Obtaining A Concealed Handgun Permit


Applications are available in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday, and may be downloaded by clicking on the following link:  Concealed Handgun Application

First-time applicant must submit applications in person at the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.  Renewal applications may be submitted in person or by mail.

First time applications must provide proof of competency with a handgun.  Online, video-based, or electronic training classes are not acceptable as proof of competency.  

Persons seeking to obtain a concealed handgun permit must apply in the city or county of their residence.  Only Smyth County residents may apply through the Smyth County Circuit Court.  Individuals who are not residents of Virginia must apply through the Virginia State Police.  

Individuals holding permits from other states may be permitted to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia if several conditions are met, but they may also simply apply for a Virginia permit.  If they choose to do so, they should provide the Court with a copy of their permit from another state and a copy of their proof of competency with a handgun, as well.  For the most up-to-date information about reciprocity and recognition with other states, go to the Virginia State Police website at this link:  https://vsp.virginia.gov/services/firearms/reciprocity-and-recognition/

Renewal applicants must provide a copy of their existing permit to avoid having to provide proof of competency with a handgun.  

The processing fee of $15 may be paid by cash, check, money order, or by most major debit and credit cards. Please know that debit and credit card payments are not accepted after 4:30 p.m.

Ways To Demonstrate Competence With A Handgun

Completing any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries 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, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association for 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 experienced 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 this 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;   

Completing any other firearms training deemed adequate by the Court.

Applicants should provide 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 evidences participation in firearms competition.

How Long Does It Take To Process Applications?

Processing applications can take up to 45 days. The Sheriff’s Office performs background checks and then forwards this information to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, who returns the file to the Court.  Either the Clerk or Judge may grant a permit, but only the Judge may deny a permit.  If an application is neither granted nor denied within 45 days, the Clerk mails a certified copy of the application to the applicant, and that certified copy of the application becomes a de facto permit, which shall be good for 90 days from the date certified.

Applicants who are granted a permit will receive their permit in the mail.  As a courtesy, the Clerk offers to laminate the permit at no charge, to protect the permit from wear-and-tear during the five years that it is in effect. 

Where Can I Take a Firearms Class?

Click for a list of classes available in Smyth County.

Questions or Concerns, please contact us: 
Smyth County Courthouse, 109 West Main St., Suite 1081, Marion, VA 24354
Phone:  (276)782-4044

The Clerk of Circuit Court Office is located on the 1st floor of the Smyth County Courthouse.
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Office hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.