From and after January 1, 1987, no county, city or town shall adopt
any ordinance to govern the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership,
carrying or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination
thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute.
Nothing in this section shall affect the validity or invalidity of any
ordinance adopted prior to January 1, 1987. Nothing in this section shall
have any effect on any pending litigation. However, no person may be prosecuted
or convicted of a violation of any ordinance regulating the transportation
of a firearm if he is (i) in lawful possession of the firearm and he has
a valid concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to §18.2-308 or (ii)
otherwise transporting the firearm in a lawful manner.
Malicious bodily injury to law-enforcement officers or firefighters;
penalty; lesser included offense
If any person maliciously causes bodily injury to another by any means
including the means set out in §18.2-52, with intent to maim, disfigure,
disable or kill, and knowing or having reason to know that such other person
is a law-enforcement officer, as defined hereinafter, or firefighter, as
defined in §65.2-102, engaged in the performance of his public duties
as a law-enforcement officer or firefighter, such person shall be guilty
of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a period of not less than five
years nor more than thirty years and, subject to subdivision (g) of §18.2-10,
a fine of not more than $100,000. Upon conviction, the sentence of such
person shall include a mandatory, minimum term of imprisonment of two years.
If any person unlawfully, but not maliciously, with the intent aforesaid,
causes bodily injury to another by any means, knowing or having reason
to know such other person is a law-enforcement officer as defined hereinafter,
or firefighter, as defined in §65.2-102, engaged in the performance
of his public duties as a law-enforcement officer or firefighter, he shall
be guilty of a Class 6 felony, and upon conviction, the sentence of such
person shall include a mandatory, minimum term of imprisonment of one year.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the right of any
person charged with a violation of this section from asserting and presenting
evidence in support of any defenses to the charge that may be available
under common law.
As used in this section the term "mandatory, minimum" means that the
sentence it describes shall be served with no suspension of sentence in
whole or in part.
As used in this section a law-enforcement officer means any full-time
or part-time employee of a police department or sheriff's office which
is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision
thereof, and who is responsible for the prevention or detection of crime
and the enforcement of the penal, traffic or highway laws of this Commonwealth,
any conservation officer of the Department of Conservation and Recreation
commissioned pursuant to §10.1-115, and includes auxiliary police
officers appointed or provided for pursuant to §§15.1-159.2 and
15.1-159.4 and auxiliary deputy sheriffs appointed pursuant to §15.1-48.
The provisions of § 18.2-51 shall be deemed to provide a lesser
included offense hereof.
Wearing of body armor while committing a crime; penalty
Any person who, while committing a crime of violence as defined in §18.2-288
(2) or a felony violation of §18.2-248 or subdivision (a) 2 or 3 of
§ 18.2-248.1, has in his possession a firearm or knife and is wearing
body armor designed to diminish the effect of the impact of a bullet or
projectile shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.
(Effective January 1, 1998) Personal protection; carrying concealed
weapons; when lawful to carry
A. If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation,
(i) any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel
a missile of any kind; (ii) any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic
knife, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; (iii)
any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected
in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as
a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain; (iv) any
disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed
blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known
as a throwing star or oriental dart; or (v) any weapon of like kind as
those enumerated in this subsection, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
A second violation of this section or a conviction under this section subsequent
to any conviction under any substantially similar ordinance of any county,
city, or town shall be punishable as a Class 6 felony, and a third or subsequent
such violation shall be punishable as a Class 5 felony. Any weapon used
in the commission of a violation of this section shall be forfeited to
the Commonwealth and may be seized by an officer as forfeited, and such
as may be needed for police officers, conservators of the peace, and the
Division of Forensic Science shall be devoted to that purpose, subject
to any registration requirements of federal law, and the remainder shall
be disposed of as provided in §18.2-310. For the purpose of this section,
a weapon shall be deemed to be hidden from common observation when it is
observable but is of such deceptive appearance as to disguise the weapon's
B. This section shall not apply to:
1. Any person while in his own place of abode or the curtilage thereof;
2. Any police officers, including Capitol Police officers, sergeants,
sheriffs, deputy sheriffs or regular game wardens appointed pursuant to
Chapter 2 (§29.1-200 et seq.) of Title 29.1;
3. Any regularly enrolled member of a target shooting organization who
is at, or going to or from, an established shooting range, provided that
the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
4. Any regularly enrolled member of a weapons collecting organization
who is at, or going to or from, a bona fide weapons exhibition, provided
that the weapons are unloaded and securely wrapped while being transported;
5. Any person carrying such weapons between his place of abode and a
place of purchase or repair, provided the weapons are unloaded and securely
wrapped while being transported;
6. Campus police officers appointed pursuant to Chapter 17 (§23-232
et seq.) of Title 23;
7. Any person actually engaged in lawful hunting, as authorized by the
Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, under inclement weather conditions
necessitating temporary protection of his firearm from those conditions;
8. Any State Police officer retired from the Department of State Police
and any local law-enforcement officer retired from a police department
or sheriff's office within the Commonwealth (i) with a service-related
disability or (ii) following at least fifteen years of service, other than
a person terminated for cause, provided such officer carries with him written
proof of consultation with and favorable review of the need to carry a
concealed weapon issued by the chief law-enforcement officer of the agency
from which the officer retired.
