VIRGINIA GUN LAWS

Updated Guide (2018)


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virginia state seal

Virginia gun laws operate on a "Shall Issue" policy and allow for concealed carry permits to be issued to residents and non-residents. Applicants for a CCW permit must be 21 or older and complete a firearms training course. For residents, applications are filed with the circuit court in their county of residence and non-residents must mail their application to the State Police. Open carry in Virginia is legal without a permit with the minimum age being 18 provided the person meets other qualifying laws.

Virginia CCW Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle YES
Must Notify Officer NO
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Weapons Signs Enforced NO
Open Carry Permitted YES
Carry In Bars SEE DETAILS
Constitutional Carry NO
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Virginia CCW Reciprocity

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virginia CCW permit recognition

  • Permit Honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permits only
  • Non-Resident permits only
    • Issuing state

    How Reciprocity Works in Virginia

    Virginia honors all valid out of state CCW permits. Any person issued a concealed carry permit in another state may carry in Virginia provided they meet the following conditions;
    • They are at least 21 years old.
    • They must carry photo ID issued by a government agency of any state or the US Department of State or US Department of Defense.
    • The permit must be displayed with photo ID upon request from law enforcement.
    • The permit holder has not had a Virginia concealed carry permit revoked in the past.

    Virginia Reciprocity State's

    0
    STATES
    Resident Permit
    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming

    Non-Resident Permit
    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

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    Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

    Districts & Territories
    District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

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    California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington,
    • Wisconsin will only honor the Virginia Non-Resident permit.
    • Virginia will honor all Non-Resident permits from other states they honor.
    18.2 - 308.014 - Reciprocity

    Virginia Handgun Permit

    Virginia Gun Policy

    Shall Issue

    Permit Issued To

    Residents, Non-Residents
    CCW Permit Overview
    Concealed carry permits are issued to residents and non-residents. Any training requirements can be done online or in person with the minimum age of applicants being 21 years old. Application forms can be obtained on this website or picked up from Circuit Courts, Sheriffs office or the Police Department. There is no requirement that you have resided in the county or state for any length of time.

    Non-Resident Permits

    You can apply by mail for a non-resident permit. To request an application package write to the below address and include your full name, address and phone number;

    Firearms Transaction Center,
    Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permits,
    Criminal Justice Information Services Division,
    Department of State Police,
    P.O. Box 85141
    Richmond, VA 23285-5141.

    Applicants must be at least 21 years old. An instruction list on what you will need for a non-resident permit can be obtained here.

    Handgun Training
    You will need to submit proof that you are competent with a handgun. You can achieve this by any of the following methods;
    • Complete a NRA firearms safety course.
    • Complete a hunter safety or hunter education course that has been approved by the Department of game and Fisheries or a similar organization in other states.
    • Complete any firearms training or safety course available to the public from a college, firearms school, Department of Justice, Law enforcement agency or private or public institution with certified NRA instructors.
    • Online training course.

    REQUIREMENTS

    • Must be at least 21 years old.
    • Reside in the county you make your application in.
    • Demonstrate competence with a handgun.
    • Is not a person who has been convicted of two or more misdemeanors within the five-year period immediately preceding the application.
    • Is not a person who is addicted to, or is an unlawful user or distributor of, marijuana or any controlled substance.
    • Is not a person who has been convicted of public drunkenness, or of a substantially similar offense under the laws of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or its territories within the three-year period immediately preceding the application, or who is a habitual drunkard.
    • Is not a person who the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, based on specific acts by the applicant, is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently to endanger others.
    • Is not a person who has been convicted of any assault, assault and battery, sexual battery, discharging of a firearm or brandishing a firearm within the three-year period immediately preceding the application.
    • Is not a person who has been convicted of stalking.
    • Is not a person whose previous convictions or adjudications of delinquency were based on an offense which would have been at the time of conviction a felony if committed by an adult under the laws of any state, the District of Columbia, the United States or its territories. Only convictions occurring within sixteen years following the later of the date of (i) the conviction or adjudication or (ii) release from any incarceration imposed upon such conviction or adjudication shall be deemed to be “previous convictions.”
    • Is not a person who has received mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment in a residential setting within five years prior to the date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.
    • Federal Law requirements
    cost of
    $0
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    0
    is valid

