West Virginia Gun Permit: State Laws, Rules, Requirements & Online Training

West Virginia is a permitless carry state, but you need a gun permit to conceal carry firearms.

To apply for a West Virginia pistol license, you must meet all requirements provided by the state gun law.

West Virginia Gun Permit Summary.

West Virginia is a shall-issue state for firearm permits, and the sheriff’s office in a local county is in charge of the application process.

The state issues regular permits, and provisional permits for underage.

How To Get A Gun Permit In West Virginia.

For gun permits in West Virginia, you must have legal rights for the possession of firearms and meet the age requirement for the type of permit you want.

West Virginia Gun Permit Laws.

West Virginia allows the open carry of firearms in the state for anyone that is eighteen years old or more and has legal rights for the possession of firearms.

However, there are off-limit areas for the possession of firearms such as schools, courthouses, etc.

West Virginia prohibits the possession of machine guns and similar semi-automatic firearms except for law enforcement officers, military members while on duty, and federally licensed individuals.

Also, there is no prohibition on types of ammunition permitted in the state.

West Virginia Pistol Permit Requirements.

To apply for pistol licenses in West Virginia, you must meet all requirements provided by the gun laws, and they include the following:

  • 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 application in the state.
  • You must not be a convict for any misdemeanor crime or domestic violence. You victimized a spouse, sexual or intimate partner, a person who cohabits 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 is 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 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.  

Different Types Of Gun Permits In West Virginia.

A summary of firearms permits in West Virginia includes the following:

  • State permit to purchase long guns: West Virginia does not issue a state permit to purchase long guns.
  • State permits to purchase handguns: West Virginia does not issue a state permit to purchase handguns.
  • State permit to open carry: West Virginia is a permissive state, so no permit is required to open carry.
  • State permits to conceal carry long guns: West Virginia does not issue a state permit to conceal long guns.
  • State permits to conceal carry handguns: West Virginia issues a pistol permit to conceal carry handguns in the state.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Gun License In West Virginia?

The cost for initial permit application and renewal permit applications in West Virginia is fifty dollars, and this includes twenty-five dollars for the criminal record background fee.

For west Virginia provisional permits, the cost is forty dollars, and this also includes twenty-five dollars for the criminal record background fee.

Retired law enforcement officers and discharged military veterans do not have to pay for a criminal record check.

Gun Permits Application And Renewal Law In West Virginia?

The processes to apply for a gun permit in West Virginia 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 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 permit requirements in the state.

Upon 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 be contacted to come and pick up the application.

The requirements for the permit renewal process is similar to that of the initial permit application.

Note that provisional permits are only for those younger between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one years old, and the permit expires immediately the holder becomes twenty-one years old.

Gun Reciprocity With West Virginia.

West Virginia will honor a pistol permit from any other jurisdiction of the country.

Other aspects of its reciprocity include the following:

States That Will Recognize West Virginia Pistol Permit.

If you are a West Virginia licensee, you can possess firearms in these states with your pistol permit. However, make sure that you comply with all laws and regulations of the state before doing so. They are:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Indiana
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Utah

States That Have Restricted Reciprocity With West Virginia.

These states will allow you to make use of your West Virginia gun license to possess firearms, but you must meet other individual requirements before you do so. They include:

  • Colorado 
  • Florida 
  • Georgia 
  • Iowa 
  • Louisiana 
  • Michigan 
  • Minnesota 
  • Nebraska 
  • Nevada 
  • New Mexico 
  • North Carolina 
  • Ohio 
  • Pennsylvania 
  • South Carolina 
  • Tennessee 
  • Texas 
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin 
  • Wyoming 
  • Puerto Rico

States That Do Not Require A Pistol Permit For The Possession Of Firearms

In these states, you can possess firearms without a gun license, as long as you meet the minimum age requirement, and you do not have either a restriction or prohibition for the purchase of firearms. They are.:

  • Arizona 
  • Alaska 
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho 
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine 
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire 
  • Oklahoma 
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont 
  • West Virginia 

FAQs About Gun Permits In West Virginia.

Some of the most frequently asked questions about gun permit in West Virginia include the following:

Do I Need A Permit To Conceal Carry Firearms In West Virginia?

Yes, you can only conceal carry in West Virginia if you have a pistol permit.

