Virginia Gun Laws

If you’re looking to obtain a legal firearm in Virginia, here are some facts about Virginia gun laws.


Virginia is a shall-issue state. Shall Issue means that as long as a pistol permit/conceal carry permit applicant passes the basic requirements set out by state law, the issuing authority (county sheriff, police department, state police, etc.) is compelled to issue a permit.

Is There a Waiting Period to Buy a Gun in Virginia?

No, there is no waiting period to purchase firearms, nor is a license needed in Virginia to purchase a firearm.

Who Is Eligible To Obtain a Pistol Permit/Conceal Carry Permit in Virginia?

Any state resident who is at least 21 years of age. Any domestic violence conviction or active warrants for misdemeanor or felony will disqualify you from obtaining a pistol permit.

Is There A Firearms Training Requirement in Virginia For A Conceal Carry Permit?

Yes. An applicant must complete a state approved firearm training course and demonstrate knowledge of firearms safety prior to being issued a pistol permit/conceal carry permit.

What are the requirements to obtain a handgun permit in Virginia?

Guidelines to obtain a Virginia gun permit:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Must be a resident of the county in which you are applying
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a suitable person to be licensed
  • Pass a criminal history background check
  • Completed a handgun competency course

What are the steps to obtain a gun permit in Virginia?

Applications for a Virginia conceal carry handguns permits are obtained from the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which you reside. Procedures may differ depending on the circuit court where you reside. Your local circuit court will explain the procedure. Typically a permit is issued within 45 days. To download a Virginia conceal carry handguns permit application, go to:

Step 1: Obtain an application from circuit court of the county and fill out the form

Step 2: Compete a handgun competency course

Step 3: Submit the application to local circuit court in your county with fee

How much does a Virginia handgun conceal carry permit cost?

It costs about $50, depending on the depending on the circuit court where you reside. There may be additional processing fees. Your local circuit court will explain the procedure.

Does Virginia Recognize Pistol Permits From Other States?

Yes. Virginia honors all out-of-state conceal carry permits.

Is Virginia a Constitutional Carry State?

No, Virginia does not allow constitutional carry.

Is Virginia an Open Carry State?

Yes, Virginia is an open carry state that allows any person at least 18 years old and legally entitled to posses a firearm can open carry. However, there are localities that prohibit Open Carry in public building, parks and at certain events in Alexandria and Newport News.

Is Virginia a Stand Your Ground State?

Technically Virginia is not a Stand Your Ground state, but Virginia state case law supports self-defense. You do not have to retreat in Virginia. You can defend yourself in your home or in any location you are legally permitted to be. In a defense of dwelling circumstance, deadly force is only justified when you reasonably believes the intruder will commit great bodily injury or death.

Are AR-Style and Other Semi-Auto Rifles Legal in Virginia?

Yes, semi-auto rifles are legal to buy and possess in Virginia, but there are state laws that define so-called “assault weapons.”

Are Standard-Capacity Magazines Allowed in Virginia?

Yes. There are no state laws restricting magazine capacities in Virginia.

What Are Virginia Gun Storage Laws?

Yes, in Virginia the law for storing firearms when children are present states it is unlawful to recklessly leave a loaded firearm in a manner that would endanger a child under the age of 14.

Is Virginia a Red Flag State?

Yes. Virginia has a Red Flag law that allows a judge to issue an Extreme Risk Protective Order that enables police to temporarily confiscate firearms from a person deemed to be at high risk of harming themselves or others.

DISCLAIMER: provides this information to subscribers and readers, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of gun laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information disclosed. Gun laws are constantly changing, for legal advice, consult a lawyer in your state.

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Robert Sadowski
Having been trained by many top-shelf handgun, shotgun, AR carbine, and long-range shooting instructors, Robert Sadowski brings a user's perspective to Gun Tests. He has authored and edited 15 books on firearm values, firearm disassembly and assembly, and gun guides. His Book Of Glock (Skyhorse Publishing) debuted as an Amazon #1 New Release and is a must-read for the Glock enthusiast. His latest book, 9MM - Guide to America's Most Popular Caliber (Gun Digest Books), is an indispensable resource on the 9mm and understanding the cartridge's performance for concealed carry, home defense, or competition. Over the past two decades, Sadowski has written for many magazines and websites, including,,, and more. His print work has appeared in Combat Handguns, Ballistic, Real World Survivor, Guns Digest, Guns of the Old West, SHOT Business, and more. He is currently the Treasurer/Secretary of the Glock Collectors Association. After receiving an MA from New York University, he worked for a number of magazine publishers and advertising agencies. Sadowski is a lifelong hunter, competitive shooter, and native of Connecticut. He now lives in North Carolina to take full advantage of our 2nd Amendment privilege.


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