Virginia Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in Virginia

Gun laws in Virginia are in place to regulate the sale, possession, transfer, and purchase of firearms in the state. These laws also apply to ammunition. Although some counties are permitted to have gun laws, the state primarily sets the state gun laws and does not allow them to be overridden. All plastic firearms and the Armsel Striker (AKA Striker 12) are banned in Virginia. All guns in the state must contain 3.7 ounces of electromagnetically detectable metal so that metal detectors can detect them. You must have a concealed handgun permit (CHP) to carry a gun that has a magazine capacity of more than 20 rounds. Otherwise, there is no law banning specific ammunition types or number of rounds. Residents cannot buy more than one handgun in a 30-day period unless they have a CHP. As long as you are 18 or older, open carry is legal in Virginia. Virginia operates as a “Shall Issue” state for concealed carry.

State CCW Quick Facts

  • Shall Issue State gun policy
  • Yes Open Carry Permitted
  • No Constitutional Carry
  • Yes-In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol Carry In Restaurants
  • Yes Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents/Non-residents License issued to
  • 429,837 Number of Active CCW Permits
  • 35 # of states that honor Virginia license
  • 53 # of state licenses that Virginia honors
  • 5 Years license is valid
  • 50 $ cost of the license
  • 21 Minimum age for license permit

Virginia’s policy is Shall Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: state parks, state and national forests, road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.

VA CCW Reciprocity Map

As long as you have a valid, photo ID and a permit with you, Virginia honors all other states for reciprocity. You must be at least 18 and produce your license if stopped by a police officer. Thirty-five states honor a Virginia gun permit for residents, they are 

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, and Wyoming. These states honor a Virginia gun permit for non-residents, 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, and Wyoming.

Virginia honors these fifty-three state’s gun permits 

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, the District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These fifteen states will not allow a Virginia gun permit, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington.

AK AL AR AZ CA CO CT DE FL GA HI IA ID IL IN KS KY LA MA MD ME MI MN MS MO MT NC ND NE NH NJ NM NV NY OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VA VT WA WI WV WY DC
  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Virginia Concealed Carry Laws and Permit

Virginia is a “Shall Issue” state and issues permits to residents and non-residents. Non-residents must file with the state police. Resident permits get filed with the circuit court in their area. As long as you follow all other gun laws, open carry without a permit is legal for anyone 18 or over. You may carry in your vehicle as long as your gun is secured in a compartment. You do not have to notify officers that you are carrying. You can carry in state parks, national forests, and restaurants that serve alcohol. However, if you are carrying there, you cannot consume any alcohol. You are not obligated to honor any “no guns” signs in Virginia.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

To qualify for a concealed carry permit in Virginia, you must be 21 years old. You must also take a firearms training course. You must live in the county where you apply. You cannot have more than two misdemeanors in a five-year period and no felonies. You cannot have DUIs or be addicted to drugs or alcohol. You cannot have any charges against you for violent offenses, stalking, assault or other dangerous behavior. You cannot have any mental illness.

Virginia Gun Background Check

Licensed gun dealers in Virginia must contact the Department of State Police (“DSP”) for background checks before selling. They must also verify the buyer’s identity and have them sign a consent form for the background check. They must run a full background check with criminal history through the DSP. Although the law allows three days, most are completed that same day. Private sales are not subject to a background check.

CCW Permit Information

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

Application

  1. Complete your firearm training course.
  2. Download the application form or pickup from the Circuit Court or Sheriffs office.
  3. You will need the following documents;
  4. A photocopy of a certificate of completion of a firearms course.
  5. 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.
  6. You will be notified within 45 days by mail if your application has been approved or denied.
  7. NON-RESIDENTS Applicants who do not reside in Virginia can apply by mail. An application package can be obtained by emailing the Virginia state police at nonrespermit@vsp.virginia.gov 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

Renewal

  • 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.

Virginia CCW License Fee information

Permit type Fees when getting a new permit Renewal Current license amendment Fingerprint scan fee Fee for firearm classes Additional state fees
Residents | Concealed handgun permit $50.00 $50.00 $35.00 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.
Non-Residents | Concealed handgun permit $100.00 $50.00 $35.00 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.

Places Where You Can & Can’t Carry a Gun in Virginia

Allowed Forbidden
State parks Private property when prohibited by the owner of the property, or where posted as prohibited
State and national forests Place of religious worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held
Road side rest areas Courthouse
Vehicle School property or school functions (School buses are school property)
All areas of the state not listed as Forbidden Non-secure areas of airport terminals
Regional Jail or Juvenile Detention Facility
Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law

Virginia CCW Contact

Virginia Bureau of Firearms

Hours

Monday – Friday: N/A
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Contact

Address: Virginia State Police
7700 Midlothian Turnpike
City: North Chesterfield, VA 23235
Phone: (804) 674-2000

CCW Licensing Offices in Virginia

Accomack County Circuit Court

Office Address
Clerk of Court's Office 23316 Courthouse Av. Accomac, VA 23301

Phone
(757) 787-5776

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Albemarle County Circuit Court

Office Address
Circuit Court Clerk's Office Court Square Charlottesville, VA 22902

Phone
(434)972-4083

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Alexandria Circuit Court

Office Address
Courthouse 520 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone
(703) 746-4044

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Alleghany County Circuit Court

Office Address
Courthouse 266 West Main Street P. O. Box 670 Covington, VA 24426

Phone
(540) 965-1730

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Amelia County Circuit Court

Office Address
Courthouse Square 16441 Court St., P. O. Box 237 Amelia, VA 23002

Phone
(804) 561-2128

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Amherst County Circuit Court

Office Address
113 Taylor Street P. O. Box 462 Amherst, VA 24521

Phone
(434) 946-9321

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Appomattox County Circuit Court

Office Address
297 Court Street, Suite B P. O. Box 672 Appomattox, VA 24522

Phone
(434) 352-5275

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Arlington County Circuit Court

Office Address
1425 North Courthouse Road Arlington, VA 22201

Phone
(703) 228-7010

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