West Virginia Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my West Virginia permit?
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147k

LICENSES ISSUED

1.8M

STATE POPULATION

8.17%

LICENSE PERCENTAGE

50

STATES HONORED

18

MINIMUM AGE TO CC

5

YEARS LICENSE VALID

33

RECIPROCATING STATES

7

ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK

37

USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

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Summary of West Virginia Gun Laws

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

There is no permit, background check, waiting period or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual in West Virginia.

West Virginia is a permitless 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 a U.S. citizen, or legal resident of the U.S., that is at least 21 years old and is legally entitled to have a firearm under state and federal law. 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. As of July 6, 2021, the State will issue permits to non-residents. 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.

Use of Force Outside of a Home or Other Residence

A person not engaged in unlawful activity who is attacked in any place he or she has a legal right to be outside of his or her home or residence may use reasonable and proportionate force against an intruder or attacker, provided 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.

Self-Defense

West Virginia is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” law. 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. 

Use of Force Within a Home or Other Residence

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. That is 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.

A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder or attacker.

Civil Immunity

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.

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-7-7]

 

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West Virginia Gun Laws at a Glance

Carry Basics
MAGAZINE LIMITS FOR HANDGUNS?
Does West Virginia have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. West Virginia does not have magazine capacity restrictions.

Permitless Carry?
Does West Virginia allow permitless carry?

Yes. West Virginia allows permitless carry.

AMMUNITION RESTRICTIONS?
Does West Virginia have ammunition restrictions?

No. West Virginia does not have ammunition restrictions.

Open Carry Permitted?
Is open carry permitted in West Virginia?

Yes, without a license. 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 license to carry a concealed firearm, how are those licenses 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 license?

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 license (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No. A concealed carry license 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 license.

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?
Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in West Virginia?

Yes. There is no statute prohibiting the purchase or use of pepper spray in West Virginia.

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Carry Locations
CARRY IN VEHICLE?
Can you carry a concealed handgun 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]

On March 9, 2022, Gov. Jim Justice signed HB 4048 into law, which permits individuals to lawfully possess loaded or uncased long guns in their vehicles. It will go into effect on May 24, 2022.

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, without a license.

[WV DNR State Parks Rules]

CARRY IN BARS/RESTAURANTS THAT SERVE ALCOHOL?
Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in West Virginia?

Yes, there is no statute making it illegal to concealed carry, unless posted.

CARRY/POSSESS AT A HOTEL?
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in West Virginia?

West Virginia statutes don't specifically address firearms at hotels. Please note that each hotel develops their own policies and the individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See the Handguns at Hotels page for additional information.

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 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 a prospective employee holds a concealed carry license or an agreement with a prospective employee prohibiting that 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.

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-7-14]

Key State Laws
NON-RESIDENT PERMITTING?
Does West Virginia issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents?

Yes, as of July 6, 2021.

Duty to Inform Officer You're Carrying?
Do you have a duty to inform a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in West Virginia?

There is no duty to inform a law enforcement officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in West Virginia. 

DRIVER'S LICENSE LINKED TO Carry License?
Is my West Virginia driver’s license linked to my West Virginia carry license?

No. Your West Virginia driver’s license is not linked to your West Virginia concealed handgun license (CHL). Therefore, a law enforcement officer (LEO) will not be notified that you are a concealed carry license holder immediately when they run your driver’s license. However, WV State Police have a CHL database and they can access your information there.

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.

"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 state has preemption of firearms laws in West Virginia, except municipalities may regulate the:

  • Carry or possession of a firearm in municipal buildings;
  • Carry or possession of a deadly weapon, firearm, or pepper spray openly or that is not lawfully concealed in municipal recreational facilities: provided a municipality may not prohibit a person with a valid concealed handgun license from carrying an otherwise lawfully possessed firearm into a municipally owned recreation facility and securely storing the firearm out of view and access to others during their time at the municipally owned recreation facility; and
  • Carry or possession of deadly weapon, firearm, or pepper spray on municipally owned or operated buildings and municipally owned recreation facilities only by individuals without concealed carry licenses.

Municipalities must provide signage for any areas with restrictions. In addition, a person may keep an otherwise lawfully possessed deadly weapon, firearm, or pepper spray in a motor vehicle in municipal public parking facilities if the vehicle is locked and the deadly weapon, firearm, or pepper spray is out of view.

