Gun Laws in Virginia

State Law Background

Among other things, Virginia law does not:

State of Gun Violence Factsheet

In 2011, Virginia repealed its limitation on handgun purchases to one per person in any 30-day period.

Virginia law does include the following provisions, among others:

  • Firearms dealers in Virginia must contact the Department of State Police (“DSP”) prior to selling a firearm, and DSP conducts a background check on the firearm purchaser.
  • After the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, in which a mentally ill individual killed 32 people and himself with firearms he purchased after passing a background check, Virginia significantly improved its reporting of mental health records to the database used for firearm purchaser background checks.
  • Virginia requires all employees of federally licensed firearms dealers to undergo background checks prior to beginning employment.
  • Virginia imposes some regulations on gun shows.

Virginia also imposes only few restrictions on assault weapons. Local governments in Virginia generally lack authority to regulate firearms or ammunition, and local courts must issue a concealed handgun permit to any applicant who meets basic qualifications.

In 2016, Virginia had the 29th highest rate of gun deaths per capita among the states. Virginia also had the 7th highest rate of crime gun exports among the states in 2016–meaning that crime guns originally sold in Virginia were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 7th highest rate among the states, per capita.

Virginia Firearms Laws

For details about specific firearms laws in Virginia, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.