Virginia Beach Gun Rights Lawyer

An Experienced Trial Attorney Committed to Protecting Your Constitutional Rights

Every American citizen has the constitutional right to possess firearms. However, there are situations that could impact these rights, such as being convicted of a felony or having a protective order issued against you. At Top Tier Law Group, we can guide you through every legal concern you have about your gun rights, from answering any questions about permits to defending your right to possession and reinstatement. You will have direct access to our attorney from the beginning of the case to the end, and we aim to foster a comfortable attorney-client relationship so you can communicate casually and openly about any of your legal concerns.

Call (757) 500-0035 or contact Top Tier Law Group online for a free consultation to get started.

The Basics: Firearms Rights in Virginia

In Virginia, a person must be at least 18 years old to purchase a rifle or shotgun from a licensed dealer. To purchase a handgun, you must be at least 21 years old (according to federal law). The Virginia State Police offers a “Firearms Purchase Eligibility Test” for you to check if you may possess or purchase a gun. Note that all sales are required to be completed through a dealer who must submit a background check. 

Open carry without a permit is legal for anyone 18 years or older and who can legally possess a gun. Open carry may be banned from certain places however, such as parks or public buildings. Concealed carry is legal for state residents 21 years or older with a Virginia Handgun Permit (HP) or non-residents with a similar state permit. HP issuance requires a state-approved firearms training course and demonstrated competence with the gun. Keep in mind that some areas are off-limits for concealed carry, including airport terminals and places of worship. 

Certain municipalities have the right to ban guns in government buildings and areas like public parks, recreation areas, or even centers.

When You Need An Attorney,
You Want Matthew T. Morris

Our Clients Are Our #1 Priority
  • Innovative Approach

    We believe that each case is a unique situation and needs a unique approach. We work with our clients to come up with a tailored solution that will suit them best.

  • Experienced Attorney

    Attorney Matthew Morris has served as a public defender and handled hundreds of criminal cases including assault, larceny, rapes & robberies.

  • Highly Regarded

    Top 10% of our class, and we have been regarded by judges as one of the most talented litigators in the Hampton Roads Area!

  • Passionate Defense

    A talent and a passion for defending the rights granted to every citizen by the United States Constitution.

Protective Orders Impacting Gun Rights

Anyone convicted of a felony automatically loses their gun rights under both state and federal law. Virginia further enacted a law that prohibits those subject to protective orders from possessing firearms. More specifically, the law outlines that the defendant has 24 hours after being served with the protective order to possess and transport their firearms to anyone who isn’t prohibited from possessing firearms. A 2020 extension of this law also requires the court to order the defendant to surrender their firearms within 24 hours to a law enforcement agency, a licensed gun dealer, or a person who is not prohibited from possessing guns, and to certify with the court that they have done so within 48 hours after being served the order. Those with a concealed carry permit must also surrender the permit to the court for the duration of the order in the case of a domestic violence protective order.

Note that Virginia prohibits firearms possession if the defendant is subject to a protective order, but not necessarily if they have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor without subsequent issuance of a protective order. So, as opposed to federal law, state law does not explicitly require the removal of firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident. Nonetheless, if you end up having a protective order filed against you after the domestic violence incident, your gun rights will be impacted.

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He treats you as family and will go above and beyond for you to make sure you get the best outcome in each situation.

Restoring Your Gun Rights

It is possible under certain circumstances for a convicted felon to restore their gun rights. If you meet one of the following, you may have your gun rights restored under both state and federal law:

  • You have been granted a full pardon pursuant to Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia, and the executive order does not place any conditions upon the reinstatement of your right to ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.
  • After conviction, you had your civil rights restored (simple pardon) pursuant to Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia and then were granted permission by the Circuit Court of the jurisdiction in which you reside or were convicted to possess or carry a firearm with no restrictions on the type or use.
  • If you were convicted of a felony in a state other than Virginia, you have had your political rights restored by that state’s governor or other legal authority, and you have had your firearms rights restored with no restrictions by a legal authority in that state.
  • You were convicted of a felony by a federal court and have had your firearm disabilities removed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Gun laws can be confusing, especially when it comes to losing and reinstating your rights to firearms. While the Second Amendment guards your right to bear arms, certain circumstances that threaten the safety of the community may warrant a freeze on those rights. At Top Tier Law Group, we firmly believe in your gun rights and will do our best to help you navigate your legal situation impacting them.

Schedule a free consultation with Top Tier Law Group online or at (757) 500-0035 to learn more about how we can help.

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Get to Know Attorney Matthew T. Morris