Virginia Gun Laws
In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity laws. Concealed carry refers to the practice of carrying a concealed firearm in public. Virginia is a “shall-issue” state, meaning it issues concealed carry permits to its residents and also recognizes permits from other states under certain conditions. We will explore the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit, the areas where carrying a concealed firearm is allowed, and states that have reciprocity agreements with Virginia.
Overview of Virginia Gun Laws
Virginia allows residents to apply for a concealed carry permit through the Virginia Handgun Permit process. Non-residents can also obtain a Virginia Handgun Permit if they possess a valid state license. Applicants can mail their applications to the circuit court for residents or the Virginia State Police for non-residents.
As of July 1, 2020, all handgun and rifle sales in Virginia require a completed background check through a licensed dealer. Residents without a valid concealed carry permit are subject to a one-handgun restriction. Open carry without a permit is allowed for individuals aged 18 and above who can legally own firearms, with certain restrictions in local towns.
Virginia Gun Laws Quick Facts
No – Virginia is not considered a constitutional carry state.
Open Carry Permitted?
Yes – Virginia allows for open carry without a permit for individuals 18 years or older who can legally own a firearm.
Carry In Vehicle?
Yes – Virginia allows for concealed carry of a firearm with a permit. When transporting handguns without a permit, the handgun must be secured in a locked container, such as a glovebox or center console.
Carry In State Park?
Yes – Virginia allows for concealed carry within state and national parks for individuals with a valid Virginia CCW permit.
Carry In Restaurants?
Yes – Virginia allows for concealed carry within restaurants and bars for individuals with a valid CCW permit, as long as they are not intoxicated.
No Weapon Sign Enforced?
No – While there is no specific law regarding “No Weapons” signs, it is essential to respect specific areas within the Virginia code that prohibit firearms.
Must Notify Officer?
No – Virginia does not have a duty to inform law enforcement officers of firearm possession.
Virginia CCW Reciprocity List
Virginia honors all valid out-of-state CCW permits, allowing permit holders from other states to carry concealed weapons in Virginia under certain conditions:
- They are at least 21 years old.
- They must carry photo ID issued by a government agency of any state, the US Department of State, or the US Department of Defense.
- The permit must be displayed with photo ID upon request from law enforcement.
- The permit holder must not have had a Virginia concealed carry permit revoked in the past.
Where Is CCW Allowed in Virginia?
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Roadside rest areas
- All areas of the state not listed as Off-Limits
Places Not Allowed
- Private property when prohibited by the owner or posted as prohibited
- Places of religious worship during religious meetings
- School property or school functions (School buses are school property)
- Non-secure areas of airport terminals
- Regional Jail or Juvenile Detention Facility
- Any place where carrying firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
Virginia Conceal Carry Laws
Yes, open carrying a handgun without a permit/license is legal in Virginia, and the minimum age for open carry is 18.
Carry In Vehicle
Yes, vehicle carry is allowed in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel, and the handgun must be secured in a container or compartment within the vehicle or vessel.
Carry In State Parks
Yes, it is legal to carry in state parks, national forests, state game management units, and roadside rest areas.
Carry In Restaurants
Yes, you can carry in restaurants that serve alcohol if they do not have “NO WEAPONS” signs posted. However, concealed carry permit holders are not allowed to consume alcohol while carrying in such establishments.
Virginia’s concealed carry laws provide residents and non-residents with clear guidelines on obtaining permits and where they can carry concealed firearms. It is essential for individuals to understand and abide by these laws to ensure the safety of themselves and others. Always remember to check for reciprocity agreements with other states before carrying a concealed weapon across state lines.
1. Can I open carry without a permit in Virginia?
Yes, open carry without a permit is allowed in Virginia for individuals who are 18 years or older and can legally own a firearm.
2. Are there places where carrying a concealed firearm is prohibited in Virginia?
Yes, there are specific places where carrying firearms is not allowed, such as private property when prohibited by the owner, places of religious worship during religious meetings, courthouses, and school property.
3. Does Virginia have constitutional carry laws?
No, Virginia does not have constitutional carry laws. A concealed carry permit is required to carry a concealed firearm.
4. Can I carry a concealed weapon in Virginia state parks?
Yes, individuals with a valid Virginia CCW permit can carry concealed weapons in state parks and national parks.
5. Are “No Weapons” signs enforced in Virginia?
There is no specific mention of “No Weapons” signs in Virginia gun statutes. However, certain areas within the Virginia code may prohibit firearms, and it is essential to respect these restrictions.