C. This section shall also not apply to any of the following individuals
while in the discharge of their official duties, or while in transit to
or from such duties:
1. Carriers of the United States mail;
2. Officers or guards of any state correctional institution;
4. Conservators of the peace, except that the following conservators
of the peace shall not be permitted to carry a concealed weapon without
obtaining a permit as provided in subsection D hereof: (a) notaries public;
(b) registrars; (c) drivers, operators or other persons in charge of any
motor vehicle carrier of passengers for hire; or (d) commissioners in chancery;
5. Noncustodial employees of the Department of Corrections designated
to carry weapons by the Director of the Department of Corrections pursuant
to § 53.1-29;
6. Law-enforcement agents of the Armed Forces of the United States and
federal agents who are otherwise authorized to carry weapons by federal
law while engaged in the performance of their duties;
7. Law-enforcement agents of the United States Naval Criminal Investigative
8. Harbormaster of the City of Hopewell.
D. Any person twenty-one years of age or older may apply in writing
to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which he resides
for a five-year permit to carry a concealed handgun. Notwithstanding §15.1-29.15,
a county or city may enact an ordinance which requires any applicant for
a concealed handgun permit to submit to fingerprinting for the purpose
of obtaining the applicant's state or national criminal history record.
The application shall be made under oath before a notary or other person
qualified to take oaths and shall be made only on a form prescribed by
the Department of State Police, in consultation with the Supreme Court,
requiring only that information necessary to determine eligibility for
the permit. The court shall consult with the law-enforcement authorities
of the county or city and receive a report from the Central Criminal Records
Exchange. As a condition for issuance of a concealed handgun permit, the
applicant shall submit to fingerprinting if required by local ordinance
in the county or city where the applicant resides and provide personal
descriptive information to be forwarded with the fingerprints through the
Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation
for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding
the applicant, and obtaining fingerprint identification information from
federal records pursuant to criminal investigations by state and local
law-enforcement agencies. Upon completion of the criminal history records
check, the State Police shall return the fingerprint cards to the submitting
local agency. The local agency shall then promptly notify the person that
he has twenty-one days from the date of the notice to request return of
the fingerprint cards. All fingerprint cards not claimed by the applicant
within twenty-one days of notification by the local agency shall be destroyed.
Fingerprints taken for the purposes described in this section shall not
be copied, held or used for any other purposes. The court shall issue the
permit within forty-five days of receipt of the completed application unless
it is determined that the applicant is disqualified. If the applicant is
later found by the court to be disqualified, the permit shall be revoked.
E. The following persons shall be deemed disqualified from obtaining
1. An individual who is ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to
§§ 18.2-308.1:1, 18.2-308.1:2 or §18.2-308.1:3 or the substantially
similar law of any other state or of the United States.
2. An individual who was ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to
§ 18.2-308.1:1 and who was discharged from the custody of the Commissioner
pursuant to §19.2-182.7 less than five years before the date of his
application for a concealed handgun permit.
3. An individual who was ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to
§ 18.2-308.1:2 and whose competency or capacity was restored pursuant
to former §37.1-134.1 or §37.1-134.16 less than five years before
the date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.
4. An individual who was ineligible to possess a firearm under §18.2-308.1:3
and who was released from commitment less than five years before the date
of this application for a concealed handgun permit.
5. An individual who is subject to a restraining order, or to a protective
order and prohibited by §18.2-308.1:4 from purchasing or transporting
6. An individual who is prohibited by §18.2-308.2 from possessing
or transporting a firearm, except that a permit may be obtained in accordance
with subsection C of that section.
7. An individual who has been convicted of two or more misdemeanors
within the five-year period immediately preceding the application, if one
of the misdemeanors was a Class 1 misdemeanor, but the judge shall have
the discretion to deny a permit for two or more misdemeanors that are not
Class 1. Traffic infractions or reckless driving shall not be considered
for purposes of this disqualification.
8. An individual who is addicted to, or is an unlawful user or distributor
of, marijuana or any controlled substance.
9. An individual who has been convicted of a violation of §18.2-266
or a substantially similar local ordinance or of public drunkenness within
the three-year period immediately preceding the application, or who is
a habitual drunkard as determined pursuant to §4.1-333.