Municipalities may not restrict the carrying or possessing of deadly weapons, firearm, or pepper spray, which are otherwise lawfully possessed, on public streets and sidewalks of the municipality.

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 8-12.5(a)]

As of June 24, 2020, state preemption has been extended.

(a) No municipality may limit the right of any person to purchase, possess, transfer, own, carry, transport, sell, or store any deadly weapon, firearm, pepper spray, ammunition or ammunition components so as to directly or indirectly prohibit the ownership of the ammunition in any manner inconsistent with or in conflict with state law.

Red Flag Law?
Does West Virginia have a red flag law?

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

Brandishing?
Does West Virginia state law define brandishing?

Yes. It shall be unlawful for any person armed with a firearm or other deadly weapon, whether licensed to carry the same or not, to carry, brandish or use such weapon in a way or manner to cause, or threaten, a breach of the peace.

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 61-7-11]

Carry While Using Alcohol or Drugs?
Does West Virginia have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or drugs?

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
BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR PRIVATE GUN SALES?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in West Virginia?

No. Private firearms transfers are not subject to a background check requirement, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions, including age restrictions, still apply. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.

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]

POSSESS A HANDGUN ON MY PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT A LICENSE?
Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home without a license?

Yes. Permitless carry is allowed for anyone legally entitled to carry a firearm in West Virginia.

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.

WEST VIRGINIA LICENSE EXEMPTS FROM BACKGROUND CHECK?
Does my current West Virginia concealed carry license exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?

Yes.

WAITING PERIOD?
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in West Virginia?

No. West Virginia does not have a waiting period for handgun purchases.

 

HANDGUN REGISTRATION?
Do handguns need to be registered in West Virginia?

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

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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 (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Alaska (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Arizona (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Arkansas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

California (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Colorado (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Connecticut (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Delaware (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

District of Columbia (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Florida (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Georgia (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Hawaii (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Idaho (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Illinois (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Indiana (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Iowa (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Kansas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Kentucky (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Louisiana (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Maine (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Maryland (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Massachusetts (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Michigan (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Minnesota (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Mississippi (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Missouri (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Montana (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Nebraska (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Nevada (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

New Hampshire (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

New Jersey (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

New Mexico (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

New York (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

New York City (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

North Carolina (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

North Dakota (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Ohio (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Oklahoma (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Oregon (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Pennsylvania (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Puerto Rico (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Rhode Island (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

South Carolina (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

South Dakota (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Tennessee (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Texas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Utah (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Vermont (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Virginia (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Washington (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Wisconsin (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Wyoming (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Qualified persons 21 years of age or older can carry concealed deadly weapons without a license within 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?

Alabama (permitless carry, at least 19 years old)

Arkansas (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Delaware

Idaho (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Indiana (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Montana (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Nevada

New Hampshire (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

North Carolina

North Dakota (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

South Dakota (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Vermont (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

West Virginia residents can carry a concealed defensive firearm in the state of Oklahoma without any type of license. 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

West Virginia offers resident and non-resident (members of the military permanently posted in West Virginia) licenses. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors West Virginia resident licenses (and not those issued to non-residents).

Alaska (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Arizona (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Colorado (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)

Florida (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Georgia (Permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Iowa (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Kansas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Kentucky (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Louisiana (at least 21 years old)

Maine (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Michigan (at least 21 years old and resident permits only)

Minnesota (At least 21 years old, regular permit only)

Mississippi (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Missouri (permitless carry, at least 19 years old, 18 for military)

Nebraska (Permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

New Mexico (at least 21 years old)

Ohio (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Oklahoma (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Pennsylvania (at least 21 years old, resident permits only)

South Carolina (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Tennessee (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Texas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Utah (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Virginia (at least 21 years old)

Wisconsin (at least 21 years old)

Wyoming (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)


Permitless Carry States

Alabama (permitless carry, at least 19 years old)

Alaska (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Arizona (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Arkansas (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Florida (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Georgia (Permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Idaho (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Indiana (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Iowa (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Kansas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Kentucky (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Maine (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Mississippi (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Missouri (permitless carry, at least 19 years old, 18 for military)

Montana (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Nebraska (Permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

New Hampshire (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

North Dakota (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Ohio (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Oklahoma (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

South Carolina (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

South Dakota (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Tennessee (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Texas (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Utah (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

Vermont (permitless carry, at least 18 years old)

Wyoming (permitless carry, at least 21 years old)

*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old

*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 years old

Permitless carry includes constitutional carry states as well as states where an individual must meet certain qualifications, e.g., no DUIs in the last 10 years, in order to legally carry (Tennessee). Each state determines the requirements and any limitations on the carry of firearms. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.


