The information provided on the Website is for general information purposes only and is not an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer. We may receive commissions from our partners when you click on some of the links. Learn More
West Virginia is a constitutional carry state that will permit the possession of a firearm without an issued license. It is also a shall-issue state for the application of a gun license. This means that if you meet all state requirements, the state will issue you a firearm license.
To buy a firearm from a private gun dealer or a gun show in the state, you do not need to complete a background check or register the firearm.
You can open carry in West Virginia without a gun license, as long as you are eighteen years old or more without any prohibition to possess firearms either federally or by a USA state.
Open carry of firearm in West Virginia is not permitted in every part of the state. Gun laws of the state restrict some locations for the possession of firearms, and you could be arrested and charged to court if found with a firearm in those places.
Concealed carry of firearms without a permit in West Virginia is only possible for residents of the state. The residents must be at least twenty-one years old, and must not have any prohibition for the possession of firearms. Anyone within the age of eighteen and twenty years old that wants to conceal carry in West Virginia must apply for the state’s concealed handgun license first.
Concealed gun licenses in West Virginia were previously for only residents of the state and members of the military stationed in the state for duties. However, the state legislature declared that from the 6th of July in 2021, non-residents can begin to apply for concealed gun licenses in West Virginia. But as at now, nonresidents are only permitted to conceal carry in West Virginia if they have a gun license from their state.
West Virginia requires a gun permit for the possession of firearms in private vehicles, except for anyone that is at least twenty-one years old or eighteen years old for a military member, and has legal rights to possess firearms. The law also allows concealed carry of firearms in roadside areas of the state.
You do not need a permit to possess firearms in West Virginia parks forests or wildlife areas. And except there is a post prohibiting the possession of firearms in the area, there are no gun statutes in West Virginia that bans the possession of firearms in restaurant and bar areas of the state.
Hotels in West Virginia can come up with gun policies for the possession of firearms in their premises. West Virginia statute permits them to do this. Therefore, being a licensee does not mean you can open or conceal carry in hotels.
According to gun laws in the state no employer, land owner or agent in charge of a property may prohibit an employee or an invited person from possessing firearms if the person is a legal firearm owner and the firearm is lawfully possessed, or the person stores the firearm in a vehicle in a parking lot, or an area designated for cars.
Also an employee cannot prohibit an employer from possessing firearms if the firearm is not visible from outside the vehicle, and if such person is legally present within the premises. Finally, no employer shall refrain from granting employment based on the fact that an individual is a firearm or gun license owner.
Gun laws in West Virginia prohibits the possession of firearms in certain areas of the state.
You can take up a West Virginia concealed carry permit online course, but make sure that the teacher is a state-certified firearm instructor. Download the application form from an online portal and fill it. After completing the necessary documents, apply and notarize it at the sheriff’s office of the local county you live. Other documents you have to provide include a firearm training certificate, an updated passport photograph, your driver’s license or state identification card. You also have to pay the required fee.
After applying, the sheriff will investigate according to the information you provide and permit requirements in the state. Upon completing the investigation, forward the application and the fee to West Virginia State Police for final processing. You will be contacted to come and pick up the application at the state police department. The processing period for the permit application is forty-five days.
Your permit will be valid for five years; after which you have to apply for a renewal. For provisional license, the permit will expire after the holder’s twenty-first birthday.
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.
Before applying for a West Virginia gun permit, you must fulfill the following requirements
West Virginia preemption gun law does not permit counties, local government areas, municipalities, and political subdivisions to enact gun laws, ordinances or regulations that will affect activities of firearms in the state such as transportation, sales, purchase, ownership, possession, transfer etc. The law also covers ammunition and various firearm components.
However, local areas and municipalities are allowed to regulate the use of firearms within their territory, for safety reasons.
This means that no other local government law in West Virginia will conflict with the state legislation. So, permitless carry West Virginia is allowed in every part of the state.