CONCEAL CARRY INFO

WEST VIRGINIA

EVEN THOUGH WVA HAS CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY HERE ARE SOME BENEFITS TO GETTING A PERMIT. FIRST OF ALL YOU GET RECIPROCITY WITH ALL THESE STATES BELOW. ALSO WHEN BUYING A FIREARM YOU WILL SPEND LESS TIME BECAUSE THE FFL CAN USE YOUR PERMIT IN LIEU OF NICS CHECK.

Summary of West Virginia Gun Laws

West Virginia is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the county level by the sheriff’s office.

There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual. 

West Virginia is a constitutional carry state. Open carry is legal with no requirement to have a license to carry a firearm, provided the person is at least 18 years old and is legally entitled to have a firearm under state and federal law. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and courthouses. 

To concealed carry without a license, a person must be 21 years or older and not be legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. If an 18- to 20-year-old wishes to concealed carry they would require a Provisional Concealed Handgun License (CHL). West Virginia CHLs are issued to residents and members of the military permanently posted in West Virginia. CHLs require a firearms training course in handling and firing a handgun. In terms of reciprocity, West Virginia honors all out-of-state concealed carry permits.

West Virginia is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” law. A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using reasonable and proportionate force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence, or to terminate the intruder’s or attacker’s unlawful entry if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder or attacker may kill or inflict serious bodily harm upon the occupant or others in the home or residence, or if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder or attacker intends to commit a felony in the home or residence and the occupant reasonably believes deadly force is necessary. There is no duty to retreat in any place a person has a legal right to be if the person reasonably believes that he or she or another is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which he or she or another can only be saved by the use of deadly force against the intruder or attacker. The justified use of reasonable and proportionate force under this section constitutes a full and complete defense to any civil action brought by an intruder or attacker against a person using such force.

West Virginia Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older (individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 may apply for a provisional permit to carry);

  • Have completed a training course in the handling and firing of a handgun that meets the requirements of state law;

  • Be a bona fide United States citizen or legal resident;

  • Be a resident of the state and of the county in which the application is made;

  • Not be addicted to alcohol or a controlled substance or drug, and is not “an unlawful user thereof,” as evidenced by either of the following within the 3 years immediately prior to the application: 1) Residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism or alcohol detoxification or drug treatment; or 2) Two or more convictions for driving while under the influence or driving while impaired;

  • Not have been convicted of a felony, (unless the conviction has been expunged or set aside or the applicant’s civil rights have been restored or the applicant has been pardoned for the offense);

  • Not have been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” as defined under federal law;

  • Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence within the 5 years immediately preceding the application;

  • Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery under state law (or has not been convicted of a misdemeanor offense with similar essential elements of these crimes in another jurisdiction outside West Virginia) in which the victim was a: 1) current or former spouse; 2) current or former sexual or intimate partner; 3) person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited; 4) parent or guardian; 5) defendant’s child or ward; or 6) member of the defendant’s household at the time of the offense;

  • Not be under indictment for a felony offense or is not currently serving a sentence of confinement, parole, probation or other court-ordered supervision imposed by a court of any jurisdiction, or is the subject of an emergency or temporary domestic violence protective order, or is the subject of a final domestic violence protective order entered by a court of any jurisdiction;

  • Not have been adjudicated mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to a mental institution, unless the person presents a court order reflecting that the person is no longer under the disability and the applicant’s right to possess or receive a firearm have been restored;

  • Not be otherwise prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm by state law; and

  • Meet federal law requirements.

Fees:

Initial Permit & Renewals $75 + $25 background check fee

Provisional Permit $25 + $40 background check fee

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

45 days

Application:

Link to application

Link to Provisional CHL application

Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

Permits issued only to members of the military permanently posted in West Virginia.The process is the same as for residents.

Name/Address Changes:

You must complete the Change Notification Form within 20 days, have it notarized and submit it to your local Sheriff's office. Pay the $5 fee.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

You may obtain a duplicate or substitute license for a fee of $5 by filing a notarized statement with the issuing sheriff indicating that your license has been lost or destroyed.

West Virginia Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a West Virginia Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete a firearm training course if required.

 

Step 2:

Download the application form.

