Mecklenburg County Possession of Firearms Lawyer
In the state of Virginia, including Mecklenburg County, there is no restriction or process to possessing a firearm. Mecklenburg County gun law does not require guns to be registered, or their owners acquire any sort of certification. It is even legal for anyone in Mecklenburg county to openly carry a firearm. However, to carry a firearm concealed, a permit is required.
You can acquire that permit by petitioning the Circuit Court with the help of a Mecklenburg County possession of firearms lawyer. A seasoned gun lawyer may be able to further clarify the specifics of Virginia firearms carry laws.
Concealed Carry Licenses
If a person wants a concealed carry permit so that they can carry their gun about their person in a way that is hidden. Common ways of carrying a concealed firearm are inside someone’s waistband, in a shoulder holster, or in a purse or bag.
If a person has a concealed carry permit, they are allowed to carry a hidden firearm on their person whenever they please. Exceptions are when a private business or government building specifically prohibits carrying of a weapon on the premises. Without a concealed carry permit, it is only legal to carry a firearm in Mecklenburg county openly.
Most schools are specifically designated as gun-free zones besides other government buildings. The significance of those gun-free zones is that when somebody runs afoul of the law within a gun-free zone, they frequently face enhanced penalties that they might not otherwise face for the same act.
When carrying a concealed firearm, a person is required to have their permit on their person or potentially face arrest. Additionally, if a person is stopped with a firearm anywhere in Mecklenburg county (whether it is concealed, or openly carried), that individual is responsible for informing law enforcement officers that they have a gun on their person. Officers during a stop or search may ask for the firearm to be placed in a safe visible location for the safety of the officers.
What to Avoid While Carrying a Firearm
It is important for a person who legally possesses a firearm not to display or threaten the use of their firearm unless they are in a legally justified situation. Displaying a firearm in any way that could come across as threatening could lead to a charge of brandishing a firearm. That charge is a misdemeanor carrying up to 12 months in jail.
Additionally, if an individual is brandishing a firearm in public, they may elicit hostile responses from law enforcement officers or other people carrying firearms for self-defense. Other actions to avoid while carrying a firearm include consuming alcohol or getting into any altercations. An altercation while armed could lead to the other party fearing for their lives and creating a bad legal situation for the firearm owner.
Drinking is always prohibited while carrying a firearm. In the state of Virginia, consuming alcohol while a carrying a concealed firearm is completely illegal. To be found possessing a concealed firearm while under the influence of alcohol is a class one misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by up to one year in prison or up to a $2,500 fine. A person charged with a crime while carrying a concealed firearm should consult with a Mecklenburg County possession of firearms lawyer.
Illegal Firearm Possession in Mecklenburg County
When somebody encounters law enforcement and they are found to be illegally possessing a firearm, they will be arrested and the firearm will be confiscated as evidence. They will be taken to a magistrate where a warrant will be issued for their arrest, depending on what the specific violation they allegedly committed.
The magistrate will make an initial bond determination and they will either be released upon posting bail or be held without bond. They will have an opportunity at arraignment and a possession of a firearm lawyer in Mecklenburg County could help with a bond hearing for them.
In order to be found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of the charge. A guilty verdict could come from multiple scenarios.
In the case of a felon in possession of a firearm, for example, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was a convicted felon and that they were actually or constructively in possession of a firearm.
The maximum penalties of unlawful possession of a firearm are:
- Five years in prison
- The possible term of probation
- Forfeiting firearm
- Being barred from owning a firearm in the future.
Additionally, guns are an aggravating factor for any crime. The circumstances of someone being in possession of drugs while possessing a gun is seen as an increased risk of violence and danger to the public. Penalties for possession are therefore enhanced.
Contact a Mecklenburg County Firearms Possession Attorney
A Mecklenburg County possession of firearms lawyer could help you understand the legal parameters for carrying a firearm in Virginia, openly or concealed. Responsible gun owners are often held to a higher standard of accountability and restriction than other Virginians, and a lawyer may be able to help ensure that you are carrying safely. Call a lawyer today to learn more.