I recently had my firearm rights restored by the Circuit Court. Am I also approved for my concealed carry permit?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions during not only the consultation phase of the firearm restoration process, but also following successful restoration. The answer is no. When you have your firearm rights restored by the proper Circuit Court, you have simply been granted the right to purchase, possess and carry a firearm in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In order to carry a concealed handgun in the Commonwealth, you must apply for a Concealed Handgun Permit. Like your restoration hearing, the CHP process will funnel through the Circuit Court in the city or county where you reside. First, you will fill out Form SP-248. As an accompaniment to your application, you will need to provide documentation proving handgun competency. This can be achieved through a number of different avenue, all of which are enumerated in Section 18.2-308.02(B). I’ve always found the easiest thing to do is head down to your local range, advise them that you are applying for your CHP, and inquire if they offer any classes that will satisfy the statutory requirements. If they do not offer one, they will more than likely be able to point you in the direction of someone that does. After submission of your application, the Circuit Court will provide a decision on your application. If you are approved, your permit will be good for a five-year term. If your application is denied, the Circuit Court will notify you, in writing, of your right to a hearing on the matter. You will have 21 days to ask for such a hearing; after the 21 days, your right to a hearing will lapse. If you choose, you may have counsel to represent your interests at this hearing.