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Application for a Concealed Handgun Permit
Any person 21 years of age or older may apply in writing to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which he or she resides, or if he is a member of the United States armed forces, the county or city in which he is domiciled, for a five-year permit to carry a concealed handgun. There is no requirement as to the length of time an applicant for a Concealed Handgun Permit must have been a resident or domiciliary of the county or city where he or she resides

The court shall require proof that the applicant has demonstrated competence with a handgun and the applicant may demonstrate such competence by one of the following, but no applicant shall be required to submit to any additional demonstration of competence:

  1. Completing any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or a similar agency of another state; Completing any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;
  2. Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services;
  3. Completing any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;
  4. Presenting evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or current military service or proof of an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed services;
  5. Obtaining or previously having held a license to carry a firearm in this Commonwealth or a locality thereof, unless such license has been revoked for cause;
  6. Completing any firearms training or safety course or class, including an electronic, video, or on-line course, conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor;
  7. Completing any governmental police agency firearms training course and qualifying to carry a firearm in the course of normal police duties; or
  8. Completing any other firearms training which the court deems adequate.

A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes; an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization, or group that conducted or taught such course or class attesting to the completion of the course or class by the applicant; or a copy of any document which shows completion of the course or class or evidences participation in firearms competition shall constitute evidence of qualification under this subsection.

No applicant shall be required to submit to any additional demonstration of competence, nor shall any proof of demonstrated competence expire.

The court shall charge a fee of $10.00 for the processing of an application or issuing of a permit. Local law enforcement agencies may charge a fee not to exceed $35.00 to cover the cost of conducting an investigation pursuant to this Code section. The State Police may charge a fee not to exceed $5.00 to cover the cost associated with processing the application. The total amount of the charges may not exceed $50.00, and payment may be made by any method accepted by the court.

No fee shall be charged for the issuance of a permit to a retiree described in paragraph K of § 18.2-308.

The court shall issue the permit within 45 days of receipt of the completed application unless it appears that the applicant is disqualified.

The person issued a permit or in possession of a de facto permit must have the permit on his person at all times during which he is carrying a concealed handgun and must display the permit and a photo-identification issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth or by the United States Department of Defense or United States State Department upon demand by a law enforcement officer.

18.2-308. Personal protection; carrying concealed weapons:
A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation, (i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii) any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart; or (v) any weapon of like kind as those enumerated in this subsection, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second violation of this section or a conviction under this section subsequent to any conviction under any substantially similar ordinance of any county, city, or town shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, and a third or subsequent such violation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. For the purpose of this section, a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's true nature.

B. This section shall not apply to any person while in his own place of abode or the curtilage thereof.

Except as provided in subsection J1, this section shall not apply to: 
  1. Any person while in his own place of business;
  2. Any law-enforcement officer, wherever such law-enforcement officer may travel in the Commonwealth;
  3. Any regularly enrolled member of a target shooting organization who is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
  4. Any regularly enrolled member of a weapons collecting organization who is at, or going to or from, a bona fide weapons exhibition, provided that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
  5. Any person carrying such weapons between his place of abode and a place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
  6. Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting, as authorized by the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, under inclement weather conditions necessitating temporary protection of his firearm from those conditions, provided that possession of a handgun while engaged in lawful hunting shall not be construed as hunting with a handgun if the person hunting is carrying a valid concealed handgun permit

No person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in § 4.1-100 for which a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 of the Code of Virginia; may consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of such a restaurant or club and consumes alcoholic beverages is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, nothing in this subsection shall apply to a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer.

Where Unlawful to Carry:
  • §18.2-308: Private property when prohibited by the owner of the property or where posted as prohibited.
  • §18.2-283: To a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place, without good and sufficient reason.
  • §18.2-283.1 Courthouse.
  • §18.2-308.1 School property. Exemptions to this statute include a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school.
  • §18.2-287.01: Carrying weapon in air carrier airport terminal.

Revocation, Suspension, or Surrender of Permit:
Any person who has a felony charge pending or a charge pending for an offense that would be a disqualification for a permit who holds a concealed handgun permit may have such permit suspended by the court before which the charge is pending.

Any person convicted of an offense that would disqualify that person from obtaining a permit or who makes a false statement in an application shall forfeit his permit to the court, or shall be subject to suspension or revocation of the permit.

Any person with a concealed handgun permit shall be prohibited from carrying any concealed firearm, and shall surrender his or her permit to the court entering the order for the duration of any protective order pursuant to 18.2-308.1:4

Any person granted a concealed handgun permit who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such weapon in a public place shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Permit Renewal:
Persons who previously have held a Virginia resident permit shall be issued, upon application, a new five-year permit unless there is good cause shown for refusing to reissue a permit. The same fees and time constraints apply in the instance of renewal. Persons who previously have been issued a concealed handgun permit are not required to appear in person to apply for a new five-year permit; the application for the new permit may be submitted via the United States mail. The circuit court that receives the application shall promptly notify the applicant if the application is incomplete or if the fee submitted is incorrect.

If the new five-year permit is issued while an existing permit remains valid, the new five-year permit shall become effective upon the expiration date of the existing permit, provided that the application is received by the court at least 90 days but no more than 180 days prior to the expiration of the existing permit.

If a permit holder is a member of the Virginia National Guard, Armed Forces of the United States, or the Armed Forces reserves of the United States, and his five-year permit expires during an active-duty military deployment outside of the permittee's county or city of residence, such permit shall remain valid for 90 days after the end date of the deployment. In order to establish proof of continued validity of the permit, such a permittee shall carry with him and display, upon request of a law-enforcement officer, a copy of the permittee's deployment orders or other documentation from the permittee's commanding officer that order the permittee to travel outside of his county or city of residence and that indicate the start and end date of such deployment.

If Your Application is Denied:
Any order denying issuance of the permit shall state the basis for the denial of the permit and the applicant’s right to and the requirements for perfecting an appeal of such order.

Upon denial of the application, the clerk shall provide the person with notice, in writing, of his right to an ore tenus hearing. Upon request of the applicant made within 21 days, the court shall place the matter on the docket for an ore tenus hearing. The applicant may be represented by counsel, but counsel shall not be appointed, and the rules of evidence shall apply. The final order of the court shall include the court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Any person denied a permit to carry a concealed handgun may present a petition for review to the Court of Appeals. The petition for review shall be filed within 60-days of the expiration of the time for requesting an ore tenus hearing pursuant to subsection I of § 18.2-308, or if an ore tenus hearing is requested, within sixty days of the entry of the final order of the circuit court following the hearing. The petition shall be accompanied by a copy of the original papers filed in the circuit court, including a copy of the order of the circuit court denying the permit. Subject to the provisions of § 17.1-410 B, the decision of the Court of Appeals or judge shall be final. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the decision to deny the permit is reversed upon appeal, taxable costs incurred by the person shall be paid by the Commonwealth.