Virginia Constitutional Carry

Virginia is not a constitutional carry state. To possess firearms, you are required to own a gun permit. The state has a shall-issue policy and if you meet all requirements provided by gun laws, your permit application will be approved. Residents of Virginia can file their gun permit applications at their county’s circuit court. For non-residents, the processing will be done by the state police department.

Previously in Virginia, to purchase firearms from gun shows and private individuals you do not need to complete a criminal background record check or register the firearm, as long as the two parties involved in the sales are residents of the state. But the state enacted a law that requires all sellers of firearms to complete a criminal record check from the 1st of July 2020.

The state has also restricted the purchase of a handgun per month with only exceptions made for gun permit holders.

Possession of Firearms in Virginia

Even though Virginia is not a constitutional carry state, you do not need a permit to open carry in the state if you are eighteen years old or more without a federal or state prohibition to possess or own a firearm. However, the state prohibits the open carry of firearms in some regions, and counties are also allowed to restrict open carry in certain areas within their jurisdiction.

To conceal carry in Virginia, you need to be a permit holder, non-residents are also allowed to conceal carry with any valid out-of-state permit accepted by Virginia.

Virginia gun permit is valid for residents and nonresidents of the state that are twenty-one years old or more. To apply for the gun permit, you must first complete a firearm training course. The state also defines some areas as restricted for the possession of firearms, including concealed carry. Virginia will accept valid gun permits from all regions of the US.

According to gun laws in Virginia, you can possess firearms in your private vehicle with or without a pistol permit. However, if you do not have a permit, you must lock the firearm in a compartment, the trunk of the vehicle, or anywhere that can close.

You can conceal carry firearms in roadside areas of Virginia. However, make sure you are familiar with county laws before doing so. If you have a Virginia pistol license or anyone from a state that it recognizes, you can possess firearms forests, parks, and wildlife management areas. But first, visit the park website for more information on firearms regulations.

According to Virginia gun laws, if you are a gun permit holder, you can possess firearms in restaurant and bar ventures, except there is a post prohibiting such or you are under the influence.

Being a Virginia permit holder does not guarantee that you have the right to possess firearms in Hotels or similar establishments in the state. Virginia allows private properties and business owners to be able to regulate the use of firearms within their premises. Hence, hotels can develop their firearm policies.

However, no local municipality or employer can prohibit someone who is a legal firearm owner from storing his or her gun or ammunition in a locked private vehicle parked in an area designated for it. The only exceptions to this law are local or regional jails, detention homes, government buildings, and law enforcement agencies.

Places Where You Cannot Possess Firearms in Virginia

Virginia gun laws prohibit the possession of firearms in some parts of the state.

  • You are not allowed to possess firearms 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 possess firearms in any property or building that is hosting activities or school-organized functions.
  • You are not allowed to conceal on school buses or any vehicle used for the transportation of school students.
  • You are not allowed to possess firearms on religious grounds or places except you provide a valid reason to do so, or you have permission from those in charge.
  • You are not allowed to possess firearms anywhere in Virginia if you are under the influence of any other intoxicating substance.
  • You are not allowed to possess firearms in courthouses or their premises and during court proceedings.
  • You are not allowed to possess firearms in any state capitol building.
  • You are not allowed to possess firearms in prisons or any detention facilities.
  • You are not allowed to possess firearms in any office owned, or used for executive activities.
  • You are not allowed to possess firearms in any building or privately owned property that carries a post prohibiting the possession of a firearm.
  • You cannot possess firearms at airport terminals.
  • You cannot possess firearms in portions of the wildlife management area of Hog island, except if you have permission from the department in charge.
  • You cannot possess firearms anywhere that are prohibited by federal laws.

Application of Gun Permits in Virginia

To apply for a Virginian gun permit, first, enroll in a firearm training class. This could be a Virginia concealed carry permit application course, as long as a certified firearm instructor conducts it.

Then get the application form by downloading online, or visiting the sheriff’s office or a local court to pick it up. Fill the form and along with the necessary documents, mail it to the clerk of a local court or your county of the sheriff’s office in your county of residence. After the processing period, you will receive an approval or denial mail. But as long as you meet all the necessary requirements, your permit application should be approved.

Your gun permit is valid for five years; after which you have to apply for a renewal. 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.

Initial and renewal permit applications for residents cost fifty dollars, except in king William county where residents pay fifteen dollars. A permit application is free for retired law enforcement officers who were active for at least fifteen years The processing period for a gun permit in Virginia is forty-five days.

Requirements for the Application of Gun permits in Virginia

For your gun permit to be accepted, you have to meet all state requirements for the application of a firearm license.

  • You must meet the minimum age requirement of twenty-one.
  • You must be a resident of the county you are applying from.
  • You must undergo Virginia conceal carry permit course for firearm training to demonstrate your competency in firearm usage.
  • You must not be a convict for multiple charges of misdemeanor five years prior to 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 of any drunken crime for three years before application.
  • You must not be someone who a law court believes is likely to illegally possess a firearm 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 prior to the 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 of a person or a family member.
  • You must not have been involved in a juvenile delinquent act which if committed by an adult would be a felony crime.
  • You must not be freed from a crime due to insanity reasons or being mentally impaired for at least five years before 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 felony 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 the drug within five years prior to gun application in Virginia.
  • You must meet all federal law requirements for permit application in the country.

Is Constitutional Carry Virginia Allowed in Some Parts of the State?

The Virginia state government has full authority on gun laws in all parts of the state. No political subdivision of the state may create ordinances that will contradict gun laws of the state legislature.

Preemption gun laws in the state prohibit counties, municipalities, local government areas, and political subdivisions of the state from regulating, or enacting gun laws on the transportation, licensing, purchase, sales, possession, and ownership of firearms, ammunition, and their components.

However, local government areas may regulate and restrict the use of firearms for safety reasons within their jurisdiction.

This means that permitless carry in Virginia is prohibited in all parts of the state.

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