Weapons Violations in Virginia-Case study


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I wrote this thread in another forum but feel it may be addressed here. I would appreciate comments.
I am a licensed Virginia Bail Bondsman with over 10 years in the field.
Recently, I bonded a young man out of a local jail who had several weapons violations placed on him.
I have contacted the NRA but to date have not heard from them on this case. Curious I think...

The defendant was in possession of an AK-47 "look alike" SEMI-AUTOMATIC firearm that was on the back seat of his vehicle. He was stopped for speeding but was not charged with that infraction... only the following charges were placed on his recognizance.

1. Concealed weapons violation WP-5202-MI; 18.2-308
2. Machine gun possession w/ intent on aggressive purpose WPN-5226-F4; 18.2-290

Now here is why I find it interesting.
1. This weapon is classified as a "rifle" not a handgun and as such, doesn't it fall into a different class as to CCW permits??? besides, it was laying in plain site on the back seat of the car and was not loaded... the ammunition was in the glove box... the gun was in the back seat, separated as required by law for transport.
2. This weapon is not a machine gun... it is a semi-automatic weapon and although it "looks" like a machine gun... it certainly is not.
3. The 'intent' charge was related to the magazine which was a 30 round mag and the officer said it was in violation of the ban on 'high capacity' magazines... well, first of all, that ban was lifted as far as I know a year or so ago, and second it related to handguns, not rifles... this weapon has as standard issue, anywhere from 10 to 40 round magazines that are legally available.
4. This weapon is legally registered to this defendant... although in Georgia... and as far as I know, there is no regulation as to transport through Virginia other than being unloaded with the ammunition in a different place.

He presented the registration info the the policeman but was still arrested and bonded...

So, what do you folks think .......................... :?: :?:

From VA State Police website

Virginia Code Section 18.2-308 - Prohibits the carrying of 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; any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; 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; 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 any weapon of like kind by any person hidden from common observance about his person. Any of the enumerated weapons shall be seized and forfeited to the Commonwealth. A weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's true nature.

According to the above bold, rifle seems to fit that description...however...does NOT sound like it was concealed by this definition...

Based on the statute and decisions rendered by the Supreme Court, a weapon is considered to be concealed at any time it is placed in a location as to be within reach of the person, without the person being required to make an overt act to retrieve such weapon, when such weapon is hidden from common observation. Placing a weapon under the seat, on the seat hidden from common observation, or at any location from which the weapon can readily be retrieved is considered to be concealed. A person carrying a weapon in the unlocked glove compartment of an automobile, if the person does not have a permit or otherwise fall within any statutory exemption, is a violation of § 18.2-308(A), unless some particular fact or circumstance renders the weapon inaccessible.

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