Virginia gun lawyer Jon Katz knows that although the Constitution’s Second Amendment addresses the right to bear arms, the reality is that handgun and other weapons prosecutions remain part of the bread and butter of police, prosecutors and politicians. The penalties for violating weapons laws can sometimes be particularly harsh.
Merely avoiding the accumulation and possession of weapons does not automatically guarantee avoiding a weapons prosecution. Too many people too often get falsely accused, whether because of misidentification, false evidence, or misinterpretation of the evidence. If you are stopped in a car with someone possessing an illegal weapon, you are at risk of being dragnetted into the prosecution if the weapon possessor tosses the weapon your way in the event of a traffic stop, if you are near the weapon, or if the vehicle contains a cache of weapons and ammunition. Merely carrying a kitchen knife for cooking, in a bag, pocket or car where it cannot be seen risks being prosecuted for possessing a concealed dangerous weapon.
Before submitting an application to purchase a handgun, you may wish to consider having a qualified lawyer assist in completing the application. Do not let the excitement of finding the perfect handgun cloud your ability to accurately answer every question on a handgun application. Doing otherwise risks a prosecution.
Remember that your permit to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia does not protect you from prosecution for driving that weapon into the District of Columbia or Maryland. Carefully check all luggage and carry-on items at home, lest you find yourself charged at the airport with attempting to bring a weapon on an airplane.
Make sure you know how to safely use all weapons you possess and use. Any unlawful injuries you cause with a weapon will be yours to deal with in a prosecution.
Beware being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Beware the harsh mandatory minimum sentencing that can come with possessing firearms in connection with drug crimes.
Va. Code § 18.2-308.02 – Application for concealed handgun permit
Va. Code § 18.2-308 – Carrying concealed weapons
Va. Code § 18.2-53.1 – Use or display of firearm in committing a felony
RELEVANT UNDERDOG BLOG ENTRIES:
– In Virginia, the handgun is legal when segregated by a closed glove compartment