West Virginia State Seal

West Virginia

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my West Virginia permit?
No
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
163k
Permits Issued
50
STATES HONORED
38
RECIPROCATING STATES
1.8M
STATE POPULATION
18
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
9
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
9.08%
PERMIT PERCENTAGE
5
YEARS PERMIT VALID
22
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

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.

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West Virginia Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does West Virginia allow constitutional carry?

Yes. West Virginia allows constitutional carry.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in West 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 West Virginia requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

West Virginia is a shall-issue state.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

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

An individual at least 18 years old can apply for a Provisional License. Regular licenses require the applicant to be at least 21 years old.

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

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

No. A concealed carry permit in West 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 West Virginia?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase without a permit.

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does West Virginia issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Only members of the military permanently posted in the state.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

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

The issuing sheriff is required to furnish the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police with a certified copy of any approved license applications and, when requested, a certified list of all licenses issued in the county. The Superintendent shall maintain a registry of all persons who have been issued concealed weapons licenses.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in West Virginia?

Yes, without a license for persons at least 21 years old (18 years old for members of the United States Armed Forces, Reserve or National Guard) and legally entitled to have a firearm under state and federal law.

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 20-2-5(9)]

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-7-7]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

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

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

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 West Virginia?

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit.

[WV DNR State Parks Rules]

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

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

Yes, with a valid concealed carry permit, unless posted.

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

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

No owner, lessee or other person charged with the care, custody and control of real property may prohibit any customer, employee or invitee from possessing any legally owned firearm, when the firearm is:

  • Lawfully possessed;
  • Out of view;
  • Locked inside or to a motor vehicle in a parking lot; and
  • When the customer, employee or invitee is lawfully allowed to be present in that area.

No employer may condition employment upon either:

  • The fact that an employee or prospective employee holds a concealed carry permit; or
  • An agreement with an employee or a prospective employee prohibiting that natural person from keeping a legal firearm locked inside or locked to a motor vehicle in a parking lot when the firearm is kept for lawful purposes.

No owner, lessee or other person charged with the care, custody and control of real property may prohibit or attempt to prevent any customer, employee or invitee from entering the parking lot of the person’s place of business because the customer’s, employee’s or invitee’s motor vehicle contains a legal firearm being carried for lawful purposes that is out of view within the customer’s, employee’s or invitee’s motor vehicle.

[W. Va. Code § 61-7-14]

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 West Virginia?

No. You are not required to notify an officer that you're carrying in West Virginia.

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does West Virginia have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. West Virginia does not have magazine capacity restrictions.

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does West Virginia have ammunition restrictions?

No. West Virginia does not have ammunition restrictions.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in West 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. West Virginia does not enforce "No Weapons Allowed" signs.

Preemption?

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

Yes. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except municipalities may regulate the:

  • Carry or possession of a firearm in municipal buildings;
  • Carry or possession of a firearm openly or that is not lawfully concealed in municipal recreational facilities. The municipality may not, however, prohibit a person with a concealed handgun permit from carrying an otherwise lawfully possessed firearm into a municipally owned recreation facility if the firearms are stored securely out of view and access to others during their time at the facility; and
  • Carry or possession of firearms on municipally owned property other than buildings and recreational facilities by individuals without concealed carry licenses.

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 8-12.5(a)]

Red Flag Law?

Does West Virginia have a red flag law?

No. West Virginia does not have a red flag law.

Carry While Using Alcohol or Prescription Medication?

Does West Virginia have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication?

Not addressed in state statutes.

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 West Virginia?

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

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Waiting Period?

No. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in West Virginia?

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

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

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

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

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-7-8]

Carry While Hunting

Carry While Gun Hunting?

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

Yes. Individuals who possess a valid concealed carry permit may carry a concealed handgun while afield hunting, hiking, camping, fishing or in or on a motor vehicle for purposes of self- defense only.

[WV Dept of Nat Resources General Regulations]

Carry While Bow Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while bowhunting in West Virginia?

Yes. Individuals who possess a valid concealed carry permit may carry a concealed handgun while archery hunting.

[General Hunting Laws & Regulations]

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State Constitutional Provision
A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use."
ARTICLE 3, § 22

West Virginia Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does West Virginia honor?

