West Virginia Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in West Virginia

West Virginia’s Constitution protects citizen’s rights to bear arms. West Virginia firearm laws govern the sale, possession, purchase, and transfer of guns in the state. Although the state preempts gun laws, some counties have grandfathered ordinances that overrule state law. No specific types of firearms are prohibited in West Virginia. As long as you are not prohibited from owning a gun, private gun sales are legal without a background check in West Virginia. They do have laws regarding criminal convictions and age restrictions though. As long as you are 18 years old or older, you can open carry in West Virginia. You can conceal carry when you are 21, both without a permit. However, if you are between the ages of 18-20, you do need a license to concealed carry a gun. West Virginia is a constitutional carry state and has some of the most permissive gun laws in the country. There are currently 147,801 handgun permits in West Virginia.

State CCW Quick Facts

  • Shall Issue State gun policy
  • Yes Open Carry Permitted
  • Yes Constitutional Carry
  • Yes Carry In Restaurants
  • Yes Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents/Military License issued to
  • 147,801 Number of Active CCW Permits
  • 36 # of states that honor West Virginia license
  • 33 # of state licenses that West Virginia honors
  • 5 Years license is valid
  • 75 $ cost of the license
  • 21 Minimum age for license permit

West 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.

West Virginia CCW Reciprocity Map

West Virginia honors permits from states that are on their reciprocity list. These thirty-six states honor West Virginia’s gun permit 

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, and Wyoming.

West Virginia honors gun permits for the following thirty-four 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, and Wyoming. These thirteen states will not honor a West Virginia gun permit, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

West Virginia Concealed Carry Permit and Laws

Open carry is legal for residents of the state as long as they are 18 or older. You can conceal carry if you are 21. If you are between the ages of 18-20, you need a permit to concealed carry. As long as you are 21, you can carry a loaded weapon in your car. If you are a member of the military, you only need to be 18. You do not have to notify officers when you carry. You do not have to observe any “no weapons” signs either. You may carry legally in state parks, wildlife preserves, and restaurants that serve alcohol. West Virginia is a constitutional carry state, and no concealed carry permit is required. You cannot carry on school property, a school bus, state offices, jail or prisons, courthouses, municipal buildings, where signs are posted or private property. You can carry in your vehicle, state parks, national forests, wildlife preserves, and rest areas.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

To qualify for a concealed handgun permit, you must be at least 18 and need to take an approved firearms training course. You will need your photo ID and proof of the course. You also need to fill out the application and pay a $75 fee. The permit is good for five years. If you are renewing your renewal application must be notarized. A provisional CHL is required for 18-20-year-olds so they can legally conceal carry until they turn 21.

West Virginia Gun Background Check

There is no waiting period to purchase a gun in West Virginia. You cannot buy a gun however, if you are convicted of domestic abuse, stalking, if you are mentally unstable, addicted to alcohol or drugs, convicted of a felony, dishonorably discharged from the military, been in jail for a year or more or are an illegal alien in the U.S. West Virginia gun dealers are required by federal law to run a background check on anyone wishing to purchase a gun in the state.

  • Permits
  • Handguns
  • Long Guns
  • Total

WV CCW and Pistol Permit Information

State Concealed Carry Requirements

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

Gun CCW Permit Application

  1. Complete your firearm training course.
  2. You will need to complete the application form at the sheriffs office in your county of residence as the form must be signed under oath.
  3. You will need the following items; Passport type photo Certificate of completion of firearms course Social security number $60 for fee

CCW Renewal

  • When renewing a permit you must take in your current permit and drivers license.
  • The renewal application must be signed in front of a notary.
  • A NICS background check will be done for all renewal applications.

WV Concealed Carry License Fee information

Permit typeFees when getting a new permitRenewalCurrent license amendmentFingerprint scan feeFee for firearm classesAdditional state fees
Optional CHL | License to carry a concealed deadly weapon (handguns)$75.00$75.00$150.00There is an additional fee for background checks that must be paid when you pickup your license:

Optional CHL – $25.00
Provisional CHL – $15.00
Provisional CHL | License to carry a concealed deadly weapon (handguns)$25.00Not Renewable$150.00There is an additional fee for background checks that must be paid when you pickup your license:

Optional CHL – $25.00
Provisional CHL – $15.00

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

AllowedForbidden
State parksThe State Capitol Complex
State and national forestsRegional jails, detention facilities or State Division of Corrections facilities
Road side rest areasCounty courthouses or any facility housing a court of this state
VehicleA school bus, any public/private education structure, building or facility
All areas of the state not listed as ForbiddenAny building or area limited by municipal code
Any property where firearms are prohibited by the owner
Wherever signs are posted indicating weapon restrictions
Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law

West Virginia CCW Contact

West Virginia Bureau of Firearms

Hours

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

Contact

Address:Office of Attorney General
State Capitol Complex, Bldg. 1, Room E-26
City:Charleston, WV 25305
Phone:(304) 558-2021

CCW Licensing Offices in West Virginia

Barbour County Sheriff Office

Office Address
8 North Main Street Philippi, WV 26416

Phone
(304) 457-2352

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Berkeley County Sheriff Office

Office Address
510 South Raleigh Street Martinsburg, WV 25401

Phone
(304) 267-7000

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Boone County Sheriff Office

Office Address
200 State Street, Madison, WV 25130

Phone
(304) 369-7342

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Braxton County Sheriff Office

Office Address
300 Main Street, Sutton, WV 26601

Phone
(304) 765-2838

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Brooke County Sheriff Office

Office Address
632 Main Street Wellsburg, WV 26070

Phone
(304) 737-3660

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Cabell County Sheriff Office

Office Address
750 5th Ave., Suite 101, Huntington, West Virginia 25701

Phone
(304) 526-8663

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Calhoun County Sheriff Office

Office Address
363 Main Street 204 Grantsville, WV 26147

Phone
(304) 354-6333

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Clay County Sheriff Office

Office Address
246 Main St, Clay, WV 25043

Phone
(304) 587-4260

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Reference Links

Counties in West Virginia