How to Buy a Gun in Virginia: State Control Laws (2022)

How To Buy A Gun In Virginia
Alfred Mendoza

Gun control became a controversial topic due to high-profile mass shootings in different states of America. With this, Virginia created their restrictions to limit gun ownership and carrying of weapons. 

Today, our team will walk you through Virginia’s gun laws if you’re wondering how to buy a gun in Virginia.

7 Steps in Buying A Gun in Virginia

1. Meet The Eligibility Requirements To Purchase A Firearm

Virginia is one of the states in the US that has a strict gun control that limits gun ownership and carrying of weapons. If you want to buy a firearm in Virginia, you must be eligible to purchase one. 

There will be a firearms eligibility test wherein you have to be 21 years of age or older and competent to use a gun to be proved with a complete course in firearms safety. You must be a US citizen, Virginia resident, or lawfully admitted citizen of the county and not dishonorably discharged if in the military. 

2. Visit A Licensed Firearms Dealer

When purchasing a firearm, you must visit a licensed dealer or a licensed gun store in Virginia. We highly recommend getting a gun in a dealer with FFL approved by the Federal Government since they will ensure that you legally purchase the gun. 

On the contrary, FFL gun dealers will make sure that you are legally allowed to buy a gun under the Federal Law and Virginia Gun Law before completing the gun purchase.

3. Fill Out The Firearms Transaction Record Forms

After choosing what gun you plan to buy, you can now ask for the Firearms Transaction Record Forms.

You will need to fill out the Virginia Firearms Transaction Record (SP-65) and Federal Firearms Transaction Record Form (Form 4473). 

The Virginia State Police provide the forms to the dealers to record the sale or transfer of firearms.

In this way, it would be easier for Law Enforcement to check if there has been gun violence in the State.

Fill Out The Firearms Transaction Record Forms

4. Verify Your Identity And Residence

After filling out the forms, you have to verify your identity and residency. For your identity, you can provide a primary ID: a valid driver’s license, duplicate driver’s license, or Virginia ID Card issued at least 30 days before your transaction. 

To prove that you are a Virginia resident, you have to present a Primary ID that should match the present physical address you wrote on your Form 4473. If the Primary ID is not the same as your physical address, you can provide a secondary form of ID issued by a governmental agency to match the current address. 

It can be a current voter registration card, Vehicle Registration, current utility or telephone bill, Concealed Handgun Permit, current automobile registration, current hunting or fishing license, proof of paid personal property tax, or real estate tax. 

Also Read: Arizona Gun Control Laws

5. Pass The Background Check

Unlike other states, Virginia requires a purchaser to undergo a criminal history record check. The licensed firearms dealers will ask for a background check to the Criminal Justice Services of Virginia Police Department through a telephone call, VCheck, or any mode of communication allowed by the Virginia Department [1]. 

Unlike other states, unless you pass the background check, there is no way to purchase a gun.

6. Getting A Concealed Handgun Permit (Optional)

Getting a concealed handgun permit is optional in Virginia and can be exclusive for carrying a concealed firearm. The permit is not required for some circumstances, but Virginia issues a CCW permit if you prefer to get one. 

The Police Department will check your eligibility for a permit upon application. You will be asked for a valid ID like a driver’s license or hunting or fishing license. You may also be required to submit proof of demonstrated competence to a handgun like a training course or become a participant in an organized shooting competition.

Getting A Concealed Handgun Permit (Optional)

7. Complete The Purchase Of Your Firearm

After passing the background check and getting an optional permit to conceal carry, you can now go back to the firearm-licensed dealer to complete your purchase. You have to present all the necessary documents and pay for all the transaction fees. 

There is no waiting period when it comes to purchasing a firearm in Virginia. As long as you have no criminal history and have provided the necessary paperwork, you can bring home your gun unless it is assault weapons or machine guns.

Also Read:

Eligibility Limitations for Firearm Ownership

Eligibility Limitations for Firearm Ownership
  • People under 18 years old
  • A person acquitted of a felony unless rights are restored and ordered by the Circuit Court
  • People who committed a crime related to insanity or mental illness 
  • People adjudicated legally incompetent to own a gun
  • People who are involuntarily admitted to a substance abuse treatment or mental health treatment ward 
  • People subjected to a restriction order
  • People convicted of two misdemeanor offenses for possession of a controlled substance or an unlawful user of illegal drugs
  • People convicted for specific violent crimes
  • People who are not allowed to possess a firearm under the Virginia Law
  • People who are not lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the US or illegal alien 
  • People who are fugitive from justice
  • People with a restraining order for alleged abuse, sexual battery, or stalking
  • Dishonorably Discharged on military service of the US Armed Forces


Yes, foreigners can buy guns in Virginia. However, they are limited to Long Guns. Based on Federal Law, all handguns sales must take place only in the State where the applicant resides. In addition, the State will not sell guns if you have violated Federal Laws and State Laws.

Yes, non-Virginia residents can conceal carry in Virginia, given that they have any valid state license or permits. The permit can be issued to eligible non-Virginia residents. However, as legal advice, your CCW permit can be disqualified if you concealed carry on places like a school property or near school grounds.

So, How Do You Buy A Gun in Virginia?

Buying a gun in Virginia is not that complicated. The state law implements certain restrictions with the ownership of guns and the use of a weapon unlawfully. Before you can purchase a gun in Virginia, you have to pass all the eligibility requirements along with the background checks. 

The eligibility requirements and background check involve two forms issued by the Virginia State Police to the licensed dealers. Virginia does not require getting a concealed carry permit but issues to those who want to avail. Lastly, Virginia does not require firearms registration unless it is a machine gun or a semi-auto with a spring tension drum magazine.



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