Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
3/29/2020

Article 6. "Sawed-Off" Shotgun and "Sawed-Off" Rifle Act.

§ 18.2-299. Definitions.

When used in this article:

"Sawed-off shotgun" means any weapon, loaded or unloaded, originally designed as a shoulder weapon, utilizing a self-contained cartridge from which a number of ball shot pellets or projectiles may be fired simultaneously from a smooth or rifled bore by a single function of the firing device and which has a barrel length of less than 18 inches for smooth bore weapons and 16 inches for rifled weapons. Weapons of less than .225 caliber shall not be included.

"Sawed-off rifle" means a rifle of any caliber, loaded or unloaded, which expels a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is designed as a shoulder weapon with a barrel or barrels length of less than 16 inches or which has been modified to an overall length of less than 26 inches.

"Crime of violence" applies to and includes any of the following crimes or an attempt to commit any of the same, namely, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, mayhem, assault with intent to maim, disable, disfigure or kill, robbery, burglary, housebreaking, breaking and entering and larceny.

"Person" applies to and includes firm, partnership, association or corporation.

Code 1950, § 18.1-268.1; 1968, c. 661; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1992, c. 580; 2004, c. 930.

§ 18.2-300. Possession or use of "sawed-off" shotgun or rifle.

A. Possession or use of a "sawed-off" shotgun or "sawed-off" rifle in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of a crime of violence is a Class 2 felony.

B. Possession or use of a "sawed-off" shotgun or "sawed-off" rifle for any other purpose, except as permitted by this article and official use by those persons permitted possession by § 18.2-303, is a Class 4 felony.

Code 1950, § 18.1-268.2; 1968, c. 661; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1978, c. 710; 1992, c. 580.

§ 18.2-301. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1978, c. 710.

§ 18.2-303. What article does not apply to.

The provisions of this article shall not be applicable to:

(1) The manufacture for, and sale of, "sawed-off" shotguns or "sawed-off" rifles to the armed forces or law-enforcement officers of the United States or of any state or of any political subdivision thereof, or the transportation required for that purpose; and

(2) "Sawed-off" shotguns, "sawed-off" rifles and automatic arms issued to the National Guard of Virginia by the United States or such arms used by the United States Army or Navy or in the hands of troops of the national guards of other states or territories of the United States passing through Virginia, or such arms as may be provided for the officers of the State Police or officers of penal institutions.

Code 1950, § 18.1-268.5; 1968, c. 661; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1992, c. 580.

§ 18.2-303.1. What article does not prohibit.

Nothing contained in this article shall prohibit or interfere with the possession of a "sawed-off" shotgun or "sawed-off" rifle for scientific purposes, the possession of a "sawed-off" shotgun or "sawed-off" rifle possessed in compliance with federal law or the possession of a "sawed-off" shotgun or "sawed-off" rifle not usable as a firing weapon and possessed as a curiosity, ornament, or keepsake.

Code 1950, § 18.1-268.5; 1968, c. 661; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1976, c. 351; 1992, c. 580; 1993, c. 449.

§ 18.2-304. Manufacturer's and dealer's register; inspection of stock.

Every manufacturer or dealer shall keep a register of all "sawed-off" shotguns and "sawed-off" rifles manufactured or handled by him. This register shall show the model and serial number, date of manufacture, sale, loan, gift, delivery or receipt of every "sawed-off" shotgun and "sawed-off" rifle, the name, address, and occupation of the person to whom the "sawed-off" shotgun or "sawed-off" rifle was sold, loaned, given or delivered, or from whom it was received. Upon demand every manufacturer or dealer shall permit any marshal, sheriff or police officer to inspect his entire stock of "sawed-off" shotguns and "sawed-off" rifles, and "sawed-off" shotgun or "sawed-off" rifle barrels, and shall produce the register, herein required, for inspection. A violation of any provision of this section shall be punishable as a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 18.1-268.6; 1968, c. 661; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1992, c. 580.

§ 18.2-305. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1976, c. 351.

§ 18.2-306. Search warrants for "sawed-off" shotguns and rifles; confiscation and destruction.

Warrant to search any house or place and seize any "sawed-off" shotgun or "sawed-off" rifle possessed in violation of this article may issue in the same manner and under the same restrictions as provided by law for stolen property, and any court of record, upon application of the attorney for the Commonwealth, a police officer or conservator of the peace, may order any "sawed-off" shotgun or "sawed-off" rifle thus or otherwise legally seized, to be confiscated and either destroyed or delivered to a peace officer of the Commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof.

Code 1950, § 18.1-268.8; 1968, c. 661; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1992, c. 580.

§ 18.2-307. Short title of article.

This article may be cited as the "Sawed-Off Shotgun and Sawed-Off Rifle Act."

Code 1950, § 18.1-268.9; 1968, c. 661; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1992, c. 580.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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