10. An alien other than an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence
in the United States.
11. An individual who has been discharged from the Armed Forces of the
United States under dishonorable conditions.
12. An individual who is a fugitive from justice.
13. An individual who it is alleged, in a sworn written statement submitted
to the court by the sheriff, chief of police or attorney for the Commonwealth
in the opinion of such sheriff, chief of police or attorney for the Commonwealth,
is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently to endanger others.
The statement of the sheriff, chief of police or the attorney for the Commonwealth
shall be based upon personal knowledge or upon the sworn written statement
of a competent person having personal knowledge.
14. An individual who has been convicted of any assault, assault and
battery, sexual battery, discharging of a firearm in violation of §18.2-280
or § 18.2-286.1 or brandishing of a firearm in violation of §18.2-282
within the three-year period immediately preceding the application.
15. An individual who has been convicted of stalking.
16. An individual whose previous convictions or adjudications of delinquency
were based on an offense which would have been at the time of conviction
a felony if committed by an adult under the laws of any state, the District
of Columbia, the United States or its territories. For purposes of this
disqualifier, only convictions occurring within sixteen years following
the later of the date of (i) the conviction or adjudication or (ii) release
from any incarceration imposed upon such conviction or adjudication shall
be deemed to be "previous convictions."
17. An individual who has a felony charge pending or a charge pending
for an offense listed in subdivision 14 or 15.
18. An individual who has received mental health treatment or substance
abuse treatment in a residential setting within five years prior to the
date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.
F. The making of a materially false statement in an application under
this section shall constitute perjury, punishable as provided in §18.2-434.
G. The court may further require proof that the applicant has demonstrated
competence with a handgun and the applicant may demonstrate such competence
by one of the following:
1. Completing any hunter education or hunter safety course approved
by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or a similar agency of another
2. Completing any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training
3. Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available
to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college,
college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training
school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association
or the Department of Criminal Justice Services;
4. Completing any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course
or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies,
or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;
5. Presenting evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through
participation in organized shooting competition or military service;
6. Obtaining or previously having held a license to carry a firearm
in this Commonwealth or a locality thereof, unless such license has been
revoked for cause;
7. Completing any firearms training or safety course or class conducted
by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor;
8. Completing any other firearms training which the court deems adequate.
A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or
classes; an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization,
or group that conducted or taught such course or class attesting to the
completion of the course or class by the applicant; or a copy of any document
which shows completion of the course or class or evidences participation
in firearms competition shall constitute evidence of qualification under
H. The permit to carry a concealed handgun shall specify the name, address,
date of birth, gender, social security number, height, weight, color of
hair, color of eyes, and signature of the permittee; the signature of the
judge issuing the permit, or of the clerk of court who has been authorized
to sign such permits by the issuing judge; the date of issuance; and the
expiration date. The person issued the permit shall have such permit on
his person at all times during which he is carrying a concealed handgun
and must display the permit and a photo-identification issued by a government
agency of the Commonwealth or by the United States Department of Defense
or United States State Department (passport) upon demand by a law-enforcement
I. Persons who previously have held a concealed weapons permit shall
be issued, upon application as provided in subsection D, a new five-year
permit unless there is good cause shown for refusing to reissue a permit.
If the circuit court denies the permit, the specific reasons for the denial
shall be stated in the order of the court denying the permit. Upon denial
of the application and request of the applicant made within ten days, the
court shall place the matter on the docket for an ore tenus hearing. The
applicant may be represented by counsel, but counsel shall not be appointed.
The final order of the court shall include the court's findings of fact
and conclusions of law.
J. Any person convicted of an offense that would disqualify that person
from obtaining a permit under subsection E or who violates subsection F
shall forfeit his permit for a concealed handgun to the court. Upon receipt
by the Central Criminal Records Exchange of a record of the arrest, conviction
or occurrence of any other event which would disqualify a person from obtaining
a concealed weapons permit under subsection E, the Central Criminal Records
Exchange shall notify the court having issued the permit of such disqualifying
arrest, conviction or other event.
J1. Any person permitted to carry a concealed weapon under this section,
who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such
weapon in a public place, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
J2. An individual who has a felony charge pending or a charge pending
for an offense listed in subdivision E 14 or E 15, holding a permit for
a concealed handgun, may have the permit suspended by the court before
which such charge is pending.
J3. No person shall carry a concealed handgun onto the premises of any
restaurant or club as defined in §4.1-100 for which a license to sell
and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted
by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 of the
Code of Virginia; however, nothing herein shall prohibit any owner or event
sponsor or his employees from carrying a concealed handgun while on duty
at such restaurant or club if such person has a concealed handgun permit.
