West Virginia issues concealed carry permits at the county level, supervised by the sheriff’s office.
The state is a shall-issue state, which means that if you meet all the requirements provided, you will get your concealed carry permit.
Permits are not issued to non-residents of the state; therefore, they can only conceal carry with a license from a state West Virginia honors.
If you intend to conceal carry in West Virginia, then you must know about state laws like CCW requirements, buying and selling policies, etc.
West Virginia Gun Laws
To conceal carry in West Virginia, you must meet the age requirement, which is twenty-one years old.
Before you apply, you just have to be a resident of the state or a member of the United States Armed Forces posted to West Virginia.
If you are within the age of eighteen and twenty and you choose to conceal carry, you can apply for a provisional concealed handgun license in the state.
West Virginia CCW permit application requires that you complete a firearm demonstration.
West Virginia CCW Permit Reciprocity
West Virginia will honor a CCW permit from every other state in the country.
Other aspects of the state CCW reciprocity includes the following:
- States that West Virginia will accept their CCW permit: You can conceal carry in West Virginia if you have a license issued by any USA state. However, you must be at least twenty-one years old. People within the age range of eighteen to twenty can conceal carry with a provisional permit from their state of residence.
- States that will accept West Virginia CCW permit: In these states, you can conceal carry with the West Virginia Concealed Handgun License. In Oklahoma, you do not require a West Virginia CCW permit to conceal carry. As long as you have a means of identification as a resident of West Virginia, you can conceal carry in Oklahoma. This means of identification can either be a state-issued ID card or a driver’s license. There are five states of such.
- States that have restricted CCW reciprocity with West Virginia: Not all permits issued by West Virginia are valid for concealed carry in this state. Most of them require that you are at least eighteen years old before you conceal carry in their territory; therefore, you cannot use a provisional permit for this purpose. There are nineteen of them.
- States that have a permitless carry policy: You can conceal carry in these states without a permit. However, you must satisfy other conditions like age requirements. There are thirteen of them.
Before you conceal carry in a state you are new to, make sure you familiarize yourself with the gun laws such as location restrictions and how to handle a firearm.
This can help keep you out of trouble with the law enforcement officers in the state.
Location Restrictions For The Possession Of Firearms In West Virginia
You cannot conceal carry or possess your firearm in every location of the state, even if you have the West Virginia Concealed Handgun License.
Places, where you cannot conceal carry, are known as off-limits, and law enforcement officers can arrest you for possessing your firearms in these places.
The people exempted from this law are law enforcement officers, peace officers, and members of the military in some situations.
Places Where You Cannot Conceal Carry In West Virginia
- You are not allowed to be with your firearm in any public or privately owned school, secondary and primary, and their premises, facilities, or buildings. This also includes places for vocational education in the state. The only exception to this is locking away an unloaded firearm in a vehicle while on the school premises.
- You are not allowed to conceal carry in a school bus or any vehicle used for the transportation of school students.
- You cannot conceal carry in any building or facility used for court sessions in West Virginia.
- You cannot conceal carry in a state capitol building except if you have a concealed handgun license, in which case you can keep the firearm safely in your vehicle away from public view.
- You cannot conceal carry in prisons, jails, detention, or any correctional facility in the state.
- You cannot conceal carry in municipalities and counties that have strict laws against the use of firearms in their regions. Therefore, make sure that you enquire about this if you are new to an area.
- You are not allowed to conceal carry in any building or property that has a post prohibiting the possession of firearms on their premises. You have to get permission from those in charge of the building to conceal carry within the premises.
- You cannot conceal carry anywhere federal laws prohibit possession of firearms.
Places Where You Can Conceal Carry In West Virginia
There are no laws in the state that restrict the possession of firearms in these areas or situations:
- Restaurants and Bars: You can conceal carry in restaurants and bars as long as they do not have signage prohibiting the possession of firearms on their preemies.
- Personal Vehicles: You can conceal carry with your concealed handgun license if you are at least twenty-one years old and can legally possess a firearm in the state.
- Roadsides and Rest areas: You can conceal carry in roadsides and rest areas.
- State/National parks and forests: You can conceal carry in state and national parks and forests as well as wildlife management areas.
- Places Of Worship: You can conceal carry in places of worship as long as they do not have a post restricting the possession of firearms in their premises.
Concealed Carry For Law Enforcement Officers In West Virginia
According to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act in the country, as an officer of the law, you can conceal carry in any part of America without bothering about the gun laws of state and municipalities.
This applies to both active and retired officers of the law.
According to the West Virginia Police force, officers must carry a form of identification from the agency they are employed to or from which they retired.
Retired officers who can conceal carry must carry proof that they meet all LEOSA standards in terms of training and qualification to concealed carry.
Retired officers’ certification for concealed carry is only for a year.
The state police department requires that retired officers in the state must qualify according to the LEOSA standards for active officers.
The current standard in the state is two types of qualification, namely, light qualification and low-light qualification.
