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By the state’s “must issue” policy, concealed carry permits in West Virginia are distributed by local sheriff’s departments.
Buying a handgun from a person in West Virginia does not need a permit, background check, waiting period, or weapons registration.
In West Virginia, a concealed carry permit is not required. If you are at least 18 years old, you can legal own and carry a pistol openly without a license. The general public is not permitted in places like lecture halls and courtrooms.
You need to be at least 21 years old, a citizen or legal resident of the United States, and legally able to own a handgun in accordance with state and federal law in order to carry a concealed firearm without a license.
In order to lawfully carry a concealed weapon between the ages of 18 and 20, one must first get a “Provisional Concealed Handgun License” (CHL). Permanent residents and military personnel stationed in West Virginia can apply for and get CHLs from the state.
As of July 6, 2021, West Virginia began awarding licenses to non-residents. In order to get a CHL, you have to take and pass a course on how to safely handle and fire a handgun. All concealed carry permits from other states are valid in West Virginia.
West Virginia CCW Application Process Requirements
In order to obtain a CCW permit in West Virginia the following requirements are needed:
- You must currently reside in the county where you are applying.
- Bring a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license.
- Successfully complete an 8-hour live-fire training course and provide proof of completion.
- Not be dependent on or using narcotics, alcohol, or other drugs illegally
- Not have a criminal record involving violence or domestic abuse, either at the misdemeanor or felony level
- Not have a record of misdemeanor convictions that involve the use of a deadly weapon
- Provide a copy of your completed training course’s certificate, affidavit from the teacher, or other proof that shows your training was completed successfully.
- Sign the application form in the presence of a notary.
Documents Needed For CCW In West Virginia
If you want to apply, you’ll need to provide your Social Security card and pass a background check.
West Virginia only accepts checks and money orders.
- $50.00 application fee (check or money order).
- The provisional fee is $30.00, payable by check or money order.
- A $100.00 USD check or money order is required from all non-residents.
States Who Accept West Virginia CCW Permits
In West Virginia, qualified persons who are 21 or older do not need a permit to carry concealed firearms. All West Virginia residents between the ages of 18 and 21, with a few exceptions including military duty, need a provisional license in order to legally carry a concealed firearm in public. It is still necessary to have a valid concealed handgun license or provisional license in order to travel to another state that recognizes West Virginia licenses.
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. For example, some states may not recognize a WV license held by a non-resident of WV, especially the non-resident’s home state. 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.
Licensees from West Virginia who want to travel to another state and carry a concealed firearm should still get in touch with the receiving state to verify recognition and to learn about any applicable local limitations. For instance, a non-WV resident’s home state could not accept a West Virginia driver’s license. Concealed carry permit holders in West Virginia are expected to be well-versed on the firearms laws of any other states they may visit.
West Virginia has concealed carry reciprocity with the following states:
The following states currently accept Wisconsin CCW permits:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
West Virginia and Out of State CCW Permits
Permits to carry concealed weapons issued by other states are valid in West Virginia. A concealed handgun can be carried in a vehicle for self-defense by those who have a valid concealed carry permit. They are allowed to transport a fully loaded weapon.
Open carry is legal in all areas of West Virginia. Nonetheless, firearms are prohibited in some public spaces such as courthouses, schools, and school buses.
It is suggested that, if you don’t have a concealed carry permit, you:
- Put away your guns and ammo
- Put the weapons somewhere in the car that nobody can get to easily.
- Keep ammo locked up somewhere other than the gun.
- Permits issued in other states must be physically present in West Virginia as well.
Traveling Through West Virginia with a Firearm
Gun control regulations, including those pertaining to their ownership, transport, and usage, are always evolving. As of 1/24/2013, please see below West Virginia statutes now in effect. The details provided here are meant just as a point of reference. Please consult the West Virginia Code at legis.state.wv.us if you have any more inquiries. There’s also the West Virginia Citizens Defense League, which you can learn more about at wvcdl.org.
A concealed handgun may be carried in a vehicle by a person with a valid concealed carry permit for the sole purpose of self-defense.
Everyone who is old enough to legally own a pistol in West Virginia can legally carry one without hiding it. You should know that a law enforcement officer’s attention will be drawn to any unconcealed firearm in your vehicle if you choose to carry one and are pulled over.
When an officer suspects a weapon is present, he or she may take measures to protect themselves. These measures may include drawing a firearm, removing you from the car, and/or conducting a pat-down search.
While transporting a hunting weapon in a vehicle, it must be unloaded and stored in a locked container. While driving without a concealed carry permit, guns should be unloaded and stored in a locked container in a place where they cannot be reached by any of the passengers. The rifle and its ammo should be kept in different places.
Please consult with an attorney for legal advice.