Are you looking for information on Virginia gun laws?
Virginia gun laws operate on a “Shall Issue” policy and allow for concealed carry permits to be issued to residents and non-residents. Applicants for a CCW permit must be 21 or older and complete a firearms training course. For residents, applications are filed with the circuit court in their county of residence and non-residents must mail their application to the State Police. Open carry in Virginia is legal without a permit with the minimum age being 18 provided the person meets other qualifying laws.
Virginia honors all valid out of state CCW permits. Any person issued a concealed carry permit in another state may carry in Virginia provided they meet the following conditions;
Concealed carry permits are issued to residents and non-residents. Any training requirements can be done online or in person with the minimum age of applicants being 21 years old. Application forms can be obtained on this website or picked up from Circuit Courts, Sheriffs office or the Police Department. There is no requirement that you have resided in the county or state for any length of time.
You can apply by mail for a non-resident permit. To request an application package write to the below address and include your full name, address and phone number;Firearms Transaction Center,
Applicants must be at least 21 years old. An instruction list on what you will need for a non-resident permit can be obtained here.
You will need to submit proof that you are competent with a handgun. You can achieve this by any of the following methods;
YES – Without a Permit/License Vehicle carry is allowed in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel. The term “compartment” includes a console, glove compartment, or any other area within or on the vehicle or vessel that possesses the ability to be closed and the term “secured” means that a container or compartment be closed but not necessarily locked.
There is nothing in Virginia gun statutes that state you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. The law does require you to carry your permit, together with photo ID, at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.
Virginia does not have constitutional carry laws.
It is legal to carry in the following areas; State Parks: YES State/National Forests: YES State Game Management Units: YES Road Side Rest Areas: YES
In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol If a Virginia restaurant does not have “NO WEAPONS” signs posted you can open and conceal carry a firearm into the restaurant. However, you are not allowed to consume alcohol if you conceal carry into the restaurant. The Law 18.2-308.012
“No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Virginia gun statutes. There are no legal penalties for 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. GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.
“That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”
(Article I § 13)
This applies to private property if the owner has post a No Weapons sign or requested you do not carry a weapon onto the property. It is a trespass charge.
§ 18.2-308. Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions; penalty.
A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second violation of this section or a conviction under this section subsequent to any conviction under any substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, and a third or subsequent such violation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. For the purpose of this section, a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon’s true nature. It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of clause (i) regarding a handgun, that a person had been issued, at the time of the offense, a valid concealed handgun permit.
B. This section shall not apply to any person while in his own place of abode or the curtilage thereof.
C. Except as provided in subsection A of § 18.2-308.012, this section shall not apply to:
D. This section shall also not apply to any of the following individuals while in the discharge of their official duties, or while in transit to or from such duties: 1. Carriers of the United States mail; 2. Officers or guards of any state correctional institution; 3. Conservators of the peace, except that a judge or justice of the Commonwealth, an attorney for the Commonwealth, or an assistant attorney for the Commonwealth may carry a concealed handgun pursuant to subdivisions C 7 and 10. However, the following conservators of the peace shall not be permitted to carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit as provided in this article: (i) notaries public; (ii) registrars; (iii) drivers, operators, or other persons in charge of any motor vehicle carrier of passengers for hire; or (iv) commissioners in chancery; 4. Noncustodial employees of the Department of Corrections designated to carry weapons by the Director of the Department of Corrections pursuant to § 53.1-29; and 5. Harbormaster of the City of Hopewell.
18.2-283. Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship.
If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
§ 18.2-283.1. Carrying weapon into courthouse.
It is unlawful for any person to possess in or transport into any courthouse in this Commonwealth any (i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind; (ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile, or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon; or (iii) other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in § 18.2-308.1, and those weapons specified in subsection A of § 18.2-308. Any such weapon shall be subject to seizure by a law-enforcement officer. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any police officer, sheriff, law-enforcement agent or official, conservation police officer, conservator of the peace, magistrate, court officer, judge, city or county treasurer, or commissioner or deputy commissioner of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission while in the conduct of such person’s official duties.
§ 18.2-308.1. Possession of firearm, stun weapon, or other weapon on school property prohibited; penalty.
A. If any person knowingly possesses any
(i) stun weapon as defined in this section;
(ii) knife, except a pocket knife having a folding metal blade of less than three inches; or
(iii) weapon, including a weapon of like kind, designated in subsection A of § 18.2-308, other than a firearm; upon
(a) the property of any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds;
(b) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or
(c) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. If any person knowingly possesses any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material while such person is upon
(i) any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds;
(ii) that portion of any property open to the public and then exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; or
(iii) any school bus owned or operated by any such school, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.
