Is it illegal to carry a concealed knife in Virginia?
Yes, depending on the kind of knife. Virginia law makes it illegal to carry certain kinds of knives on your person. The kinds of knives that are illegal to conceal on your person are
- dirk knife
- bowie knife
- switchblade knife
- ballistic knife
- spring stick
- metal knucks or
- a blackjack.
What if the knife is in the trunk of my car?
it's only illegal to conceal a knife on your person. That means the trunk on your car would be okay.
What are the consequences for carrying a concealed weapon in Virginia?
If you're convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in Virginia, a first offense is a class 1 misdemeanor. That means it's punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. If you're convicted of a second offense, it is a class 6 felony. That means up to 5 years in prison. A third offense is a class 5 felony. A class 5 felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
What if I have a concealed handgun permit?
If you have a concealed handgun permit, you can carry a concealed handgun. But that does not apply to the list of knives on the concealed weapons list. You are still not allowed to conceal on your person any of the knives on the list.
Are there other exceptions to the concealed carry laws in Virginia?
There are a significant number of exceptions. For example, the law does not apply to any person in their own home or the area immediately surrounding their home or in the person's place of business. Here is the list of other exceptions:
- Any law-enforcement officer, or retired law-enforcement officer pursuant to § 18.2-308.016, wherever such law-enforcement officer may travel in the Commonwealth;
- Any person who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
- Any regularly enrolled member of a weapons collecting organization who is at, or going to or from, a bona fide weapons exhibition, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
- Any person carrying such weapons between his place of abode and a place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
- Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting, as authorized by the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, under inclement weather conditions necessitating temporary protection of his firearm from those conditions, provided that possession of a handgun while engaged in lawful hunting shall not be construed as hunting with a handgun if the person hunting is carrying a valid concealed handgun permit;
- Any attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth, wherever such attorney may travel in the Commonwealth;
- Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel;
- Any enrolled participant of a firearms training course who is at, or going to or from, a training location, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported; and
- Any judge or justice of the Commonwealth, wherever such judge or justice may travel in the Commonwealth.
- This section shall also not apply to any of the following individuals while in the discharge of their official duties, or while in transit to or from such duties:
- Carriers of the United States mail;
- Officers or guards of any state correctional institution;
- Conservators of the peace, except that a judge or justice of the Commonwealth, an attorney for the Commonwealth, or an assistant attorney for the Commonwealth may carry a concealed handgun pursuant to subdivisions C 7 and 10. However, the following conservators of the peace shall not be permitted to carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit as provided in this article: (i) notaries public; (ii) registrars; (iii) drivers, operators, or other persons in charge of any motor vehicle carrier of passengers for hire; or (iv) commissioners in chancery;
- Noncustodial employees of the Department of Corrections designated to carry weapons by the Director of the Department of Corrections pursuant to § 53.1-29; and
- Harbormaster of the City of Hopewell.
If you have any questions about your rights, please contact me.