These qualifications must not be more than three months apart from each other.
Retired officers who want to undergo the qualification must contact West Virginia State Police Academic Staff for the training.
Buying And Selling Of Firearm In West Virginia
Before you embark on dealing with firearms in the state, you must familiarize yourself with the gun laws of the state that have to do with transferring, transportation, possession, buying, and selling of guns.
Purchase Permit And Firearm Registrations
You are not required to obtain a purchase permit before buying firearms in West Virginia, unlike other states in America.
Also, there is no firearm registration or gun rosters for approved guns in the state.
Criminal Record Background Check In West Virginia
You must undergo a criminal record background check in the state if you are buying your gun from a licensed dealer.
However, this is not an essential requirement for private gun dealers in the state.
Make sure that you keep your sales receipt at all times so that you can claim gun ownership if you need to.
Also, note that your West Virginia CCW permit does not mean that you will not undergo the criminal record background check.
Minimum Age Requirement For The Possession Of Firearm In West Virginia
You must be at least eighteen years old before you can transport or possess firearms in the state.
Possession Of Firearm In Personal Home
You do not need a permit to possess a firearm in your home of residence or a property that you occupy through leasing or renting.
Castle Doctrine In West Virginia
West Virginia operates with the castle doctrine policy.
This means that if you are in your home or anywhere, you are a legal occupant, you can make use of a deadly force against an intruder, attacker, or anyone committing a felony crime that can lead to severe bodily harm or death to yourself, or someone residing in the place with you.
Therefore, you do not have a duty to retreat in a place where you have a legal right to be.
In West Virginia, you will get immunity from civil liability for self-defense according to the castle doctrine policy.
CCW Permit Requirements In West Virginia
You must meet West Virginia concealed carry permit requirements before applying for your CCW permit in the state.
Note that you may get a rejected application if you fall short of at least one of these requirements.
The requirements include:
- You must be at least twenty-one years old to apply for a permit, or between eighteen and twenty years old, for a provisional license.
- You must complete a West Virginia concealed carry permit course for firearm training.
- You must be a legal citizen or resident of the United States of America.
- You must reside in the county from where you are making the application.
- You must not be an alcohol addict or a user of any substance controlled by the Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
- You must not have a court order treatment for alcohol or any drug three years before West Virginia concealed carry application.
- You must not have multiple convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol.
- You must not have any conviction for a felony case unless pardoned or expunged by a court of law.
- You must not have any conviction for misdemeanor crime or domestic assault according to federal law.
- You must not have a conviction for any violent crime for at least five years before concealed carry application in the state.
- You must not be a convict for any misdemeanor crime or domestic violence in which you victimized a spouse, sexual or intimate partner, a person that cohabitates with you, parent or guardian, a child, or any member of your household.
- You must not have any conviction for a felony crime in which you have a sentence that confines you, or you are presently serving parole or probation under the supervision of a law court.
- You must not have a court order restricting you from the possession of a firearm in the state.
- You must not be mentally unstable or a patient of any mental institution before applying for the CCW permit unless you have a court order stating that you are now mentally fit to possess a firearm.
- You must not have a protection order or a red flag from any court of law in the state.
- You must meet all federal law requirements for the application of CCW permit in America.
How To Apply For CCW Permit In New Virginia
The process to apply for New Virginia Concealed Handgun License includes the following.
Complete A Firearm Training Course
This is an essential requirement, and you must enroll for a West Virginia concealed carry permit class for handgun training in the state.
You can also take up a West Virginia concealed carry permit online course, but make sure that the teacher is a state-certified firearm instructor.
Obtain Your Application Form
Download the application form from an online portal.
Submit The Necessary Documents
After completing the necessary documents, apply and notarize it at the sheriff’s office of the local county you live.
Other documents you need to submit include the following:
- Your firearm training certificate
- Your passport photograph
- Your driver’s license or state identification card.
- You also have to pay the required fee.
- Pay Additional Fee
After application, the sheriff will investigate according to the information you provide and CCW permit requirements in the state.
After completing the investigation with an approved license, you have to pay an additional twenty-five dollars to the sheriff.
The sheriff will forward the application and the fee to West Virginia State Police for the final processing.
Collect Your Application
You will get a notification either via email or phone to come and pick up the application.
West Virginia Concealed Carry Permit FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about CCW permit in West Virginia.
For How Long Will My West Virginia CCW Permit Last?
The permit is valid for five years, after which you have to apply for a renewal.
A provisional license expires after the holder’s twenty-first birthday.
How Much Is West Virginia CCW Permit Application?
Renewal permits and initial permits cost twenty-five dollars, each with an additional twenty-five dollars for the background check.
Provisional permits cost fifteen dollars with an extra twenty-five dollars for the background check.
Retired law officers and honorably discharged veterans will only pay for a background check.
When Will I Get My West Virginia CCW Permit?
The processing period for the permit application is forty-five days.