Handgun Shooting Basics For Women In Virginia

Women And Handgun Shooting Virginia VA

Woman Shotgun ShooterShooting is most definitely a thrilling hobby, as well as a means of protecting oneself. There is an extraordinary adrenaline rush, and a sense of pride, and then you do it over again. It’s incredibly exciting. It’s important that women become comfortable using firearms in Virginia, since guns are some of the best means of protecting themselves against intruders and attackers. One of the best ways to go about turning shooting into a hobby, rather than something strictly for self-defense is to learn about recreational shooting activities in Virginia, There is Practical Shooting; IDPA shooting that simulates self-defense and real life style encounters.

There is Shotgun competitions, Then there is the extremely exciting sport of 3 – Gun Shooting where your shoot a sporting rifle usually built on an AR – platform, a Shotgun, and an semi-auto pistol. There are also; Action, Silhouette, and Precision shooting competitions. If this is not enough there are also several very specific types of shooting competitions where just Rifles and Shotguns are used. 

New Women Shooters; Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun: What’s the Difference In Virginia?

Julie, Top Woman CompetitorIt can be a bit confusing to keep these terms separate, especially when you’re in conversation with a gun expert in Virginia who just prattles on and on! When you’re trying to figure out which type of firearm would work best for your home and/or personal self-defense, it’s important to be able to make an informed decision. Here’s a quick run-down to help you out:

A handgun is a firearm designed to be handheld, in either one or both hands. This can be a Pistol (Semi-auto) or a revolver. Handguns are much more suited to home and especially for personal defense. This is what you would carry around during your daily activities if you get a concealed carry permit in Virginia. The barrel is much shorter than both a rifle and shotgun, as it’s designed to be held with one or both hands, rather than placed against your shoulder. Most pistol barrels are grooved in a similar manner to that of rifles.

Rifles and Shotguns for New Women Shooters In Virginia

A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, A rifle barrel is long and has thick walls with spiral grooves cut into the bore. This grooved pattern is referred to as “rifling”. This is one of the best guns for shooting recreationally. With the proper training in Virginia and choice of a rifle such as one on an AR – Platform it can be used for both sport and home defense. Rifles are very versatile and it is highly recommended that any woman wanting to learn to shoot a handgun should seriously consider adding a rifle into her training program.

A shotgun (also known as a scattergun and pepper gun,) is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug. The shotgun barrel is long and made of thin steel that is smooth on the inside to allow the shot to glide down the barrel without friction since it doesn’t have to withstand quite as much pressure. It’s similar to that of a rifle barrel. This is good for home defense in Virginia, but be careful of your surroundings. Often, the sound alone of a shotgun “Racking” is formidable enough to make an intruder think twice.

This page outlines just the very basics of the types of firearms in Virginia that may be best suited for you. Happy shooting!

For More Information Pick Your State

Article 1, Section 13 of the Virginia State Constitutional Provision States: “That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”

Virginia law does not require an individual to notify an officer that they have a Concealed Carry permit. However, Section 18.2-308.01, of the Code of Virginia, requires that to be in possession of the permit whenever one is carrying a concealed handgun and to display the permit and a government-issued photo-identification upon demand by a law-enforcement officer.

Open carry is permitted with the exception of "assault weapons" and shotguns with a 7+ round magazine in the cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, and Virginia Beach and in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William. These restrictions do not apply to valid concealed carry permit holders. For open carry in a vehicle, the firearm must be clearly visible.

Virginia has a “shall-issue” permitting system for residents who want to carry concealed firearms in public. This means that law enforcement officials must issue a permit to any resident who meets a basic set of requirements. The permit is good for five years, after which time it must be renewed.  

Virginia law allows anyone who is 18 years old, and who may legally own a firearm to carry it openly. Virginians who are 21 or older and who qualify may obtain permits to carry a concealed weapon.

In Virginia, firearms can be carried openly on campus, with or without a permit, but an institution can prohibit open carrying in its buildings and dormitories.  

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Virginia Resident Concealed Handgun Permits are issued by the circuit court of the county or city in which the applicant resides. In Virginia, as in many states, carrying a concealed weapon requires a permit, yet no permit is required to simply carry a gun in the open, a right reinforced by a state law that took effect July 1 2013. Be careful though, it is not so in the District and Maryland, unless you're a police or federal officer.

In general, one may openly carry a sidearm in plain sight in Virginia. The restrictions to openly carrying are divided into two broad categories, locations where one may not carry and persons who are not permitted to possess and/or transport a firearm.

Locations where firearms may not be carried include: Federal facilities, Federal agency lands, National Forests except where hunting is permitted, General Assembly buildings, Hog Island Wildlife Management Area, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Courthouses, Detention Facilities, K-12 school grounds, K-12 school buses, Property used exclusively for K-12 school sponsored functions, Air carrier airport terminals, Places of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held without good and sufficient reason.

The Second Amendment unequivocally protects the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, both for their own self-protection and for defense against the tyranny of an autocratic central government.

In Virginia there are at least six (6) firearms or firearm related companies in the state and they include: Accuracy International Of North America, F M F Atlantic Engineering Corp, Hawk Hill Custom, K&H Arms, Kriss Arms, and Richard's Custom Rifles.

Gun-related violent crime in Virginia has dropped steadily over the past six years as the sale of firearms has soared to a new record, according to an analysis of state crime data with state records of gun sales.

The total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent. But the total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over that period, and when adjusted for population, gun-related offenses dropped more than 27 percent, from 79 crimes per 100,000 in 2006 to 57 crimes in 2011.