West Virginia Concealed Carry License 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 license 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;
  • 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: residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism or alcohol detoxification or drug treatment; or 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 any state law against a current or former spouse, intimate partner, person with whom the defendant  cohabited, a parent or guardian, child or member of the household;
  • 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.

*Consult with an attorney if you have any questions about your eligibility. If you don’t have an attorney, you can find one by contacting the State Bar of West Virginia.

Lost/Stolen Licenses:

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.

Residency Changes:

Moving to West Virginia and interested in applying for a resident license? How soon can you apply?West Virginia issues licenses to residents and members of the military permanently posted in WV only. You can apply for your license to the sheriff of your county once you have established your residence in that county.

Moving from West Virginia and have a West Virginia resident license? Does that license transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your West Virginia license remains valid?If a person with a West Virginia concealed handgun license establishes residency in another state, the license expires upon the establishment of residence in the other state.

Fees:

Initial License & Renewals - $25 plus a $25 background fee.As of July 6, 2021, Non-resident permits - $100 plus a $25 background fee.

Provisional License - $15 plus a $25 background fee.

*Honorably retired officers and honorably discharged veterans of the armed forces of the United States are exempt from payment of fees except for background check fee.

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

45 days

Application:
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Licenses:

As of July 6, 2021, the State issues licenses to non-residents. 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.


West Virginia Concealed Carry License Application Process

How to Apply for a West Virginia Concealed Carry License

West Virginia 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 license after age 21, a complete application, including fingerprints, photo, and fees must be submitted for a standard license.


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.

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West Virginia Concealed Carry License Renewal Process

How to Renew a West Virginia Concealed Carry License


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'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 (except possession of an unloaded firearm in a motor vehicle and leaving an unloaded firearm in a locked motor vehicle);
  • Any school bus; and
  • County courthouses or any facility housing a court of this state.

[W. Va. Code § 61-7-11a]

On March 1, 2023, Gov. James Justice signed SB 10, which permits concealed carry on college campuses, into law. It will go into effect on July 1, 2024.

  • The State Capitol Complex (except permittees may keep a firearm in his or her motor vehicle upon the State Capitol Complex if the vehicle is locked and the weapon is out of normal view) [W. Va. Code § 61-6-19(b)];
  • Regional jails, detention facilities or State Division of Corrections facilities [W. Va. Code § 61-5-8(c)(1)];
  • 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 [W. Va. Code §8-12-5a(c)(1)];
  • Any property where firearms are prohibited by the owner, lessee or other person charged with the care, custody and control of the real property [W. Va. Code § 61-7-14(b)];
  • 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.
WHERE CAN I CARRY A CONCEALED FIREARM IN WEST VIRGINIA?
  • Carry in bars/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.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.

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 concealed 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. Any knife, including a pocketknife with a blade 3 ½ inches or less, is prohibited on school property and in court facilities. Municipalities may have additional restrictions, including Charleston where the possession of switchblades is illegal and dirks and Bowie knives are not permitted in City Hall or other city-owned properties.

[W. Va. Code § 61-7-3, 61-7-7(c) and 61-7-11a]

WEAR A COVID MASK & CARRY?
I can legally carry a concealed firearm in West Virginia, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?

One statute was identified making it illegal to wear a mask with intent to conceal one’s identity, although there is an exceptions during emergencies.The Governor’s legal counsel made it clear people can still carry their guns while adhering to the mask mandate during the pandemic.

[W. Va. Code § 61-6-22

CARRY WHILE GUN HUNTING?
Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in West Virginia?

Yes. Individuals who possess a valid concealed carry license 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 bow hunting in West Virginia?

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

[Genl Hunting Laws & Regs]

HUNTER HARASSMENT LAW?
Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in West Virginia?

Yes. A person may not willfully obstruct or impede the participation of any individual in the lawful activity of hunting, fishing or trapping. 

[W. Va. Code Ann. § 20-2-2a]


West Virginia Gun Laws Updates

2021-07-08
Updated information on license requirements in the License Info and App Process sections
2021-05-19
Added info on driver's license link to permit in At A Glance table
2021-04-12
Updated information on non-resident licenses in the Summary, At A Glance table and License Info sections
2020-10-13
Updated reciprocity info per Atty. General's announcement

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Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. 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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