    Pointers: Virginia Handgun Laws

    Virginia: Places Off-Limits for CCW

    virginia state flag
    Virginia state flag

    Places Off-Limits in Virginia

    • Private property when prohibited by the owner of the property, or where posted as prohibited
    • Place of religious worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held
    • Courthouse
    • School property or school functions (School buses are school property)
    • Non-secure areas of airport terminals
    • Regional Jail or Juvenile Detention Facility
    • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

    Places Allowed in Virginia

    • State parks
    • State and national forests
    • Road side rest areas
    • Vehicle
    • All areas of the state not listed as Off-Limits

    Virginia Concealed Carry Laws

    virginia state capitol building
    Virginia state capitol building

    Virginia Gun Laws To Know

    YES – Without a permit
    YES – Without a Permit/License
    Vehicle carry is allowed in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel. The term “compartment” includes a console, glove compartment, or any other area within or on the vehicle or vessel that possesses the ability to be closed and the term “secured” means that a container or compartment be closed but not necessarily locked.

    YES – Without a permit

    YES – Without a Permit/License
    Open carrying a handgun without a permit/license is legal in Virginia and common. The minimum age for open carry is 18.

    NO – Must Inform Officer

    There is nothing in Virginia gun statutes that state you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. The law does require you to carry your permit, together with photo ID, at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.

    NO

    Virginia does not have constitutional carry laws.

    YES

    It is legal to carry in the following areas;

    State Parks:    YES
    State/National Forests:    YES
    State Game Management Units:    YES
    Road Side Rest Areas:   YES  

    YES/NO

    In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

    If a Virginia restaurant does not have “NO WEAPONS” signs posted you can open and conceal carry a firearm into the restaurant. However, you are not allowed to consume alcohol if you conceal carry into the restaurant.

    The Law
    18.2-308.012

    NO

    “No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Virginia gun statutes. There are no legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs. They have no force of law unless they are posted in areas that are mentioned by the law as being off limits.

    GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

    “That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”
    (Article I § 13)

    no weapons sign in virginia

    Virginia Off-Limit Statutes

    Other Virginia CCW Statutes

    For information on other states handgun laws please go back to the state laws page and select the state you are interested in.

    Other Virginia Gun Laws

    Private Sales

    Private gun sales without background checks are legal in Virginia. The only requirement is that both the seller and buyer are residents of the state in which the sale occurs.

    Gun Shows
    Background checks can be made on private gun sales at gun shows, this is entirely voluntary. Police will be stationed at the gun show and if requested will do a background check for a fee of $2.

    The Virginia State Police have printed a guide on private gun sales.

    Virginia CCW FAQ's

    virginia frequently asked questions on ccw

    Virginia CCW Contact

    Virginia Beach Circuit Court

    Hours


    Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4pm

    Saturday Closed

    Sunday Closed


    Contact


    Address 2425 Nimmo Parkway

    CityVirginia Beach, VA 23456-9017

    Phone (757) 385-4181

    Email TSinnen@courts.state.va.us

     

    Updates & Data Sources

    Important

    The information contained on this page is not legal advice but is merely a starting point for your own research. It is up to you to decide what the best course of action is for your circumstances. We are not lawyers, if you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some law practices with known firearm specializations. It is crucial that you understand the law before you carry a firearm. Also, remember that just because a statute may clearly say one thing or another, that doesn't mean all members of law enforcement know it. That also goes for lawyers and even judges too.

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    DeploraTechieGeorge SephtonBobbyRtgvdjim Recent comment authors
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    George Sephton
    Guest
    George Sephton

    Virginia does no issue a CCW, it is a CHP. Big difference.

    Bobby
    Guest
    Bobby

    I have a Texas License to carry does Virginia On her Texas license

    DeploraTechie
    Guest
    DeploraTechie

    Yes – Virginia has reciprocity agreements with Texas, as well as with all but a few other states.

