Virginia

Virginia Law

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FIREARM PROHIBITIONS

Virginia Domestic Violence Firearm Purchase and Possession Prohibitions

Virginia does not prohibit purchase or possession of firearms or ammunition by persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.

Virginia prohibits persons subject to the following orders from purchasing or transporting any firearm while the order is in effect:

  1. Preliminary protective orders in cases of family abuse;
  2. Emergency protective orders authorized in certain cases;
  3. Protective orders in cases of abused, neglected, or abandoned children or children without parental care;
  4. Emergency protective orders;
  5. Preliminary protective orders;
  6. Protective orders;
  7. Orders pending suit for divorce, custody or visitation, etc;
  8. Stalking protective orders;
  9. Preliminary protective orders where a petition alleging abuse or neglect has been filed; and
  10. An order issued by a tribunal of another state, the United States or any of its territories, possessions, or commonwealths, or the District of Columbia that is substantially similar to those listed above.1

Virginia also prohibits persons subject to a protective order* in cases of family abuse, or a substantially similar order issued by a tribunal of another state, the United States, or any of its territories, possessions, or commonwealths, or the District of Columbia, from purchasing, transporting, or knowingly possessing any firearm while the order is in effect.2

VIRGINIA CIVIL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTIVE ORDER FIREARM REMOVAL

Domestic Violence Civil Protective Orders that Require Removal

The respondent* to a protective order in cases of family abuse is prohibited from purchasing, transporting, and knowingly possessing any firearm while the order is in effect, provided that for a period of 24 hours after being served with the protective order, the respondent may continue to possess and transport any firearm for the purposes of selling or transferring any such firearm to any person who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing such firearm.3

A court issuing a preliminary protective order in cases of family abuse may order “[a]ny other relief necessary for the protection of the petitioner and family or household members of the petitioner.”4

A court issuing an emergency protective order  or preliminary protective order may include “[s]uch other conditions as the judge or magistrate deems necessary to prevent (i) acts of violence, force, or threat, (ii) criminal offenses resulting in injury to person or property, or (iii) communication or other contact of any kind by the respondent[.]”5

A court issuing a protective order may order “[a]ny other relief necessary to prevent (i) acts of violence, force, or threat, (ii) criminal offenses that may result in injury to person or property, or (iii) communication or other contact of any kind by the respondent[.]”6

Individuals Who May Petition for a Protective Order


Protective Orders in Cases of Family Abuse

Any person who has been the victim of family abuse may petition for an emergency protective order, preliminary protective order, or protective order in cases of family abuse.

“Family abuse” is defined as “any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury and that is committed by a person against such person’s family or household member.”7

“Family or household member” is defined as:

  1. A current or former spouse;
  2. Parents;
  3. Stepparents;
  4. Children;
  5. Stepchildren;
  6. Siblings;
  7. Half-siblings;
  8. Grandparents;
  9. Grandchildren;
  10. Mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law who reside in the same house as the petitioner;
  11. A person who shares a child in common with the respondent (regardless of marital status or current or former cohabitation);
  12. Any person who cohabits with or who, within the previous 12 months, cohabited with the respondent, and any children of either residing in the same home with the respondent.8

Protective Orders

Any person, including a dating partner,  who has been subjected to an act of violence, force, or threat, may petition for an emergency protective order, preliminary protective order, or protective order.9

Penalties for Violation

Purchase or transport of a firearm by a respondent to any of the enumerated protective orders above is a Class 1 misdemeanor10 punishable by confinement in jail for up to 12 months, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.11

Knowing possession of a firearm by a respondent to a protective order in cases of family abuse is a Class 6 felony12 punishable by a term of imprisonment of 1-5 years (or at the discretion of the judge or jury, confinement in jail for up to 12 months), a fine of up to $2,500, or both.13

This page was updated September 17, 2018. Please note that data used are the most recent available data.