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Exploring Four Virginia Laws Involving Dangerous Weapons

Weapons

Owing to the dangerousness of firearms and similar weapons, the Commonwealth of Virginia has strict laws against various weapon crimes. Often referred to generally as dangerous weapons, there are state laws against possession or use in various places and settings, such as churches, courthouses, and airports. There are also laws against using dangerous weapons to set deadly traps.

  1. Dangerous Weapons & Places of Worship

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-283 makes it illegal for any person to possess certain weapons in places of worship during the performance of religious ceremonies. The prohibited weapons under this section include:

  • Firearms;
  • Handguns;
  • Bowie knives;
  • Daggers; and
  • Other dangerous weapons.

Any person who violates Section 18.2-283 is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. If convicted, the maximum punishment is typically $250 in fines.

There is an exemption to Section 18.2-283. This section does not apply if the alleged offender can demonstrate valid and sufficient justification for possessing a dangerous weapon in a place of worship.

  1. Dangerous Weapons & Courthouses

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-283.1 makes it unlawful for any person to possess certain weapons in any state courthouse, including:

  • Firearms and other weapons designed to fire projectiles;
  • Ammunition, frames, missiles, mufflers, projectiles, receivers, or silencers intended for use with a dangerous weapon;
  • Explosives;
  • Stun weapons; and
  • Other dangerous weapons.

Any person who violates Section 18.2-283.1 is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, the maximum punishment is typically 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines. The weapon in question is also subject to seizure.

There is an exemption to Section 18.2-283.1. This section does not apply to law enforcement officers or similar officials who are engaged in the performance of their official duties.

  1. Dangerous Weapons & Airports

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-287.01 makes it unlawful for any person to possess certain weapons in any airport, including:

  • Firearms and other weapons designed to fire projectiles;
  • Ammunition, frames, missiles, mufflers, projectiles, receivers, or silencers intended for use with a dangerous weapon;
  • Explosives;
  • Stun weapons; and
  • Other dangerous weapons.

Any person who violates Section 18.2-287.01 is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, the punishment remains the same as described in the previous section. The weapon in question is also subject to seizure.

That being said, there are several exemptions to Section 18.2-287.01. First, this section does not apply to law enforcement officers engaged in their official duties. Second, this section does not apply to passengers who comply with all safety requirements for transporting unloaded firearms or similarly dangerous weapons.

  1. Dangerous Weapons & Deadly Traps

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-281 makes it unlawful to set up a trap or similar device designed for remote activation. To qualify as a deadly trap, an offender must:

  • Fix or set a firearm or other dangerous weapon;
  • Attach a string, wire, spring, or similar device;
  • Design the device to activate remotely if anything comes into contact with it.

Any person who violates Section 18.2-281 is guilty of a Class 6 felony. If convicted, the maximum punishment is typically five years in prison and $2,500 in fines.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you have legal questions about charges for a weapon crime in Virginia, it can be decidedly beneficial to consult with a dependable criminal defense lawyer. The Leesburg weapons offense lawyers at Simms Showers LLP have defended clients against a diversity of criminal charges, including various weapon crimes. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

https://www.simmsshowerslaw.com/ashburn-man-charged-with-reckless-handling-of-a-firearm-in-virginia/

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