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The Law For Carrying Firearms In Public In Virginia

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The right of American citizens to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. While there are several federal gun laws, the legal details surrounding gun ownership in the U.S. are largely left to state governments – and across the 50 states, approaches to gun control vary widely.

Debates over gun regulation at the federal level have largely centered around assault-style rifles in recent years. But the largest and most impactful changes in gun control policy have happened at the state level, particularly in laws regarding the right to carry firearms in public places. (Here is a look at the states that have banned assault rifles.)

Open carry of firearms is generally defined as wielding a firearm that is either partially or fully visible. In Virginia, open carry of both long guns and handguns is allowed.

Concealed carry of firearms, meanwhile, is generally defined as having a gun on one’s person while in public that is not visible. Concealed carry firearms can be carried in backpacks, purses, or in a holster under a garment. Under Virginia state law, permitless concealed carry is illegal.

It is important to note that gun laws are nuanced and can vary at the local level and depending on one’s primary state of residence. Review all state and local firearm regulations before carrying a gun in public. These laws are also subject to change.

StateOpen Carry HandgunsOpen Carry Long GunsPermitless Concealed Carry LegalityAlabamaAllowedAllowedLegalAlaskaAllowedAllowedLegalArizonaAllowedAllowedLegalArkansasAllowedAllowedLegalCaliforniaProhibitedProhibitedIllegalColoradoAllowedAllowedIllegalConnecticutPermit RequiredAllowedIllegalDelawareAllowedAllowedIllegalFloridaProhibitedProhibitedLegal (effective July 1, 2023)GeorgiaAllowedAllowedLegalHawaiiPermit RequiredPermit RequiredIllegalIdahoAllowedAllowedLegalIllinoisProhibitedProhibitedIllegalIndianaAllowedAllowedLegalIowaAllowedAllowedLegalKansasAllowedAllowedLegalKentuckyAllowedAllowedLegalLouisianaAllowedAllowedLegal for residents with military service onlyMaineAllowedAllowedLegalMarylandPermit RequiredAllowedIllegalMassachusettsPermit RequiredPermit RequiredIllegalMichiganAllowedAllowedIllegalMinnesotaPermit RequiredPermit RequiredIllegalMississippiAllowedAllowedLegalMissouriAllowedAllowedLegalMontanaAllowedAllowedLegalNebraskaAllowedAllowedLegal (effective Sept. 10, 2023)NevadaAllowedAllowedIllegalNew HampshireAllowedAllowedLegalNew JerseyProhibitedPermit RequiredIllegalNew MexicoAllowedAllowedIllegalNew YorkProhibitedAllowedIllegalNorth CarolinaAllowedAllowedIllegalNorth DakotaAllowedAllowedLegalOhioAllowedAllowedLegalOklahomaAllowedAllowedLegalOregonAllowedAllowedIllegalPennsylvaniaAllowedAllowedIllegalRhode IslandPermit RequiredAllowedIllegalSouth CarolinaPermit RequiredAllowedIllegalSouth DakotaAllowedAllowedLegalTennesseeAllowedAllowedLegalTexasAllowedAllowedLegalUtahAllowedAllowedLegalVermontAllowedAllowedLegalVirginiaAllowedAllowedIllegalWashingtonAllowedAllowedIllegalWest VirginiaAllowedAllowedLegalWisconsinAllowedAllowedIllegalWyomingAllowedAllowedLegal

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