Course Outline

A concealed handgun being revealed

Laws regarding who may carry a handgun vary from state to state.

  • To carry a concealed handgun legally in Virginia, you must:
    • Have a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) and…
    • Carry the permit with you at all times while carrying a concealed handgun and…
    • Carry a valid photo ID issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. State Department (passport).
  • The permit can be issued to a Virginia resident or nonresident.

Permits for Virginia Residents

To get a Virginia Resident Concealed Handgun Permit, you must apply in writing to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city where you live. The application is available from the Virginia State Police website.

  • In addition to the application, you also must:
    • Be at least 21 years of age and…
    • Be a Virginia resident and…
    • Have a valid photo ID issued by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. State Department (passport) and…
    • Have documented proof that you have demonstrated competence with a handgun. Ways that you can demonstrate competence include providing:
      • Proof of completion of a state-approved firearms training or safety course or class, including an online course or…
      • Evidence of firearm experience through participation in an organized shooting competition, current military service, or previous military service with proof of honorable discharge.
  • Upon receipt of the application and the application fee, the court will consult with the county or city sheriff or police department to get a report from the Central Criminal Records Exchange.
  • The court will issue your permit within 45 days after receiving your application unless you are disqualified from getting a permit.
  • The permit is valid for five years.

Nonresident Permits

To get a Virginia Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permit, you must be at least 21 years of age and submit a complete application packet to the Virginia Department of State Police. The specific instructions and requirements are explained on the Virginia Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permits website and summarized on the Virginia State Police checklist. The permit is valid for five years.

Reciprocity and Recognition

If you have a concealed handgun or concealed weapon permit from another state, you must meet the requirements listed on the Virginia State Police website to carry a concealed handgun legally in Virginia. If you plan to use your Virginia resident or nonresident concealed handgun permit to carry your handgun in another state, you must check with that state to see if they will recognize your Virginia permit.

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