After Completion of Application

Background Check

After an application is filed at the Rockingham County Circuit Court, the Rockingham County Sheriff or Harrisonburg Police Department will conduct a background check on each applicant. As part of the background check, an applicant may be asked to undergo a voluntary interview with the police if the background check indicates a potential reason to disqualify the applicant. The Commonwealth’s Attorney will also review each application and background check prior to making a recommendation to the Circuit Court judges.

Processing the Concealed Handgun Permit

  • The clerk will make two photocopies of the concealed handgun permit: one copy for the case file, the other copy for the Virginia State Police for further processing.
  • The State Police will enter the permit holder’s name and description in the Virginia Criminal Information Network so that the permit’s existence and current status will be made known to law-enforcement personnel accessing the network for investigative purposes.

Granting or Denying the Application

After the Rockingham County Sheriff or Harrisonburg Police Department has completed its investigation, the application and background information is sent to a Circuit Court judge. The judge will enter an order in court either granting or denying the Concealed Handgun Permit application.

Receiving the Concealed Handgun Permit

  • The permit will be mailed to the applicant once the order has been entered granting the concealed handgun permit.
  • The applicant must immediately sign the permit.

Denial of Application

The most common reasons for denial of a concealed handgun permit, other than a criminal offense, is the failure of applicants to completely fill out question number two regarding length of residence on the application and/or the failure to answer all questions. Failure to provide necessary information and failure to answer all questions results in an incomplete application.



  • If you have lived in your current home less than five years, you must provide a separate listing of all addresses where you have lived within the last five years.
  • The Sheriff's Office or Police Department must be able to verify your residence.
  • Provide the information and documentation as listed in the “Notice to Concealed Handgun Applicant.”


  • Failure to answer any questions on the application may result in a denial of your permit.
  • Any questions that do not apply to your situation need to have an answer either of “N/A” or “not applicable”, if appropriate.