West Virginia Gun Laws

West Virginia Gun Laws

West Virginia State Gun And Self-Defense Laws: YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL. Always Consult An Attorney                 

Rifles & Shotguns Handguns
Permit to Purchase NO NO
Registration of Firearms NO NO
Licensing of Owners NO NO
Permit to Carry NO NO*

IMPORTANT NOTE: Qualified persons 21 years of age or older can carry concealed deadly weapons without a license within the Mountain State. 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. Traditional concealed handgun licenses and provisional licenses are still required for out-of-state travel to recognizing states. West Virginia license holders traveling to other states who wish to carry a concealed weapon are still encouraged to contact those states to confirm their recognition status and any local restrictions. It is the responsibility of all West Virginia concealed firearm license holders to know and understand the applicable firearm laws of the states within which they plan to visit. 

State Self-Defense Law Review: Always Consult An Attorney

Duty to retreat before using Deadly force outside of Special Places


Crimes Justifying use of Deadly Force outside of Special Places

None Mentioned

Duty to Retreat when occupying special Places - Special places Mentioned in Statute such as Home, Workplace, Occupied Vehicle


Presumption of Reasonableness in Special Places - Unlawful Acts justifying use of Deadly Force in Special Places

No - Unlawful entry with intent to commit injury or violent felony

Immunity from Civil liability


Notable Provisions of this State's Self-Defense Law


How To Obtain A Concealed Carry Permit In West Virginia


West Virginia recognizes the right of non-prohibited persons who are 21 years of age or older, regardless of state of residence, to carry a concealed weapon in the state without first obtaining a concealed handgun license (“CHL”). In addition, the new law allows nonprohibited persons who are least 18 years of age and less than 21 years of age to obtain a provisional CHL as a lawful means for those persons to carry concealed handguns.

These different licenses are explained HERE. IMPORTANT NOTE: The law applies only to persons physically in the State of West Virginia. It does NOT authorize you to carry a concealed weapon in another state without a license. You MUST obey all weapons laws of other states to which you travel, including all laws regarding licensing and prohibited places. OPTIONAL CHL Non-prohibited persons 21 years or older are no longer required to obtain a CHL in order to legally carry a concealed firearm in West Virginia. However, CHLs may be obtained by those persons wishing to obtain the benefits of holding a CHL.

These benefits include, but are not limited to, carrying a concealed firearm when traveling to other states that honor or recognize a valid West Virginia license, and the ability to store a handgun in a locked vehicle on the Capitol Complex. To obtain an optional CHL, you must submit an application to your county sheriff’s office, pay all applicable fees, and present proof of handgun safety training. The sheriff must issue the CHL to any applicant who satisfies each of these qualifications, so long as the applicant is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.  The law simply recognizes that persons 21 years of age or older who may lawfully carry a firearm may now carry their firearm in a concealed manner without a CHL

CLICK HERE for the application that must be completed and turned into your local Sheriff’s Department.