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How To Get A Concealed Carry Permit In Virginia?

Quick Answer

To obtain a concealed carry permit in Virginia, individuals must complete a state-approved firearms training course, download and file the application with the appropriate authorities, and wait for notification of approval. There are several requirements that applicants must meet, including being at least 21 years old, demonstrating competence with a handgun, and meeting certain eligibility criteria. The application fee for an initial permit is $50-100, and the permit is valid for five years. It’s important to familiarize oneself with Virginia’s gun laws and concealed carry reciprocity with other states.


Concealed carry permits allow individuals to legally carry a concealed handgun for personal protection. If you are a resident of Virginia and interested in obtaining a concealed carry permit, it’s important to understand the process and requirements set forth by the state.

In this article, we will provide you with comprehensive information on how to get a concealed carry permit in Virginia. We’ll cover everything from completing firearms training courses to filing your application and waiting for notification. Additionally, we’ll discuss the eligibility criteria that applicants must meet as well as fees associated with applying for or renewing a permit.

It is crucial that responsible gun owners familiarize themselves not only with their own state’s laws but also those pertaining to other states they may travel through or visit. Understanding reciprocity agreements between different states can help ensure compliance when carrying across state lines.

Whether you’re considering getting your first concealed carry permit or looking into renewal options, this guide aims to equip you with all the necessary knowledge about acquiring and maintaining your right-to-carry privileges within Virginia’s legal framework.

How to Get a Concealed Carry Permit in Virginia

Step 1: Complete a State-Approved Firearms Training Course

To obtain a concealed carry permit in Virginia, the first step is to complete a state-approved firearms training course. This course must demonstrate your competence with handguns and can be taken through various approved providers.

The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the National Rifle Association (NRA), law enforcement agencies, or certified instructors offer these courses. It’s important to ensure that you choose an accredited provider recognized by the state.

During this training course, you will learn essential skills such as firearm safety rules, proper handling techniques, marksmanship fundamentals, and legal responsibilities associated with carrying concealed weapons. Successful completion of this training program will provide you with certification necessary for applying for your permit.

Step 2: Download and File the Application

Once you have completed the required firearms training course successfully it’s time to move on to step two – downloading and filing out your application form.

You can download the application from either The Virginia State Police website or obtain one directly from any circuit court or sheriff’s office near where you reside.

Ensure that all sections are filled accurately without leaving anything blank; incomplete applications may result in delays or rejection during processing.

When filling out your application form make sure:

  • To include personal information like name, address, date-of-birth, etc.
  • Attach copies of identification documents proving residency, citizenship, and age.
  • Include proof of completing an approved handgun competency class.

After completing all relevant fields, you should sign & date at the bottom before submitting it along with other supporting documentation mentioned above.

It is crucially important not to miss any details while filling up forms because even minor errors could lead to a delay or rejection, so double-check everything before submission.

Step 3: Wait For Notification

After submitting their completed applications, applicants need to wait until they receive notification regarding the approval or denial of their concealed carry permit.

The notification will be sent via mail to the address provided on your application form. It is important to keep an eye out for this letter as it contains crucial information about whether you have been approved and if so, instructions regarding how/where to pick up your permit.

The processing time can vary depending upon various factors such as workload at local circuit courts, etc., but generally, applicants should expect a wait period of around 45-90 days before receiving a response.

During this waiting period, it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with Virginia’s gun laws & regulations governing carrying concealed weapons to ensure compliance once you receive approval.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry Permit in Virginia

Age Requirement

To be eligible for a concealed carry permit in Virginia, applicants must be at least 21 years old. This age requirement ensures that individuals have reached the legal age to possess and responsibly handle firearms.

Residency Requirement

Applicants are required to reside in the county where they submit their application. Non-residents of Virginia can still apply but need to mail their applications directly to the state police.

Competence with a Handgun

Virginia law mandates that applicants demonstrate competence with a handgun before obtaining a concealed carry permit. This can be achieved by completing an approved firearms training course offered by organizations such as the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, National Rifle Association (NRA), certified instructors, or law enforcement agencies.

