Virginia’s Mail-In CCW Program is a Cheap and Easy Way to Stay Safe
In a world where crazy, deranged people randomly attack public, and well trafficked areas for the sole purpose of killing as many innocents as possible, we need a proper militia. Police and professional security only go so far. If we really want to stop mass shootings, we need enough armed civilians that every mass shooter is immediately and fatally met by good guys with guns.
The problem is that concealed carry permits can be hard to get. Of all the states to find a solution to this problem, you probably would not have guessed that Virginia was leading the charge. It looks like the state that stood at the heart of two revolutions on this continent hasn’t completely forgotten it’s roots.
Virginia has a new mail-in concealed carry permitting process. Even if you don’t live in the state, this might be the means to get your permit and do your part.
The Application Process
What is special about this process is that it doesn’t require a specific class to get the license. Anyone in the country can apply for the permit (although VA residents are required to apply for a resident license). Also, Virginia is a shall-issue state, even for non-residents. As long as you do your application correctly and aren’t legally barred from carrying a firearm (such as having a violent felony conviction), you’ll get the license.
The application can be found on the Virginia state police website. It does have to be mailed — this is not an entirely digital process. As you might imagine, you’ll need proof of ID. There’s an application fee ($100.00 at the time of this writing) and a list of other requirements. You’ll need a fingerprint card and documentation of competence with a handgun. That last one is the tricky part.
Proof of Competence
In most states that require a license to carry concealed, part of the process involves a practical session with an approved examiner. These sessions can get a little pricey, if for no other reason than you’ll fire hundreds of dollars’ worth of ammo during the process.
With Virginia’s mail-in system, things are a little more flexible. The state police have an approved list of acceptable ways to demonstrate firearm competence. Those can include public safety courses run by law enforcement, NRA safety courses and military training.
There are actually more than a few acceptable ways to demonstrate competence, so go through the list and see what works best for you. The Virginia process stands to be a lot cheaper than what may be available in your state.
While Virginia’s mail-in CCW is exciting, there is a downside. The cat is out of the bag, and the Virginia state police are backlogged rather significantly. You can expect to wait months between mailing your application and receiving your license.
Still, it’s worth considering if getting a license in your home state is tough or if you want a reciprocal license that you can’t get at home (sorry Californians).
Just make sure you review the rules and don’t unwittingly get yourself in trouble. You aren’t defending the 2nd Amendment or the country by getting arrested for getting trapped in the inconsistent tangle of gun laws across state lines.
Non-Resident Concealed Carry
This is truly revolutionary. Virginia has developed a CCW program specifically for non-residents of the state. At the most basic level, this means you can get the permit and then legally carry a concealed weapon when you visit, but there’s more going on here. Virginia has concealed carry reciprocity with 35 states. That means this mail-in, out-of-state license is good in the majority of the country.
Before you hop online and start filling out your application, keep in mind that reciprocity isn’t a universal thing. Only 18 states accept the license as equivalent to their own. Anyone in the 12 states that have permit-less carry are obviously fine, but that leaves 5 states that acknowledge the Virginia license with restrictions. Make sure you know how your state treats a Virginia license before you make any dangerous assumptions.
All of that said, Virginia has dramatically improved the accessibility of concealed carry across the nation. This might be the opportunity you needed to finally get your license and join the ranks of responsible Americans who are determined to keep our country safe.