Legal Information: Virginia

State Gun Laws

November 18, 2016

I have a protective order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?

Under Virginia law, it is illegal for someone to purchase or transport any firearm if there is an emergency, preliminary, or final protective order issued against him/her due to:

  • family abuse;
  • an act of violence, force or threat; 
  • a protective order issued as part of a divorce;
  • an order issued due to abuse/neglect of a child;
  • or a similar restraining order as any of the above that was issued by another state.* 

An abuser with a final protective order due to family abuse cannot possess or continue to own a firearm and must turn in any firearms in his/her possession within 24 hours of being served with the order.**

In addition, someone with any of the above-mentioned protective orders against him/her is not eligible to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun.  If s/he already has a permit, s/he must be surrender it to the court during the time that the order is in effect.*** 

Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser's right to have a gun if you have a final protection order against him/her that meets certain requirements even if the judge does not specifically include on the order that s/he cannot have a gun.  Go to the Federal Gun Laws page to get more information.

* Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:4(A)

** Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:4(B)

*** Va. Code § 18.2-308.09(5)