Competency

Competence with a Handgun


Pursuant to §18.2-308.02(B), the court shall require proof that the applicant has demonstrated competence with a handgun and the applicant may demonstrate such competence by one of the following shown below, but no applicant shall be required to submit to any additional demonstration of competence, nor shall any proof of demonstrated competence expire.  

A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization, or group that conducted or taught such course or class attesting to the completion of the course or class by the applicant or a copy of any document which shows completion of the course or class or evidence of participation in firearms competition shall constitute evidence of qualification under this subsection.

How to Provide Competency Information

Effective January 1, 2021, the court shall require proof that the applicant has demonstrated competence with a handgun in person and the applicant may demonstrate such competence by one of the following, but no applicant shall be required to submit to any additional demonstration of competence, nor shall any proof of demonstrated competence expire:

  • Completing any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Department of Wildlife Resources or a similar agency of another state;
  • Completing any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;
  • Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, institution of higher education, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services;
  • Completing any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;
  • Presenting evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or current military service or proof of an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed services;
  • Obtaining or previously having held a license to carry a firearm in the Commonwealth or a locality thereof, unless such license has been revoked for cause;
  • Completing any in-person firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor; 
  • Completing any governmental police agency firearms training course and qualifying to carry a firearm in the course of normal police duties; or
  • Completing any other firearms training which the court deems adequate.