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West Virginia Gun Laws and How They Differ From Neighboring States

Image: West Virginia Gun Laws and How They Differ From Neighboring States
A red abstract state map of West Virginia, a 3D render symbolizing targeting the state to find its outlines and borders. (Iqoncept/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 17 Apr 2015 03:44 PM

Gun control and the regulation of concealed carry permits are topics that have generated a lot of interest across the nation. Laws vary greatly from state to state. What may be lawful in West Virginia may be unlawful in another state including, but not limited to, the ability to lawfully carry a firearm, with or without a permit.

Even for neighboring states, the regulations on obtaining a permit and where it is recognized can be very different. Below are gun laws in West Virginia and how they differ from its neighboring states:

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1. West Virginia: A resident who wants to carry a handgun concealed must obtain a concealed handgun license (CHL) by applying through the Sheriff's Office in the county in which they reside. West Virginia does have mandated training for the permit.

To fulfill the training requirement, the applicant must successfully complete a handgun safety course (which includes firing a handgun) conducted by a handgun instructor certified by the state or National Rifle Association, or have received training in the United States Military. A background check on the applicant is conducted, as well. This permit is honored in 35 other states, and in turn those states' permits are also honored in West Virginia.

2. Virginia: The application instructions and required training for a Virginia resident who wants to obtain a concealed handgun permit is similar to the laws in West Virginia. Virginia does issue non-resident permits, unlike West Virginia. This permit is honored in 30 other states. Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Florida only honor the resident permit. Wisconsin only honors the non-resident permit.

3. Kentucky: Mandated training is required through a firearms training course approved by the Department of Criminal Justice Training. This permit is honored in 36 other states. Kentucky only issues non-resident permits to a member of the military stationed in the state, although Kentucky will honor all permits or licenses issued by any state.

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4. Ohio: Mandated training is further specified as eight hours with a minimum time of two hours consisting of range time and live-fire training. This permit is honored in 36 other states. Non-resident permits may be issued to military personnel and spouses, as well as a person being employed in the state. This can also apply to a person who is present in the state, if there is a justifiable need. Ohio honors all other states permits or licenses.

5. Pennsylvania: The concealed handgun permit process is simpler than in its neighboring states. A resident applies at the sheriff’s office in the county they reside. A non-resident does need to apply in person, and would need a permit from their home state. The resident permit is honored in 32 other states and the non-resident permit is honored in 26 other states. PA does recognize other permits, but there are limitations on several states.

6. Maryland: The state law for an out-of-state permit or license is it will not be honored. A resident of Maryland who wants to carry, wear, or transport a handgun must obtain a permit, which in Maryland, is "may issue."

In addition to being 18 years minimum, and completed mandated training by a Maryland State Police approved handgun instructor, a resident would have to submit documentation explaining why a person would need to carry a gun (i.e. deposit slips showing a business’ monetary flow, evidence of legitimacy for certain occupations such as doctor or pharmacist, documented evidence of recent threats, robberies/assaults by police reports or notarized statements).

Federal law for interstate transportation of a firearm in a vehicle is the unloaded firearm is in a locked container not readily accessible by any of the occupants (excluding the glove box or console) such as the trunk, separated from ammunition.

This Federal law should be recognized nationally, however an out-of-state resident traveling through a state such as Maryland (which has stricter gun laws), may be in violation of the state law if the trip is stopped or interrupted.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Gun control and the regulation of concealed carry permits are topics that have generated a lot of interest across the nation. Laws vary greatly from state to state. What may be lawful in West Virginia may be unlawful in another state.
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Friday, 17 Apr 2015 03:44 PM
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