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Virginia Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my Virginia permit?
No
Yes
Yes, Selected State(s)

Have concealed carry permits from more than one state?

Check out our new Multi-State Permit Tool here!

632k
Permits Issued
50
STATES HONORED
35
RECIPROCATING STATES
8.5M
STATE POPULATION
21
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
32
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
7.42%
PERMIT PERCENTAGE
5
YEARS PERMIT VALID
90
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

I can legally carry a concealed firearm in Virginia, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?

Based on our most recent research, the USCCA has identified just two states with statutes against carrying a concealed firearm while wearing a mask: California and Illinois (although sheriffs and county prosecutors in Illinois have made statements indicating that wearing a mask to protect others from COVID-19 while carrying a gun isn’t illegal as long as the wearer isn’t wearing the mask while committing a crime). Due to the large number of inquiries, some states have publicly addressed their laws regarding wearing masks, clarifying that they actually refer to individuals concealing their identity with the intention to commit illegal acts or to specifically hide their identity, and do not address wearing a mask while legally carrying a concealed firearm. The following statute was identified in Virginia, although it makes no mention of concealed carry.

  • 18.2-422. It is unlawful for any person over 16 years of age to, with the intent to conceal his identity, wear any mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to be or appear in any public place, or upon any private property in this Commonwealth without first having obtained from the owner or tenant thereof consent to do so in writing. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to persons 

(ii) engaged in professions, trades, employment or other activities and wearing protective masks which are deemed necessary for the physical safety of the wearer or other persons;or 

(iv) wearing a mask, hood or other device for bona fide medical reasons upon 

(b) the declaration of a disaster or state of emergency by the Governor in response to a public health emergency where the emergency declaration expressly waives this section, defines the mask appropriate for the emergency, and provides for the duration of the waiver.

If you have further questions, we recommend that you reach out to your local law enforcement office, or district attorney.

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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 or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual, provided the buyer and seller are both Virginia residents. However, based on SB70/HB2 being signed into law, as of July 1, 2020, all sales are required to be completed through a dealer who must submit a background check. Additionally, a one handgun per month purchase restriction is now in effect, although concealed carry permit holders are exempt.

Open carry is legal in Virginia without a permit for anyone who is at least 18 years old who can legally possess a firearm. However,  Localities, such as Alexandria and Newport News may ban the open carry of firearms in public buildings, parks and at special events.

Concealed carry is legal for residents with a Virginia Handgun Permit (HP) and non-residents with any valid state license/permit. Virginia HPs are issued to both residents and non-residents at least 21 years old and require a state-approved firearms training course and demonstrated competence with the firearm. Some areas are off-limits, including airport terminals and places of worship during services. In addition, municipalities may ban guns in government buildings and areas such as public parks, recreation or community centers, and outdoor areas being used during permitted events. In terms of reciprocity, Virginia honors all out-of-state concealed carry permits.

Self-Defense

Although not codified by statute, Virginia case law supports self-defense, a version of the castle doctrine and stand your ground in certain circumstances. There is no duty to retreat, and you can defend yourself at any location you are legally permitted to be.

Defense of Self or Others
Virginia law allows the use of self-defense where a person, who is not the aggressor:

  • Reasonably believes the person is in imminent danger of an overt act threatening unlawful force, serious bodily harm or death; and
  • Uses the amount of force reasonable in relation to the threat.

A person may only use deadly force if there was a present danger of great bodily injury.

An individual is allowed to defend not only his or her person from harm if the person being defended would have been justified in using self-defense.

Defense of Dwelling
Although Virginia law does not allow deadly force to prevent an entry into a home or dwelling, non-deadly force may be used to prevent an unlawful entry into a dwelling. Deadly force is only justified in circumstances where a person reasonably believes the intruder will commit great bodily injury or death.

Virginia Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Virginia allow constitutional carry?

No. Virginia does not allow constitutional carry.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Virginia?

Yes, without a permit. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry.

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Virginia requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Virginia is a shall-issue state.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Virginia to get a concealed carry permit?

The minimum age to concealed carry in Virginia is 21.

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Virginia with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No. A concealed carry permit in Virginia does not allow you to carry weapons other than handguns.

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Virginia?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit. The state prohibits anyone from carrying a stun weapon:

  • In a secure airport terminal;
  • In a courthouse; or
  • On school property (including school buses).

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1]
[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-287.01]
[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-283.1]

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Virginia?

Yes, any person may use pepper spray in the protection of person, life or property.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-312]

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Virginia issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes. Virginia does issue permits to non-residents.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does Virginia allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No, except for references to the issuance of concealed handgun permits in any order book before July 1, 2008. The law allows disclosure:

  • To law enforcement agencies and officers for law enforcement purposes;
  • Of records by the State Police concerning permits issued to nonresidents; and
  • Of statistical summaries, abstracts or other records containing information in an aggregate form that does not identify any individual permittees.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Virginia?

