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 just a few states – like Arizona, Vermont, and Alaska – 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.
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.
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.
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Article 3, Section 22 of The West Virginia State Constitutional Provision states: A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home, and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use….
To obtain a concealed carry license in West Virginia: The West Virginia State Police has made available online the current uniform application form that has been prescribed by the Superintendent of the State Police and which WV Code § 61-7-4 and requires all sheriff’s offices to use. A person intending to apply for a concealed handgun license will need to print and complete the application form, have it signed and notarized, once notarized file the application together with a copy of the applicant's driver's license, a copy of the applicant's proof of training or existing concealed carry license.
The terms of reciprocity agreements allow West Virginia residents with concealed handgun licensees to carry concealed handguns in the reciprocal states. It is important for license holders to understand that when they are traveling in or through another state, the license holder is subject to the firearm laws of that particular state.
As of 2013, West Virginia Concealed Carry Licenses are recognized (Have Reciprocity) with the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin (only if permit issued after 6/8/12), Wyoming.
West Virginia preempts local regulation of several aspects of firearms, though local regulations which were in effect prior to 1999 were grandfathered into law Further, State agencies and institutions are not precluded from enacting laws which regulate firearms. Charleston, Dunbar, and South Charleston are known to have grandfathered local ordinances which prohibit weapons on city property and in city buildings. The City of Martinsburg is known to have a local ordinance that was passed after 1999, which prohibits weapons in city buildings, that was not grandfathered into law.
US Precision Defense has one of if not the largest websites dedicated to concealed carry and second amendment rights, we have a women’s only section, members only benefits, forums, blogs, and a free directory of firearms instructors, shooting ranges, and gun smiths. For more details go to our “home” page and see for yourself!
Concealed weapons permits may only be issued for pistols or revolvers. Each applicant shall file with the sheriff a complete application, as prepared by the Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, in writing, duly verified.
West Virginia has a self-defense law based on the castle doctrine, and is a “stand your ground” state, meaning persons under attack do not have a duty to retreat before using physical or deadly force to protect themselves.
West Virginia is a traditional open carry state but there are some grandfathered local open carry bans not preempted by state law, such as the City of Charleston. There is complete state preemption of all firearms laws, but any local laws passed before preemption remains in effect.
As Congress begins its discussion of proposed gun control legislation, some West Virginia sheriffs have declared they will not enforce any laws they believe violate the Second Amendment. Boone County Sheriff Randall White on Monday wrote a letter to President Barack Obama. "It is with all due respect," White wrote. "I wish to inform you that so long as I am sheriff of this county, I will not, nor shall I ever support any alterations to the Constitution of the United States or any of its amendments, specifically the right to bear arms."
Raleigh County Sheriff Steve Tanner stated he would not enforce any gun laws passed by Congress. Sheriff Tanner further stated he is charged to defend "the entire Constitution, including the Second Amendment." "It's incredibly stupid for anyone to assume that society has become so advanced you no longer have the need or the responsibility to protect yourself or your family,"
2013; The West Virginia Sheriff's Association, which represents all 55 sheriff's departments in the state, has yet to take an official stance on the debate in Washington over gun violence and newly proposed measures.
2013; West Virginia is home to at least four firearm related companies and they include; Douglas Barrels Inc, Msm Inc(Mountain State Manufacturing), Ultra-Light Arms (New Ultra-Light Arms), and W E Rayle Inc.
US Precision Defense maintains a complete list of all states reciprocity agreements, and deadly force laws also for every state, we have links to self-defense insurance, much more, please go to our “home” page to see all of our features.