“Since 2013, our office has vigorously worked to uphold the rule of law and preserve our citizens’ constitutional right to carry a firearm,” Attorney General Morrisey told America’s 1st Freedom via email. “West Virginians travel the country every day, and by protecting their concealed-carry rights, we ensure their continued freedom to do both—travel and still exercise their Second Amendment rights.”
West Virginians can carry concealed in the state without a concealed handgun license (CHL) if they are at least 21 years old, U.S. citizens or legal residents, and not prohibited from possessing a firearm. However, many obtain the license anyway. The Attorney General’s FAQ site notes that the license can be used as an alternative to a background check when purchasing a firearm and will allow them to lawfully carry a handgun in any state that honors or recognizes West Virginia CHLs.
Currently, there are 23 states that recognize West Virginia’s CHL or don’t require a license to carry concealed. An additional 15 states recognize West Virginia’s license and its provisional license for citizens over age 18 but under 21.
West Virginia’s CHLs are not recognized by nearby District of Columbia and these states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington state
West Virginia also allows people from other states to carry concealed in the state without a license, provided they meet the same legal requirements as noted above for residents.
“This [annual affirmation] also preserves the rights of law-abiding gun owners everywhere, including those who visit our beautiful state,” he noted. “That is a victory for the individual liberties our country has always cherished and that make America the greatest nation in the world. We hope our efforts remain intact for many years to come.”