Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Firearm Prohibitions in West Virginia.’ Who Can Have a Gun. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 13 April
Prohibited Purchasers Generally in West Virginia
Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.
West Virginia provides that, subject to certain limited exceptions, no person shall possess a firearm if he or she:
- Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
- Is habitually addicted to alcohol;
- Is an unlawful user of or habitually addicted to any controlled substance;
- Has been adjudicated as a mental defective;
- Has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution;
- Is an illegal alien or otherwise unlawfully in the United States;
- Has been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions; or
- Falls within the categories of domestic abusers prohibited from possessing firearms under state law…
Any person who knowingly sells, rents, gives, or lends or, where the person is other than a natural person, knowingly permits an employee thereof to knowingly sell, rent, give or lend any deadly weapon to a prohibited purchaser/possessor is criminally liable for a felony.
West Virginia allows any of the prohibited purchasers listed above to petition the circuit court of the county in which he or she resides to regain the eligibility to possess a firearm. However, in 2008, West Virginia enacted a law specifically allowing persons prohibited from possessing a firearm for mental health reasons to regain their firearm eligibility. A law that West Virginia enacted in 2012 provides additional requirements for persons prohibited from firearm possession due to mental health history when petitioning for relief from disability…
[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]