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CHAPTER 110
An Act to amend and reenact 18.2-308.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to possession of firearms by felons; penalty.
[S 1140]
Approved March 16, 2003

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 18.2-308.2 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

18.2-308.2. Possession or transportation of firearms, stun weapons, tasers or concealed weapons by convicted felons; penalties; petition for permit; when issued.

A. It shall be unlawful for (i) any person who has been convicted of a felony or (ii) any person under the age of twenty-nine 29 who was found guilty as a juvenile fourteen 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense of a delinquent act which would be a felony if committed by an adult, whether such conviction or adjudication occurred under the laws of this Commonwealth, or any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States or any territory thereof, to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any firearm or stun weapon or taser as defined by 18.2-308.1 or to knowingly and intentionally carry about his person, hidden from common observation, any weapon described in subsection A of 18.2-308. However, such person may possess in his residence or the curtilage thereof a stun weapon or taser as defined by 18.2-308.1. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. However, any person who violates this section by knowingly and intentionally possessing or transporting any firearm and who was previously convicted of a violent felony as defined in 17.1-805 shall not be eligible for probation, and shall be sentenced to a minimum, mandatory term of imprisonment of five years. Any person who violates this section by knowingly and intentionally possessing or transporting any firearm and who was previously convicted of any other felony shall not be eligible for probation, and shall be sentenced to a minimum, mandatory term of imprisonment of two years. The minimum, mandatory terms of imprisonment prescribed for violations of this section shall not be suspended in whole or in part and shall be served consecutively with any other sentence. Any firearm, stun weapon or taser as defined by 18.2-308.1, or any concealed weapon possessed, transported or carried in violation of this section shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth and disposed of as provided in 18.2-310.

B. The prohibitions of subsection A shall not apply to (i) any person who possesses a firearm or other weapon while carrying out his duties as a member of the armed forces of the United States or of the National Guard of Virginia or of any other state, (ii) any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duties, or (iii) any person who has been pardoned or whose political disabilities have been removed pursuant to Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia provided the Governor, in the document granting the pardon or removing the person's political disabilities, may expressly place conditions upon the reinstatement of the person's right to ship, transport, possess or receive firearms.

C. Any person prohibited from possessing, transporting or carrying a firearm, stun weapon or taser under subsection A, may petition the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which he resides for a permit to possess or carry a firearm, stun weapon or taser; however, no person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to petition for such a permit unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. The court may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, grant such petition and issue a permit. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person who has been granted a permit pursuant to this subsection.

2. That the provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment. Pursuant to 30-19.1:4, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities and cannot be determined for periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.


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