Use of Firearm in Felony: Va Code 18.2-53, 53.1

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What is Virginia’s Law on Using a Firearm During a Felony?

Virginia has two laws that prohibit the use of a Firearm in a Felony: Va. Code 18.2-53, and Va. Code 18.2-53.1.

Va. Code. 18.2-53 says, in full:

If any person, in the commission of, or attempt to commit, felony, unlawfully shoot, stab, cut or wound another person he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.
A Class 6 Felony carries a sentence of up to 5 years, and/or a $2,500 fine.

Va. Code 18.2-53.1 says:

It shall be unlawful for any person to use or attempt to use any pistol, shotgun, rifle, or other firearm or display such weapon in a threatening manner while committing or attempting to commit murder, rape, forcible sodomy, inanimate or animate object sexual penetration as defined in § 18.2-67.2, robbery, carjacking, burglary, malicious wounding as defined in § 18.2-51, malicious bodily injury to a law-enforcement officer as defined in § 18.2-51.1, aggravated malicious wounding as defined in § 18.2-51.2, malicious wounding by mob as defined in § 18.2-41 or abduction. Violation of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct felony and any person found guilty thereof shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three years for a first conviction, and to a mandatory minimum term of five years for a second or subsequent conviction under the provisions of this section. Such punishment shall be separate and apart from, and shall be made to run consecutively with, any punishment received for the commission of the primary felony.
Of these two, Va. Code 18.2-53.1 is more common. This is an unclassified Felony, with a sentence of 3 years for a first conviction, and 5 years for a subsequent conviction.

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