K. No fee shall be charged for the issuance of such permit to a person
who has retired from service (i) as a magistrate in the Commonwealth; (ii)
as a law-enforcement officer with the Department of State Police or with
a sheriff or police department, bureau or force of any political subdivision
of the Commonwealth of Virginia, after completing twenty years' service
or after reaching age fifty-five; or (iii) to any person who has retired
after completing twenty years' service or after reaching age fifty-five
from service as a law-enforcement officer with the United States Federal
Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Secret
Service Agency, Drug Enforcement Administration or Naval Criminal Investigative
Service. The clerk shall charge a fee of ten dollars for the processing
of an application or issuing of a permit, including his costs associated
with the consultation with law-enforcement agencies. The local law-enforcement
agency conducting the background investigation may charge a fee not to
exceed thirty-five dollars to cover the cost of conducting an investigation
pursuant to this section. The thirty-five-dollar fee shall include any
amount assessed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for providing criminal
history record information, and the local law-enforcement agency shall
forward the amount assessed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the
State Police with the fingerprints taken from the applicant. The State
Police may charge a fee not to exceed five dollars to cover their costs
associated with processing the application. The total amount assessed for
processing an application for a permit shall not exceed fifty dollars,
with such fees to be paid in one sum to the person who accepts the application.
Payment may be made by any method accepted by that court for payment of
other fees or penalties. No payment shall be required until the application
is accepted by the court as a complete application. The order issuing such
permit shall be provided to the State Police and the law-enforcement agencies
of the county or city. The State Police shall enter the permittee's name
and description in the Virginia Criminal Information Network so that the
permit's existence and current status will be made known to law-enforcement
personnel accessing the Network for investigative purposes.
L. Any person denied a permit to carry a concealed weapon under the
provisions of this section may, within thirty days of the final decision,
present a petition for review to the Court of Appeals or any judge thereof.
The petition shall be accompanied by a copy of the original papers filed
in the circuit court, including a copy of the order of the circuit court
denying the permit. Subject to the provisions of §17-116.07 B, the
decision of the Court of Appeals or judge shall be final. Notwithstanding
any other provision of law, if the decision to deny the permit is reversed
upon appeal, taxable costs incurred by the person shall be paid by the
M. For purposes of this section:
"Handgun" means any pistol or revolver or other firearm, except a machine
gun, originally designed, made and intended to fire a projectile by means
of an explosion from one or more barrels when held in one hand.
"Lawfully admitted for permanent residence" means the status of having
been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United
States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws, such status
not having changed.
N. As used in this article:
"Spring stick" means a spring-loaded metal stick activated by pushing
a button which rapidly and forcefully telescopes the weapon to several
times its original length.
"Ballistic knife" means any knife with a detachable blade that is propelled
by a spring-operated mechanism.
O. The granting of a concealed handgun permit shall not thereby authorize
the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places
where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by
the owner of private property.
P. A valid concealed handgun permit or license issued by another state
shall be valid in the Commonwealth, provided (i) the issuing authority
provides the means for instantaneous verification of the validity of all
such permits or licenses issued within that state, accessible twenty-four
hours a day, (ii) the requirements and qualifications of that state's law
are substantially similar to or exceed the provisions of this section,
and (iii) a state meeting the requirements and qualifications of this section
grants the same privilege to residents of the Commonwealth who have valid
concealed handgun permits in their possession while carrying concealed
weapons in that state. The Superintendent of State Police shall (a) in
consultation with the Office of the Attorney General determine which states
meet the requirements and qualifications of this section, (b) maintain
a registry of such states on the Virginia Criminal Information Network
(VCIN), and (c) make the registry available to law-enforcement officers
for investigative purposes.
Q. The provisions of this statute or the application thereof to any
person or circumstances which are held invalid shall not affect the validity
of other provisions or applications of this statute which can be given
effect without the invalid provisions or applications. This subsection
is to reiterate § 1-17.1 and is not meant to add or delete from that
Criminal history record information check required for the transfer
of certain firearms; firearm safety information to be provided
A. Any person purchasing from a dealer a firearm as herein defined shall
consent in writing, on a form to be provided by the Department of State
Police, to have the dealer obtain criminal history record information.
Such form shall include only, in addition to the information required by
subdivision B 1, the identical information required to be included on the
firearms transaction record required by regulations administered by the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the U.S. Department of the Treasury,
except that the copies of such forms mailed or delivered to the Department
of State Police shall not include any information related to the firearm
purchased or transferred.