Citizenship Requirement

To qualify for a concealed carry permit in Virginia, individuals must be lawful permanent residents of the United States. Proof of citizenship may include documents like birth certificates or passports during the application process.

Discharge from Armed Forces

Individuals who have been dishonorably discharged from any branch of armed forces are not eligible for obtaining a concealed carry permit under Virginia’s laws governing firearm possession and permits.

Fugitive From Justice

Individuals who are fugitives from justice cannot obtain a concealed carry permit in Virginia.

Criminal Offenses and Mental Health Issues

Applicants will be ineligible for a concealed carry permit if they have been convicted of certain criminal offenses within the past three years or if they are found to be mentally unstable by a court order.

Restraining Orders and Protective Orders

If an individual is subject to a certain restraining order or protective order taken out against them, they will not qualify for a concealed carry permit.

Drug Addiction and Unlawful Use or Distribution

Individuals who are addicted to or unlawfully use or distribute drugs are not eligible for a concealed carry permit in Virginia.

Recent Convictions

Applicants with recent convictions of certain offenses within the past three years may be disqualified from obtaining a concealed carry permit. It is important to review and understand these specific offenses as outlined by Virginia law.

Note: The content provided above is based on the information from external sources, and it’s always recommended to refer to official sources for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding requirements for a concealed carry permit in Virginia.

Application Process and Fees

Initial Permit Application

To apply for an initial concealed carry permit in Virginia, there are specific steps that need to be followed. Here is a breakdown of the application process:

  1. Complete a state-approved firearms training course: Before applying for a concealed carry permit, applicants must demonstrate competence with a handgun by completing an approved training course. This can be done through the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the National Rifle Association (NRA), law enforcement agencies, or certified instructors.
  2. Download and file the application form: The next step is to download the application form from either the Virginia State Police website or obtain it from your local circuit court or sheriff’s office. Fill out all required information accurately.
  3. Submitting your application:
    • Residents should submit their completed applications along with copies of their firearms training certificate in person at their county’s clerk of circuit court.
    • Non-residents should mail their applications directly to the Virginia State Police.
  4. Waiting period: After submitting your complete application package, you will have to wait until you receive notification regarding its approval status via mail.

Renewal Application

If you already possess a valid concealed carry permit in Virginia but wish to renew it before the expiration date approaches, you’ll need to follow these guidelines:

  1. Check renewal eligibility dates: The renewal window opens up within 180 days prior to the expiry date mentioned on the current license. You cannot initiate this procedure if more than six months have passed since expiration occurred.
  2. Download & fill out necessary forms: Visit official websites like VA.gov, Virginia Circuit Courts, etc. to access updated versions. Fill them completely without any errors as per instructions provided therein.
  3. Provide supporting documents: Apart from filled-in paperwork, you may also require additional documentation such as proof of completion of firearm competency courses taken during the previous five years. Make sure everything requested gets included when mailing back materials to the specified address given below:
  4. Virginia State Police
    Firearms Transaction Center (FTC)
    P.O. Box 85141
    Richmond, VA 23285-5141

  5. Pay renewal fee: The current cost for renewing a concealed carry permit in Virginia is $50.

Application Fees

When applying for a concealed carry permit in Virginia, there are fees associated with the process:

  1. Initial Permit Fee: The application fee for an initial concealed carry permit ranges from $50 to $100 depending on your locality and other factors. This fee covers the processing of your application and background checks.
  2. Renewal Fee: To renew your existing concealed carry permit, you will need to pay a renewal fee of $50.

It’s important to note that these fees may be subject to change over time. Therefore, it is always recommended checking official sources or contacting relevant authorities directly before submitting any applications.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity and Virginia’s Gun Laws

Understanding Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Concealed carry reciprocity refers to the recognition of concealed carry permits issued by one state in another state. It allows individuals with a valid permit from their home state to legally carry a concealed handgun while traveling or temporarily residing in another participating state.

