VIRGINIA GUN LAWS
Overview of Virginia Gun Laws
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
LICENSE ISSUED TO
Virginia Handgun Permit
- Virginia CCW Handgun Permit Requirements
- Virginia CCW Handgun Permit Application
- Virginia CCW Handgun Permit Renewal
- Virginia CCW Handgun Permit Fee's
- 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
Follow these steps to obtain a concealed carry permit;
- Complete your firearm training course.
- Download the application form or pickup from the Circuit Court or Sheriffs office.
- You will need the following documents;
- A photocopy of a certificate of completion of a firearms course.
- File application in person or by mail with the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the applicant resides in.
- You will be notified within 45 days by mail if your application has been approved or denied.
Applicants who do not reside in Virginia can apply by mail. An application package can be obtained by emailing the Virginia state police at [email protected] or writing to them at the following address;
Firearms Transaction Center
Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permits
Criminal Justice Information Services Division
Department of State Police
P.O. Box 85141
Richmond, VA 23285-5141
- You will be notified by mail 90 days before the permit expires.
- You can submit a renewal application up to 180 days after the permits expiry date.
- Applications must include a photocopy of the applicants state issued photo ID.
- Applications for renewal can be filed by mail.
The standard new permit form can be used. Just select the renewal check box.
The court shall charge a fee of $10.00 for the processing of an application or issuing of a permit. Local law enforcement agencies may charge a fee not to exceed $35.00 to cover the cost of conducting an investigation pursuant to this Code section. The State Police may charge a fee not to exceed $5.00 to cover the cost associated with processing the application. The total amount of the charges may not exceed $50.00, and payment may be made by any method accepted by the court. Out of state permits have a fee of $100.
Virginia CCW Dashboard
Virginia Reciprocity Map
virginia CCW permit recognition
Virginia CCW Reciprocity
Virginia Reciprocity List
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, 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, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, 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
Districts & Territories
District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
How Reciprocity Works In Virginia
- 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 state flag
- Wisconsin will only honor the Virginia Non-Resident permit.
- Virginia will honor all Non-Resident permits from other states they honor.
A. A valid concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit or license issued by another state shall authorize the holder of such permit or license who is at least 21 years of age to carry a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth, provided
(i) the issuing authority provides the means for instantaneous verification of the validity of all such permits or licenses issued within that state, accessible 24 hours a day if available;
(ii) the permit or license holder carries a photo identification issued by a government agency of any state or by the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Department of State and displays the permit or license and such identification upon demand by a law-enforcement officer; and
(iii) the permit or license holder has not previously had a Virginia concealed handgun permit revoked. The Superintendent of State Police shall enter into agreements for reciprocal recognition with such other states that require an agreement to be in place before such state will recognize a Virginia concealed handgun permit as valid in such state. The Attorney General shall provide the Superintendent with any legal assistance or advice necessary for the Superintendent to perform his duties set forth in this subsection. If the Superintendent determines that another state requires that an agreement for reciprocal recognition be executed by the Attorney General or otherwise formally approved by the Attorney General as a condition of such other state’s entering into an agreement for reciprocal recognition, the Attorney General shall
(a) execute such agreement or otherwise formally approve such agreement and
(b) return to the Superintendent the executed agreement or, in a form deemed acceptable by such other state, documentation of his formal approval of such agreement within 30 days after the Superintendent notifies the Attorney General, in writing, that he is required to execute or otherwise formally approve such agreement.
B. For the purposes of participation in concealed handgun reciprocity agreements with other jurisdictions, the official government-issued law-enforcement identification card issued to an active-duty law-enforcement officer in the Commonwealth who is exempt from obtaining a concealed handgun permit under this article shall be deemed a concealed handgun permit.
Pointers: Virginia Handgun Laws
Virginia CCW Handgun Permit Forms
Download Your Forms
Virginia: Places Off-Limits for CCW
Places CCW Carry is Off-Limits
- 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
- 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 CCW Carry is Allowed
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Road side rest areas
- All areas of the state – except those listed in the Off-Limits section.
Virginia Gun Sales & Preemption
Private Gun Sales in Virginia
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.
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.
Preemption in Virginia
Virginia Preemption statutes allow local authorities to make ordinances to control firearms in the following ways;
- Shooting of firearms in highly populated areas can be banned.
