West Virginia Enters Concealed Handgun Reciprocity Agreements With Georgia, Colorado
CHARLESTON - Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced that three additional states - Alabama, Georgia and Colorado - recently have agreed to recognize West Virginia concealed handgun permits.
“This is great news for West Virginia handgun owners because it means residents with concealed carry permits can legally travel to any state south of here and be confident their license will be recognized,” Morrisey said. “Considering how many of our residents travel to the beaches of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, this is a great step forward for our state. In addition, people traveling west have one more state in which their licenses will be recognized.”
The state of West Virginia recently reached agreements for full reciprocity with the states of Georgia and Colorado. That means those states recognize West Virginia concealed carry permits, and West Virginia recognizes similar permits issued in those states. In addition, earlier this month, a new law went into effect in Alabama that recognizes all out-of-state concealed handgun permits. West Virginia is in the process of securing full reciprocity with that state so Alabama residents can be sure that their handgun permits are recognized in the Mountain State.
“These agreements are the culmination of many weeks of discussion and negotiation with other states, and we look forward to securing even more agreements with other states in the weeks and months to come,” Morrisey said.
Georgia and Colorado mark the 26th and 27th states, respectively, to have full reciprocity agreements with the State of West Virginia. Last month, the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office announced it had obtained full reciprocity with the State of Idaho.
Under the new agreement and pursuant to W. Va. Code § 61-7-6a, a valid Georgia or Colorado permit or license to possess or carry a handgun is valid in West Virginia for the carrying of a concealed handgun so long as the following conditions are met:
1. The permit or license holder is twenty-one years of age or older;
2. The permit or license is in his or her immediate possession;
3. The permit or license holder is not a resident of the State of West Virginia; and,
4. The Attorney General has been notified by the Governor of the other state that the other state allows residents of West Virginia who are licensed in West Virginia to carry a concealed handgun to carry a concealed handgun in that state or the Attorney General has entered into a written reciprocity agreement with the appropriate official of the other state whereby the state agrees to honor West Virginia concealed handgun licenses in return for the same treatment.
West Virginia residents with a valid concealed handgun license (CHL) may legally carry a concealed handgun in states with full reciprocity agreements as well as states that formally recognize West Virginia permits. West Virginia has full handgun reciprocity agreements with twenty-seven (27) states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.
Furthermore, West Virginians with a valid CHL also may legally carry in the following eight (8) states, subject to the limitations of each particular state’s laws: Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Vermont, and Wisconsin. It is worth noting Vermont law does not restrict who may carry a firearm, and Wisconsin only recognizes West Virginia concealed handgun licenses issued after June 8, 2012. Any concealed handgun license issued by these eight (8) states may not be honored by the State of West Virginia until further agreements are reached.
For information regarding West Virginia concealed handgun licenses, please visit the Attorney General’s website at www.wvago.gov/gunrecep.cfm.