Yes, with a permit. Handguns may be transported in a vehicle without a permit if secured in a container or compartment including a console, glove compartment or any other area of the vehicle or vessel that possesses the ability to be closed.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Virginia?

Yes. Concealed carry is allowed at roadside rest areas in Virginia.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Virginia?

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit. See the National Parks webpage for links to each Park in Virginia.

[4VAC15-40-60(G)]

Carry in Bars/Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Virginia?

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit, unless posted and provided you consume no alcohol.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.012]

Carry/Possess at a hotel?

Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Virginia?

The granting of a concealed handgun permit pursuant to this article shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the owner of private property.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.01(c)]

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Virginia have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

No locality shall adopt any workplace rule, other than for the purposes of a community services board or behavioral health authority as defined in § 37.2-100, that prevents an employee of that locality from storing at that locality's workplace a lawfully possessed firearm and ammunition in a locked private motor vehicle. There is an exception for any local or regional jail, juvenile detention facility or state-governed entity, department or agency.

[Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915]

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Virginia?

No. You are not required to notify an officer that you are carrying unless the officer asks.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.01]

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Virginia have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No more than 20 rounds for handguns.

Although Virginia has no law restricting large capacity ammunition magazines, Virginia law defines “assault firearm” as any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol which expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock. These assault firearms are prohibited from being loaded and carried on or about the person, openly or concealed, on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in the cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William. There are exceptions for concealed handgun permit holders and individuals actually engaged in lawful hunting or lawful recreational shooting activities at established shooting ranges or shooting contests.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-287.4.]

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Virginia have ammunition restrictions?

No. Virginia does not have ammunition restrictions.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Virginia? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No. "No Weapons Allowed" signs have no force of law unless they are posted in areas that are mentioned by the law as being off limits.

Preemption?

Does Virginia have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Partial. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except effective July 1, 2020, localities may prohibit firearms, ammunition, or components thereof in the following places, provided that notice is properly posted:

  • Any building, or portion of a building owned or used by a locality for governmental purposes;
  • Public parks;
  • Recreation or community centers; or
  • Any public street, road, alley, or sidewalk or public right-of-way or other place that is open to the public that is being used by, or is adjacent to, a permitted event or an event that would otherwise require a permit;
  • Prohibit the outdoor shooting of firearms in areas so heavily populated as to make such conduct dangerous to the inhabitants;
  • Impose limited prohibitions on possession of a loaded firearm on public highways;
  • Prohibit the discharge of firearms; and
  • Require the maintenance of safety devices on storage equipment for firearms.

In addition, municipalities may adopt local ordinances regulating the possession and storage of firearms, ammunition or components, or combination thereof, in government buildings and areas such as public parks, recreation or community centers, and outdoor areas being used during permitted events. 

[Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915]
[Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-1209]

Red Flag Law?

Does Virginia have a red flag law?

Yes. SB240/HB674 was signed into law on April 10, 2020. As of July 1, 2020, an attorney for the Commonwealth or a law-enforcement officer may petition the court to issue an ex parte emergency substantial risk order. The order prohibits the person who is subject to the order from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm for the duration of the order. The person is also required to surrender his concealed handgun permit if he possesses one. and advises the person to voluntarily relinquish any firearm within his custody to the law-enforcement agency that serves the order. The order may be issued for a maximum of 180 days.

[Future VCA 19.2-152.13]

Brandishing?

Does Virginia state law define brandishing?

Yes. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-282]

It shall be unlawful for any person to handle recklessly any firearm so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-56.1]

Carry While Using Alcohol or Illegal Drugs?

Does Virginia have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or illegal drugs?

Not while consuming or under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs in a public place.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.012]

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchase Permits?

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Virginia?

No. A permit is not required to purchase a handgun in Virginia.

SB 69/HB 812 was signed into law on April 10, 2020. As of July 1, 2020, any person who is not a licensed firearms dealer will be prohibited from purchasing more than one handgun in a 30-day period. One of the exceptions to the law is for anyone that holds a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit. 

[Future VCA § 18.2-308.2:2]

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Virginia?

Yes. All sales are required to be completed through a dealer who must submit a background check. 

[Future VCA 18.2-308.2:5]

Virginia Permit Exempts from Background Check?

Does my current Virginia concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?

No.

Waiting Period?

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Virginia?

No. There is not a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Virginia.

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in Virginia?

No. Handguns do not need to be registered in Virginia.

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Virginia?

The minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Virginia is 18 years old.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.7]

Possess a handgun on my private property without a permit?