For How Long Is West Virginia Concealed Carry Permit Valid?

The maximum validity period for the permit is five years.

How Many Types Of Pistol Permit Does West Virginia Issue?

West Virginia issued two types of pistol permit, a regular permit, and a provisional permit.

Provisional permits are for residents between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one years old.

Can Non-Residents Apply For West Virginia Gun Permits?

West Virginia only issues a permit to residents and military members posted to the state. Other non-residents cannot apply for West Virginia gun licenses.

How Can I Change The Name And Address On My West Virginia Pistol License?

To change the name or address on your West Virginia gun permit, first, complete a change notification form within twenty days of effecting the change, notarize it and submit to a local sheriff office. The cost is five dollars.

What Can I Do If I Lost My West Virginia Permit Or It Gets Stolen?

For missing, stolen, or destroyed permits, submit a notarized statement to the sheriff’s office explaining the circumstances on why you need a duplicate permit. The fee for a duplicate permit is five dollars.

How Soon Can I Apply For West Virginia Gun Permit After Moving To The State?

As soon as you establish residency in West Virginia, you can apply for a gun permit in the sheriff’s office of a local county.

Can I Make Use Of West Virginia Pistol Permit After Moving To Another State In The Country?

No, upon establishing residency in another state, your West Virginia pistol permit becomes invalid and expires immediately.

Do I Need A West Virginia Gun Permit To Open Carry In The State?

No, West Virginia does not require a license for open carry of firearms. It is a permissive open carry state.

What Is The Minimum Age Requirement To Apply For West Virginia Pistol Permit?

You must be at least twenty-one years old to apply for a gun license in West Virginia.

Do I need A Permit To Purchase Firearms In West Virginia?

West Virginia does not issue a license to purchase firearms in the state.

Does My Firearm Permit Exempt Me From Completing A Criminal Record Background Check Before Buying Firearms In West Virginia?

As long as you are a licensee, you do not need to complete a criminal record check to buy firearms in West Virginia.

Do I Need A West Virginia Concealed Permit To Possess Firearms In My Private Property?

No, the state permitless carry extends to private properties like dwelling places and personal workplace.

Do I Need To Complete A Firearm Training Before Applying For West Virginia Concealed Weapon Permit?

Yes, you must complete a state-approved firearm training before you apply for a pistol permit in West Virginia.

What Is The Processing Period For Firearm Permits In West Virginia?

The processing period for both initial and renewal permit applications in West Virginia is forty-five days.

Is West Virginia A Preemption Gun Law State?

Yes, West Virginia is a preemption gun law state.

What Is The Minimum Age Requirement For The Possession Of Firearms In West Virginia?

You must be at least eighteen years before you possess firearms in West Virginia.

Relevant Gun Permit Laws And Legislature In West Virginia.

Some West Virginia pistol permit laws relating to the possession of firearms in the state include the following:

Possession Of Firearms In Private Vehicles.

West Virginia requires a gun permit for firearms in private vehicles, except for anyone who is at least twenty-one years old or eighteen years old for a military member and has legal rights to possess firearms.

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 20-2-5(9)]

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-7-7]

Possession Of Firearms In Roadside Areas.

West Virginia gun laws allow concealed carry of firearms in roadside areas of the state.

Possession Of Firearms In State Parks Forests And Wildlife Management Areas.

According to the statute, [WV DNR State Parks Rules], you do not need a permit to possess firearms in West Virginia parks, forests, or wildlife areas.

Possession Of Firearms In Restaurant And Bar Areas Of The State.

Except there is a post prohibiting the possession of firearms in the area, no gun statute in West Virginia bans the possession of firearms in restaurant and bar areas of the state.

Possession Of Firearms In Hotels.

Hotels in West Virginia can come up with gun policies for the possession of firearms on 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. 

For more information, visit hotel websites and learn more about their firearm regulations.

Possession Of Firearms In Employee Parking Lots.

According to the statute, [W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-7-14], no employer, landowner or agent in charge of a property may prohibit n employee or an invited person from possessing firearms if:

  • The person is a legal firearm owner, and the firearm is lawfully possessed.
  • The person stores the firearm in a vehicle in a parking lot or an area designated for cars.
  • The firearm is not visible from outside the vehicle.
  • The person is lawfully present within the premises.
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