The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms. However, there are some limitations and exceptions to this rule. If you wish to own a firearm, you need to obey specific federal and state laws.

Virginia allows you to carry a concealed weapon in public only if you have a permit. If you do not have a permit and conceal your firearm while in public, you may face severe legal consequences.

Consequences of concealing a weapon without a permit

Virginia functions as a “shall issue” states in terms of concealed carry laws. You may legally carry a concealed firearm if you have a permit. If you do not have a permit or if it expired, you could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor for your first offense. A Class 1 misdemeanor charge may include jail time up to 12 months and a fine of $2,500 or less. For a second offense, you could face a Class 6 felony charge. Class 6 felonies may result in a prison sentence from one to five years.

Virginia does not ban having a concealed firearm in all instances. There are some exceptions to this law where you do not need a permit to have a gun concealed.

What are the exceptions?

In Virginia, there are a few places where the law does not require you to have a concealed carry permit. Those places include:

  • Your own home
  • Hunting
  • In your car
  • Shooting range

If you were charged with unlawful possession of a weapon get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer can evaluate your situation and provide recommendations on what to do next. They also might be able to minimize any potential penalties if they are involved early in the process.