel, 70 Va. App. 681.

What recourse do I have against my firearms and concealed carry permit being seized when a protective order is issued?

As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I recognize that firearm curbs are sufficient reason in and of themselves to fully fight against the issuance of any Virginia protective order. On top of that, a conviction for violating a Virginia protective order is a jailable misdemeanor, and the mere existence of a final protective order could have adverse consequences to one’s security clearance.

What if my firearms and concealed carry permit are not seized when I am served a Virginia protective order?

Virginia firearm curbs law (and ordinarily the protective order itself) says that the subject of the order shall surrender to police any firearms in his or her possession, and shall surrender any firearms concealed carry permit to the issuing court. Upon the expiration of the most recent protective order, the owner may recover the firearms from police upon written request, and may recover his or her concealed carry permit from the court. If the court revokes the concealed carry permit in the interim, the permittee may seek issuance of a renewed concealed carry permit.

When subject to firearm curbs under a Virginia protective order, defend your criminal defense rights, Second Amendment rights and civil liberties. Call Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz at 703-383-1100 for a confidential consultation to defend you against criminal and Weapons charges, including but not limited to assault and battery charges, protective order efforts, and felony and misdemeanor charges.