Virginia Constitutional Carry
Virginia is known for its rich history, scenic landscapes, and diverse culture. However, when it comes to firearm ownership and carry permits, the state has specific laws and regulations that residents and visitors must follow. In this article, we will delve into the details of Virginia’s gun laws, including the requirements for owning a firearm, the process of obtaining a gun permit, areas where firearms are prohibited, and more. Let’s explore everything you need to know about owning and carrying firearms in the state of Virginia.
Understanding Gun Permits in Virginia
Virginia operates under a shall-issue policy, which means that if you meet all the necessary requirements outlined by the state’s gun laws, your gun permit application will be approved. Residents of Virginia can file their gun permit applications at their county’s circuit court, while non-residents will have their processing done by the state police department.
Restrictions on Firearm Purchases
Previously in Virginia, private sales of firearms between residents did not require a criminal background check. However, a new law enacted on July 1, 2020, requires all sellers of firearms to conduct a criminal record check. There are also restrictions on the number of handguns an individual can purchase per month, with exceptions made for gun permit holders.
Possession of Firearms in Virginia
Virginia allows open carry without a permit for individuals who are eighteen years old or older and have no federal or state prohibitions on firearm ownership. However, open carry is restricted in certain regions, and counties have the authority to impose additional restrictions.
Concealed carry in Virginia requires a valid permit, which is also accepted for non-residents with out-of-state permits recognized by Virginia. The gun permit is valid for residents and non-residents aged twenty-one and above.
Firearms in Restaurants, Bars, and Hotels
Firearm regulations vary in restaurants and bars. Generally, permit holders are allowed to possess firearms, except in areas with explicit prohibitions or if they are under the influence. Hotels and similar establishments can develop their firearm policies, but no local municipality or employer can prohibit legal firearm owners from storing their guns in a locked private vehicle.
Prohibited Areas for Firearms
Virginia gun laws prohibit firearms in various places such as schools, colleges, courthouses, state capitol buildings, prisons, and office buildings. Firearm possession is also restricted in certain private properties and buildings with posted prohibition signs, airport terminals, and specific wildlife management areas.
Application Process for Gun Permits
To apply for a gun permit in Virginia, individuals must enroll in a certified firearm training class and complete the application form along with required documents. The permit is valid for five years, and renewal applications can be submitted up to 180 days after expiration.
Requirements for Gun Permit Applications
Applicants must meet several requirements, including being twenty-one years old, a resident of the county they are applying from, and undergoing a firearm training course. Criminal history and mental health evaluations are also taken into account during the application process.
Preemption and Permitless Carry in Virginia
The Virginia state government holds authority over gun laws, and local governments cannot create ordinances that contradict state laws. While preemption laws prohibit local regulation of firearm ownership and sales, areas can still regulate firearm use for safety reasons.
Virginia has well-defined gun laws that ensure responsible firearm ownership and carry permits. Understanding these laws is crucial for residents and visitors alike to comply with the state’s regulations fully. Remember to follow all the requirements when applying for a gun permit, and be aware of the prohibited areas where firearms are not allowed. Respect these laws, and enjoy the beautiful state of Virginia responsibly.
Can I purchase a firearm in Virginia without a background check?
As of July 1, 2020, all sellers of firearms in Virginia are required to conduct a criminal background record check, including private sales between residents.
Do I need a permit for open carry in Virginia?
No, you do not need a permit to open carry in Virginia if you are eighteen years old or more without federal or state prohibitions on firearm ownership. However, some regions and counties may have restrictions on open carry.
Can non-residents carry concealed firearms in Virginia? Non-residents can carry concealed firearms in Virginia with any valid out-of-state permit recognized by the state.
What are the requirements for obtaining a gun permit in Virginia?
To obtain a gun permit in Virginia, you must be twenty-one years old, a resident of the county you are applying from, complete a firearm training course, and meet specific criteria related to criminal history and mental health.
Can I possess firearms in schools or colleges in Virginia?
Generally, firearms are prohibited in any private or publicly owned school or college in Virginia. The only exception is for Virginia handgun permit holders who can keep their firearms unloaded and locked away in a vehicle.