Step 3:

File your completed and notarized application at the sheriff’s office for the county in which you reside. You will need the following:

  • Firearms course certificate;

  • Passport-style photo; and

  • Driver’s license/ID card.

Pay the fee.

Step 4:

The sheriff will conduct an investigation relative to the information contained in the application as required by state law. Upon completion of the investigation and if a license to carry a concealed pistol/revolver is approved and issued, you will pay an additional $25 fee to the sheriff.

Step 5:

The sheriff will immediately forward to the state police a certified copy of the approved application and will forward the $25 fee within 30 days.

Step 6:

You will be contacted when the license is ready to be picked up.

West Virgina issues provisional concealed handgun licenses to applicants that are 18-20 years old. Provisional CFPs expire on the holder’s 21st birthday and in order to change over to a standard permit after age 21, a complete application, including fingerprints, photo, and fees must be submitted for a standard permit.

Firearms Training Requirements in West Virginia

The successful completion of any of the following courses fulfills this training requirement:

  • Any official National Rifle Association (NRA) handgun safety or training course;

  • Any handgun safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by an official law-enforcement organization, community college, junior college, college or private or public institution or organization or handgun training school utilizing instructors duly certified by the institution;

  • Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified as such by the state or by the NRA; and

  • Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by any branch of the United States Military, Reserve or National Guard.

In order to satisfy the handgun safety and training course requirement, proof of actual live firing of ammunition by the applicant is required.

West Virginia Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in West Virginia?
  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes.

  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Yes, without a license for persons at least 21 years old and legally entitled to have a firearm under state and federal law. 

  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.

  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests and WMAs? Yes.

Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in West Virginia?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • Any public primary or secondary education building, structure, facility or grounds including a vocational education building, structure, facility or grounds where secondary vocational education programs are conducted or at a school-sponsored function, or in or on a private primary or secondary education building, structure or facility;

  • Any school bus;

  • The State Capitol Complex;

  • Regional jails, detention facilities or State Division of Corrections facilities;

  • County courthouses or any facility housing a court of this state;

  • Any building or area limited by municipal code. Certain municipalities may have further handgun restrictions in municipal code. Before carrying a weapon in a West Virginia municipality, it is recommended that you inquire as to such laws with the appropriate city attorney’s office;

  • Any property where firearms are prohibited by the owner, lessee or other person charged with the care, custody and control of the real property;

  • Wherever signs are posted indicating weapon restrictions; and

  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

WV Offers a One-Time $50 Tax Credit Towards Conceal Carry Training. If you already took a course or are planning I would take advantage of this. Below is a rough description about the credit. Also below is the link you can click to download the form (it is a very simple form). I have these in my classroom as well but for anyone who took a class from someone else or wants to have this before taking a class here it is.

A credit is allowed against West Virginia Personal Income Tax for the costs incurred during the taxable year for training courses or classes taken by the primary taxpayer and/or spouse for the purposes of applying for and qualifying for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in this state. This is a one-time credit limited to the lesser of actual costs or the maximum amount of credit allowable with respect to any taxpayer and/or spouse not to exceed $50 per taxpayer ($50 each in the case of taxpayer and spouse). This credit is not allowed with respect to any person who fails to qualify or is denied a permit after applying therefore.

Click the Red PDF file to the right to download the $50 Tax Credit form. ---------------->

      VIRGINIA

Summary of Virginia Gun Laws

Virginia is a shall-issue state. 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.

There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual, provided the buyer and seller are both Virginia residents.

Open carry is legal in Virginia without a permit. The minimum age is 18 years old.

Concealed carry is legal with a license/permit. Virginia Handgun Permits (VHPs) are issued to both residents and non-residents at least 21 years old and require a firearms training course that has been approved by the state. Some areas are off-limits, including airport terminals and places of worship during services. In terms of reciprocity, Virginia honors all out-of-state concealed carry permits.

Virginia is a Castle Doctrine state. In Virginia, there is no duty to retreat and you can defend yourself at any location you are legally permitted to be. Deadly force can only be used if you are under immediate threat and fear you or another person will be killed or grievously wounded. However, you must retreat if you are a party to the problem. Situations where you would be required to retreat include if you make a rude gesture or yell a threat to a person.

