Carrying A Gun Legally In Virginia
Having a gun is a risky affair, and there have to be some specific laws so that no one can misuse the weapon. In Virginia, it is illegal to own a concealed weapon; it could be a handgun for home defense, a switchable knife, or even a razor. According to the Virginian Code § 18.2-307.1, any pistol or revolver or other firearms, however, exceptions include a machine gun, which could be originally designed, made, and used to fire a projectile using an explosion of combustible material with one or more barrels when held in one hand.
What Is The Concealed Carry Permit?
If you have this permit, it will free you from the prohibitions imposed by the Virginian Code § 18.2-307.1. In simple terms, you will be able to carry a concealed weapon like a pistol, revolver, or other firearms, under certain restrictions.
You will find two types of permits in Virginia: a resident handgun permit and a non-resident handgun permit. The process of applications and qualifications are a bit different from each other.
Who Can Apply For A Carry Permit?
If you are a resident, then you need to prove the following:
- That you are a resident of Virginia.
- You are of 21 years or older.
- You can demonstrate that you are capable of using firearms by showing proof of legitimate firearms training.
If you are a non-resident, you can still apply for a permit. This permit will be valid for five years.
To prove that you are eligible to get a permit in the state of Virginia, there are certain documents you have to show. Before you get a permit, it is always easier to maintain a checklist to ensure you have everything required.
1. Age Proof
The first document that you have to show is your age proof. Before the officers even get to the other documents, they would need to see evidence that you are 21 years or older.
According to the Virginian Code § 18.2-308.02, you must demonstrate competence by completing the firearms training. There are certain documents that will prove this for you:
If you have completed any hunter education or hunter society safe course, which is certified by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or any such similar agencies of another state
On completion of any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course
If you have completed any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public. The courses could be offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college, college (private or public), any firearms training school which has instructors who are certified by the National Rifle Association. The Department of Criminal Justice Services can also certify you.
Completion of any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course which are offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement
If you can present any evidence which is almost equal to an experience with a firearm. Usually, if one participates in an organized shooting competition, you can show that certificate. You can also show proof of any current military service or any honorable discharge from any armed services branch.
Having a license to carry firearms in the commonwealth or a locality can also be considered. However, make sure that it hasn’t been revoked.
If you have completed any governmental police agency firearms training course and are qualified to carry a firearm in the course of the regular police duties
If you have completed any other firearms training which the court seems to be adequate, you are eligible for getting a permit.
Process Of Application
There are high chances of messing up when it comes to official documents. As you might already be stressed with all the documents and proofs, it would be quite helpful to know the whole procedure before applying. In this way, you can be prepared beforehand.
1. Process For Residents
The first step is to fill up the paper application after passing all the requirements to apply for the permit. You have to fill up the application and present it to a court.
This application has to be submitted at the Circuit Court in the country or the city you are a resident. However, if you are a member of the armed forces, you can submit it to the county or the city you domicile you are in.
For the application, you might have to pay a minimal fee of $10. However, for the background investigation, you might have to pay an extra fee of $35. By statute, the whole process shouldn’t take more than $50.
You have to get the application signed under oath from a public notary.
Always keep the documents from your firearms training handy. You might have to show it multiple times.
Once they get the receipt of the application, the court will consult with either the Sheriff or the Police Department of that county or the city. They will also receive a report from the Central Criminals Record Exchange.
If the court approves, the permit will be issued to you via the United States mail within 45 days. The State Police will be informed about the issue too. However, if the court doesn’t approve, you won’t hear anything from the mail.
2. Process For Non-residents
If you are a non-resident, the process for applying would be a bit different from that of the residents.
- Application- To apply for the permit, you can find your application online. It should be similar to this: http://www.vsp.virginia.gov/downloads/firearms/Concealed%20Handgun%20Permit%20Application%20SP248%20rev%207-1-2016.pdf
- Photographs- The Department of State Police specifies a particular type of picture for the application. Make sure to contact them and provide two such photographs.
- Fingerprints- Again, the State police will require your fingerprints to check if you have any recorded state or national criminal history record. You have to submit your fingerprints on a card.
- Under Oath- After you complete all the verification, the State Police will provide you with another form. You have to sign in under oath in front of a notary.
- Demonstrate competency with firearms- Finally, you will be required to provide documents or certificates to prove that you are competent with firearms. This verification process is similar to that for the residents.
How to get a concealed carry permit in VA – Be Safe!
We hope we have answered your question on how to get a concealed carry permit in VA. It is safe to be aware of all the procedures before applying. This will make it easier for you and the officers to complete the procedure efficiently. Be mindful of any middlemen or illegal offices that try to help you with the process. It is best to rely on yourself and governmental officials.
Michael Castaneda is a 45-year old war veteran from Michigan with a deep interest in guns. After the war, Michael took a pledge to never touch a gun except for the purpose of self-defense. He created Machine Gun Books to guide people on self-defense and providing information on guns and accessories.