State Laws

West Virginia Gun Laws


Residents of West Virginia are not required to have a permit before purchasing any kind of long gun or handgun. Registration is also not required of residents for long guns or handguns. West Virginia does not have an assault weapons law for either long guns or handguns. Owners are not required to be licensed to have rifles, handguns, or shotguns.

Residents in the state of West Virginia are not required to have permits to carry long guns but are required to have permits to carry handguns. This includes revolvers and pistols. Concealed weapons permits are not necessary to carry revolvers or pistols in a personally owned home or place of business.

West Virginia allows each city to create local restrictions for firearms that overshadows state law and federal laws for firearms. This is allowed for both handguns and long guns. No NFA weapons are restricted in this state, and all federal peaceable journey laws are observed.

West Virginia Possession Laws
In order to possess a concealed weapons permit, individuals must first pass a required exam. Concealed weapons permits are issued through the county sheriff in the county of residency. This exam will insure that the carrier is aware of the federal laws, the state laws, and the local laws in regards to firearms as well as the competency for handling firearms.

Open carry is also allowed in West Virginia. Some local governments are allowed to restrict open carrying in each city, which will trump all other state and federal laws with regards to open carrying. The cities of Charleston and Dunbar have extra restrictions for open carry. The castle doctrine came into enactment as of the tenth of April 2008.

Firearms Felony Laws
Submachine guns, machine guns, and fully automatics weapons are illegal inside West Virginia state lines. No waiting period is necessary for the purchase of firearms. Those who possess or carry firearms in the proximity of school grounds will be charged with felony offenses. Though it is by constitutional right that United State citizens have the right to bear arms, some individuals can lose these rights. Those that lose their rights to bear arms are deemed safety hindrances due to their personal history.

Certain restrictions apply for who is permitted to possess firearms. An individual who have been convicted of a felony offense is not permitted by state law to possess or own a firearm. Individuals who have been dishonorably discharged from any of the armed forces are not permitted to own or possess any form of firearm.

Those who have been deemed mentally incompetent, either through commitment to a mental institution or otherwise, are also ineligible from owning or possessing firearms. Individuals who have habitual use of narcotics, illegal drugs, or alcohol are ineligible from this privilege. Individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses, both misdemeanors and felonies, are ineligible. The last of those who are not eligible to possess or own firearms are those who are under the age of eighteen and are named as minors.

See also:
West Virginia Felony
West Virginia Divorce
West Virginia Bankruptcy Laws
West Virginia Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
West Virginia Expungement External link (opens in new window)