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Transporting Firearms through Virginia

While it is the general policy of this agency to provide assistance and information to private citizens whenever possible, the Department of State Police does not provide legal advice, opinions, or statute interpretation to private individuals. 

Virginia does not require firearm registration nor is it necessary to obtain a permit before carrying a firearm or other such weapon openly about the person except where prohibited by statute.

Pursuant to §18.2-308.02 of the Code of Virginia, resident concealed handgun permits are issued by the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which the applicant resides.

Pursuant to §18.2-308.06 of the Code of Virginia nonresident concealed handgun permits are issued by the Virginia State Police.

As of July 1, 2010, a concealed handgun permit is not necessary when carrying a handgun while in a personal, private motor vehicle or vessel and such handgun is secured in a container or compartment in the vehicle or vessel.  The term “secured” as used does not require the compartment to be locked. OAG opinion 11-111.

The following information is provided as a general overview of various state statutes relating to firearms and other weapons.

Included herein are several statutes found in the Code of Virginia, which address transporting firearms through Virginia, as well as other related firearm laws, which may be of interest.

§ 15.2-1209.1. This section empowers the governing body of any county to adopt ordinances making it unlawful for any person to carry or have in his possession, for the purpose of hunting, while on any part of a public highway within such county a loaded firearm when such person is not authorized to hunt on the private property on both sides of the highway along which he is standing or walking; and to provide a penalty for violation of such ordinance not to exceed a fine of $100. The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons carrying loaded firearms in moving vehicles or for purposes other than hunting, or to persons acting at the time in defense of persons or property.

§ 15.2-915.2.  This section empowers the governing body of any county or city to, by ordinance, make it unlawful for any person to transport, possess or carry a loaded shotgun or loaded rifle in any vehicle on any public street, road, or highway within such locality. Any violation of such ordinance shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100. Game wardens, sheriffs and all other law-enforcement officers shall enforce theprovisions of this section. No ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be enforceable unless the governing body adopting such ordinance so notifies the Director of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries by registered mail prior to May 1 of the year in which such ordinance is to take effect. The provisions of this section shall not apply to duly authorized law-enforcement officers or military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, nor to any person who reasonably believes that a loaded rifle or shotgun is necessary for his personal safety in the course of his employment or business.

§18.2-308 - Prohibits the carrying of any pistol, revolver, or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind by action of an explosion of any combustible material; any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, machete, razor, slingshot, spring stick, metal knucks, or blackjack; 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; 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 any weapon of like kind by any person hidden from common observance about his person. Any of the enumerated weapons shall be seized and forfeited to the Commonwealth. 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 true nature.