Article 1, Section 13.of the Virginia Constitution states that, “a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.” In Virginia, permit is not required to purchase rifles, handguns, shotguns or long guns.
In Virginia, when a person purchase a handgun an instant criminal history background check is conducted except for antique or its replica. No person shall sell or dispose of by purchase, gift or in any other manner any toy gun, pistol, rifle or other toy firearm, if the same, by action of an explosion of a combustible material, discharge blank or ball charges. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. However, nothing shall prevent the sale of cap pistols[i].
It is unlawful for any person who is adjudicated legally incompetent or mentally incapacitated to purchase, possess, or transport any firearm. A violation of this is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor[ii]. Any person subjected to a protective order should surrender his permit to the court entering the order, for the duration of any protective order. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor[iii].
Further, any person who, within a thirty-six consecutive month period, convicted of two misdemeanor offenses under § 18.2-250 or § 18.2-250.1 is ineligible to purchase or transport a handgun. However, upon expiration of a period of five years from the date of the second conviction and provided the person is not convicted of any such offense within that period, the ineligibility shall be removed[iv].
The main government offices that deals with issues relating to firearms are:
Virginia State Police
P.O. Box 27472
Richmond, Virginia 23261
Phone: (804) 674-2000
[i] Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-284
[ii] Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1:2
[iii] Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1:4
[iv] Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.1:5