The illegal possession of some firearms may be considered a minor crime by many people in Virginia, but others associate weapons carried in public with violence. In fact, someone who does may have no intention at all of inflicting harm by simply carrying a weapon but can still be charged and convicted of a crime.
Some people use a weapon for self-defense. Others use a weapon to commit a crime, which can sometimes backfires.
Recently, in two apparent gun crimes at Virginia State University in Petersburg, four juveniles were allegedly involved in carjacking a student after intimidating a group of women. VSU police report that one juvenile, who is not a student at the university, was taken into custody and was being detained in the Chesterfield County Juvenile Detention Center. His identity has not been released. The VSU investigation revealed that three other nonstudent juveniles were involved but had not yet been arrested.
When a suspected murder is committed, the victim's community may be quick to jump to the conclusion that a particular person is guilty, even before all of the facts of the case are known. Because of this, it is important that those accused of a crime build a strong defense strategy in their favor.
The Virginia State Police recently released statistics showing that violent crime decreased by 3 percent in 2012, when compared with the previous year. The police reported over 470,000 separate offenses, including over 300 homicides, 1,500 kidnapping offenses, 5,100 rape-related offenses, and 110,000 assaults. While the overall rate for weapons crimes went down, the rates for murder increased from 3.77 percent per 100,000 people in 2011 to 3.86 in 2012.
A high school student from Clover Hill High in Chesterfield was recently arrested and charged with possession of a firearm after a pistol was discovered in the glove compartment of her car. The concealed weapon was found when a school official was checking unfamiliar cars without the required parking decal in the parking lot. The official entered the vehicle in an attempt to find out the identity of the owner and inadvertently discovered the handgun.
Recently, a Virginia senate committee passed two bills mandating tougher penalties for firearm-related offenses in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The first bill would impose harsher penalties on those who transfer a weapon to those not eligible to possess firearms. The second bill would do the same for those who bring weapons near schools with malice. These bills were based off of recommendations made by the governor's task force on school safety.
Police in Newport News, Virginia, arrested a 28-year-old man for weapons possession after he dropped a gun during a police chase. The weapons charge stems from an unrelated offense committed by the man, in which he was pulled over by law enforcement for driving without a headlight. Police officers allegedly smelled marijuana inside the car, and the driver ran from the scene when police asked him to get out of his car. While running, he allegedly dropped a handgun, and he was arrested after police located him. He was charged with obstruction, possession of a handgun and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a stolen handgun. He was also served a summons for the missing headlight.
Police in Newport News, Virginia recently arrested an 18-year old man for allegedly brandishing a loaded handgun during a dispute that took place during a New Year's Eve party. The weapons charges stem from the allegations against the man that following a dispute that he was involved in at a New Year's Eve party when he allegedly pulled out a loaded pistol and pointed it at a crowd of people. The man fled the scene, but was later located and arrested by law enforcement. The gun used was found inside a car. The man was charged with brandishing a firearm, recklessly handling a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and resisting arrest.
Fairfax County authorities recently arrested more than 100 people for drug, weapon and other charges in a major police operation. There were more than 168 charges filed total, ranging from weapons charges to murder-for-hire.