- Limited bans can be made for firearms on highways.
- Hunting can be banned within half a mile of a highly populated area.
- Loaded rifles or shotguns can be prohibited in a vehicle on a public street, road or highway.
- Hunting can be prohibited within 100 yards of a highway.
- Hunting or shooting can be prohibited within 100 yards of any property line of a school, county, city, town or regional park.
- They can ban hunting with any firearm larger than .22 caliber.
- Regulate the storage and possession of firearms at any childcare center.
Virginia Handgun Laws You Should Know
YES – Without a permitYES – 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.
“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.
Virginia Gun Statutes
“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)
Virginia State Capitol Building
Virginia Laws Relating To Concealed Carry
§ 18.2-308. Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions; penalty.
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, slingshot, 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. A second violation of this section or a conviction under this section subsequent to any conviction under any substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, and a third or subsequent such violation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. For the purpose of this section, a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon’s true nature. It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of clause (i) regarding a handgun, that a person had been issued, at the time of the offense, a valid concealed handgun permit.
B. This section shall not apply to any person while in his own place of abode or the curtilage thereof.
C. Except as provided in subsection A of § 18.2-308.012, this section shall not apply to:
- Any person while in his own place of business;
- Any law-enforcement officer, or retired law-enforcement officer pursuant to § 18.2-308.016, wherever such law-enforcement officer may travel in the Commonwealth;
- Any person who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
- Any regularly enrolled member of a weapons collecting organization who is at, or going to or from, a bona fide weapons exhibition, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
- Any person carrying such weapons between his place of abode and a place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
- Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting, as authorized by the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, under inclement weather conditions necessitating temporary protection of his firearm from those conditions, provided that possession of a handgun while engaged in lawful hunting shall not be construed as hunting with a handgun if the person hunting is carrying a valid concealed handgun permit;
- Any attorney for the Commonwealth or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth, wherever such attorney may travel in the Commonwealth;
- Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel;
- Any enrolled participant of a firearms training course who is at, or going to or from, a training location, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported; and
- Any judge or justice of the Commonwealth, wherever such judge or justice may travel in the Commonwealth.
D. This section shall also not apply to any of the following individuals while in the discharge of their official duties, or while in transit to or from such duties: 1. Carriers of the United States mail; 2. Officers or guards of any state correctional institution; 3. Conservators of the peace, except that a judge or justice of the Commonwealth, an attorney for the Commonwealth, or an assistant attorney for the Commonwealth may carry a concealed handgun pursuant to subdivisions C 7 and 10. However, the following conservators of the peace shall not be permitted to carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit as provided in this article: (i) notaries public; (ii) registrars; (iii) drivers, operators, or other persons in charge of any motor vehicle carrier of passengers for hire; or (iv) commissioners in chancery; 4. Noncustodial employees of the Department of Corrections designated to carry weapons by the Director of the Department of Corrections pursuant to § 53.1-29; and 5. Harbormaster of the City of Hopewell.
If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
It is unlawful for any person to possess in or transport into any courthouse in this Commonwealth any (i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind; (ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile, or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon; or (iii) other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in § 18.2-308.1, and those weapons specified in subsection A of § 18.2-308. Any such weapon shall be subject to seizure by a law-enforcement officer. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any police officer, sheriff, law-enforcement agent or official, conservation police officer, conservator of the peace, magistrate, court officer, judge, city or county treasurer, or commissioner or deputy commissioner of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission while in the conduct of such person’s official duties.
A. If any person knowingly possesses any
(i) stun weapon as defined in this section;
(ii) knife, except a pocket knife having a folding metal blade of less than three inches; or
(iii) weapon, including a weapon of like kind, designated in subsection A of § 18.2-308, other than a firearm; upon
(a) the property of any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds;
(b) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or
(c) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. If any person knowingly possesses any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material while such person is upon
(i) any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds;
(ii) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or
(iii) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.
