State Gun 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.
West Virginia Sate Gun Laws Vary From All Other States
State gun laws vary significantly from in West Virginia to all other states. The laws identify different gun related laws including the possession, the use, and the sale of firearms and ammunition, and in some states it even regulates accessories that can be used on the gun including the capacity of magazine sizes for both semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Also, many states even including West Virginia have regulations regarding the number of rounds that can be in a shotgun tube or magazine. (For Hunting) There are even specific gun laws unique to the District of Columbia and for US held territories.
Many state gun laws are even more restrictive than federal laws in both their content, their form, and the restriction of what types of weapons and ammunition can be sold within the state and the manner in which they can be possessed by state or territorial residents. It is vital that all residents of West Virginia know ALL of the State Gun Laws!
As of 2019 there are 44 states that have some special provisions in their state constitutions that are very similar in language used in the second amendment of the United States Constitution, specifically language which protects the citizens of the State the rights to keep and bear arms.
In West Virginia As In All States You Must Know The Gun Laws
The states which are well known to be anti-gun, and seem to have obvious political leanings against the Second Amendment are New York, California, New Jersey, Iowa, Minnesota and Maryland. Luckily, in the US supreme court decision of McDonald vs. Chicago; That the protections of the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms for self defense in one’s home apply against state governments and their politically motivated provisions, thereby preventing a state from abolishing completely any second amendment protections afforded by the US Constitution.
Typically, and in many cases State Gun Laws (Firearms) of West Virginia are usually less restrictive than federal laws yet is not always the case, and one must be aware of these restrictions anytime they are purchasing or carrying a firearm in West Virginia especially while using a concealed carry permit and traveling between states. There are many states that have reciprocity agreements and West Virginia may be one of them, the recipocity are very specific on what states your particular permit will be accepted and recognized.
If You Travel From West Virginia With A Gun Know The Recipocity Laws!
Keep in mind that although your West Virginia permit may have a reciprocity agreement with a state you plan to visit the visiting state may have individual gun restrictions preventing your particular firearm or type of ammunition from being in their state, it is always wise to do your homework before traveling, keep in mind that a reciprocity CCW permit is not a blanket approval.
Remember this does not automatically include any de jure immunity against prosecution for violating any West Virginia state gun laws or possible violations of any federal gun laws!
It should be noted that West Virginia state and local police departments are generally not legally required or obligated to enforce federal gun laws as per the US Supreme Court ruling in Printz vs. The United States.