VIRGINIA GUN LAWS

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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

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    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
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    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

    Disclaimer

    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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    S. BBob HaydenBillKevinJames Hickman Recent comment authors
    newest oldest most voted
    Bob Hayden
    Guest
    Bob Hayden

    If I open carry into STARBUCKS can they LEGALLY Not serve me or Ask me to leave without service???Isnt this the same as refusing to make a Gay wedding Cake???🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤯🤯

    Bill
    Guest
    Bill

    I was a PA resident and got my CCW permit while living in PA 2 years ago. I am now a Virginia resident. Can I keep the PA permit until it expired in 3 years or do I need to get a VA permit now that I am a resident of VA?

    Kevin
    Guest
    Kevin

    I have a valid CCW in the state of Virginia, I’m traveling to FLorida, I see on the map that South Carolina and Florida shows Residential permits only, so does that mean they do not recognize VA CCW? Thank you

    S. B
    Guest
    S. B

    They do not accept non resident va permits. Meaning an out of state person gets a va non resident permit would not be recognized.

    James Hickman
    Guest
    James Hickman

    I have a ccw permit. Can my employer deny me my right to carry? I work for a private company. They have no signage to the effect and only have a statement in their handbook restricting any illegal firearms to be in company vehicles.

    Wheldon
    Guest
    Wheldon

    If I am active duty military with a active ccw permit in the state of Florida and I move to Virginia can I keep my Florida or do I need to reapply for a Virginia license

    Albert Brown
    Guest
    Albert Brown

    Can I SIRT Laser Training Pistol in MD with Commonwealth Of Virginia Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permit ?

    Marcus
    Guest
    Marcus

    Hello, I would like to know if it is within my legal right to drive with a unloaded shotgun in my vehicle in the state of Virginia.

    David McCormack
    Guest
    David McCormack

    Yes

    Cyndi
    Guest
    Cyndi

    Can I own a gun in the state of Virginia if my spouse is a felon?

    David McCormack
    Guest
    David McCormack

    Not if you’re living under the same roof.

    Elmore Frank Brown Jr
    Guest
    Elmore Frank Brown Jr

    Can I have a gun in my car? It must be nice in my car? Unloaded and lock on my gun?

    Gail M Rivers
    Guest
    Gail M Rivers

    In Va if you can legally possess a firearm you can carry in your car. If you do not have a carry permit you can put it in a compartment such as glove box or console. I would be very careful especially if you have children and they use your vehicle and are under 21 . Just remember to remove weapon

    Mike C
    Guest
    Mike C

    A lot of work went into creating and updating this site. Now it needs to be proofread by someone with a good knowledge of the English language.

    Alan
    Guest
    Alan

    I am coming from South Carolina for a few days and I know VA reciprocates with SC but do I need to get a non resident CCW permit and could I open carry or have to be concealed

    G-Man
    Guest
    G-Man

    “Reciprocity” means exactly that, the state you are visiting recognizes your home state permit (generally under the same conditions as if you were in your home state). “Open carry” (in states that have open carry) means that anyone over age 21 (lower age in some states) that is not prohibited from possessing a firearm (allowed to legally carry a firearm), can carry openly in the state in which they are located.

    Sharon Gaunt
    Guest
    Sharon Gaunt

    Does a resident of VA who has stayed at a mental health facility allowed to display a Kentucky long rifle made prior to 1898. The family airloom has been in the family since the 18th century. Is definitly will not fire. The stock and ramrod are broken, and the hammer will not move. It probably hasn’t been fires since the 1700’s.
    It does not fire center or rim fire bullets that do not make explosions.
    Please let me keep and display the family antique.
    Thank you for you art?ention to this matter.

    Julian
    Guest
    Julian

    I am from the date of Pennsylvania and I would like to obtain a VA non resident permit. What is the requirement?

    Mike
    Guest
    Mike

    VA recognizes PA’s concealed permit so there is really no need for you to get a VA non-resident permit unless you don’t already have a PA concealed carry permit.

    Elmore Frank Brown Jr
    Guest
    Elmore Frank Brown Jr

    What kind of bullet is used in the state of VA?

    Taylor
    Guest
    Taylor

    You should use hollow point ammo for self defense. Not only will it create a bigger wound cavity, they are designed to stop inside of the threat and not continue on possibly striking an innocent bystander

    Tom Cook
    Guest
    Tom Cook

    I was recently prohibited from Concealed Carry at the Altria Center (Used to be the Mosque) in Richmond. I believe the building is owned by the City of Richmond. And I thought a city could not pass laws more restrictive than the state.
    Anybody have an explanation ? Thanks.

    Bryan Demory
    Guest
    Bryan Demory

    I went and applied for a non resident Concealed permit in Pennsylvania so to let you know they honor the non resident CCW. you have to have a permit in your home state and it is only 20$, but be warned , some county sheriff’s don’t comply ,so check ahead of time. I went through York county to get mine

    James Brickhouse
    Guest
    James Brickhouse

    I went in for my CCW duplicate and found out it Expired in ’17 (time flies lol) The lady @ Circuit Court building handed me the paperwork and said fill it on the side counter and get back n line with $50. Do I need to retake a CCW course or can I send in my renewal forms and $.

    Stephen Ness
    Guest
    Stephen Ness

    You won’t have to retake any courses if you have previously been approved for a CCW. They will want a copy of your expired one along with everything else, and it should just be processing paperwork and getting a new one sent to you.

    Y Hu
    Guest
    Y Hu

    I want to purchase a hand gun for self protection in my apartment and my vehicle ( I live alone and was recently hassled by a contract maintenance worker in my building. I called the police but they were of no help and told me this was a civil matter. It was a disturbance of the peace at a minimum, and I am now consider getting a handgun for personal protection for the first time in my adult life.) I understand the laws regarding guns in vehicles. What do I need to know regarding self defense in my apartment, and… Read more »

    Chesty Puller
    Guest
    Chesty Puller

    I would also be interested in the answer to this question…I am waiting on my CHP, but would still like to carry the handgun in my vehicle until I receive it, since a permit is not required to carry in a motor vehicle. However, I live in an apartment, and I do not want to take the elevator open carrying a handgun, and putting it in a backpack seems like basically concealed carrying, which I am not yet able to do until the permit is mailed to me. What I have been doing is putting it unloaded, into its case,… Read more »

    Gail M Rivers
    Guest
    Gail M Rivers

    The law is stated above in article . Vehicle Carry
    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.

    James
    Guest
    James

    Does each county in Virginia have their own rules regarding which courses are approved for concealed carry application submission? I read an article (almost 4 years old) that stated my county required in-person instruction, meaning online courses not approved. I can’t find anything more recent…

    Stephen Ness
    Guest
    Stephen Ness

    Virginia has statewide requirements regarding concealed carry applications. Well each county may have different processing times or slightly different fees, almost all of the CCW courses cover the same state requirements.

    Ray
    Guest
    Ray

    I have a Virginia cc permit can I buy a pistol in NC with the Virginia permit?

    Ted Nugent
    Guest
    Ted Nugent

    Technically yes, but you won’t be able to take delivery it will have to be shipped to FFL in your home state.