Virginia has established reciprocal agreements with several states, recognizing each other’s concealed carry permits. This means that if you have a valid Virginia concealed carry permit, it may be honored in those states as well. However, it is important to note that reciprocity laws can vary between states and are subject to change over time.

Before carrying your firearm outside of Virginia under the assumption of reciprocity, always check for updates on which specific states recognize your permit. The U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) provides resources such as interactive maps and up-to-date information on reciprocal agreements between different jurisdictions.

Familiarizing Yourself with Virginia’s Gun Laws

As an individual seeking a concealed carry permit in Virginia, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the gun laws governing firearms possession and use within the Commonwealth:

  1. Open Carrying vs Concealed Carrying:

    • In most public places throughout Virginia, open carrying without any license/permit is legal.
    • To conceal-carry handguns or openly carry loaded long guns, proper licenses/permits are required.
  2. Restricted Areas:

    • Certain areas like schools, school buses, courthouses, etc., prohibit both open and concealed carrying even when having appropriate licenses/permits.
  3. Firearm Possession Restrictions:

    • There are certain restrictions regarding who can possess firearms, including felons, persons convicted of domestic violence, misdemeanor crimes involving drugs/alcohol, etc.
  4. Stand Your Ground Law:

    • Under this law, Virginians do not have a duty to retreat before using force against intruders.
  5. Castle Doctrine:

    • Virginia has a “castle doctrine” law that allows individuals to use force, including deadly force if necessary, to protect themselves or others in their home against an intruder.

It is important for concealed carry permit holders and gun owners alike to stay updated on any changes or amendments made to these laws. The official website of the Commonwealth of Virginia provides detailed information regarding firearms regulations and statutes within the state.

Resources for Responsible Gun Owners

Responsible gun ownership goes beyond obtaining a concealed carry permit; it involves ongoing education, training, and adherence to safety practices. Here are some resources available for responsible gun owners:

  1. U.S Concealed Carry Association (USCCA):

    USCCA offers comprehensive self-defense insurance coverage along with educational materials such as online courses, articles, and videos covering various aspects of firearm safety, self-defense techniques, etc.

  2. National Rifle Association (NRA):

    NRA also provides extensive resources like training programs, safety guidelines, and legislative updates related to guns.

  3. Local Shooting Ranges/Clubs:

    Joining local shooting ranges/clubs can provide opportunities for further skill development through classes, courses, and competitions. They often have certified instructors who offer specialized training tailored towards different levels of experience.

  4. Firearms Training Courses:

    Various organizations, instructors, and private companies across Virginia offer firearms training courses designed specifically for beginners seeking basic knowledge about handguns and advanced shooters looking to enhance their skills. These courses cover topics ranging from safe handling of weapons to marksmanship principles, tactical strategies, etc.

By utilizing these resources, you can ensure you remain informed, responsible, and confident when exercising your rights to conceal-carry in accordance with Virginia’s gun laws.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a concealed carry permit in Virginia?

The processing time for a concealed carry permit in Virginia can vary depending on the county or city where you submit your application. Generally, it takes around 45-60 days from the date of submission for the applicant to receive notification if their application has been approved.

Can I apply for a concealed carry permit if I am a non-resident of Virginia?

Yes, non-residents are eligible to apply for a concealed carry permit in Virginia. Non-residents must mail their completed applications along with all required documents and fees directly to the state police instead of filing them at local circuit courts like residents do.

Can I carry a concealed handgun in other states with my Virginia permit?

Virginia has reciprocity agreements with many other states that recognize its permits. This means that as long as you have obtained your concealed carry permit in Virginia, you may be able to carry a concealed handgun in those states. However, it’s important to note that reciprocity agreements can change, so it’s always a good idea to check the specific laws and regulations of the state you plan to visit or travel through.


  1. https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/resources/how-to-get-a-concealed-carry-permit/virginia/
  2. https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter7/section18.2-308.02/
  3. https://www.virginia.gov/services/public-safety/firearms/