The 1968 Gun Control Act is a federal law that permanently bars felons from possessing firearms.
Virginia Code 18.2-308.2, which lawmakers updated earlier this year, further clarifies the state’s position on an individual’s possession of firearms as well as certain exceptions to the rules.
How federal officials treat a felon’s possession of firearms
Federal law prohibits all felons from owning weapons, no matter whether their conviction was for a violent or non-violent offense. These same laws also make it unlawful for anyone facing an active domestic violence protective order or who was previously convicted on misdemeanor domestic violence, assault or battery charges to possess a firearm.
U.S. law allows prosecutors to charge anyone who fits into one of the above-referenced categories with weapons charges. This criminal offense is punishable by a year or more in prison.
What Virginia law says about a felon’s gun possession
Virginia Code § 18.2-308.2 prohibits felons from possessing and transporting firearms, ammunition, explosives, stun guns, and other concealed weapons.
Anyone who violates this law may face Class 6 felony charges, a criminal offense which carries with it either a potential $2,500 fine and up to 12 months incarceration or a prison term of between one and five years. Repeat offenders face a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years imprisonment. The state does issue permits on a case-by-case basis that allows for some of these individuals’ limited firearms possession.
What you need to know if you’re facing weapons charges
Most Virginia felons cannot possess firearms unless the court agrees to expunge their record, they receive a pardon, or some other unique situation exists. The legal system doesn’t take too fondly to individuals who habitually violate the law. An attorney can help you craft a defense in your Lynchburg weapons case in an effort to achieve the best outcome in your case.