Illegal Possession of Sawed-Off Shotgun or Rifle
Tough Defense, Strategic Advocacy for the Accused in Virginia
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a "sawed-off" shotgun is defined
as any weapon, loaded or unloaded, which utilizes a self-contained cartridge
that enables a number of ball shot pellets or projectiles to be fired
all at once. The shotguns can be smooth bore — less than 18 inches
— or rifled bore, meaning it has spiraled grooves, less than 16
inches, to qualify as sawed-off. A weapon that is less than .225 caliber
is not deemed sawed-off.
A sawed-off rifle is a rifle of any caliber, loaded or unloaded, that is
designed as a shoulder weapon that shoots a projectile by exploding a
combustible material. The barrel or barrels are less than 16 inches in
length or modified overall length of less than 26 inches total.
Possession of either of these types of weapons is illegal. If accused, you must contact a Richmond criminal defense attorney
with experience in
weapons crimes immediately if you wish to protect your freedom.
Weapons Laws in Virginia & Sawed-Off Shotguns or Rifles
In Virginia it is illegal to own or use any "sawed-off" weapon.
Exceptions to this rule include:
- Law enforcement
You may only possess the sawed-off guns for keepsakes if they are unusable.
It is very important to be aware of the laws affecting these weapons.
You can learn more in the following sections of the Code of Virginia §
18.2-299, § 18.2-300, § 18.2-303, § 18.2-303.1, §
18.2-304, and § 18.2-306.
Penalties for Using / Owning a Sawed-Off Shotgun or Rifle
Any sawed-off shotgun or rifle that is used / attempted to be used in a
crime of violence is a Class 2 felony if convicted.
Our Richmond criminal lawyers can help with violent crimes, such as:
A Class 2 felony is punishable by 20 years to life in prison and a fine
of up to $100,000.00. Possessing or using any sawed-off shotgun or rifle
is a Class 4 Felony. If convicted this is punishable by 2-10 years'
imprisonment and a fine to not exceed $100,000.00.
What are the implications for gun deals & manufacturers?
Any dealer or manufacturer must keep a register of all sawed-off shotguns
and rifles manufactured or handled.
The following must be kept on register:
- Model and serial number
- Date of manufacture
- Date of sale / loan / gift / delivery / recipe
- The name, address and occupation of the person to whom the gun was sold,
loaned, given, or delivered
Failure to be able to produce this upon request to law enforcement is a
Class 3 misdemeanor. This is punishable by a fine of up to $500.00. Sawed-off
shotguns or rifles that are not legally owned or used will be confiscated,
destroyed, or delivered to law enforcement officials.
Speak with Our Richmond Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
Our team at Carlson & Collier includes a
former prosecutor and a former
lead counsel for the governor of Virginia. As an experienced and knowledgeable team of
Richmond criminal defense lawyers, we are prepared to be the advocates you need after a weapons charge.
Call Carlson & Collier now for a
free phone evaluation.
We're available to our clients 24/7.