West Virginia is known nationwide for having some of the most unrestrictive gun laws. West Virginia s a constituational carry state which means there’s no requirement to have a license to carry, only if you’re 18 and can legally have a gun in the eyes of the federal law.
You must be 21 to conceal carry, but if you’re between 18-20 you can get a provisional license.
West Virginia Gun Laws Quick Facts
✅ Yes - West Virginia is considered a constitutional carry state as they allow for permit-less carry both openly or concealed.
Open Carry Permitted?
✅ Yes - West Virginia allows for open carry without a license for any person so long as the individual is 18 or older and is legally allowed to own a firearm.
Carry In Vehicle?
✅ Yes - West Virginia allows for concealed carry within a vehicle so long as they're 21 or older and legally allowed to own a firearm. It's also important to note that on May 24th, 2022 HB 4048 went into effect which allows for all individuals to carry long guns in their vehicles (loaded or unloaded).
Carry In State Park?
✅ Yes - West Virginia allows for concealed carry within their state parks without a permit.
Carry In Restaurants?
✅ Yes - West Virginia allows for concealed carry within restaurants and bars without a permit so long as you're not intoxicated whatsoever.
No Weapon Sign Enforced?
❌ No - We were unable to find any specific code giving no weapons signs the force of law.
Must Notify Officer?
❌ No - West Virginia does not have any duty to inform laws within its code. You are not required to notify LEO's that you're carrying upon interaction unless specifically asked.
States Honoring CCW
* Restricted Reciprocity with West Virginia
States NOT Honoring CCW
Honors These States CCW Permits
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: Where Is CCW Allowed?
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Road side rest areas
- All areas of the state – except those listed as off limits
Places Not Allowed
- 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.
West Virginia: Conceal Carry Laws
Yes, 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.
Carry In Vehicle
Yes, 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."
Carry In State Parks
Yes, 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
Carry In Restaurants
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.
Yes, West Virginia is a constitutional carry state, however, no CCW license is required if the person is legally able to possess a firearm.
No Weapon Signs Enforced
No, “No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in West Virginia gun laws. There are no legal penalties for lawfully 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.
Must Notify Officer
No, 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.
The Law 61.7.6a