B. 1. No dealer shall sell, rent, trade or transfer from his inventory
any such firearm to any other person who is a resident of Virginia until
he has (i) obtained written consent as specified in subsection A, and provided
the Department of State Police with the name, birth date, gender, race,
and social security and/or any other identification number and the number
of firearms by category intended to be sold, rented, traded or transferred
and (ii) requested and received criminal history record information by
a telephone call to the State Police. To establish personal identification
and residence in Virginia for purposes of this section, a dealer must require
any prospective purchaser to present one photo-identification form issued
by a governmental agency of the Commonwealth or by the United States Department
of Defense, and other documentation of residence. Except where the photo-identification
was issued by the United States Department of Defense, the other documentation
of residence shall show an address identical to that shown on the photo-identification
form, such as evidence of currently paid personal property tax or real
estate tax, or a current (i) lease, (ii) utility or telephone bill, (iii)
voter registration card, (iv) bank check, (v) passport, (vi) automobile
registration, or (vii) hunting or fishing license; other current identification
allowed as evidence of residency by Part 178.124 of Title 27 of the Code
of Federal Regulations and ATF Ruling 79-7; or other documentation of residence
determined to be acceptable by the Department of Criminal Justice Services,
that corroborates that the prospective purchaser currently resides in Virginia.
Where the photo-identification was issued by the Department of Defense,
permanent orders may be used as documentation of residence. Additionally,
when the photo-identification presented to a dealer by the prospective
purchaser is a driver's license or other photo-identification issued by
the Department of Motor Vehicles, and such identification form contains
a date of issue, the dealer shall not, except for a renewed driver's license
or other photo-identification issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles,
sell or otherwise transfer a firearm to the prospective purchaser until
thirty days after the date of issue of an original or duplicate driver's
license unless the prospective purchaser also presents a copy of his Virginia
Department of Motor Vehicles driver's record showing that the original
date of issue of the driver's license was more than thirty days prior to
the attempted purchase.
In addition, no dealer shall sell, rent, trade or transfer from his
inventory any assault firearm to any person who is not a citizen of the
United States or who is not a person lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
To establish citizenship or lawful admission for a permanent residence
for purposes of purchasing an assault firearm, a dealer shall require a
prospective purchaser to present a certified birth certificate or a certificate
of birth abroad issued by the United States State Department, a certificate
of citizenship or a certificate of naturalization issued by the Immigration
and Naturalization Service, an unexpired U.S. passport, a United States
citizen identification card, a current voter registration card, a current
selective service registration card, or an immigrant visa or other documentation
of status as a person lawfully admitted for permanent residence issued
by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Upon receipt of the request for a criminal history record information
check, the State Police shall (i) review its criminal history record information
to determine if the buyer or transferee is prohibited from possessing or
transporting a firearm by state or federal law, (ii) inform the dealer
if its record indicates that the buyer or transferee is so prohibited,
and (iii) provide the dealer with a unique reference number for that inquiry.
2. The State Police shall provide its response to the requesting dealer
during the dealer's call, or by return call without delay. If the criminal
history record information check indicates the prospective purchaser or
transferee has a criminal record or has been acquitted by reason of insanity
and committed to the custody of the Commissioner of Mental Health, Mental
Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, the State Police shall have until
the end of the dealer's next business day to advise the dealer if its records
indicate the buyer or transferee is prohibited from possessing or transporting
a firearm by state or federal law. If not so advised by the end of the
dealer's next business day, a dealer who has fulfilled the requirements
of subdivision B 1 of this subsection may immediately complete the sale
or transfer and shall not be deemed in violation of this section with respect
to such sale or transfer. In case of electronic failure or other circumstances
beyond the control of the State Police, the dealer shall be advised immediately
of the reason for such delay and be given an estimate of the length of
such delay. After such notification, the State Police shall, as soon as
possible but in no event later than the end of the dealer's next business
day, inform the requesting dealer if its records indicate the buyer or
transferee is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm by state
or federal law. A dealer who fulfills the requirements of subdivision B
1 of this subsection and is told by the State Police that a response will
not be available by the end of the dealer's next business day may immediately
complete the sale or transfer and shall not be deemed in violation of this
section with respect to such sale or transfer.
3. Except as required by subsection D of §9-192, the State Police
shall not maintain records longer than thirty days, except for multiple
handgun transactions for which records shall be maintained for twelve months,
from any dealer's request for a criminal history record information check
pertaining to a buyer or transferee who is not found to be prohibited from
possessing and transporting a firearm under state or federal law. However,
the log on requests made may be maintained for a period of twelve months,
and such log shall consist of the name of the purchaser, the dealer identification
number, the unique approval number and the transaction date.
4. On the last day of the week following the sale or transfer of any
firearm, the dealer shall mail or deliver the written consent form required
by subsection A to the Department of State Police. The State Police shall
immediately initiate a search of all available criminal history record
information to determine if the purchaser is prohibited from possessing
or transporting a firearm under state or federal law. If the search discloses
information indicating that the buyer or transferee is so prohibited from
possessing or transporting a firearm, the State Police shall inform the
chief law-enforcement officer in the jurisdiction where the sale or transfer
occurred and the dealer without delay.
5. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, rifles and
shotguns may be purchased by persons who are citizens of the United States
or persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence but residents of other
states under the terms of subsections A and B upon furnishing the dealer
with proof of citizenship or status as a person lawfully admitted for permanent
residence and one photo-identification form issued by a governmental agency
of the person's state of residence and one other form of identification
determined to be acceptable by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.
6. For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase "dealer's next business
day" shall not include December 25.
C. No dealer shall sell, rent, trade or transfer from his inventory
any firearm, other than a rifle or a shotgun, to any person who is not
a resident of Virginia unless he has first obtained from the Department
of State Police a report indicating that a search of all available criminal
history record information has not disclosed that the person is prohibited
from possessing or transporting a firearm under state or federal law. The
dealer shall obtain the required report by mailing or delivering the written
consent form required under subsection A to the State Police within twenty-four
hours of its execution. If the dealer has complied with the provisions
of this subsection and has not received the required report from the State
Police within ten days from the date the written consent form was mailed
to the Department of State Police, he shall not be deemed in violation
of this section for thereafter completing the sale or transfer.
D. Nothing herein shall prevent a resident of this Commonwealth, at
his option, from buying, renting or receiving a firearm from a dealer by
obtaining a criminal history record information check through the dealer
as provided in subsection C.
E. If any buyer or transferee is denied the right to purchase a firearm
under this section, he may exercise his right of access to and review and
correction of criminal history record information under §9-192 or
institute a civil action as provided in §9-194, provided any such
action is initiated within thirty days of such denial.
F. Any dealer who willfully and intentionally requests, obtains, or
seeks to obtain criminal history record information under false pretenses,
or who willfully and intentionally disseminates or seeks to disseminate
criminal history record information except as authorized in this section
shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
G. For purposes of this section:
"Antique firearm" means any firearm, including those with a matchlock,
flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system, manufactured
in or before 1898 and any replica of such a firearm if such replica (i)
is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional center-fire
fixed ammunition or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional center-fire fixed
ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which
is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
"Assault firearm" means any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol
which expels a projectile by action of an explosion and is equipped at
the time of the offense with a magazine which will hold more than twenty
rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer
or equipped with a folding stock.
"Dealer" means any person licensed as a dealer pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 921 et seq.
"Firearm" means any handgun, shotgun, or rifle which expels a projectile
by action of an explosion.
"Handgun" means any pistol or revolver or other firearm originally designed,
made and intended to fire a projectile by means of an explosion from one
or more barrels when held in one hand.
"Lawfully admitted for permanent residence" means the status of having
been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United
States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws, such status
not having changed.
H. The Department of Criminal Justice Services shall promulgate regulations
to ensure the identity, confidentiality and security of all records and
data provided by the Department of State Police pursuant to this section.
I. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) transactions
between persons who are licensed as firearms importers or collectors, manufacturers
or dealers pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq., (ii) purchases by
or sales to any law-enforcement officer or agent of the United States,
the Commonwealth or any local government, (iii) antique firearms or (iv)
transactions in any county, city or town that has a local ordinance adopted
prior to January 1, 1987, governing the purchase, possession, transfer,
ownership, conveyance or transportation of firearms which is more stringent
than this section.
J. All licensed firearms dealers shall collect a fee of two dollars
for every transaction for which a criminal history record information check
is required pursuant to this section, except that a fee of five dollars
shall be collected for every transaction involving an out-of-state resident.
Such fee shall be transmitted to the Department of State Police by the
last day of the month following the sale for deposit in a special fund
for use by the State Police to offset the cost of conducting criminal history
record information checks under the provisions of this section.
K. Any person willfully and intentionally making a materially false
statement on the consent form required in subsection B or C shall be guilty
of a Class 5 felony.
L. Except as provided in §18.2-308.2:1, any dealer who willfully
and intentionally sells, rents, trades or transfers a firearm in violation
of this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.
M. Any person who purchases a firearm with the intent to (i) resell
or otherwise provide such firearm to any person who he knows or has reason
to believe is ineligible to purchase or otherwise receive from a dealer
a firearm for whatever reason or (ii) transport such firearm out of the
Commonwealth to be resold or otherwise provided to another person who the
transferor knows is ineligible to purchase or otherwise receive a firearm,
shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. However, if the violation of this
subsection involves such a transfer of more than one firearm, the person
shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five
years, which shall not be suspended in whole or in part nor shall the person
be eligible for parole during that period.
N. Any person who is ineligible to purchase or otherwise receive or
possess a firearm in the Commonwealth who solicits, employs or assists
any person in violating subsection M shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony
and shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five
years, which shall not be suspended in whole or in part nor shall the person
be eligible for parole during that period.
