Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Location Restrictions in Virginia.’ Guns in Public. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 26 February
Other Location Restrictions in Virginia
Virginia prohibits the carrying of certain kinds of loaded firearms on or about the person, openly or concealed, on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in certain cities. More specifically, the law applies to a loaded: (i) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock; or (ii) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered. The law only applies in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William. Concealed handgun permit holders and individuals actually engaged in lawful hunting or lawful recreational shooting activities at an established shooting range or shooting contest are among the exceptions.
Virginia also prohibits the possession of firearms by anyone, even concealed handgun permit holders, in:
- A place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held, unless the person has a "good and sufficient reason." (Note, however, that the Attorney General of Virginia has opined that carrying a weapon for personal protection constitutes a "good and sufficient reason" under this law. …);
- Any courthouse; or
- Any "air carrier airport terminal."
In 2010, Virginia enacted a law that allows concealed handgun permit holders to carry firearms in any restaurant or club licensed to serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption. Concealed handgun permit holders were previously prohibited from carrying concealed handguns in these locations. Under the new law, permit holders are only prohibited from consuming an alcoholic beverage while on the premises.
Virginia law also states that a concealed handgun permit does not authorize the possession of a firearm on property or in places where such possession is prohibited by law or the owner of private property.
A law Virginia enacted in 2010 explicitly allows certain counties and cities to regulate the possession and storage of firearms and ammunition in family day homes so long as such regulation remains no more extensive in scope than comparable state regulations applicable to family day homes.
Virginia has no laws prohibiting firearms in the following places, although administrative regulations may apply:
- Sports arenas;
- Gambling facilities; or
- Polling places…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]