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School-related weapons laws in Virginia

As the school year is starting up, one of the big things on a parent’s plate is making sure their kid has all the supplies and other things they need to bring to school. Another thing though it is very important for parents to be vigilant about is making sure their kids leave certain things at home when they go off to school. This includes anything that could be defined as a weapon. Being accused of bringing a weapon to school could leave a student facing incredibly severe consequences, including the possibility of criminal charges.

There are several things that Virginia law makes it a crime to knowingly possess in the buildings or on the grounds of an elementary, middle or high school. One of these are firearms. Possession of a firearm on school property is a Class 6 felony.

State law also makes it illegal to bring non-firearm weapons that are illegal to carry concealed under state law, knives or stun weapons onto school property. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to violate this ban. As a note, there is a certain class of knives that are exempt from this ban. Specifically, pocket knives with folding metal blades under three inches are exempt.

There are also certain other exemptions when it comes to these school-related weapons laws.

In addition to the potential of charges, bringing an object that could be considered a weapon to school could also result in a student facing harsh disciplinary measures from their school.

Both the criminal charge and disciplinary outcomes of a case involving allegations of violating state weapons laws regarding schools could have major ramifications for a student’s future. So, when a Virginia student is accused of having brought a weapon to school, what legal representation they have can have significant implications.

Source: Virginia Law, “Code of Virginia - § 18.2-308.1. Possession of firearm, stun weapon, or other weapon on school property prohibited; penalty.,” Accessed Sept. 1, 2016

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