O. All driver's licenses issued on or after July 1, 1994, shall carry
a letter designation indicating whether the driver's license is an original,
duplicate or renewed driver's license.
P. The Department of Education, in conjunction with the Department of
Game and Inland Fisheries, shall develop a standard informational form
and posted notice to be furnished to each licensed firearms dealer in the
Commonwealth at no cost to the dealer. The form and notice shall provide
basic information of the laws governing the purchase, possession and use
of firearms by juveniles and adults.
Copies of the form shall be made available by the dealer whenever a
firearm is purchased.
Every firearms dealer shall conspicuously post the written notice which
shall be at least eight and one-half inches by eleven inches in size and
printed in boldface type of a minimum size of ten points. A licensed firearms
dealer shall not be liable for damages for injuries resulting from the
discharge of a firearm purchased from the dealer if, at the time of the
purchase, the dealer failed to provide the form or failed to post the written
Q. Except as provided in subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 of this subsection,
it shall be unlawful for any person who is not a licensed firearms dealer
to purchase more than one handgun within any thirty-day period. A violation
of this subsection shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
1. Purchases in excess of one handgun within a thirty-day period may
be made upon completion of an enhanced background check, as described herein,
by special application to the Department of State Police listing the number
and type of handguns to be purchased and transferred for lawful business
or personal use, in a collector series, for collections, as a bulk purchase
from estate sales and for similar purposes. Such applications shall be
signed under oath by the applicant on forms provided by the Department
of State Police, shall state the purpose for the purchase above the limit,
and shall require satisfactory proof of residency and identity. Such application
shall be in addition to the firearms sales report required by the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). The Superintendent of State Police
shall promulgate regulations, pursuant to the Administrative Process Act
(§ 9-6.14:1 et seq.), for the implementation of an application process
for purchases of handguns above the limit.
Upon being satisfied that these requirements have been met, the Department
of State Police shall forthwith issue to the applicant a nontransferable
certificate which shall be valid for seven days from the date of issue.
The certificate shall be surrendered to the dealer by the prospective purchaser
prior to the consummation of such sale and shall be kept on file at the
dealer's place of business for inspection as provided in §54.1-4201
for a period of not less than two years. Upon request of any local law-enforcement
agency, and pursuant to its regulations, the Department of State Police
may certify such local law-enforcement agency to serve as its agent to
receive applications and, upon authorization by the Department of State
Police, issue certificates forthwith pursuant to this subsection. Applications
and certificates issued under this subsection shall be maintained as records
as provided in subdivision 3 of subsection B. The Department of State Police
shall make available to local law-enforcement agencies all records concerning
certificates issued pursuant to this subsection and all records provided
for in subdivision 3 of subsection B.
2. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to:
a. A law-enforcement agency;
b. An agency duly authorized to perform law-enforcement duties;
c. State and local correctional facilities;
d. A private security company licensed to do business within the Commonwealth;
e. The purchase of antique firearms as herein defined; or
f. A person whose handgun is stolen or irretrievably lost who deems
it essential that such handgun be replaced immediately. Such person may
purchase another handgun, even if the person has previously purchased a
handgun within a thirty-day period, provided (i) the person provides the
firearms dealer with a copy of the official police report or a summary
thereof, on forms provided by the Department of State Police, from the
law-enforcement agency that took the report of the lost or stolen handgun;
(ii) the official police report or summary thereof contains the name and
address of the handgun owner, the description of the handgun, the location
of the loss or theft, the date of the loss or theft, and the date the loss
or theft was reported to the law-enforcement agency; and (iii) the date
of the loss or theft as reflected on the official police report or summary
thereof occurred within thirty days of the person's attempt to replace
the handgun. The firearms dealer shall attach a copy of the official police
report or summary thereof to the original copy of the Virginia firearms
transaction report completed for the transaction and retain it for the
period prescribed by the Department of State Police.
3. For the purposes of this subsection, "purchase" shall not include
the exchange or replacement of a handgun by a seller for a handgun purchased
from such seller by the same person seeking the exchange or replacement
within the thirty-day period immediately preceding the date of exchange
Certification of competence in hunter education
A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, no hunting license
shall be issued to (i) a person who has never obtained a license to hunt
in any state or country, or (ii) a person who is under the age of sixteen,
unless such a person presents to the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries
or one of its authorized license vendors, a certificate of completion in
hunter education issued or authorized by the Board under the hunter education
program, or proof that he holds the equivalent certificate obtained from
an authorized agency or association of another state or country.
