Concealed Carry Laws for West Virginia
West Virginia State Gun And Self-Defense Laws: YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL. *Always Consult An Attorney.
home, workplace, occupied vehicle.
How to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit in West Virginia
West Virginia recognizes the right of non-prohibited persons who are 21 years of age or older, regardless of state of residence, to carry a concealed weapon in the state without first obtaining a concealed handgun license (“CHL”). In addition, the new law allows nonprohibited persons who are least 18 years of age and less than 21 years of age to obtain a provisional CHL as a lawful means for those persons to carry concealed handguns.
These different licenses are explained HERE. IMPORTANT NOTE: The law applies only to persons physically in the State of West Virginia. It does NOT authorize you to carry a concealed weapon in another state without a license. You MUST obey all weapons laws of other states to which you travel, including all laws regarding licensing and prohibited places. OPTIONAL CHL Non-prohibited persons 21 years or older are no longer required to obtain a CHL in order to legally carry a concealed firearm in West Virginia. However, CHLs may be obtained by those persons wishing to obtain the benefits of holding a CHL.
These benefits include, but are not limited to, carrying a concealed firearm when traveling to other states that honor or recognize a valid West Virginia license, and the ability to store a handgun in a locked vehicle on the Capitol Complex. To obtain an optional CHL, you must submit an application to your county sheriff’s office, pay all applicable fees, and present proof of handgun safety training. The sheriff must issue the CHL to any applicant who satisfies each of these qualifications, so long as the applicant is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. The law simply recognizes that persons 21 years of age or older who may lawfully carry a firearm may now carry their firearm in a concealed manner without a CHL
IMPORTANT NOTE: Qualified persons 21 years of age or older can carry concealed deadly weapons without a license within the Mountain State. With limited exceptions such as service in the armed forces, provisional licenses are required for all residents 18 to 21 years old who wish to carry a concealed handgun in West Virginia. Traditional concealed handgun licenses and provisional licenses are still required for out-of-state travel to recognizing states. 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. 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.
Concealed Carry Permits In West 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 states like; Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Kansas, Oaklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, 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 West Virginia.
Do you know the laws where you live in West 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.
Concealed carry laws, or CCW’s, in West Virginia refers to the legally issued permit which allows for the carrying of a handgun or other weapon in a concealed manner within any place open to the general public.
Not all weapons that fall under concealed carry state laws in West Virginia are lethal, there are some states that regulate non-lethal items such a pepper spray that are carried over a set volume requiring the obtaining of a CCW permit. (In some states non-lethal items require a separate permit)
Concealed Carry Permits In West Virginia Are Different From Other States
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 West 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.
Concealed Carry Education
In order to obtain a Concealed Carry permit, most states require citizens to take a concealed carry education course in-person. Once they complete the entire course, they are eligible to purchase a permit/license. Typically, a course will consist of two sections: theory and hands-on training. Generally, most people would rather take the theory portion of the course on their own time, in the comfort of their own home. Thankfully, there are a few states that allow qualified applicants to take the theory portion online, and the following states happen to be one of these states. Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Texas, Utah, and Virginia!
If you do decide to take a concealed carry course online, We recommend ConcealedCarry-Ed . This handgun education program is committed to delivering the most up-to-date material that is both accurate and meets the state’s education requirements. After passing the course, you can print out your certificate. This certificate is proof that you have taken and completed the online course. Some states will require you to take a field day after taking the course. In other words, you will still have to take the physical portion of the test.
Bring your certificate to your field day expert as proof that you have taken and completed the theory portion of the course. Once you complete all the requirements and passed all the exams, you should be able to apply for your permit/license.
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 West 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.
Every State's Concealed Carry Laws Are Unique In West Virginia
While in West Virginia there is no current federal law that specifically address the issuance of concealed carry permits for private citizens as each state is responsible for the control of concealed carry permits within its sovereign borders. All 50 states have passed laws allowing their respective residents to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a permit from their local Sheriff’s office or Chief of police.
In all states and in West Virginia the only federal law concerning CCW’s is the Peace Officer Safety Act of 2004, (H.R. 218) to lean about this and all other states Concealed Carry Laws see our database on our website US Precision Defense where we maintain a comprehensive listing of every States weapons laws.
Find out how to obtain a CCW - CHL in every State by clicking here; concealed carry permits