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home without a permit?

Yes. A permit is not required for anyone legally entitled to carry a firearm to carry a handgun in a person’s place of abode or the curtilage thereof or in his or her own place of business.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308(B), (C)]

Related Blog Posts

Guns in the News: All Eyes on Virginia

Guns in the News: All Eyes on Virginia

Rick Sapp — February 15, 2020

Carry While Hunting

Carry While Gun Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Virginia?

Yes, with a valid concealed handgun permit, provided the handgun is not used to hunt or take wildlife.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308(C)(6)]

Carry While Bow Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while bowhunting in Virginia?

Yes, with a valid concealed handgun permit, except not on any waterway. The granting of a concealed handgun permit shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the owner of private property. Furthermore, the possession of a concealed handgun permit does not authorize the use of the concealed handgun for hunting.

[VA Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries Genl Info & Hunting Regs]

Hunter Harassment Law?

Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in Virginia?

Yes. It is unlawful to willfully and intentionally impede the lawful hunting or trapping of wild birds or wild animals. It is unlawful for any person or his agent to knowingly and intentionally facilitate or attempt to cause a violation of subdivision A 4 of § 29.1-521 by putting out bait or salt for any wildlife in any place used or occupied by hunters to hunt wild birds or wild animals.

[Va. Code Ann. § 29.1-521.1]

Have Questions? Contact Our Award-Winning, Wisconsin-Based Member Services Team 24/7 at 800-674-9779​


State Constitutional Provision
That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."
ARTICLE 1, § 13

Virginia Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Virginia honor?

Alabama (at least 21 years old)
Delaware (at least 21 years old)
Florida (handguns only)
Idaho (Enhanced permits only)
Indiana (at least 21 years old)
Maine (at least 21 years old)
Missouri (at least 21 years old)
Montana (at least 21 years old)
New Hampshire (at least 21 years old)
North Dakota (Class 1 permits only)
South Dakota (at least 21 years old)
Utah (at least 21 years old)
West Virginia (at least 21 years old)

honors all valid out-of-state concealed carry permits issued to individuals who are at least 21 years old and are carrying a photo ID issued by a government agency. Residents must have a Virginia Handgun Permit (HP) in order to carry in the state.


Other States' Reciprocity With Virginia

Which states honor permits from Virginia?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Virginia

Virginia offers resident and non-resident permits. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors Virginia resident permits (and not those issued to non-residents).

Colorado (resident permits only)
Florida (resident permits only)
Michigan (resident permits only)
South Carolina (resident permits only)
Wisconsin (non-resident permits only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Idaho (at least 18 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (permit recognized if in possession of government issued identification; see Maine Reciprocity section for details)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
Oklahoma (if at least 21 years old)
South Dakota (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

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;
  • Not have been convicted of a felony or have 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:
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.

Residency Changes:

Moving to Virginia and interested in applying for a resident permit? How soon can you apply?
Virginia issues resident and non-resident permits, so you can apply for your permit at any time. If you have a permit issued by a state in which Virginia has established concealed handgun permit reciprocity or recognition, it will be honored in Virginia as long as the permit remains valid regardless of the change of address. However, you should confirm the validity of the permit with the issuing agency based on the change of address.

Moving from Virginia and have a Virginia resident permit? Does that permit transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Virginia permit remains valid?
If a person with a Virginia handgun permit establishes residency in another state, the permit is valid until it expires, provided you submit the above referenced Name/Address change form.


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.

Find a USCCA Class in Virginia

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Virginia Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a Virginia Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

You will be notified by mail 90 days before the permit expires. You can submit a renewal application up to 180 days after the permits expiry date.

Step 2:

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

Step 3:

File the application by mail with the clerk of the circuit court of your county or city.

Step 4:

You will be notified within 45 days by mail if your application has been approved or denied.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Per Code of VA § 18.2-308.016, RLEOs with proof of service may annually participate and meet the training and qualification standards to carry firearms as is required of active LEOs in the Commonwealth. If the RLEO meets the training and qualification standards, the chief law-enforcement officer shall issue the RLEO certification, valid one year from the date of issuance, indicating that the RLEO has met the standards of the Commonwealth to carry a firearm. 

Per the Virginia State Police (VSP) LEOSA webpage, to qualify for the nationwide carry privilege, a VSP retiree must receive authorization from the VSP. To do so, the VSP retiree must first submit the following to the Virginia State Police Firearms Transaction Center:

  • Two passport photos – each 2×2 inches in size
  • Fingerprint Card
  • SP-216A: Retired Personnel Firearms Training Report
  • SP-218: Authorization to Carry a Concealed Handgun
  • SP-218A: Concealed Handgun Authorization – Retired State Police Officers
  • Authorization Application Checklist

When all items have been completed and submitted as a complete package, the sworn VSP retiree will be issued an Authorization card, an annual qualification sticker and a letter from the superintendent detailing the conditions of the nationwide carry privilege. These items are mailed directly to the applicant.