C. If any person knowingly possesses any firearm designed or intended to expel a projectile by action of an explosion of a combustible material within a public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school building and intends to use, or attempts to use, such firearm, or displays such weapon in a threatening manner, such person shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony and sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years to be served consecutively with any other sentence. The exemptions set out in § 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to;
(i) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of the school’s curriculum or activities;
(ii) a person possessing a knife customarily used for food preparation or service and using it for such purpose;
(iii) persons who possess such weapon or weapons as a part of any program sponsored or facilitated by either the school or any organization authorized by the school to conduct its programs either on or off the school premises;
(iv) any law-enforcement officer;
(v) any person who possesses a knife or blade which he uses customarily in his trade;
(vi) a person who possesses an unloaded firearm that is in a closed container, or a knife having a metal blade, in or upon a motor vehicle, or an unloaded shotgun or rifle in a firearms rack in or upon a motor vehicle;
(vii) a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school; or
(viii) an armed security officer, licensed pursuant to Article 4 (§ 9.1-138 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1, hired by a private or religious school for the protection of students and employees as authorized by such school.
For the purposes of this paragraph, “weapon” includes a knife having a metal blade of three inches or longer and “closed container” includes a locked vehicle trunk.
B. A valid concealed handgun permit issued by Maryland shall be valid in the Commonwealth, provided (i) the holder of the permit is licensed in Maryland to perform duties substantially similar to those performed by Virginia branch pilots licensed pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 54.1-900 et seq.) of Title 54.1 and is performing such duties while in the Commonwealth, and (ii) the holder of the permit is 21 years of age or older.
18.2-308 (H) ….The person issued the permit shall have such permit on his person at all times during which he is carrying a concealed handgun and shall display the permit and a photo-identification issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth or by the United States Department of Defense or United States State Department (passport) upon demand by a law-enforcement officer.
18.2-308 Carrying concealed weapons; exceptions; penalty.
C. Except as provided in subsection A of § 18.2-308.012, this section shall not apply to:
8. Any person who may lawfully possess a firearm and is carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel;
For purposes of this subsection, the term “compartment” includes a console, glove compartment, or any other area within or on the vehicle or vessel that possesses the ability to be closed and the term “secured” means that a container or compartment be closed but not necessarily locked.
The Minimum age to transport a firearm is 18
18.2-308.7. Possession or transportation of certain firearms by persons under the age of 18; penalty.It shall be unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport a handgun or assault firearm anywhere in the Commonwealth. For the purposes of this section, “handgun” means any pistol or revolver or other firearm originally designed, made and intended to fire single or multiple projectiles by means of an explosion of a combustible material from one or more barrels when held in one hand and “assault firearm” means any (i) semi-automatic centerfire rifle or pistol which expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (ii) shotgun with a magazine which will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered. A violation of this section shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor.
This section shall not apply to:
1. Any person (i) while in his home or on his property; (ii) while in the home or on the property of his parent, grandparent, or legal guardian; or (iii) while on the property of another who has provided prior permission, and with the prior permission of his parent or legal guardian if the person has the landowner’s written permission on his person while on such property;
2. Any person who, while accompanied by an adult, is at, or going to and from, a lawful shooting range or firearms educational class, provided that the weapons are unloaded while being transported;
3. Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting or going to and from a hunting area or preserve, provided that the weapons are unloaded while being transported; and
4. Any person while carrying out his duties in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard of this Commonwealth or any other state.
§ 15.2-915. Control of Firearms; Applicability to Authorities and Local Governmental Agencies.
A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, shall not be construed to provide express authorization. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a locality from adopting workplace rules relating to terms and conditions of employment of the workforce. However, no locality shall adopt any workplace rule, other than for the purposes of a community services board or behavioral health authority as defined in § 37.2-100, that prevents an employee of that locality from storing at that locality’s workplace a lawfully possessed firearm and ammunition in a locked private motor vehicle. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101, from acting within the scope of his duties. The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail, juvenile detention facility, or state-governed entity, department, or agency.
B. Any local ordinance, resolution or motion adopted prior to the effective date of this act governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, other than those expressly authorized by statute, is invalid.
C. In addition to any other relief provided, the court may award reasonable attorney fees, expenses, and court costs to any person, group, or entity that prevails in an action challenging (i) an ordinance, resolution, or motion as being in conflict with this section or (ii) an administrative action taken in bad faith as being in conflict with this section.
D. For purposes of this section, “workplace” means “workplace of the locality.”
Private gun sales without background checks are legal in Virginia. The only requirement is that both the seller and buyer are residents of the state in which the sale occurs.
Background checks can be made on private gun sales at gun shows, this is entirely voluntary. Police will be stationed at the gun show and if requested will do a background check for a fee of $2.
The Virginia State Police have printed a guide on private gun sales.
Concealed carry permits/licenses are issued by the circuit court of the county or city where the applicant resides.
45 Days The application for a concealed carry permit/license must be processed within 45 days of the application being received.
Yes you can open carry but not in off-limit areas.
To purchase a handgun you must be at least 21 years old. For a rifle or shotgun a person must be at least 18 years old.
Both the seller and buyer of a handgun must reside in the state that the transaction occurs. You should keep a record of when the firearm was sold and to whom plus the serial number.
No, firearms are not registered in Virginia, one exception is machine guns.
Non-Resident permits are issued by the Virginia State Police.
A concealed carry permit is not required while carrying a handgun within a vehicle. Provided the handgun is secured within a container within the vehicle. The container does not have to be locked.
Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4 pm
Address 2425 Nimmo Parkway
City Virginia Beach, VA 23456-9017
Phone (757) 385-4181