    Glenn Pruitt
    Guest
    Glenn Pruitt

    can you buy 2 hand guns in a month?

    Da Real Mckoy
    Guest
    Da Real Mckoy

    Yes

    Rtgvd
    Guest
    Rtgvd

    Yes, although you open yourself up to a full blown ATF background check. No problems if you pass normal background

    Chris
    Guest
    Chris

    Is there a limit as to how many rounds your gun can hold and be concealed?

    Jeff
    Guest
    Jeff

    I’m moving to Richmond va and would like to buy a hand gun do I need a license?

    Roger
    Guest
    Roger

    No you do not. You have to fill out the background paperwork at any shop but no permit is required for purchases. A CCW is required for concealed carry and is obtained through the courts.

    Michael Kohut
    Guest
    Michael Kohut

    C’mon, it’s Fees NOT Fee’s. restaurants NOT restaurant’s. Nouns DO NOT use an ‘ — that’s reserved for missing letters, and Possessive Case.

    Jerry
    Guest
    Jerry

    Is my Pa ccw hornered in Va. Your list and map is confusing?

    Steven M. Minor
    Guest
    Steven M. Minor

    I am a Oklahoma resident and am on business in Virginia. Am I able to purchase a rifle (Ar15) while in Virginia?

    DeploraTechie
    Guest
    DeploraTechie

    Yes – just make sure you can bring it back to Oklahoma with you.

    Greg Patterson
    Guest
    Greg Patterson

    Can I carry a concealed handgun in Western State Hospital and on the grounds as long as I’m not in the patient areas?

    David Hummel
    Guest
    David Hummel

    My CHP has expired and I’m in the process of reapplying. When I receive the new CHP, may I legally OPEN CARRY a pistol with a silencer attached? I am not asking this with intentions of discussing the pros and/or cons of such, I just wish to know if I can legally do it. Thank you in advance, David

    DeploraTechie
    Guest
    DeploraTechie

    You don’t need a permit to open-carry, just for concealed-carry. If you want an attached suppressor (or even one you NEVER attach), you may do so after registering it – similar to registering a fully-automatic firearm. It’s completely separate from the CCP process.

    Rick Lowther
    Guest
    Rick Lowther

    I saw somewhere that as long as school is not active and even and as long as you are not attending an official school event like a sporting event you can still carry concealed.a lot of our sports clubs use our schools ,which are not sanctioned by the schools I have even seen open carry at these events what is the deal. I reside in Gloucester Virginia

    Josephine Sauppe
    Guest
    Josephine Sauppe

    Please help! I am confused. I got my concealed weapons license in South Carolina and it is active, not expired. I recently (1 year ago) moved to Virginia. Reciprocity for South Carolina is accepted in Virginia yet when I look up Virginia on this site it shows in yellow and states “residential permits only.” I have been afraid to conceal carry because I am not sure if I can or can’t. Could you please clear this up for me? I do not want to get in trouble with the law : )

    Thank you for your time.

    jim
    Guest
    jim

    Yellow means that a SC ‘non resident’ permit is not honored in VA. If you have an SC ‘resident’ permit you are good.

    Josh
    Guest
    Josh

    Can I get a ccw permit if I live in Virginia but have an out of state license?

    Trevor
    Guest
    Trevor

    So I have a question. Can or am I legally allowed to trade for or buy a handgun from a person privately with a bill of sale and open carry it if I am 19 years old.

    Ashley
    Guest
    Ashley

    Join the discussion…Yes, you are allowed to

    Mimi
    Guest
    Mimi

    I like this site but I am finding conflicting info on the map. Two other sources list SC and FL as having reciprocity with VA. Unfortunately bad intel can get people shot. And it makes me question all other info on the site. Again, great site, with good and helpful detail, I’m just not sure what to trust.

    Chris
    Guest
    Chris

    So if I don’t have a concealed permit, but have it in a compartment in my car (loaded). Do I have to tell the officer if i am pulled over that i have a firearm in my vehicle? Remember… No permit!