Virginia Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old;

  • Reside in the county in which the application is submitted;

  • Demonstrate competence with a handgun;

  • Not have been convicted of 2 or more misdemeanors within the 5-year period immediately preceding the application;

  • Not be addicted to, or be an unlawful user or distributor of, marijuana or any controlled substance;

  • Not have been convicted of public drunkenness, or of a substantially similar offense within the 3-year period immediately preceding the application;

  • Not be a habitual drunkard;

  • Not be a person whom the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence based on specific acts by the applicant, is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently to endanger others;

  • Not have been convicted of any assault, assault and battery, sexual battery, discharging of a firearm or brandishing a firearm within the 3-year period immediately preceding the application;

  • Not have been convicted of stalking or have a charge pending;

  • Not be subject to a restraining order or protective order against family abuse or to protect the health and safety of any person;

  • Not have previous convictions or adjudications of delinquency based on an offense which would have been at the time of conviction a felony if committed by an adult [Only convictions occurring within 16 years following the later of the date of (i) the conviction or adjudication or (ii) release from any incarceration imposed upon such conviction or adjudication shall be deemed to be “previous convictions.”];

  • Not have been acquitted of a crime by reason of insanity unless he or she was discharged from custody more than 5 years ago;

  • Not have been adjudicated legally incompetent or incapacitated unless his or her competency or capacity was restored more than 5 years ago;

  • Not have been involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility, ordered to mandatory outpatient treatment, or the subject of a temporary detention order who agrees to voluntary admission to a mental health facility, unless, in the case of involuntary admission, he or she was released more than 5 years ago;

  • Has been convicted of a felony or has a felony charge pending;

  • Not be a fugitive from justice;

  • Not have been discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

  • Not have received mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment in a residential setting within 5 years prior to the date of his or her application for a concealed handgun permit; and

  • Meet federal law requirements.

Fees:

Initial and renewals for residents $50 ($15 for King William County residents)

Initial permit for non-residents $100

There are no fees for retired law enforcement officers with 15 years of service

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

45 days

Application:

Link to application

Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

Applicants who do not reside in Virginia can apply by mail. An application package can be obtained by emailing the Virginia state police at nonrespermit@vsp.virginia.gov or writing to them at the following address:

Firearms Transaction Center 
Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permits
Criminal Justice Information Services Division
Department of State Police
P.O. Box 85141 
Richmond, VA 23285-5141

The application package will provide requirement and qualification information, a Virginia State Police fingerprint card, a return envelope for the completed application and a checklist to ensure that all necessary information is provided. Further information can be viewed on the Virginia State Police Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permit webpage

The processing time for nonresident concealed handgun permits can be 3 to 6 months.

Name/Address Changes:

You must provide written notice of a change of address on a form provided by the Department of State Police and pay a $10 fee.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

If your concealed handgun permit has been destroyed, mutilated, stolen or lost, you may apply for a replacement permit. Contact your county sheriff. Some counties have replacement applications online. The cost is $5.

Virginia Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Virginia Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete a state-approved firearms training course.

Step 2:

Download the application or pick one up from the circuit court or sheriff’s office.

Step 3:

File the application along with a copy of a firearms training certificate in person or by mail with the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the applicant resides.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.

Firearms Training Requirements in Virginia

An applicant must demonstrate competence with a handgun by one of the following:

  • Completing any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or a similar agency of another state;

  • Completing any National Rifle Association (NRA) firearms safety or training course;

  • Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services;

  • Completing any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;

  • Presenting evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or current military service or proof of an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed services;

  • Obtaining or previously having held a license to carry a firearm in this Commonwealth or a locality thereof, unless such license has been revoked for cause;

  • Completing any firearms training or safety course or class, including an electronic, video or online course, conducted by a state-certified or NRA-certified firearms instructor;

  • Completing any governmental police agency firearms training course and qualifying to carry a firearm in the course of normal police duties; or

  • Completing any other firearms training which the court deems adequate.

Virginia Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Virginia?
  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, unless posted and provided you consume no alcohol.

  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Yes, with a permit or without a permit if it is secured in a container or compartment.

  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.

  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests and WMAs? Yes, with a permit, except for Hog Island WMA, Buggs Island or upon the water on Gaston Reservoir.

Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Virginia?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

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