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Proper securing of firearms restricts access by unauthorized or untrained persons, ensuring gun safety at home. Many gun accidents occur from careless storage of firearms where even children gain access to them. Gun ranges in West Virginia will offer tips on safe gun storage as well as offer training for minors to enhance gun safety at home.
Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in West Virginia?
No, you do not need a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in West Virginia. This state is a constitutional carry state and therefore has very lax gun laws. You only need to be over 18 years to be able to access gun ranges in the state. Minors can also use the ranges as long as they are under the supervision of an adult.
The state allows both open and concealed carry of firearms without the need for a permit. All you need to be able to carry your firearms is to be over 21 years. The state honors resident and non-resident permits from 34 states that are on its Reciprocity List. However, it only honors this permit for people who are above 21 years.
What these gun laws mean is that you can transport your firearm to and from the range without the need for a permit, whether you are a resident or non-resident of West Virginia. You can also carry the weapon in your vehicle without a permit and you will not be breaking any laws so long as you are 21 years or older.
If you have not reached 21 years, you need a provisional permit that will allow you to legally carry a weapon in your vehicle. If you lack this permit, you can still carry the weapon in your vehicle legally by having it unloaded and secured in a case or locked gun storage, away from any other occupant in the vehicle. The gun ammunition should also be stored in a separate location from the unloaded weapon.
When You Will Need a Concealed Carry Permit
West Virginia does issue a concealed carry weapon permit to its residents only. If you are not a resident of this state, you do not qualify for this permit. However, this permit is required for out-of-state use in the 36 states that honor it. Requirements for this permit include:
- Applicant must be 21 years or older
- Must complete a firearms safety training course to attain competence in firing and handling firearms
The concealed carry permit is valid for 5 years and usually takes 45 days to process and it will cost you $75. If you are between 18 and 20 years, you need a provisional license to conceal carry until you attain 21 years.
Where You Can Carry
You can carry your firearm into a state park, state and national forests, rest areas by the roadside and state wildlife management areas. While some restaurants that serve alcohol may bar weapons in the bar area, others may prohibit weapons in the establishment. You need to honor signs in establishments or private properties that have no gun policies.
Some areas prohibit concealed or openly carried firearms and these include:
- Learning institutions
- State Capitol Complex
- Buildings limited by municipal code
- Buildings or areas prohibited by federal law
Gun ranges provide facilities that expose you to the proper handling of firearms. Engaging minors in shooting practice ensures that they get the necessary skills in gun handling. As you will not require a permit to use the shooting ranges in West Virginia, you can get convenient access to the training facilities you need to learn how to safely handle your firearm.