    Gregg
    Guest
    Gregg

    What is “good and sufficient reason” to carry in a church?

    Edward
    Guest
    Edward

    Found the following at the below mentioned website.
    http://lawcenter.giffords.org/other-location-restrictions-in-virginia/
    “(Note, however, that the Attorney General of Virginia has opined that carrying a weapon for personal protection constitutes a “good and sufficient reason” under this law. 2011 Va. AG LEXIS 23, *4)”
    But as with everything, use common sense. Just my opinion.

    Brant
    Guest
    Brant

    I have a question that I’ve not seen an answer to. With a CCW Permit in Va is the pistol to be unloaded or are you allowed to carry it loaded? I’ve not seen this information. Can someone please answer? I just got my permit and want to follow the laws. Can I carry loaded or must I carry unloaded? Thank you. This is the most information I’ve found in one place. Thank you to all who have given time to give us this value of information.

    Edward
    Guest
    Edward

    The firearm is allowed to be loaded and carried except in places stated by state laws.

    Rick
    Guest
    Rick

    I carry loaded I am in Virginia also I will not carry without one in chamber again a friend of mine is a policeman and he says to do so because the lawyers and others are trying to push for a premeditated charge if you rack a round and have to shoot someone.

    TJ Johnson
    Guest
    TJ Johnson

    I have noticed an issue on your page one NO – MUST INFORM OFFICER There is nothing in Virginia gun statutes that state you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. The law does require you to carry your permit, together with photo ID, at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun. And then you state 18.2-308 (H) ….The person issued the permit shall have such permit on his person at all times during which he is carrying a concealed handgun and shall display the… Read more »

    Danny
    Guest
    Danny

    I will be traveling through Virgina soon. I live in KY and we can open carry without a permit. Do I need a permit to open carry in Virginia?

    Jeff
    Guest
    Jeff

    Nope

    KC Carsons
    Guest
    KC Carsons

    What if you are military? Is there a course military individuals are supposed to take?

    Edward
    Guest
    Edward

    As long as you has a copy of your PCS orders assigning you to a military installation in Virginia, you the service member can purchase a handgun providing your background check is approved.
    As far as handgun safety, you are covered due to either current or previous military service.
    But check with local authorities for concealed carry permit as to where you are considered resident or non resident.

    Nick Smith
    Guest
    Nick Smith

    As of 16 May 2018 Pennsylvania no longer honors Virginia CHPs. Please see the following press release from the PA Attorney General: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/attorney-general-josh-shapiro-announces-completed-review-of-concealed-carry-reciprocity-agreements/

    J.L.M.
    Guest
    J.L.M.

    As a VA resident, that’s troubling. However, (as I currently do and received), if you are in PA a lot or have family there, find a local county and apply for a PA CHP. Ironically, the PA CHP application is one of the shortest I’ve seen and a lot less intrusive as VA’s(filled out and picked up my permit locally at that county office about 30 days later on a trip up to see family; NOTE, they won’t mail it to you, you have to pick it up once approved). I did this due to the idiot VA Atty General… Read more »

    Steve Bender
    Guest
    Steve Bender

    I noticed today while planning for a vacation that you list the CHP fee for Virginia as $50. That was lowered a while back (right after my wife and I renewed–bummer). In Prince William it is now only $15 for five years

    Casey Hennessy
    Guest
    Casey Hennessy

    I have one question I didn’t find the answer for here. Is it legal to carry 2 handguns at once in the state of VA? ex. One on the right hip, one in a shoulder holster under the left arm.

    Jeff
    Guest
    Jeff

    Yeah you can go full GI Joe if you want, unless concealed. You need a permit for that. . I’m not aware of anything stating limits on the amount of guns you can have on your person.

    edward
    Guest
    edward

    Also, just keep in mind that if any part of your clothing covers any part of your open carry firearm, it is then considered concealed and requires a permit. And, Yes, a very stupid law.

