Concealed Carry Permits In Virginia Is Governed By A State Constitution
State constitutions generally govern the ability to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit, however, not all states require them. There are just a few states – like Arizona, Vermont, and Alaska – which include what’s called “constitutional carry” laws in their legal structure, and a permit is not required to carry a concealed firearm. There are other stipulations within constitutional carry, however, that demand that anyone carrying a concealed weapon identify it when in contact with any Peace Officer. Failure to do so can result in felony charges being filed. Make sure you know the laws in Virginia.
Do you know the laws where you live in Virginia, you may be able to take advantage of the streamlined application process that exists within “Shall Issue” states. The standard approval process usually includes a background check, one or more required classes, qualification with your firearm (safety and marksmanship), and paying the required fee. Currently, Utah, Nevada, and Florida are the easiest states to obtain a Shall Issue CCW.
While obtaining a Concealed Carry permit requires an application for most citizens, even when acquiring one, it doesn’t mean that it is free from restrictions. For instance, in Virginia you may only be allowed to carry a revolver rather than a semi-automatic pistol, or you may only be allowed to carry a specific caliber of firearm. Additionally, you may have to undergo testing for proficiency regarding weapon safety and marksmanship, and in some instances, your CCW permissions may be limited to the county or city where the permit was issued. Where proficiency testing does occur, it usually happens on either an annual or semi-annual basis.
There are three types of Concealed Carry in States, Shall Issue, May Issue, and Constitutional Carry
Although some issuers of CCWs are not as strict as others, acquiring a CCW in Virginia may not be an easy process. There are “Shall Issue” states and “May Issue” states, ( and Constitutional Carry which do not require any permit) and if your state happens to be a “May Issue” state, then the local authorities are generally given discretion as to whether they believe it should be issued or not. However, no matter which type of issuance your state’s laws command, you will still have to go through a lengthy application process. In most locales, this means a long application requiring extensive information, some may also require a convincing letter that provides justification for your need of a Concealed Carry permit, and possible an oral interview as well.
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Article 1, Section 13 of the Virginia State Constitutional Provision States: “That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”
Virginia law does not require an individual to notify an officer that they have a Concealed Carry permit. However, Section 18.2-308.01, of the Code of Virginia, requires that to be in possession of the permit whenever one is carrying a concealed handgun and to display the permit and a government-issued photo-identification upon demand by a law-enforcement officer.
Open carry is permitted with the exception of "assault weapons" and shotguns with a 7+ round magazine in the cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, and Virginia Beach and in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William. These restrictions do not apply to valid concealed carry permit holders. For open carry in a vehicle, the firearm must be clearly visible.
Virginia has a “shall-issue” permitting system for residents who want to carry concealed firearms in public. This means that law enforcement officials must issue a permit to any resident who meets a basic set of requirements. The permit is good for five years, after which time it must be renewed.
Virginia law allows anyone who is 18 years old, and who may legally own a firearm to carry it openly. Virginians who are 21 or older and who qualify may obtain permits to carry a concealed weapon.
In Virginia, firearms can be carried openly on campus, with or without a permit, but an institution can prohibit open carrying in its buildings and dormitories.
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Virginia Resident Concealed Handgun Permits are issued by the circuit court of the county or city in which the applicant resides. In Virginia, as in many states, carrying a concealed weapon requires a permit, yet no permit is required to simply carry a gun in the open, a right reinforced by a state law that took effect July 1 2013. Be careful though, it is not so in the District and Maryland, unless you're a police or federal officer.
In general, one may openly carry a sidearm in plain sight in Virginia. The restrictions to openly carrying are divided into two broad categories, locations where one may not carry and persons who are not permitted to possess and/or transport a firearm.
Locations where firearms may not be carried include: Federal facilities, Federal agency lands, National Forests except where hunting is permitted, General Assembly buildings, Hog Island Wildlife Management Area, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Courthouses, Detention Facilities, K-12 school grounds, K-12 school buses, Property used exclusively for K-12 school sponsored functions, Air carrier airport terminals, Places of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held without good and sufficient reason.
The Second Amendment unequivocally protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, both for their own self-protection and for defense against the tyranny of an autocratic central government.
In Virginia there are at least six (6) firearms or firearm related companies in the state and they include: Accuracy International Of North America, F M F Atlantic Engineering Corp, Hawk Hill Custom, K&H Arms, Kriss Arms, and Richard's Custom Rifles.
Gun-related violent crime in Virginia has dropped steadily over the past six years as the sale of firearms has soared to a new record, according to an analysis of state crime data with state records of gun sales.
The total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent. But the total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over that period, and when adjusted for population, gun-related offenses dropped more than 27 percent, from 79 crimes per 100,000 in 2006 to 57 crimes in 2011.