Virginia has no law requiring a background check on the purchaser of a firearm when the seller is not a licensed dealer. Virginia law does, however, prohibit any person from selling, bartering, giving or furnishing, or having in his or her possession or under his or her control with the intent of selling, bartering, giving or furnishing, any firearm to any person he or she knows is:

  • A person acquitted by reason of insanity and committed to the custody of the Commissioner of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services on a charge of: 1) treason; 2) any felony; or 3) certain misdemeanors;
  • Convicted of a felony;
  • Not a citizen of the United States and not lawfully present in the United States;
  • Under the age of 29 and was found guilty as a juvenile (14 years of age or older) of a delinquent act which would be a felony if committed by an adult; or
  • Under 18 years of age, if the firearm is a handgun, assault firearm, or shotgun (“which will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered”).1

This prohibition does not apply if the person has had his or her eligibility to purchase or possess a firearm restored under Virginia law.2

In 2016, Virginia enacted a law requiring the Department of State Police to be available at gun shows in order to facilitate voluntary background checks requested by either party to a transaction if the seller is an unlicensed individual.3 See Gun Shows in Virginia for more information.

See our Universal Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.2:1. See also Va. Code Ann. §§ 18.2-308.2(A), 18.2-308.7. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Va. Code Ann. § 54.1-4201.2 as amended by 2016 VA H 1386/S 715. ⤴︎