Updated Guide (2018)

Are you looking for information on Virginia gun laws?

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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
Constitutional Carry NO
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Virginia CCW Reciprocity


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

    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, Pennsylvania, 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

    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

    California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, 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.


    • 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
    Cww permit
    Years Permit
    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.


    Virginia does not have constitutional carry laws.


    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  


    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


    “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
    Concealed carry permits/licenses are issued by the circuit court of the county or city where the applicant resides.

    Virginia CCW Contact

    Virginia Beach Circuit Court


    Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4pm

    Saturday Closed

    Sunday Closed


    Address 2425 Nimmo Parkway

    CityVirginia Beach, VA 23456-9017

    Phone (757) 385-4181


    Updates & Data Sources

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    Paul Van Cott
    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!

    John Brooks
    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?


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


    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.


    What about AR15


    What about weapons like AR 15

    Jerome H Bartel
    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?

    bear arms
    bear arms

    there are only 52 states

    bear arms
    bear arms



    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”?


    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.

    A. Beard
    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.


    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.

    Lou Dema
    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.


    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


    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)