It is generally unlawful for anyone to purchase more than one handgun within any 30-day period in Virginia.1
However, this prohibition does not apply to the following kinds of purchases:
- A purchase made after the buyer has submitted a special application to the State Police and undergone an enhanced background check pursuant to State Police regulations. The buyer must sign the application under oath, state the purpose for the purchase above the limit, and list the number and type of handguns to be purchased and transferred “for lawful business or personal use, in a collector series, for collections, as a bulk purchase from estate sales, and for similar purposes.” The State Police must immediately issue a certificate to an applicant who has met the requirements, including proof of residency and identity. That certificate remains valid for seven days. The buyer must surrender the certificate to the dealer before the sale, and the dealer must keep it on file for two years. The State Police may also allow local law enforcement agencies to issue these certificates, provided all requirements are met.
- A “private sale” of a handgun, defined to mean “a purchase from a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection of curios or relics or who sells all or part of such collection of curious and relics.”2
The prohibition against purchasing more than one handgun within 30 days also does not apply to the following buyers:
- Licensed firearms dealers;
- Law enforcement officers, law enforcement agencies, and agencies duly authorized to perform law enforcement duties;
- State and local correctional facilities;
- Licensed private security companies;
- A person who is exchanging or replacing a handgun that he or she purchased within the last 30 days from the same seller;
- A person who is trading in one handgun for another, provided that no more than one trade-in is completed per day;
- A person whose handgun is stolen or irretrievably lost who deems it essential that such handgun be replaced immediately; and
- Virginia concealed handgun permit holders.3
See our Bulk Gun Purchases policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Va. Code Ann. § 308.2:2(R).