    Charlie
    Guest
    Charlie

    Was just doing some of my own research and stumbled upon a information I thought I would share, apparently as of 5-16-18 (just a few days ago) PA no longer is accepting VA ccw, sounds like VA still honers PA permit though (I’m a PA resident)

    Barry
    Guest
    Barry

    I live in NC but drive to and work in VA I have applied for the non resident permit . But in the mean time i dont understand if i can carry my handgun in my truck open on the seat or does it have to be in a compartment. In NC that is against the law with out a cc permit. Thanks

    Cornelius
    Guest
    Cornelius

    In VA you can place your firearm wherever you like. It can be in the open or conceal.

    Lou Dema
    Guest
    Lou Dema

    Great website. As these laws are always changed or updated, is there a way to sign up to an alert or notification when a change potentially affects me and other CCW holders from Virginia? The burden to knowing the gun laws in our state or wherever we are headed to is our responsibility. Short of searching the web daily or regularly, i believe this would be a great way to keep all of us int his group well and timely informed. Thank you.

    jim
    Guest
    jim

    For the Virginia Non-resident permit, the check list shows a photograph meeting requires specifications is needed. What are the specifications? do not see the specs anywhere.

    Edward
    Guest
    Edward

    Passport Photo. Went through the process of NON resident while in Maryland.

    A. Beard
    Guest
    A. Beard

    If you are Prior Military with an Honorable Discharge ( I believe 3 years)active service. You do not have to have the weapon safety course.

    Cornelius
    Guest
    Cornelius

    That is true. I am an Army veteran. All you need is the application, a copy of your DD214, and the funds to pay.

    Milspouse
    Guest
    Milspouse

    This is what I don’t understand, as a military spouse, non resident, I can apply for a non resident concealed permit, but unless I change my drivers license, i can’t purchase a firearm. The only way for me to have one is if my military spouse purchase as a gift for me.

    ChristCrusader
    Guest
    ChristCrusader

    It’s for the childrens’ safety’s sake that we don’t let you buy a gun here, but you can buy a gun from your state and bring it here, or your spouse can buy you a gun, but you can’t here.
    SO MUCH SAFER THAT WAY FOR THE CHILDREN! [/sarc]

    Ryan
    Guest
    Ryan

    I have a CWP Florida permit. Since VA is a reciprocity state and allows open carry without a permit, is it safe to say that while in VA I can open carry my sidearm, but just have my CWP handy “just in case”?

    Jeff
    Guest
    Jeff

    Yes

    bear arms
    Guest
    bear arms

    50

    bear arms
    Guest
    bear arms

    there are only 52 states

    Jerome H Bartel
    Guest
    Jerome H Bartel

    What is the process if you already possess a concealed carry permit? I have my permit issued in NY state and have been finger printed and vetted by the NYS Police and the F.B.I. Do I still need to go through the same process as though I was a first time applicant?

    Thomas
    Guest
    Thomas

    What about weapons like AR 15

    Thomas
    Guest
    Thomas

    What about AR15

    Harry
    Guest
    Harry

    Virginia Code Section 18.2-308 has not required fingerprints for permits since 2012.

    Also, your picture of sample permit is nothing like a VA CHP.

    John
    Guest
    John

    In private sales, one can purchase a handgun at 18 years of age. Va code 18.2 308.7

    Edward
    Guest
    Edward

    Sir, you are incorrect.. This code does not address private sales. ”
    18.2-308.7. Possession or transportation of certain firearms by persons under the age of 18; penalty.

    It shall be unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport a handgun or assault firearm anywhere in the Commonwealth.”

    John Brooks
    Guest
    John Brooks

    As a Virginia resident, it was my understanding that it was legal to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in my vehicle. Can you tell me if that is true, and, if the CCW reciprocity laws apply to that also…or only to handguns?

    Paul Van Cott
    Guest
    Paul Van Cott

    Your website is well designed and one of the most thorough I have seen on the subject matter. I would like to point out an inconsistency. Your Virginia resident map depicts Georgia as honoring my resident permit. However, neither your list of honoring states nor your list of non-honoring states list Georgia. I believe that Georgia does honor my Virginia resident permit (as of 2016) but I wanted to make sure. One of these is incorrect. Which is it? Thanks and keep up the good work!