How To Buy a Gun in Virginia VA

How To Buy a Gun in Virginia

We actually get quite a few calls and emails every month asking us how to buy a gun in Virginia, so I decided it was time to put it in writing. In this article I will walk you through the different scenarios of buying a gun in VA. I will cover buying a gun from an FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee) Dealer at a store or a gun show. There is no difference in the process when buying from a licensed dealer, whether you are at their place of business or a gun show the process is the same.

Virginia differs from the majority of states, in that the Virginia State Police handle all firearms background checks. Virginia Firearms Transaction Program

All FFL dealers must follow all local, state, and federal laws.

Buying a Gun from a Gun Store or Gun Show / FFL Dealer, the Basics:

You must be at least 18 years old to purchase a Long Gun:

  • Long Gun: Refers to any rifle or non-pistol grip only shotgun, it could be an AR15, an AK47, a bolt action rifle, a semi auto shotgun, or even a pump action shotgun. It does not matter what features a rifle has, it is still considered a long gun and as such can be purchased by someone at least 18 years old.

You must be at least 21 years old to purchase a Handgun, Receiver/ Frame, or a Pistol Gripped Shotgun:

  • Handgun: Refers to any pistol or revolver.
  • Receiver or Frame: Refers to the serialized part of a firearm. An example of which is an AR15 stripped lower receiver. The reason you must be 21 or older to buy this is because a receiver or frame can be built into a handgun.
  • Pistol Gripped Shotgun: Refers to a shotgun that does not have a stock, only a pistol grip or something along the lines of a Mossberg Shockwave, or Remington Tac-14 (the definitions get weird here).

You must be able to pass a Background check:

 

Virginia Residents Buying from a Gun Store or Gun Show / FFL Dealer:

What forms will you have to fill out:

  • Virginia Firearms Transaction Record SP-65
  • Federal Firearms Transaction Record Form 4473

I provided links to these forms for reference only. These forms need to be filled out at the time of your purchase, do not print them out ahead of time. Your gun store/ FFL dealer will provide them for you at the time of purchase.

ID Requirements:

  • Your PRIMARY ID must be a valid Virginia Driver’s License or valid Virginia ID card that has an issued date of at least 30 days prior to your purchase date. If your driver’s license or ID card is not a least 30 days old you cannot buy a gun.

Address Requirements:

  • The address on your PRIMARY ID, must match your current physical address (NO PO Boxes) that you write on question 2 of the Form 4473. If your PRIMARY ID does not match your physical address you will need to provide some other form of ID that is government issued that has your current physical address (where you live on the day you fill out the paperwork). Examples are a Voter ID card, a Concealed Handgun Permit, Vehicle Registration, Hunting or Fishing License, Municipal utility bill, Tax bill, etc.

How much does the background check cost?

  • The Virginia State Police charges $2.00 for the background check of VA State Residents. Your dealer collects the $2.00

 

Active Duty Military Personnel Permanently Stationed in Virginia, Buying from a Gun Store or Gun Show / FFL Dealer:

What forms will you have to fill out:

  • Virginia Firearms Transaction Record SP-65
  • Federal Firearms Transaction Record Form 4473

I provided links to these forms for reference only. These forms need to be filled out at the time of your purchase, do not print them out ahead of time. Your gun store/ FFL dealer will provide them for you at the time of purchase.

ID Requirements:

  • Your PRIMARY ID must be a valid Active Duty Military ID.
  • Your permanent duty orders to a VA duty station OR your Leave and Earnings statement that shows your Physical Virginia Address. These can be paper or electronic, and we only need to see them, you do not have to provide a copy.

Your dealer may want your out of state drivers license as well.   

Address Requirements:

  • No address requirements for ID or Orders, the only address requirements are if you are using your leave and earning statement instead of orders. Please write your current physical address on question 2 of the Form 4473. If you are using your leave and earnings statement the address on question 2 must match the address on your leave and earnings statement.

How much does the background check cost?

  • The Virginia State Police charges $2.00 for the background check for Military Personnel Stationed in VA. Your dealer collects the $2.00

Special note regarding Military Personnel, the state of Virginia has different requirements than the federal government. In the state of Virginia, the only way to be able to purchase a handgun is with either a VA Drivers License, VA ID, or with Military ID and permanent duty orders to a VA duty station or your leave and earnings statement with a physical VA address.

 

Out of State Residents Buying from a Gun Store or Gun Show / FFL Dealer in Virginia:

Out of State Residents may only purchase Long Guns in Virginia. This is a federal law, all handgun, receiver/ frame, or pistol gripped shotgun sales must take place in your state of residence. Also, we cannot sell you guns that violate your states laws. Examples include but are not limited to: States with assault weapon restrictions, states that require a special ID to purchase any firearms, or states that have contiguous state laws regarding long gun purchases. Please know your state laws before trying to buy a gun in Virginia.

What forms will you have to fill out:

  • Virginia Firearms Transaction Record SP-65
  • Federal Firearms Transaction Record Form 4473

I provided links to these forms for reference only. These forms need to be filled out at the time of your purchase, do not print them out ahead of time. Your gun store/ FFL dealer will provide them for you at the time of purchase.

ID Requirements:

  • Your PRIMARY ID must be a valid Driver’s License or a valid out of state photo ID card that is issued by a government agency.
  • A secondary form of ID with the same address as the PRIMARY ID. Examples are: A current lease, a tax bill, a current utility or telephone bill, a current voter registration card, a current bank check, a current automobile registration, a current hunting or fishing license, etc.

Address Requirements:

  • The address on your PRIMARY ID, must match your current physical address (NO PO Boxes) that you write on question 2 of the Form 4473. If your PRIMARY ID does not match your physical address you will need to provide some other form of ID that is government issued that has your current physical address (where you live on the day you fill out the paperwork). Examples are a Voter ID card, a Concealed Handgun Permit, Vehicle Registration, Hunting or Fishing License, Municipal utility bill, Tax bill, etc. Keep in mind that this does not change the initial requirement of a PRIMARY ID and a matching secondary form of ID. As an out of state resident that does not have the correct address on their PRIMARY ID, you will need a secondary form of ID that matches the incorrect address on your PRIMARY ID to satisfy VA state requirements. And a third form of ID that is government issued with your correct address to satisfy Federal requirements.

How much does the background check cost?

  • The Virginia State Police charges $5.00 for the background check of out of state residents. Your dealer collects the $5.00

 

If you have any questions or comments let us know.

 

Feel free to share this information.

Thank you for your time.

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Links for your reference:

Virginia Firearms Transaction Program

Virginia State Police Firearms Purchase Eligibility Test

Virginia State Police Criminal Record Check

How To Buy a Gun in Virginia

5 thoughts on “How To Buy a Gun in Virginia

  1. SIGman says:

    Thanks, for the information

  2. Scott M. says:

    Important information that is well presented.

  3. Chuck H. says:

    Good article. Outside of reading state and federal laws, would like to see something on private sales possibly. I know there are options in that category but i dont think people realize how much trouble they can get themselves into some trouble if uneducated. Information on how to educate themselves would be nice to see as well.

  4. Stephan says:

    So you only need one form of ID? Just a valid driver’s license?

    1. Dkfirearms says:

      As long as it is a Virginia Driver’s license and it has your current address on it. You only need one ID.

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