WEST VIRGINIA GUN LAWS
Updated Concealed Carry Guide
Learn the facts on West Virginia gun laws, reciprocity and the concealed handgun license (CHL).
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
West Virginia CHL Reciprocity
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
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
California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington.
Districts & Territories
District of Columbia
West Virginia CHL License
West Virginia Issue Policy
License Issued To
CHL License OverviewDespite 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.
West Virginia does not issue non-resident licenses.
Handgun TrainingTo apply for an optional or provisional CHL, you must present evidence that you have successfully completed one of the following training courses:
- Any official NRA handgun safety or training course;
- 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;
- Any handgun safety or training course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified by the State or by the NRA; or
- 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.
- West Virginia Concealed Handgun License Requirements
- West Virginia Concealed Handgun License Application
- West Virginia Concealed Handgun License Renewal
- West Virginia Concealed Handgun License Fee's
Follow these steps to obtain a concealed carry permit;
- Complete your firearm training course.
- Download the application form.
- You will need the following documents;
- Completed application
- Firearms course certificate
- Drivers license/ID card
West Virginia CHL Forms
Download Your Forms
West Virginia: Places Off-Limits for CHL
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
- All areas of the state - except those listed as off limits
Pointers: West Virginia Gun Laws
West Virginia Concealed Carry Laws
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
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 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.
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
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.
YESWest Virginia is a constitutional carry state, no CCW license is required if the person is legally able to possess a firearm.
(Art. 3, Section 22)
West Virginia Off-Limit Statutes
Other West Virginia Statutes
History Of West Virginia Gun Laws
Learn West Virginia's Gun History
West Virginia CHL FAQ's
West Virginia CCW Contact
Mongolia County Sheriff
Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
Address 116 Walnut St.
CityMorgantown, WV 26505
Phone (304) 291-7260