State Law Background
West Virginia does not:
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals;
- Require firearms dealers to obtain a state license;
- Regulate the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles, or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require gun owners to obtain a license, register their firearms, or report lost or stolen firearms;
- Require reporting of mental health records to the NICS database;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Impose a waiting period before the sale of a firearm;
- Regulate unsafe handguns (“junk guns” or “Saturday night specials”);
- Significantly regulate ammunition;
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms; or
- Give local law enforcement discretion to deny a concealed handgun permit.
In 2014, West Virginia had the 14th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states, and 284 West Virginians died of firearm-related injuries that year. In addition, based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in 2009, West Virginia was the 2nd highest number of crime guns to other states per capita. Per capita, West Virginia exports 3.3 times as many crime guns as the national average, and it exports far more crime guns than it imports.
West Virginia Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in West Virginia, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.