CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has advised local sheriffs they can accept mail-in concealed carry applications and renewals as part of an effort to preserve the Second Amendment rights of West Virginians, while observing social distancing directives put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a news release, Morrisey sent letters to sheriffs in all 55 counties to provide them with information on processing applications for and renewals of concealed handgun licenses during the ongoing state of emergency.
“Nothing in state code requires applicants for concealed handgun licenses to show up in person,” Morrisey said. “While we want our residents to be safe and practice good social distancing, we also want to ensure they can still exercise their right to keep and bear arms.”
Sheriffs may accept applications for concealed handgun licenses by mail, or applications could be collected via a drop box placed outside the local sheriff’s office, according to Morrisey.
The Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department began accepting concealed handgun license applications by mail on Monday.
While a license is not required for most people age 21 and over to carry a concealed handgun in West Virginia, having a valid concealed carry license helps West Virginians satisfy the requirement of a federal background check to purchase firearms, the release states.
Morrisey said concealed carry licenses also benefit people who travel, as many states that allow West Virginians to carry concealed within their borders do so only on the basis of the person having a valid, West Virginia concealed carry license.
West Virginia residents with questions regarding concealed handgun licensing can contact their local sheriff’s department or read the Attorney General’s gun reciprocity page.
Read a copy of Morrisey’s letter to local sheriffs here.