Range Schedule


Virginia Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Virginia?
  • Carry in bars/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

  • Any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds (except for a person with a valid permit can carry in their vehicle and unloaded firearms in closed containers in or upon a motor vehicle);
  • That portion of any property open to the public and exclusively used for school-sponsored functions or extracurricular activities while such functions or activities are taking place; and
  • Any school bus.

[Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1]

  • Most public colleges & universities have promulgated regulations prohibiting carry in buildings and at events;
  • Places of religious worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held, without good and sufficient reason [Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-283];
  • Anywhere while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs [Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.012];
  • Courthouses [Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-283.1];
  • The Capitol Square in Richmond;
  • Regional jails or juvenile detention facilities [Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915];
  • Offices Owned or Occupied by Executive Branch Agencies [1VAC30-105-40];
  • Private property when prohibited by the owner of the property or where posted as prohibited [>Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.01(c)];
  • Non-secure areas of airport terminals [Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-287.01];
  • Day-use areas, campgrounds and other developed recreational Tennessee Valley Authority lands [TVA Rules for Use of TVA Public Lands];
  • As of  July 1, 2020, on city property and streets where special events are being held in the city of Alexandria;
  • As of  July 1, 2020, in buildings, recreation centers and city parks in the city of Richmond;
  • That portion of Hog Island Wildlife Management Area bordering on the James River and lying north of the Surry Nuclear Power Plant, except while hunting deer or waterfowl in conformity with a special permit issued by the department [4VAC15-40-120];
  • Buggs Island or upon the water on Gaston Reservoir (Roanoke River) from a point beginning at High Rock and extending to the John H. Kerr Dam [4VAC15-40-140]; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

FAQ: Virginia Concealed Carry Questions

What Are the Knife Laws in Virginia?

The possession of throwing stars, switchblades, ballistic knives or like weapons is illegal in Virginia. It is legal to openly carry any legal knife in Virginia. It is illegal to conceal carry a dirk, Bowie knife, machete, razor, or any knife of a like kind. Possession of any knife with the exception of a pocket knife having a folding metal blade of less than 3 inches is prohibited in schools.

[Va. Code Ann. §§ 18.2-311, 18.2-308(A) and 18.2-308.1]


Virginia Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2020-09-03

Added information on Self Defense in the Summary

2020-07-03

Updated information on universal background checks in At A Glance table based on new legislation

2020-07-02

Updated information on red flag laws in At A Glance table based on new legislation

2020-07-02

Updated information on preemption in At A Glance table based on new legislation

2020-07-02

Added locations where you can’t carry per new legislation

2020-07-01

Added information on wearing a COVID 19 mask while carrying concealed above the Summary

2020-06-26

Added link to National Parks to At A Glance table

2020-06-22

Added City of Alexandria locations where you can’t carry per new legislation

2020-04-20

Added info on handguns on private property in At A Glance table

2020-04-10

Updated info on new law on universal background checks in At A Glance table

2020-04-10

Added info on the new red flag law in At A Glance table

2020-04-10

Updated info on new law on one handgun purchase per month in At A Glance table

2020-04-07

Added info on private gun sales in At A Glance table

2020-02-24

Added info on carry in bars to the At A Glance table

2020-02-20

Added related blog posts with links

2020-02-18

Added info regarding residency changes and resulting impacts on carry permits

2020-01-31

Updated the knife laws and added statutory references

2020-01-13

Updated info on carry while using alcohol or controlled substances in At A Glance table

2020-01-13

Added the Capitol Square in can’t carry locations per new joint House-Senate rules committee policy

2019-12-04

Added info on whether a valid state ccw permit exempts a person from needing a background check when purchasing a firearm to the At A Glance table

2019-11-22

Added statutory references and links for can’t carry locations

2019-11-04

Added brandishing info to At A Glance table

2019-10-16

Added Hunter Harassment info to At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Added Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray to the At A Glance table

2019-09-09

Added Carry While Hunting info to At A Glance table

2019-08-13

Added anchor links to various sections below the Summary

2019-07-26

Added minimum age to possess and transport a handgun to At A Glance table

2019-05-24

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

2019-05-10

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

2019-04-19

Links checked

2019-04-03

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

2019-02-22

Added info to vehicle carry in At A Glance table

2019-02-15

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

2019-02-09

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

2019-02-08

Added church carry info to location restrictions section

2019-02-06

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

2019-01-24

Added info about alcohol or prescription medication in At A Glance table

2019-01-10

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email support@uscca.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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