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Virginia is a shall-issue state, and you will get a CCW permit if you meet all the application requirements.

The state issues permits to both residents and non-residents.

The circuit court of a county is responsible for residents’ application, while the state police department is responsible for non-residents’ application.

There are no purchase permits in the state. However, there is a new law that states that every firearm dealer must complete the criminal record background check before selling firearms in the state.

To conceal carry in Virginia, you need to be familiar with the gun laws and every other related policy.

Virginia Gun Laws

You can conceal carry with a Handgun Permit in Virginia.

The permit is open to residents and non-residents that have a concealed carry permit from their state.

You must be at least twenty-one years old before applying for a Virginia CCW permit. 

You must also meet all the requirements to conceal carry, provided by the state.

Virginia CCW Permit Reciprocity

The state honors every permit from other states in the USA.

Other aspects of the CCW reciprocity includes the following:

  • States that Virginia will accept their CCW permits: Virginia will honor permits from all states in the country. However, permit holders from some specific states must meet certain criteria before they can possess a firearm in Virginia.
  • States that will accept a Virginia CCW permit: You can conceal carry in these states with a CCW permit issued by Virginia. There are sixteen of them.
  • States that have restricted reciprocity with Virginia: These states will only accept a CCW permit from Virginia, issued to residents. Therefore, if you have a non-resident CCW permit, you cannot conceal carry in these states. There are five of them.
  • States that have permitless carry policy: You can conceal carry in these states without a CCW permit from any other state. However, you must meet the minimum age requirement and every other gun restrictions for permitless carry in the state. There are fourteen of them.

Even in states that will accept Virginia CCW permit, you must still handle your firearm according to their gun laws, and not that of Virginia.

Note that gun laws and concealed carry policies are different in states, regardless of reciprocity or permitless carry.

Location Restriction For Concealed Carry In Virginia

You are not allowed to possess a firearm or any other concealed carry weapon in some areas of Virginia

These places are set as off-limit areas, and even if you have a handgun permit, you still cannot use firearms in these places.

Only peace officers, law enforcement officers, and in some cases military members, can possess firearms in these places.

Therefore, so as not to get arrested and charged to court, you must know places where you are allowed to conceal carry, and those that are off-limits in Virginia.

Places Where You Can Conceal Carry In Virginia

  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any private or publicly owned school or college. The only exception is a Virginia handgun permit holder who can keep the firearm unloaded and locked away in a vehicle.
  • You cannot conceal carry in any property or building that is hosting activities or school organized functions.
  • You are not allowed to conceal in school buses or any vehicle used for the transportation of school students.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry on religious grounds except if you provide a valid reason to do so, or you have permission from those in charge.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry anywhere in Virginia if you are under the influence of any other intoxicating substance.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in courthouses or its premises and during court proceedings.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any state capitol building.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in prisons or any detention facility.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any office owned or used for executive activities.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any building or privately owned property that carries a post prohibiting the possession of a firearm.
  • You cannot conceal carry airport terminals.
  • You cannot conceal carry in portions of the wildlife management area of Hog island, except if you have permission from the department in charge.
  • You cannot conceal carry anywhere that is prohibited by federal laws.

Places Where You Can Conceal Carry In Virginia

Most people think that gun laws in Virginia restrict the possession of firearms in some places. This is due to misconceptions or gun laws in other states.

However, you can conceal carry in these places and situations without restriction in Virginia.

Restaurants and Bars: You can conceal carry in restaurants and bars, except if you will be consuming alcohol, or the place has a post that prohibits the possession of a firearm.

Personal vehicle: You can conceal carry with your handgun permit in your car. If you do not have a permit, then the firearm must be locked away safely.

Roadsides and rest areas: You can conceal carry along roadsides and in rest areas of Virginia.

State/National parks and forest: You can conceal carry with your Virginia CCW permit in forests, parks, and other wildlife management areas except for hog island, buggs island, and in Gaston reservoir.

Conceal Carry For Law Enforcement Officers In Virginia

According to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act in Virginia, officers of the law can conceal carry in any jurisdiction of America without limitation from state and local laws such as location restrictions.

This law covers active, out of service with good standing, and retired law enforcement officers.

Retired officers who meet firearm training requirements to conceal carry, just like the active officers, will be allowed to do so.

In Virginia, a retired officer can qualify to conceal carry in every USA state, according to LEOSA standards.

The Virginia State Police is responsible for the qualification of retired officers.

For processing, the officer will submit the following documents to the police firearm transaction center.

  • Two passport photographs with a two by two inches’ size.
  • A fingerprint card.
  • The firearm training certificate for retired officers.
  • A concealed carry handgun authorization for retired officers. 
  • The application form.

After processing, if the retired officer meets all the qualification requirements and LEOSA standards, the police department will issue an authorization card and a sticker to signify annual qualification.

All of these, with a letter from the head of police in Virginia, will be sent to the officer via mail.

Buying And Selling Of Firearms In Virginia

You need to know the laws that guide dealing with a firearm in Virginia in terms of transportation, transferring, buying, and selling.

