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Brandishing a Firearm Charge in Virginia Beach


Virginia is what is referred to as an “open carry” state. In other words, anyone may lawfully carry a firearm about their person in pubic, loaded or unloaded, so long as it is in plain view. There are prohibitions on carrying a firearm in government buildings, schools, churches and private businesses where posted.

Brandishing a firearm can be charged against anyone who holds a firearm (or any object that resembles a firearm, such as a toy gun) in a manner that reasonably induces fear in another. This involves more than just holding a firearm in a show of defense, but a brandishing charge may result if holding the gun is coupled with some threatening words. Excusable or justifiable self-defense is always a defense to a brandishing a firearm charge.

Felony Brandishing Charge

If someone is charged with brandishing a firearm while on school property (public, private, or religious), or within 1000 feet of school property, the charge of brandishing a firearm is elevated to a Class 6 felony. Punishment for felony brandishing can result in a prison sentence up to 5 years.

Penalties For Brandishing A Firearm Charge in Virginia

Except for felony brandishing charges, anyone convicted of misdemeanor brandishing a firearm in Virginia Beach faces up to 12 months in jail and/or up to $2500 in fines. In addition to the criminal punishment, the court may order the firearm forfeited and destroyed. If the individual has a concealed carry permit, the court may also consider revoking that privilege.

Contact Garrett Law Group, PLC in Virginia Beach to speak with a criminal defense attorney who knows the firearms laws in Virginia. Our criminal defense lawyers have helped many clients defeat brandishing charges and keep their weapons. (757) 422-4646. We are here to answer your questions 24/7/365.