C. If any person knowingly possesses any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material within a public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school building and intends to use, or attempts to use, such firearm, or displays such weapon in a threatening manner, such person shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony and sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years to be served consecutively with any other sentence. The exemptions set out in § 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to;
(i) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of the school’s curriculum or activities;
(ii) a person possessing a knife customarily used for food preparation or service and using it for such purpose;
(iii) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of any program sponsored or facilitated by either the school or any organization authorized by the school to conduct its programs either on or off the school premises;
(iv) any law-enforcement officer;
(v) any person who possesses a knife or blade which he uses customarily in his trade;
(vi) a person who possesses an unloaded firearm that is in a closed container, or a knife having a metal blade, in or upon a motor vehicle, or an unloaded shotgun or rifle in a firearms rack in or upon a motor vehicle;
(vii) a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school; or
(viii) an armed security officer, licensed pursuant to Article 4 (§ 9.1-138 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, hired by a private or religious school for the protection of students and employees as authorized by such school.
For the purposes of this paragraph, “weapon” includes a knife having a metal blade of three inches or longer and “closed container” includes a locked vehicle trunk.
Other CCW Statutes
C. Except as provided in subsection A of § 18.2-308.012, this section shall not apply to:
8. Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel;
For purposes of this subsection, 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.
The Minimum age to transport a firearm is 18
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. For the purposes of this section, “handgun” means any pistol or revolver or other firearm originally designed, made and intended to fire single or multiple projectiles by means of an explosion of a combustible material from one or more barrels when held in one hand and “assault firearm” means any (i) semi-automatic centerfire rifle or pistol which expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (ii) shotgun with a magazine which will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered. A violation of this section shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor.
This section shall not apply to:
1. Any person (i) while in his home or on his property; (ii) while in the home or on the property of his parent, grandparent, or legal guardian; or (iii) while on the property of another who has provided prior permission, and with the prior permission of his parent or legal guardian if the person has the landowner’s written permission on his person while on such property;
2. Any person who, while accompanied by an adult, is at, or going to and from, a lawful shooting range or firearms educational class, provided that the weapons are unloaded while being transported;
3. Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting or going to and from a hunting area or preserve, provided that the weapons are unloaded while being transported; and
4. Any person while carrying out his duties in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard of this Commonwealth or any other state.
A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, shall not be construed to provide express authorization. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a locality from adopting workplace rules relating to terms and conditions of employment of the workforce. However, no locality shall adopt any workplace rule, other than for the purposes of a community services board or behavioral health authority as defined in § 37.2-100, that prevents an employee of that locality from storing at that locality’s workplace a lawfully possessed firearm and ammunition in a locked private motor vehicle. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, from acting within the scope of his duties. The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail, juvenile detention facility, or state-governed entity, department, or agency.
B. Any local ordinance, resolution or motion adopted prior to the effective date of this act governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, other than those expressly authorized by statute, is invalid.
C. In addition to any other relief provided, the court may award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and court costs to any person, group, or entity that prevails in an action challenging (i) an ordinance, resolution, or motion as being in conflict with this section or (ii) an administrative action taken in bad faith as being in conflict with this section.
D. For purposes of this section, “workplace” means “workplace of the locality.”
Virginia CCW FAQ's
The application for a concealed carry permit/license must be processed within 45 days of the application being received.
Virginia CCW Contact
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4pm
Address 2425 Nimmo Parkway
CityVirginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Phone (757) 385-4181
Email [email protected]
Updates & Data Sources
|12/9/17||Updated Texas page|
|12/6/17||Updated California and Hawaii page, Hawaii page only partially completed.|
|12/1/17||Ohio page finished|
|11/24/17||Updated Washington DC to Shall Issue|
|11/8/17||Update Illinois page|
|11/1/17||Updated Florida and Alabama pages|
|10/12/17||Updated Ohio page, added new sections to statistics page|
|10/5/17||Added video section to Florida page|
|10/3/17||Updated Nevada page|
|10/2/17||Updated Georgia page|
|9/30/17||Updated Texas page|
|9/30/17||Entered new figures for latest 2017 NICS checks on Statistics page|
|9/29/17||Updated Pennsylvania page|
|9/26/17||Updated Florida page, added new links, forms and sections|
|7/22/17||updated permit numbers to latest figures|
|6/29/17||Updated permit numbers to 14,917,279|
|6/17/17||updated interface, added new travel info and other sections.|
Corinne N. Geller, Public Relations Director, Virginia State Police Virginia State Police – Firearms/Concealed Handguns http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_ResidentConcealed.sh tm