Here is what you should know.

Purchasing Permit and Firearm Registration

You do not require a purchase permit to buy a firearm in Virginia. Also, there is no firearm registration in the state  

Criminal Record Background Check In Virginia

From the beginning of twenty-twenty-one, all licensed dealers must complete a criminal record background check before selling a firearm in Virginia.

Furthermore, nobody can buy more than one firearm within thirty days, except with a Virginia CCW permit.

Note that your permit does not exempt you from completing the necessary background check before buying a firearm.

Waiting Period For The Purchase Of Firearms In Virginia

There is no required period for completing the sales of firearms in Virginia.

Age Requirement For Firearm Purchase In Virginia

You must be at least eighteen years old before you can transport and possess a firearm in Virginia. 

Note that this is different from the age of twenty-one for Virginia CCW permit application.

Possession Of Firearm On Personal Properties

You can possess a firearm in your home, personal business, real estate, or any other property that you lease or rent.

Castle Doctrine In Virginia

In Virginia, the law allows the use of deadly force if you believe that an attacker or intruder can harm you, or anybody in your dwelling place, in such a way that would lead to bodily injury or imminent death.

So, as long as you are not the invoker of an attack, and the use of force is just for self-defense or to protect another person from danger, then the force is justifiable.

Castle doctrine in Virginia does not only apply to your home of residence. As long as you are lawfully allowed to be in a place, you have no duty to retreat in the face of an attack.

Note that in any situation or place away from the provision of this law, you are to retreat from such an attack.

In Virginia court, you will get immunity from civil liability if you can prove that the use of force was necessary for the situation on the ground.

CCW Permit Requirements In Virginia

Before you apply for a CCW permit in Virginia, you must meet all the requirements provided by the laws of the state.

They include the following:

  • You must meet the minimum age requirement of twenty-one.
  • You must be a resident of the county you are applying to.
  • You must undergo Virginia concealed carry permit course for firearm training to demonstrate your competency in firearms.
  • You must not be a convict for multiple charges of misdemeanor five years before Virginia concealed carry permit application.
  • You must not be a drug addict, or an illegal user of marijuana, narcotics, and substance controlled by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
  • You must not be a convict for any drunkenness crime for three years before the application.
  • You must not be someone who a law court believes is likely to possess a firearm illegally or is a threat to lives.
  • You must not be a convict of any violent crime, sexual assault, or brandishing of a firearm for three years before the CCW permit application.
  • You must not be a convict or under any indictment for stalking.
  • You must not be under any restriction or protective order from the court, to protect the safety or a person or a family member.
  • You must not have a history of a juvenile delinquent act which, if committed by an adult, would be a felon.
  • You must not be acquitted from crime due to insanity reasons. You also cannot be mentally impaired for at least five years before the application.
  • You must not be a legally incompetent person unless it has been restored five years before your application for Virginia concealed carry permit application.
  • You must not be voluntarily or involuntarily admitted to a mental hospital. In the case of involuntary admission, you must have been discharged for more than five years before application.
  • You must not be a felon or have any involvement in an ongoing felony case.
  • You must not be a fugitive, or have an arrest warrant in your name.
  • You must not be a dishonorably discharged member of the United States Armed Forces.
  • You must not be a mentally impaired person, or under rehabilitation for the use of drugs within five years before CCW application in Virginia.
  • You must meet all federal law requirements for CCW permit application in the country.

How To Apply For CCW Permit In Virginia

Having met all Virginia conceal carry permit requirements, you can now proceed with the application.

The process includes the following:

Complete A Firearm Training Application In The

First, enroll for a Virginia concealed carry permit class. This could be a Virginia concealed carry permit online course, as long as a certified firearm instructor conducts it.

There are many state-approved courses you can apply for.

Obtain The Application Form

You can either do this by downloading online or visiting the sheriff’s office or a local court to pick it up.

Submit The Application

Do this by applying along with the necessary documents like your training certificate.

Mail it to the clerk of a local court or the sheriff’s office in your county of residence.

Receive Notification Mail.

After the processing period, you will receive an approval or denial mail. 

However, as long as you meet all the necessary requirements, your concealed carry permit application should be approved.

Virginia Concealed Carry FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about CCW permits in Virginia.

For How Long Is My Virginia Handgun Permit Valid?

The permit is valid for five years, after which you have to apply for a renewal.

How Much Is CCW Permit Application In Virginia

Initial and renewal permit applications for residents cost fifty dollars, except in King William County, where residents pay fifteen dollars.

Permits for non-residents cost a hundred dollars.

The permit is free or retired law enforcement officers who were active for at least fifteen years

How Long Will It Take To Get My CCW Permit In Virginia?

The processing period for CCW permits in Virginia is forty-five days.

When Can I Apply For My Renewal Permit?

You can start your renewal application ninety days before the permit expires, and you have till one hundred and eighty days after the permit expires.

Additional Resources

Virginia Gun Laws
Virginia Open Carry Laws
Virginia Gun Permit Laws

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