Stun Gun Laws in Virginia

Learn about stun gun laws as well as possession requirements in Virginia.

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Gavel and Scales

A stun gun (popularly also known as a Taser, the main maker of stun guns) is any device that emits a momentary or pulsed output, which is electrical, audible, optical or electromagnetic in nature and which is designed to temporarily incapacitate a person.

(Va. Ann. Code § 18.2-308.1.)

This article describes Virginia state law regarding who may not have a stun gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a stun gun is illegal in the state.

To learn more about how stun guns work, and how permitting laws vary by state, see States Requiring a Stun Gun Permit.

People Who May Not Carry a Stun Gun in Virginia

In Virginia, most people may purchase, posses, or use a stun gun for self-defense without obtaining a permit.

However, a convicted felon (or someone convicted of certain crimes as minor) may purchase a stun gun to use only in the person’s dwelling (and surrounding land, if applicable), but may not carry or use the weapon in public.

(Va. Ann. Code § 18.2-308.2.)

Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying a Stun Gun is Illegal

In Virginia, it is illegal to carry a stun gun:

  • in a secure airport terminal,
  • in a courthouse, or
  • on school property (including school buses).

(Va. Ann. Code §§ 18.2-287.01, 18.2-283.1, 18.2-308.1.)

Penalties for Stun Gun Carry Violations

It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess or use a stun gun in a secure airport terminal, in a courthouse, on school property. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both. A mandatory minimum prison term may apply if you have been convicted of certain prior offenses.

(Va. Ann. Code §§ 18.2-287.01, 18.2-283.1, 18.2-308.1, 18.2-308.11.)

It is a Class 6 felony for convicted felons and people who were convicted of certain crimes as minors to carry or use a stun gun in public. Penalties include either a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both; or (at the discretion of the jury or judge), at least one (and up to five) years in prison.

(Va. Ann. Code §§ 18.2-308.2, 18-2-308.10.)

It is a Class 6 felony to knowingly remove a peace officer’s stun gun without permission. Penalties include either a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both; or (at the discretion of the jury or judge), at least one (and up to five) years in prison.

(Va. Ann. Code §§ 18.2-57.02, 18-2-308.10.)

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to purchase, carry, or use a stun gun in Virginia, or if you are facing charges for a stun gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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