In Virginia, adults 18 and older can purchase and openly carry a gun without a license. However, you must be at least 21 years old and obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed gun in your car or on (or near) your body, unless you are in your own home, on your own property, or at your place of business. (Va. Ann. Code § 18.2-308.) For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Virginia.
To obtain a concealed handgun permit, you must apply at the sheriff’s office in the county where you reside. To qualify, you must:
(Va. Ann. Code § 18.2-308(D).)
Non-Virginia residents may apply to the Virginia State Police for a five year permit to carry a concealed handgun. Application packages are available to download through the State Police website.
To obtain a permit, you must meet the same qualification standards that are applicable to Virginia residents (described above), and you must not be disqualified based on any of the factors listed below.
If you become ineligible or disqualified from possessing a permit, your concealed carry privileges will be revoked and you will be required to return your permit to the State Police Department.
When your permit expires at the end of the five year term, you may apply for a renewal permit. Renewal requires the same application process as for new applications.
Applicants who fall into any of the categories below are disqualified from obtaining a concealed handgun license in Virginia:
(Va. Ann. Code § 18.2-308.09.)
Yes. Virginia recognizes concealed handgun carry permits issued by other states, as long as:
(Va. Ann. Code § 18.2-308(P).)
The Virginia State Police’s website provides a list of states with reciprocity agreements with Virginia.
It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia without a concealed carry permit (unless you are in your own home, on your own property, or at your fixed place of business). Penalties for a first offense include a fine of up to $2,500, up to 12 months in jail, or both.
A second offense is a Class 6 felony. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, at least one year (and up to five years) in prison, or both.
A third or subsequent offense is a Class 5 felony, and incurs a fine of up to $2,500, at least one year (and up to five years) in prison, or both.
If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Virginia, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.