Virginia Gun Permit

Virginia Gun Permit: Laws, Cost, Restrictions, & FAQs

If you’re a resident of Virginia and interested in possessing firearms, it’s essential to understand the state’s gun permit laws and requirements. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about obtaining a gun permit in Virginia, the different types of permits available, the application process, costs, and more. So let’s dive in!

Virginia Gun Permit Summary

Virginia is a “shall-issue” state, meaning that the state authorities must issue a gun permit to an applicant who meets all the required qualifications. The issuance of permits is handled differently for residents and non-residents. Residents can apply for gun permits through their local county’s sheriff’s office, while non-residents must apply through the Virginia state police department. It’s important to note that Virginia does not issue permits for purchasing firearms within the state.

How to Get a Gun Permit in Virginia?

To obtain a gun permit in Virginia, you must be at least twenty-one years old and have no prohibition against the possession of firearms in the state. The permits issued in Virginia are valid for concealed carry only, and you must meet all the requirements mandated by the state gun laws.

Virginia Gun Permit Laws

In Virginia, you can openly carry firearms if you are at least eighteen years old and have legal rights to possess firearms. However, certain local areas like Alexandria and Newport prohibit open carry, especially in parks, events, and public buildings.

The state has a magazine limit of twenty rounds for handguns, and any firearm exceeding this is considered an assault weapon. Additionally, for the possession of machine guns and automatic firearms, you must register them within twenty-four hours after acquisition, with the Virginia state police in charge of this registration process. There are no specific restrictions or prohibitions regarding types of ammunition in Virginia.

See also  Virginia Gun Laws

Virginia Pistol Permit Requirements

Obtaining a gun permit in Virginia involves meeting several requirements, which include:

  • Meeting the minimum age requirement of twenty-one.
  • Being a resident of the county where the application is made.
  • Undergoing an approved Virginia firearm training to demonstrate competency in firearms.
  • Not having multiple misdemeanor charges within five years before the application.
  • Not being a drug addict or illegal user of controlled substances.
  • No conviction for any drunkenness crime within three years before the application.
  • Not being considered a threat to others or likely to possess a firearm illegally.
  • No conviction for violent crimes, sexual assault, or brandishing of a firearm within three years before the application.
  • No conviction or indictment for stalking.
  • No restrictions or protective orders from the court regarding a person or family member.
  • No involvement in juvenile delinquent acts that would be felonies if committed by an adult.
  • No acquittal from crimes due to insanity or mental impairment within five years before the application.
  • Not being a legally incompetent person, unless rights have been restored for at least five years before applying for a concealed carry permit.
  • Not being voluntarily or involuntarily admitted to a mental hospital, with a discharge of more than five years before the application.
  • Not being a felon or involved in an ongoing felony case.
  • Not being a fugitive or having an arrest warrant.
  • Not being a dishonorably discharged member of the United States Armed Forces.
  • Not being mentally impaired or undergoing drug rehabilitation within five years before applying for a CCW in Virginia.
  • Meeting all federal law requirements for permit application.

Different Types of Gun Permits in Virginia

Virginia issues different types of permits for firearms:

  1. State permit to purchase long guns: Virginia does not issue a state permit to purchase long guns.
  2. State permits to purchase handguns: Virginia does not issue a state permit to purchase handguns.
  3. State permit to open carry: Virginia is a permissive state, so no permit is required for open carry.
  4. State permits to conceal carry long guns: Virginia does not issue a state permit to conceal carry long guns.
  5. State permits to conceal carry handguns: Virginia issues a pistol permit for concealed carry of handguns within the state.
See also  Virginia Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Gun License in Virginia?

The cost for initial and renewal permit applications for residents of Virginia is fifty dollars, except for King William County, where the cost is fifteen dollars. Non-residents applying for Virginia gun licenses will pay a hundred dollars for initial permit applications. Retired law enforcement officers with at least fifteen years of service in Virginia can apply for a gun license at no cost.

Gun Permits Application and Renewal Law in Virginia

To apply for a gun permit in Virginia, you must complete a firearm training application and obtain the necessary form, which can be downloaded online or obtained from the sheriff’s office or local county. After submitting the application along with the required documents and training certificate, you will receive an approval or denial notification.

The permit is valid for five years, and you will receive a reminder mail for renewal at least ninety days before its expiration. You have a grace period of one hundred and eighty days after the expiry date to apply for renewal. If this period elapses, you may need to apply for a new permit.

Gun Permit Reciprocity with Virginia

Virginia has reciprocity agreements with many states, acknowledging permits from different jurisdictions in the United States. Some states recognize Virginia pistol permits, while others have restricted reciprocity, meaning that you must meet additional requirements to carry firearms with a Virginia gun license. There are also “permitless carry” states where you can open or conceal carry without a gun permit as long as you meet other firearm requirements.

See also  Virginia Open Carry


In conclusion, obtaining a gun permit in Virginia requires meeting specific requirements, completing approved firearm training, and following the application process. With this comprehensive guide, you can navigate the complexities of Virginia’s gun laws confidently.

Remember, responsible gun ownership entails understanding and adhering to all applicable laws and regulations to ensure safety and security for yourself and others.


Q1. Do I Need a Permit to Conceal Carry Firearms in Virginia?

Yes, a pistol permit is required for concealed carry in Virginia.

Q2. For How Long Is Virginia Gun Permit Valid?

A Virginia gun license is valid for five years, after which you must apply for a renewal.

Q3. Can Non-Residents Apply for Virginia Gun Permits?

Yes, non-residents can apply for a gun permit via mail through the Virginia state police department.

Q4. How Can I Change the Name and Address on My Virginia Gun License?

To change your name or address on a Virginia pistol license, submit a notice in the form provided by the state police, and the cost for this is ten dollars.

Q5. What Can I Do If I lose my Virginia Gun Permit or It Gets Stolen?

For destroyed, missing, or stolen Virginia gun licenses, contact your county’s local sheriff’s office for a replacement permit, costing ten dollars.

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