Basics of Virginia Firearm Carry and Concealed Carry Laws

October 15, 2020
man holding a gun on his back

It is legal for you to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia. However, you need a license to do so. The state also has laws that forbid certain people from owning firearms and restrict the places and circumstances where such weapons can be carried.

If you have broken the state’s concealed weapons laws, you are in serious trouble and should respond accordingly. You will need the help of a Virginia criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney Fairfax Va can help build your defense so that you get the best outcome possible.

The Law

In Virginia, only law enforcement officers, people on their way to the shooting range, and individuals who are in their homes can carry a concealed weapon without a permit. People who are ineligible to obtain such a permit include:

  • Those under 21
  • Those who are barred from having guns
  • Those convicted of stalking, assault and battery, and other such violent crimes
  • People on trial for felony charges or certain misdemeanors

There are times and places in which it is always illegal to carry a firearm. Even if you have a concealed carry permit, you cannot carry while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is illegal for you to carry a weapon, concealed or open, if you are under the influence of prescription medication. It is also illegal in Virginia for you to carry weapons in the following places:

  • Child daycare centers and preschools
  • Places of religious worship
  • Courthouses
  • School grounds, school buses, and places where school events are taking place


State law prohibits people who are mentally incapacitated from owning a gun. If you are under a domestic violence restraining order or any other order covered by Virginia’s red flag law, you are also prohibited from carrying a weapon. The state prohibits dangerous uses of weapons. In Virginia, you are forbidden from:

  • Purposefully firing a gun on city streets
  • Firing a gun in office spaces, schools, or other public places
  • Discharging a weapon from a car
  • Pointing a weapon at someone unless you are defending yourself
  • Brandishing a weapon with the intent of intimidating someone

The state also prohibits hunting while intoxicated and setting a trap with a gun or other deadly weapon.

Dealing with an Arrest

The penalties for breaking Virginia’s gun laws range from misdemeanors to felonies. The charge will depend on the circumstances of your case and the location. If you are taken into custody for breaking concealed carry or any other gun law, you should make no statement to the police until you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney Fairfax VA. In fact, you should let the investigating officer know, unequivocally but politely, that you will not make any statements without an attorney present.

You have a right to remain silent and you should exercise it. You do not want to incriminate yourself or weaken a possible defense by making an errant comment. The first thing your criminal defense lawyer Fairfax VA will do is review the evidence the state has against you. If you are being held in custody, then your criminal lawyer Fairfax VA can arrange for a bond motion to try to secure your release and, in the process, learn more about the evidence against you. Once you have been released, they will work with you to build a defense. If the police have little or no evidence that you did anything wrong, then your Fairfax criminal attorney will use these evidentiary issues to your benefit in court.

Either way, you should allow your lawyer to do all the talking. Even if you believe your arrest was unjust and you want to speak your mind about it, you should resist this urge. Do not give the authorities anything to use against you. Turn instead to the Fairfax VA criminal defense law firm of Rudolphi Law. They will help you through the situation.