B. Although a resident under the age of twelve is not required to obtain
a license to hunt, any person under the age of twelve, or an individual
on his behalf, may purchase a Virginia hunting license or a junior lifetime
hunting license pursuant to §29.1-302.1, without completing a hunter
education program as required in subsection A of this section, provided
that no person under the age of twelve shall hunt unless accompanied and
directly supervised by an adult who has, on his person, a valid Virginia
hunting license. The junior lifetime hunting license issued to an individual
under the age of twelve shall become invalid on the individual's twelfth
birthday and remain invalid until certification of competence in hunter
education is shown as provided in this section. A lifetime license, indicating
the completion of hunter education or an equivalent certificate, shall
be reissued at no cost when such proof is provided.
The adult shall be responsible for such supervision. For the purposes
of this section, "adult" means the parent or legal guardian of the person
under age twelve, or such person over the age of eighteen designated by
the parent or legal guardian.
"Accompanied and directly supervised" means that the adult is within
sight of the person under the age of twelve.
C. This section shall not apply to persons while on horseback hunting
foxes with hounds but without firearms.
Exemptions from license requirements
A. No license shall be required of landowners, their spouses, or their
children and minor grandchildren, resident or nonresident, to hunt, trap
and fish within the boundaries of their own lands and inland waters or
while within such boundaries or upon any private permanent extension therefrom,
to fish in any abutting public waters.
B. No license shall be required of any stockholder owning fifty percent
or more of the stock of any domestic corporation owning land in this Commonwealth,
his or her spouse and children and minor grandchildren, resident or nonresident,
to hunt, trap and fish within the boundaries of lands and inland waters
owned by the domestic corporation.
C. No license shall be required of bona fide tenants, renters or lessees
to hunt, trap or fish within the boundaries of the lands or waters on which
they reside or while within such boundaries or upon any private permanent
extension therefrom, to fish in any abutting public waters if such individuals
have the written consent of the landlord upon their person. A guest of
the owner of a private fish pond shall not be required to have a fishing
license to fish in such pond.
D. No license shall be required of resident persons under sixteen years
old to fish.
D1. No license shall be required of resident persons under twelve years
old to hunt, provided such person is accompanied and directly supervised
by an adult who has, on his person, a valid Virginia hunting license as
described in subsection B of §29.1-300.1.
E. No license shall be required of a resident person sixty-five years
of age or over to hunt or trap on private property in the county or city
in which he resides. An annual license at a fee of one dollar shall be
required of a resident person sixty-five years of age or older to fish
in any inland waters of the Commonwealth which shall be in addition to
a license to fish for trout as specified in subsection B of §29.1-310.
A resident sixty-five years of age or older may, upon proof of age satisfactory
to the Department and the payment of a one-dollar fee, apply for and receive
from any authorized agent of the Department a nontransferable annual license
permitting such person to hunt or an annual license permitting such person
to trap in all cities and counties of the Commonwealth. Any lifetime license
issued pursuant to this article prior to July 1, 1988, shall remain valid
for the lifetime of the person to whom it was issued. Any license issued
pursuant to this section includes any damage stamp required pursuant to
Article 3 (§29.1-352 et seq.) of this chapter.
F. No license to fish, except for trout as provided in subsection B
of § 29.1-310, shall be required of nonresident persons under twelve
years of age when accompanied by a person possessing a valid license to
fish in Virginia.
G. No license shall be required to trap rabbits with box traps.
H. No license shall be required of resident persons under sixteen years
of age to trap when accompanied by any person eighteen years of age or
older who possesses a valid state license to trap in this Commonwealth.
I. No license to hunt, trap or fish shall be required of any Indian
who habitually resides on an Indian reservation; however, such Indian must
have on his person an identification card or paper signed by the chief
of his reservation, setting forth that the person named is an actual resident
upon such reservation. Such card or paper shall create a presumption of
residence, which may be rebutted by proof of actual residence elsewhere.
J. No license to fish shall be required of legally blind persons.
K. No fishing license shall be required in any inland waters of the
Commonwealth, except those stocked with trout by the Department or other
public body, on free fishing days. The Board shall designate no more than
two free fishing days in any calendar year.
L. No license to fish, except for trout as provided in subsection B
of § 29.1-310, in Laurel Lake and Beaver Pond at Breaks Interstate
Park shall be required of a resident of the State of Kentucky who (i) possesses
a valid license to fish in Kentucky or (ii) is exempt under Kentucky law
from the requirement of possessing a valid fishing license.
M. No license to hunt shall be required of any person who is not hunting
but is aiding a disabled person to hunt when such disabled person possesses
a valid Virginia hunting license under §29.1-302 or §29.1-302.1.
Duties relating to criminal history record information checks required
by licensed firearms dealers
The Superintendent of the Department of State Police shall establish
a toll-free telephone number which shall be operational seven days a week
between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., except December 25, for
purposes of responding to inquiries from licensed firearms dealers, as
such term is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq., pursuant to the provisions
of § 18.2-308.2:2. The Department shall hire and train such personnel
as are necessary to administer the provisions of this section.