Alabama (if at least 21 years old)
Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
California (if at least 21 years old)
Colorado (if at least 21 years old)
Connecticut (if at least 21 years old)
Delaware (if at least 21 years old)
District of Columbia (if at least 21 years old)
Florida (if at least 21 years old)
Georgia (if at least 21 years old)
Hawaii (if at least 21 years old)
Idaho (if at least 21 years old)
Illinois (if at least 21 years old)
Indiana (if at least 21 years old)
Iowa (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (if at least 21 years old)
Louisiana (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Maryland (if at least 21 years old)
Massachusetts (if at least 21 years old)
Michigan (if at least 21 years old)
Minnesota (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 21 years old)
Montana (if at least 21 years old)
Nebraska (if at least 21 years old)
Nevada (if at least 21 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 21 years old)
New Jersey (if at least 21 years old)
New Mexico (if at least 21 years old)
New York (if at least 21 years old)
New York City (if at least 21 years old)
North Carolina (if at least 21 years old)
North Dakota (if at least 21 years old)
Ohio (if at least 21 years old)
Oklahoma (if at least 21 years old)
Oregon (if at least 21 years old)
Pennsylvania (if at least 21 years old)
Rhode Island (if at least 21 years old)
South Carolina (if at least 21 years old)
South Dakota (if at least 21 years old)
Tennessee (if at least 21 years old)
Texas (if at least 21 years old)
Utah (if at least 21 years old)
Vermont (if at least 21 years old)
Virginia (if at least 21 years old)
Washington (if at least 21 years old)
Wisconsin (if at least 21 years old)
Wyoming (if at least 21 years old)

Qualified persons 21 years of age or older can carry concealed deadly weapons without a license within the West Virginia. With limited exceptions such as service in the armed forces, provisional licenses are required for all residents 18 to 21 years old who wish to carry a concealed handgun in West Virginia.


Other States' Reciprocity With West Virginia

Which states honor permits from West Virginia?

West Virginia residents can carry a concealed defensive firearm in the state of Oklahoma without any type of permit. You must carry your driver's license or state issued ID when carrying your firearm in Oklahoma.

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 West Virginia

Colorado (resident permits and least 21 years old)
Florida (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
Georgia (at least 21 years old)
Idaho (at least 21 years old)
Iowa (at least 21 years old)
Louisiana (at least 21 years old)
Michigan (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
Minnesota (At least 21 years old)
Nebraska (§ 61-7-4 [not provisional] CHLs only)
Nevada (at least 21 years old)
New Mexico (at least 21 years old)
North Carolina (at least 21 years old)
Ohio (at least 21 years old)
Oklahoma (at least 21 years old)
Pennsylvania (regular [not provisional] resident permits only)
South Carolina (resident permits only and at least 21 years old)
Tennessee (at least 21 years old)
Texas (at least 21 years old)
Virginia (at least 21 years old)
Wisconsin (issued/renewed on or after 6/8/2012 and at least 21 years old)
Wyoming (at least 21 years old)

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)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
South Dakota (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)

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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:
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.

Find a USCCA Class in West Virginia

Find a Shooting Range Near You


West Virginia Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a West Virginia Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Download the application form.

Step 2:

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

  • Passport-style photo; and
  • Driver’s license/ID card.

Pay the fee.

Step 3:

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 4:

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 5:

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


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.

Based on information on the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) Legal Division FAQ page, officers must carry identification issued from the agency at which they are employed or retired while possessing the firearm. Retired members from states other than West Virginia must carry proof that they have met their respective state’s standards for training and qualification on the firearm which they carry within one year of the date that they are carrying the firearm. 

The WVSP retired member webpage indicates that the LEOSA Standard requires that RLEOs qualify as per the current standards required of active law enforcement officers. Currently in WV,  the active standard requirement is that there are both a regular light qualification and a low-light qualification that must occur a minimum of three months apart. It refers RLEOs to contact the WVSP Academy Staff for scheduling qualifications. On an individual basis, some retired officers from out of state and federal agencies have been qualified by WVSP or by local law enforcement agencies/departments.

Links

WVSP LEOSA Nationwide Handgun Qualification Application
WVSP LEOSA WV Handgun Qualification Application


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.

FAQ: West Virginia Concealed Carry Questions

What Are the Knife Laws in West Virginia?

It is legal to own and openly carry any type of knife in West Virginia. It is legal to conceal carry a dirk dagger, poniard or stiletto with a blade more than 3.5 inches long, a switchblade, gravity knife, butterfly knife or any instrument capable of inflicting cutting, stabbing or tearing wounds, as long as you are not prohibited from carrying a firearm, are a U.S. citizen and are older than 21 years of age.


West Virginia Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2019-09-09

Added Carry While Hunting info to At A Glance table

2019-08-14

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)

2019-03-12

Added info and link to Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot 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

2019-02-06

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

2019-01-24

Added FAQ about alcohol or prescription medication

2019-01-10

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

2019-01-07

Added Provisional CHL info and application link

2018-12-13

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

2018-12-03

Added parking lot info to At A Glance table

2018-10-22

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for West Virginia

Did We Miss Something?

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Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” 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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