Legal Information: Virginia

State Gun Laws

December 31, 2021

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 a firearm if any of the following emergency, preliminary, or final protective orders have been issued against him/her:

  • a protective order for family abuse;
  • a protective order for an act of violence, force or threat;
  • a protective order issued as part of a divorce;
  • a protective order issued due to abuse/neglect of a child;
  • a substantial risk order; or
  • an order similar to any of the above that was issued by another state.1

An abuser with a final protective order due to family abuse must turn in any firearms in his/her possession within 24 hours of being served with the order.2

In addition, someone who has 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.3

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.

1 Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:4(A)
2 Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:4(B)
3 Va. Code § 18.2-308.09(1)

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