WEST VIRGINIA GUN LAWS

Updated Concealed Carry Guide


This guide will show you everything you need to know about owning a handgun in West Virginia.

Learn the facts on West Virginia gun laws, reciprocity and the concealed handgun license (CHL).

Sound good? Lets dive right in...

west virginia state seal

West Virginia gun laws are some of the least restrictive in the USA. West Virginia is one of the growing number of constitutional carry states with no requirement to have a licence to carry a firearm provided the person is at least 18 years old and is legally entitled to have a firearm under state and federal law. To conceal carry without a license a person must be 21 years or older. If an 18 - 20 year old wishes to conceal carry they would require a Provisional CHL license. However, they are allowed to open carry without a CHL license. If you need to travel out of state then you can still obtain a concealed handgun license provided you are a resident of West Virginia.

West Virginia CHL Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle YES
Must Notify Officer NO
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Gun Signs Enforced NO
Open Carry Permitted YES
Carry In Restaurant YES
Constitutional Carry YES
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licenses in West Virginia

Gun Laws

State rating
Good
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a WV license
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states not
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Kentucky Dashboard

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Gun Laws

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West Virginia CHL Reciprocity

West Virginia 2018
  • Permit Honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Carry allowed / does not recognize
  • Issuing state

How Reciprocity Works in West Virginia

West Virginia honors non-resident and resident CCW licenses from states that are on the West Virginia reciprocity list provided the licensee is 21 years or older. However, the honoring of out-of-state CCW licenses does not matter anymore as West Virginia is a permitless carry state. This in effect means any person who is 21 or older, and can legally possess a firearm may now carry a concealed weapon without any type of license.

West Virginia Reciprocity State's

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STATES

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, 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, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

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STATES
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming
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states & Districts

California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington.

Districts & Territories
District of Columbia

Oklahoma

Residents of West Virginia are permitted to carry a concealed firearm in Oklahoma without any license provided they carry with them at all times their WV state ID.

West Virginia CHL License

West Virginia Issue Policy

Unrestricted, Shall Issue

License Issued To

Residents, Military

CHL License Overview

Despite West Virginia being a constitutional carry state (permitless), concealed carry licenses can still be obtained for those that want to travel to other states. A "Shall Issue" policy is still in effect for any person that applies for a CHL license.

Two types of licenses are issued;
  • Provisional license - For any person aged from 18 - 21. The license is valid for 3 years but expires when the licensee turns 21 years old.
  • Optional License - Issued for 5 years to any person who meets the criteria and is at least 21 years old.

Non-Resident Licenses

West Virginia does not issue non-resident licenses.

Handgun Training

To apply for an optional or provisional CHL, you must present evidence that you have successfully completed one of the following training courses:
  1. Any official NRA handgun safety or training course;
  2. Any handgun safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by an official law enforcement organization, community college, junior college, college or private or public institution or organization or handgun training school utilizing instructors certified by the institution;
  3. Any handgun safety or training course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified by the State or by the NRA; or
  4. For optional CHLs only, any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by any branch of the United States military, reserve or National Guard or proof of other handgun qualification received while serving in any branch of the United States military, reserve or National Guard. For provisional CHLs, any proof of current or former service in the United States armed forces, reserves or National Guard. An applicant must present a photocopy of a certificate of course completion, an affidavit from the instructor, or some other document which verifies successful completion of the required training course in order to obtain a CHL. The document must include the instructor’s name, signature and NRA or state instructor identification number, if applicable.

APPLICATIONS

Follow these steps to obtain a concealed carry permit;

  1. Complete your firearm training course.
  2. Download the application form.
  3. You will need the following documents;
    • Completed application
    • Firearms course certificate
    • Drivers license/ID card
  4. File your application at the Sheriffs office in the county you reside in.
  5. They will contact you when the permit/license is ready to be picked up.
cost of
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CHL License
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is valid

West Virginia CHL Forms

Download Your Forms

West Virginia: Places Off-Limits for CHL

west virginia state flag
West Virginia state flag

Places Off-Limits in West Virginia

  • The State Capitol Complex
  • Regional jails, detention facilities or State Division of Corrections facilities
  • County courthouses or any facility housing a court of this state
  • A school bus or any public primary or secondary education building, structure, facility or grounds including a vocational education building, structure, facility or grounds where secondary vocational education programs are conducted or at a school-sponsored function, or in or on a private primary or secondary education building, structure or facility
  • Any building or area limited by municipal code. Certain municipalities may have further handgun restrictions in municipal code. Before carrying a weapon in a West Virginia municipality, it is recommended that you inquire as to such laws with the appropriate city attorney’s office
  • Any property where firearms are prohibited by the owner, lessee or other person charged with the care, custody and control of the real property
  • Wherever signs are posted indicating weapon restrictions
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.

Places Allowed in West Virginia

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state - except those listed as off limits

Pointers: West Virginia Gun Laws

Permitless carry bill passes

Open carry or concealed carry

West Virginia Concealed Carry Laws

west virginia state capitol building
West Virginia state capitol building

West Virginia Gun Laws To Know

YES - Without a license

There is no requirement for a CHL license to carry a firearm in a vehicle provided the person is at least 21 years old, a US citizen and is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state and federal laws.

Members of the military aged 18 and over can carry in a vehicle with only their military ID.

From the State Police website - It is strongly recommended that, if you do not have a valid concealed carry permit, while traveling in a vehicle, that all firearms be unloaded and cased in a location in the vehicle that is not readily accessible to any of the occupants. Any ammunition should be stored in a separate location from the firearm.

NO - Must Inform Officer

There is nothing in West Virginia gun laws that states you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. There is also no mention that you must carry your permit/license.

GunsToCarry always recommends that you carry your permit, together with photo ID, at all times during which you are in actual possession of a concealed handgun.

The Law
61.7.6a

YES - Without a license

Open carry is legal in West Virginia without a license, but not in places listed as off-limits. Municipalities can enforce ordinances that ban the open carry of firearms in recreation facilities owned by the municipality.

The minimum age for open carry is 18.

NO

“No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in West Virginia gun laws. 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.

YES

You are permitted to carry in the following areas;

  • State Parks:       YES - 20.2.5 & WVDNR - Must be concealed and no long guns, unless hunting.
  • State/National Forests:     YES
  • State Wildlife Management Areas:     YES
  • Road Side Rest Areas:     YES

YES

In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

"Yes" or "No" states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with "NO GUN" signs. Check with the staff if this means just the bar area. If we have indicated a "Yes" then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.

YES
West Virginia is a constitutional carry state, no CCW license is required if the person is legally able to possess a firearm.
"A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home, and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use."
(Art. 3, Section 22)
no weapons sign in west virginia

West Virginia Off-Limit Statutes

Other West Virginia Statutes

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

History Of West Virginia Gun Laws

civil war era revolver
Civil war era revolver

Learn West Virginia's Gun History

2008

Castle doctrine is enacted into West Virginia law.

2016

On May 24, 2016 West Virginia became a constitutional carry state requiring no permit to carry a concealed weapon.

West Virginia CHL FAQ's

frequently asked questions on west virginia gun laws

West Virginia CCW Contact

Mongolia County Sheriff

Hours


Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Contact


Address 116 Walnut St.

CityMorgantown, WV 26505

Phone (304) 291-7260

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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C'mon Man!Lestrapperwv1 Recent comment authors
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Les
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Les

Please check the spelling of “Mongolia County”

C'mon Man!
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C'mon Man!

M-O-N-O-N-G-A-L-I-A

trapperwv1
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trapperwv1

In WV there is a state preemption law that supercedes municipal code.