Self-defense and preparation are two of many major reasons why many people choose to own a handgun. However, a pistol won’t do you any good on the street if it’s locked in a safe at home. Virginia, as an “open carry” state, allows all citizens within its boarders to legally carry a firearm in a clearly visible manner without any special permitting. Those seeking to conceal their firearm from public display may also apply for a Virginia Conceal Carry Permit. Many shooters prefer this method of carry as it might cause less of a stir for the less than sensitized citizens of Northern Virginia, specifically Arlington county.
Virginia allows both residents and non-residents to obtain a valid conceal carry permit. Below we describe how to obtain a resident or non-resident Virginia Conceal Carry Handgun permit:
- First, if you haven’t yet bought a firearm in Virginia you need to determine whether you are eligible to own and legally carry a firearm. You can check eligibility requirements here. To find the right firearm for conceal carry be sure to check out the multiple handgun rental program through National Shooters called The Sampler. And read our blogs on buying your first firearm.
- You need to be able to prove you have basic competency manipulating and firing handguns. There are a few different ways to demonstrate competence, but one of the easiest ways is to take Handgun 101 offered by National Shooters or if you already have the basics down you should attend their Armed Self Defense Training Day. You leave both programs legally allowed to apply for a concealed carry permit and far more confident with firearms.
- Be sure to keep the class certificate which should show your full legal name as it will appear on your application. Learn more about how to meet the requirements here.
- Download and complete the Application for Concealed Handgun Permit, available at the Virginia State Police website here. Note that fingerprints are no longer required.
- You must get your signature on the document notarized. Not sure where to find a notary? You can use Notary Rotary.
- Bring your completed, notarized form to your local government center. If you are an Arlington resident this means you need to go to 1425 N. Courthouse Road, Suite 6700. The fee for a concealed handgun permit is $50 in Arlington County. You must also bring one self-addressed envelope with postage paid. The County will use this envelope to mail your concealed-carry permit to you. Non-Residents will mail the application to the VIRGINIA STATE POLICE, FIREARMS TRANSACTION CENTER, POST OFFICE BOX 85608, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, 23285-5608
- Your permit must be either issued or denied within 45 days. You will automatically be issued a temporary concealed handgun permit if your application is not resolved within that time frame.