Unlawful Use of a Machine Gun Charges

Our Richmond Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help You Face Charges

What is a machine gun? In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a machine gun is defined as any weapon that shoots or is designed to shoot automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, and by a single function of the trigger. Owning a machine gun in itself is not unlawful, as long as the gun is registered with the Department of State Police and the owner is legally allowed to possess a firearm.

When is machine gun possession a crime?

Possessing or using a machine gun for an offensive or aggressive purpose, however, is a Class 4 felony. This is punishable by 2 to 10 years' of imprisonment and a fine to not exceed $100,000.00.

According to the law, aggressive and offensive purposes may include:

  • The gun not being registered
  • Shells found in the immediate vicinity of the gun
  • A prior conviction of a crime of violence
  • Possessing the gun while on property not belonging to the gun's owner

Machine Guns & Violent Crimes

Using or possessing a machine gun while committing or attempting to commit a crime of violence is a Class 2 felony. This is punishable by 20 years to life in prison and a fine not to exceed $100,000.00.

Crimes of violence include, but are not limited to:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping

Laws Concerning Machine Gun Registration

Registration of a machine gun must occur within 24 hours of its acquisition. Semi-automatic weapons that are converted, modified, or otherwise altered must also be registered within 24 hours. The Superintendent of State Police will issue a certificate of registration.

The gun owner must be able to provide this certificate of registration to law enforcement upon request. Failure to keep or produce this certificate is a Class 3 misdemeanor. The gun may also be confiscated as a result. If you find yourself in this situation, contact a Richmond criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Upon transferring the gun to another, the transferor must notify the police superintendent in writing with the date of the transfer as well as the name and address of the transferee. Failure to do so is also a Class 3 misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $500.00.

Richmond Criminal Attorneys with 60 Years' Experience

The weapon laws pertaining to machine gun ownership and use are detailed in the Code of Virginia §§ 18.2-288, 18.2-289, 18.2-290, 18.2-291, and 18.2-295. It is important to protect your rights and your future. Our team at Carlson & Collier can help you. When your freedom is on the line, don't trust just anyone. With more than 60 Years of experience combined, we have what it takes to defend you adequately.

Contact Carlson & Collier today to set up your free consultation over the phone! Weekend and evening appointments are available, so don't hesitate to get in touch with our team of Richmond criminal defense attorneys.

Richmond Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Richmond Criminal Defense Lawyer
10132 W Broad St,
Glen Allen, VA 23060
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.