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

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  • 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
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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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    Stephen NessJames BrickhouseY HuJohnJames Recent comment authors
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    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 »

    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?

    Chris Jenkins
    Guest
    Chris Jenkins

    Can a West Virginia resident open carry in Virginia?

    Stephen Ness
    Guest
    Stephen Ness

    Yes. Open carry is allowed in Virginia without a permit.

    Jerry Meek
    Guest
    Jerry Meek

    Why does Virginia Honor the State of Maryland’s CCW , Yet Maryland not Honor Virginia’s ?
    Seems Strange if not Hypocritical.

    Glock 22
    Guest
    Glock 22

    Can you be 18 and open carry handgun in va ?

    Jeannie Proctor
    Guest
    Jeannie Proctor

    No, you have to be 21

    Jerry Meek
    Guest
    Jerry Meek

    Yes you can Open Carry a Handgun in Virginia at the Age of 18.
    It is LEGAL to Own a Handgun in Virginia at the Age of 18, HOWEVER.. It is ILLEGAL to purchase a Handgun in Virginia until you are 21 .
    I have Sold Handguns and am licensed by the state of Virginia to do so.

    Ashton
    Guest
    Ashton

    My find told me you cant buy a gun from a store if youve gotten charged woth anything withon the past year, is this true?

    John
    Guest
    John

    No as long as the charges are not domestic violence or felonies your good

    John
    Guest
    John

    I personally know

    Craig
    Guest
    Craig

    Yes

    Jon
    Guest
    Jon

    Didn’t see i on here but is it ok to conceal carry into a bank?

    Doubletap_45acp
    Guest
    Doubletap_45acp

    Yes.
    Also you can reference prohibition areas at the following website: http://www.vsp.virginia.gov/Firearms.shtm

    Doubletap_45acp
    Guest
    Doubletap_45acp

    Correction prohibited.

    Thomas Miller
    Guest
    Thomas Miller

    Yes

    Craig
    Guest
    Craig

    Yes it’s okay, unless the bank or business has sign posted “No Weapons”.

    John
    Guest
    John

    Credit union yes I assume and long as it isnt a federal institution your good … Hence look up the laws they are very lax in VA trust me

    Gina
    Guest
    Gina

    Does VA have requirements as to the size, shape, color, etc. of signs when a business wishes to post?

    Mary Socarras
    Guest
    Mary Socarras

    I have a concealed weapon permit. Can I carry weapon in my car with it being in plain sight on in a compartment?

    Doubletap_45acp
    Guest
    Doubletap_45acp

    Yes to both. But I would not advise leaving a gun in plain sight.

    Thomas
    Guest
    Thomas

    You can openly display a handgun in your vehicle as long as it is visible and can’t be misconstrued as something else. Eg. in the passenger seat or on the dash, cannot be partially covered unless you have your concealed permit with you or fully concealed.

    Adelle
    Guest
    Adelle

    I have a concealed carry permit issued in Florida. Can I bring my weapon with me when I relocate to the Arlington, VA area? Or, do I need to get new registration (whatever required documentation) to legally possess it in the state?

    Michael
    Guest
    Michael

    You can bring it and carry it concealed. We have reciprocity agreements with Florida. I think you will have to get a VA permit since you are going to be a resident. It isn’t hard though. 50 dollars and a form. Welcome to VA – Northern Virginia is very, very liberal – just a warning.

    Matt
    Guest
    Matt

    I’m having trouble finding information regarding cap and ball or black powder weapons.

    Michael
    Guest
    Michael

    What do you want to know?

    Bob
    Guest
    Bob

    Very nice website. However i have questions regarding shotguns and rifles. I cant seem to find any information on the legality of carrying them, specifically in the car. Loaded or unloaded. Secured or not. What vague information i can find seems it wouldnt be a problem however i was always told different.

    Doubletap_45acp
    Guest
    Doubletap_45acp

    The way I interpreted my many readings was that it is prohibited. Should be hard cased and locked in the trunk unloaded. http://www.vsp.virginia.gov/Firearms_Transporting.shtm

    Ashton
    Guest
    Ashton

    They can be in your truck as long as there is no bullets in it what so ever and the bullets have to be in a place you cant easily reach to like in the seat or cup holder reckamend behind the seat

    JC Armoto
    Guest
    JC Armoto

    I thought I read somewhere no semi auto pistols can be carried in Norfolk. Is that right?! That would only leave wheel guns in the city. Perhaps misread. Can someone clarify. I’m moving to VA shortly and want to make sure I understand.

    Michael
    Guest
    Michael

    That is not true at all. There are no restrictions on the type of handgun you can carry in Virginia. I live in Richmond and have done a lot of work in Norfolk. The laws regarding firearms and concealed carry are uniform throughout the state.

    Michael
    Guest
    Michael

    The laws are uniform concerning carry that is.

    Kiss My@ss
    Guest
    Kiss My@ss

    How about a legend telling what the 87 different colors on the map mean??? Is that unreasonable???

    Michael
    Guest
    Michael

    Um, there is a legend directly under the map.

    VAtimbo
    Guest
    VAtimbo

    I am trying to locate any ordinances about shooting a handgun in Chesterfield County Virginia.

    Brandon Winstead
    Guest
    Brandon Winstead

    Can a simple possession of marijuana charge stop me from purchasing guns and if not how long will it take before I will be able to purchase a firearm again please I need

    RD
    Guest
    RD

    If you were charged with a misdemeanor possession. You can still purchase a firearm

    Brian
    Guest
    Brian

    So I just realized that my Va concealed expires this year and just realized that expiration date is 2 days away. It’s going to be 2 days before I can mail off the renewal form. What happens when your concealed expires before the renewal is processed? Is there a grace period? What’s the deal? I can’t seem to find any info on Va concealed license expirations.

    Mazdaboi
    Guest
    Mazdaboi

    You just open carry, you can conceal to and from the range without a permit. Va allows anyone to carry in a vehicle without a permit, holster , container that doesn’t have to be locked or on ones self. Renewals go quick, carry on. Be safe

    Jason W.
    Guest
    Jason W.

    Virginia does not have a CCW but a CHP. Concealed handgun Permit. Please update this entire site with the correct terminology.

    John
    Guest
    John

    So here is what I don’t see. Virginia does not consider airguns “guns” as they don’t shoot with explosives. So what is the rules on conceal carry with a airgun? “Pellet gun” it is legally in VA not a firearm…so would one not need a conceal carry license?

    Prince
    Guest
    Prince

    Are you able to kill a person with an air gun? Is the EFP that damaging that it could puncture the skin an kill? I’m only asking because they have pellet guns an area where the shoot guns at each other at high velocity yet they sell these types fun guns an ate not a problem.

    Jeannie Proctor
    Guest
    Jeannie Proctor

    I asked an attorney this once and his response was, it’s best to treat an airgun, bb gun, pellet gun etc as an actual gun because if a police officer sees it laying in your seat or anywhere else, they will treat it as an actual gun until it is verified that it’s not because some look so much like one and they must take their precautions.

    Ashton
    Guest
    Ashton

    No you can not conceal any airgun, pellet gun without a license they consider it the same thing as if you had the real deal like if you get caught with fake stuff or fake money they charge you as if it was real