Carrying Concealed Weapons in Virginia

Concealed carry in Virginia is illegal, while open carry of a handgun is generally allowed as long as it is visible. A permit is required to carry a concealed handgun, and violating the law by carrying a concealed weapon without a permit or violating the restrictions of a concealed handgun permit can lead to conviction under Va. Code §18.2-308. This law also applies to carrying other concealed weapons.

The Prohibition Against Carrying Concealed Weapons in Virginia

Carrying Concealed Weapons in Virginia
In order to convict someone of carrying a concealed weapon in Virginia, the Commonwealth must show that the offender did so while concealing it from public view and carrying one of the weapons listed in Va. Code 18.2-308. The possession of the weapon can be either actual or constructive. “About his person” refers to a weapon that is readily accessible for use or surprise, while “hidden from common observation” means that the weapon is observable but disguised to conceal its true nature. The list of weapons that Va. Code covers §18.2-308 includes pistols, revolvers, weapons designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by the action of an explosion of any combustible material, dirks, bowie knives, switchblade knives, ballistic knives, machetes, razors, slingshots, spring sticks, metal knucks, blackjacks, nunchucks, throwing stars, oriental darts, and any other weapon of like kind.

Violating Va. Code §18.2-308 for the first time is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $2,500, or both. A second offense is a Class 6 felony, which carries a punishment of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. A third offense is a Class 5 felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

Conviction for Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Virginia

However, the law provides some exceptions to the prohibition against carrying a concealed weapon in Virginia. One of these exceptions is if the person has a valid concealed carry permit. However, there are some limitations, such as not being permitted to carry a concealed weapon on the grounds of an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages or while under the influence of alcohol or illegal narcotics.

Exceptions to the Prohibition Against Carrying Concealed Weapons in Virginia

Additionally, Virginia Code 18.2-308 does not apply to people who are traveling to or from a shooting range, place of purchase or repair, a firearms training course, a weapons show, in their home or on their property, at their own place of business, while hunting, in their car if secured in a container within the vehicle, law enforcement officers, retired law enforcement officers, Commonwealth’s attorneys, judges, postal workers, and state correctional institutions (or while in transit to or from their official duties).

Penalties for Violating Restrictions on Carrying Concealed Weapons in Virginia

It is an offense to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia while intoxicated or high, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The offender can be punished with up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Additionally, the offender will not be able to apply for a concealed handgun permit for five years. If someone with a concealed carry permit carries their handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club that serves alcohol and consumes any alcohol, they are guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor under Va. Code §18.2-308.012(B).

Obtaining a Concealed Carry Permit in Virginia

In summary, carrying a concealed weapon in Virginia without a permit or violating certain restrictions can lead to a conviction under VA. Code §18.2-308. It is important to understand the restrictions and exceptions to the law so that individuals can avoid any legal trouble while carrying weapons in Virginia. Individuals who are interested in obtaining a concealed carry permit in Virginia can find more information on the Virginia State Police website. It is crucial to follow the laws and regulations set by the state to avoid any legal penalties or criminal charges.