Two Virginia women, both from another part of the Shenandoah Valley, have been arrested on firearms-related charges. These charges are felonies, meaning they face the possibility of going to prison.
The women were arrested as part of a homicide investigation. Although they are not being accused of being involved in the homicide itself, both allegedly helped the accused, a man who had just turned 18, obtain a gun even though he was not legally eligible to do so. The man later used a gun to fire shots in to a house, leaving one occupant dead and one seriously injured.
One of the women, who was a relative of the man, faces charges of buying the gun from a business and then turning it over to the man knowing he was not eligible to own the weapon. This is a felony under Virginia law.
Both she and the other woman, who has some connections to Harrisonburg, also face felony charges of giving false statements on paperwork they had to fill out in order to purchase the weapon on the young man's behalf.
While it might be tempting to think of Virginia's firearms laws as just a matter of red tape, as this recent case shows, authorities do take the enforcement of these rules seriously.
Moreover, the women may face the possibility of harsher punishment just because the firearm they allegedly helped obtain illegally was used in a deadly shooting. This is so even if neither woman had any idea about the young man's intentions.
Anyone facing an accusation relating to the possession or sale of firearms should strongly consider speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney.