Requirements to qualify for a license
To apply for your Virginia concealed handgun permit you must be at least 21 years old. Resident and non-resident permits are offered and there is no minimum length of residence requirement for the resident permit. You must also complete a training class.
Virginia does not set up a specific curriculum for training. Instead they give a list of approved courses. Basically any hunter education class, or firearms safety class approved by a state agency or taught by a NRA certified instructor will qualify. Virginia even allows online training from NRA certified instructors.
You can also prove adequate experience with firearms through:
- Current military service
- Qualifying to carry a firearm in the course of police duties
- Participating in organized shooting competitions
Here are some things that will disqualify you from obtaining a VA concealed carry license:
- Ineligibility to possess a firearm by any state or federal law
- Being acquitted of a crime by reason of insanity and committed to a mental institution within the last 5 years
- Being adjudicated mentally incompetent
- Having a restraining order or protective order against you
- Being convicted of 2 or more misdemeanors in the last 5 years (Traffic infractions and reckless driving do not count)
- Being addicted to or an unlawful user of a controlled substance
- Having a DWI within the last 3 years
- Having a dishonorable discharge from the armed forces
- Being an illegal alien
- Being a fugitive from justice
- Being convicted of assault, sexual battery, or assault and battery within the last 3 years
- Being convicted of stalking
- Being convicted of possession or distribution of a controlled substance within the last 3 years
Once you have met all the qualifications send your application to the clerk of the circuit court of your county of residence. Your permit will be good for 5 years.
VA Concealed Carry Classes
Search our database by zip code to find an instructor near you. Enter your zip code here.
What will you learn in class?
If you take a hunter education class or a general firearms safety course you will learn how to properly handle a firearm. You will learn how to clean a gun and how to secure your firearm from children. You may not learn about the "use of force" laws in Virginia. For this reason I suggest you find a class that specifically teaches about these laws.
You absolutely need to understand these laws before you carry a concealed weapon. You also need to be trained how to handle the situation after you have used your weapon to protect yourself. A good instructor will tell you what to say to a police officer after such an event. See the featured instructors below to find someone who teaches the law.
How long does it take to get a license?
By law your local circuit court has 45 days after receiving a completed application to issue or deny your permit. If your permit is not issued or denied within this time period the court can give you a temporary permit which lasts for 90 days.
How much does the license cost?
The maximum charge for a permit is $50. Here is a breakdown of the fees:
- $10 for application processing by the circuit court
- Local law enforcement may charge up to $35 for background checks
- State police may charge up to $5 for application processing
Reciprocity with other states
Visit the Virginia State Police website to determine what states have reciprocity agreements with Virginia. Check out this reciprocity map to see if your out of state CCW permit will allow you to carry in Virginia.
Where can you not carry a concealed weapon?
You are allowed to carry a gun into a restaurant or club which serves alcohol in Virginia as long as you are not consuming. Here is a list of places you are not allowed to carry:
- Private property if prohibited by the owner (This includes all areas where it is posted that weapons are prohibited)
- Public places while intoxicated
- Places of worship during a religious meeting without good cause
- Schools (An exception exists which allows you to carry while in your car in the parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of ingress or egress to the school)
- Air carrier airport terminal
Virginia recognizes online training. Try to find a class that includes a section on "use of force" laws. Here is a short list of classes offered in Virginia.