Carrying Firearm into Airport Terminal

Virginia Law prohibits carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon into an airport terminal under Va. Code 18.2-287.01. This is a strict liability offense, which means that your intent is not relevant to conviction — even if you made a mistake, forgot, or had no intention to bring a firearm into the airport terminal, you can still be convicted. The charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor punished by up to 1 year in jail, a $2,500 fine, and confiscation and forfeiture of the firearm.

Firearm and Weapon Prohibitions

This is the list of the specific items prohibited under Virginia Law to be carried into airports:

(i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind

(ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon

(iii) any other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in § 18.2-308.1, and those weapons specified in subsection A of § 18.2-308.

§ 18.2-308.1: “Stun weapon” means 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.

§ 18.2-308: (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, stiletto knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, sling bow, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection.

Of note – it is dangerous weapons that are prohibited, as opposed to deadly weapons. Dangerous weapons encompass a broader scope of items than deadly weapons. The Virginia Court of Appeals has defined “dangerous” to mean something that is able or likely to inflict injury.

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