Are Brass Knuckles Illegal in Virginia?

Weapons that are considered protection for self-defense are not always legal to carry. Brass knuckles are a less common self-defense weapon; the most common are tasers and pepper spray.

That leads to the question, are brass knuckles illegal in Virginia?

Carrying brass knuckles in Virginia is illegal if you do not have a weapon permit. You will violate Virginia’s concealed weapon-carrying law if you are caught carrying brass knuckles.

First-time offenders will be charged with a misdemeanor, a year in prison, and up to a $2,500 fine.

Second-time offenders will face a felony charge and up to five to ten years in prison.

As you can see, there are severe consequences if you choose to carry brass knuckles on you. However, no laws state that you can’t own a pair of brass knuckles.

Below, we’ll get into the logistics of what is and isn’t allowed regarding brass knuckles in Virginia.

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Can You Buy/Own Brass Knuckles in Virginia?

brass knuckle

Yes, it’s legal to buy and own a pair of brass knuckles in Virginia. You can purchase brass knuckles from a store without a license or permit.

Owning brass knuckles in your home is also completely legal and won’t result in violations or fines.

The state of Virginia does not have any strict laws about owning brass knuckles. However, the state does have laws against carrying brass knuckles as a concealed weapon.

Using brass knuckles against someone will also breach concealed weapon laws unless the attack is unprovoked and you’re using them for self-defense.

Brass Knuckle Laws in Virginia

Brass knuckles would fall under the concealed weapons law in Virginia. The carrying concealed weapons code 18.2-308 specifically states this about weapons:

“A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) 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; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, sling bow, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) 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; (iv) 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 (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

switchblade knife

Brass knuckles fall under section V and are subject to the same laws as any other weapon listed.

So, you will be unable to freely carry brass knuckles without getting a permit. You must file a request to obtain a license with the state, city, or county you reside in.

How to Get a Concealed Weapon Permit

Getting a concealed weapon permit may be tedious if you’ve never done it before. However, before you can apply, you must meet specific criteria.

Below, Virginia residents are expected to meet the following:

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Be a resident of Virginia or a non-resident
  • Have a valid form of ID, including a state-issued driver’s license, Identification Card, or Passport

To apply, a person must apply to the current county, state, and city where they reside. When applying, they will need to pay a fee of $10 to process the application.

There may also be a $35 fee charged by local law enforcement to ensure that all applicants meet the code.

How Long Will It Take to Get a Concealed Weapon Permit?

Weapon Permit

The state of Virginia will take up to 45 days to issue a permit once it has been submitted. Delays rarely happen, so you can rest assured that you will get your permit quickly.

You may have been disqualified or denied if you do not hear back before the 45 days.

In these cases, you will be notified via the email address or phone number you provided. If you don’t hear back, you may need to contact the office.

Are There Weapons That Don’t Require Permits?

Brass knuckles and other forms of weapons generally require permits to carry them. If you’re looking for self-defense weapons, you have a few options that don’t require applying for a permit.

This is a good option for those who don’t meet the criteria applied or for younger people.

Here are the allowed weapons that you can carry without a permit:

  • Pepper spray
  • Tasers
  • Stun guns
  • Batons

Any other type of weapon, including knives, guns, or anything that could be used with deadly force, is illegal to carry.

If you are unsure if your weapon is legal or not, then it’s likely illegal and will need a permit.

The best method is to contact your local concealed weapons office to see if you will need a permit.

Carrying Laws in Virginia

Below, we will summarize the carrying laws in Virginia.

  • Constitutional Carry – Virginia doesn’t allow constitutional carry.
  • Open Carry – Without a permit, a person of 18 years or older can legally carry a firearm.
  • Gun Permit Licensure – Virginia requires a shall-issue permit.
  • Minimum Age for Concealed Carry – Applicants must be 21 years or older.
  • Weapons Other Than Handguns – Concealed carry does not allow weapons other than handguns unless specified.
  • Magazine Limits For Handguns – Must have less than 20 rounds in possession.
  • Ammunition Restrictions – No ammunition restrictions.

Frequently Asked Questions: Brass Knuckles in Virginia


Are knuckle knives legal in Virginia?

Knuckle knives are considered a weapon according to the Virginia Concealed Weapon Statute.

Both blades and brass knuckles are considered weapons in the state of Virginia. To carry them, you will need a concealed weapon permit.

If you do not have a permit and get caught with them, you will be charged a misdemeanor and up to $2,500 in fines with one year in prison.

What self-defense items are legal in Virginia?

You can only use deadly force and weapons if you are in an immediate threat. Otherwise, you will only be allowed to carry a non-lethal weapon.

In Virginia, legal non-lethal weapons include:

  • Pepper spray
  • Tasers
  • Stun guns
  • Batons

Where are brass knuckles illegal in the US?

Most states allow you to carry brass knuckles, which aren’t considered deadly weapons. However, some states have banned brass knuckles as they are considered weapons.

This includes the states of Colorado, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Aside from that, the District of Columbia has also deemed them illegal.


Is it illegal to own a pair of brass knuckles?

In the United States, no current laws state that owning a pair of brass knuckles is illegal. However, carrying brass knuckles can be illegal in certain areas.

It’s best to check your local laws, including your country, state, county, and city.


Owning a pair of brass knuckles is legal as long as you aren’t carrying it around. You will be punished by law if you are caught in public carrying brass knuckles.

Of course, you can show your brass knuckles to a friend, but the moment you put them on, they will be considered a weapon.

Legally, it would be best to get a concealed weapon permit if you plan to bring it with you. However, if you plan to just collect and display the brass knuckles, you won’t be in danger of breaking laws.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand a bit more about the laws regarding brass knuckles.