West Virginia Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW): Gun Laws, Application, Requirements & Online Training
If you’re a gun owner and reside in West Virginia or plan to visit the state, it’s essential to be well-informed about the laws and regulations surrounding concealed carry permits. This article provides an in-depth overview of West Virginia’s concealed carry laws, application process, reciprocity, and location restrictions to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities.
West Virginia is a shall-issue state, meaning if you meet all the specified requirements, you are entitled to receive a concealed carry permit. However, it’s crucial to understand the rules and restrictions to ensure safe and lawful firearm ownership and carry.
West Virginia Gun Laws
To be eligible for a concealed carry permit, you must be at least twenty-one years old and a resident of West Virginia or a member of the United States Armed Forces posted in the state. If you are between eighteen and twenty years old, you can apply for a provisional concealed handgun license.
West Virginia CCW Permit Reciprocity
West Virginia honors concealed carry permits issued by other states, and in turn, other states recognize West Virginia’s concealed handgun licenses. However, reciprocity varies from state to state, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific laws of the state you intend to visit.
Places Where Concealed Carry Is Prohibited
While having a concealed carry permit grants you the right to carry your firearm in many places, some locations are considered off-limits. These include:
- Schools and educational facilities
- Courtrooms and state capitol buildings
- Prisons and correctional facilities
- Areas with posted firearm restrictions
Places Where Concealed Carry Is Permitted
On the other hand, there are no restrictions on carrying concealed firearms in the following locations:
- Restaurants and bars (unless they have signage prohibiting it)
- Personal vehicles
- Roadsides and rest areas
- State and national parks, forests, and wildlife management areas
- Places of worship (unless they prohibit firearms on their premises)
Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement Officers
Under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, active and retired law enforcement officers can carry concealed firearms nationwide without being subject to state or municipal gun laws. However, retired officers must meet specific qualifications and carry appropriate identification.
Buying and Selling Firearms in West Virginia
Unlike some states, West Virginia does not require a purchase permit or firearm registration. Private gun dealers are not obligated to conduct criminal background checks, but licensed dealers must perform this check before selling a firearm.
CCW Permit Requirements in West Virginia
To apply for a concealed carry permit in West Virginia, you must meet several requirements, including age, completion of a firearm training course, citizenship, residency, and a clean criminal record.
How to Apply for a CCW Permit in West Virginia
The application process involves completing a firearm training course, obtaining the application form, submitting necessary documents, and paying the required fees. The sheriff’s office will conduct an investigation before forwarding the application to the West Virginia State Police for final processing.
West Virginia Concealed Carry Permit FAQs
- The West Virginia CCW permit is valid for five years, after which you must apply for renewal.
- The application fee for initial and renewal permits is twenty-five dollars, with an additional twenty-five dollars for the background check.
- The processing period for the permit application is forty-five days.
Obtaining a concealed carry permit in West Virginia requires fulfilling specific requirements, and understanding the location restrictions is crucial to avoid legal complications. Responsible firearm ownership and carry are essential to ensure safety for oneself and others. If you plan to carry a concealed firearm in another state, make sure to check reciprocity agreements and comply with their laws to exercise your rights lawfully.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. For How Long Will My West Virginia CCW Permit Last?
- The West Virginia concealed carry permit is valid for five years. After this period, you must apply for a renewal to continue carrying concealed firearms legally.
2. How Much Is West Virginia CCW Permit Application?
- The application fee for both initial and renewal permits is twenty-five dollars. Additionally, there is a twenty-five-dollar fee for the background check.
3. When Will I Get My West Virginia CCW Permit?
- The processing period for the permit application is approximately forty-five days. After your application is approved, you will receive a notification to pick up your permit.
4. What is a Provisional Concealed Handgun License?
- West Virginia offers a provisional concealed handgun license for individuals between the ages of eighteen and twenty. This license allows them to carry a concealed handgun until they turn twenty-one.
5. Can I Carry Concealed in West Virginia with a License from Another State?
- Yes, West Virginia recognizes concealed carry permits issued by every other state in the country. If you possess a valid license from another state, you can legally carry concealed in West Virginia.