How to Sell a Gun in West Virginia?

West Virginia has some restrictions that surround owning, selling and carrying firearms. For those interested in selling their gun, being familiar with state and federal laws that govern the transaction will be helpful to ensure all parties are in compliance with the regulation when finalizing the transaction. For those unfamiliar with the regulations, has compiled a helpful guide to navigate the regulations in place.

The following information is compiled from a memorandum from the West Virginia Office of Attorney General on West Virginia State Laws and Published Ordinances to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

What are the Requirements to Legally Purchase a Firearm in West Virginia?

In order to purchase a firearm legally through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer, the buyer must be 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Buyers looking to purchase handguns must be at least 21 years old. No permits or registration are required to own a firearm in this state.

Anyone purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473 (firearms transaction form). This form will be maintained by the dealer. A firearms purchaser must, under the permanent provisions of the Federal Brady Law, also undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check, which will be performed by the firearms dealer.

This check will indicate to the dealer whether the purchaser’s background allows for the person to complete the purchase of the firearm.

How to Conduct a Private Sale of a Firearm in West Virginia?

There are no specific state laws addressing private sales of a firearm between private parties. However, there are penalties for buyers and sellers if the firearm was sold to an ineligible person, selling a defaced firearm or selling a restricted firearm (explosive weapon, machine gun) which can result in different criminal charges including a felony criminal charge. Furthermore, city government, municipalities and other local government entities cannot enact any further firearm regulations or restrictions beyond the laws passes by the West Virginia State Legislature.

Below is the legal text:

Section 8-12-5a. Limitations upon municipalities’ power to restrict the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, transport, sale and storage of certain weapons and ammunition.

(a) Neither a municipality nor the governing body of any municipality may, by ordinance or otherwise, limit the right of any person to purchase, possess, transfer, own, carry, transport, sell, or store any deadly weapon, firearm, or pepper spray, or any ammunition or ammunition components to be used therewith nor to so regulate the keeping of gunpowder so as to directly or indirectly prohibit the ownership of the ammunition in any manner inconsistent with or in conflict with state law.
(b) For the purposes of this section:
(1) “Deadly weapon” has the meaning provided in §61-7-2 of this code.
(2) “Firearm” has the meaning provided in §61-7-2 of this code.
(h) This section does not:
(2) Limit the authority of a municipality to restrict the commercial use of real estate in designated areas through planning or zoning ordinances`

Here is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives guidance on the transfer of a firearm by private sellers.

West Virginia Firearm Prohibitors

Section 61-7-7. Persons prohibited from possessing firearms; classifications; right of non prohibited persons over twenty-one years of age to carry concealed deadly weapons; offenses and penalties; reinstatement of rights to possess; offenses; penalties.

(a) Except as provided in this section, no person shall possess a firearm, as such is defined in § 61-7-2 of this article, who:

(1) Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding o1 year;

(2) Is habitually addicted to alcohol;

(3) Is an unlawful user of or habitually addicted to any controlled substance;

(4) Has been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution pursuant to the provisions of §§ 27-1-1 et seq. of this code or in similar law of another jurisdiction: Provided, That once an individual has been adjudicated as a mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution, he or she shall be duly notified that they are to immediately surrender any firearms in their ownership or possession: Provided, however, That the mental hygiene commissioner or circuit judge shall first make a determination of the appropriate public or private individual or entity to act as conservator for the surrendered property;

(5) Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;

(6) Has been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) Is subject to a domestic violence protective order that:
(A) Was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
(B) Restrains such person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable
fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
(i) Includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) By its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or

(8) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery either under the provisions of § 61-2-28 of this chapter or the provisions of subsection (b) or (c), § 61-2-9 of said article or a federal or state statute with the same essential elements in which the victim was a current or former spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, person with whom the defendant has a child in common, person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited, a parent or guardian, the defendant’s child or ward or a member of the defendant’s household at the time of the offense or has been convicted in any court of any jurisdiction of a comparable misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

(f) Any person prohibited from possessing a firearm by the provisions of subsection (a) of this section may petition the circuit court of the county in which he or she resides to regain the ability to possess a firearm and if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person is competent and capable of exercising the responsibility concomitant with the possession of a firearm, the court may enter an order allowing the person to possess a firearm if such possession would not violate any federal law: Provided, That a person prohibited from possessing a firearm by the provisions of subdivision (4), subsection (a) of this section may petition to regain the ability to possess a firearm in accordance with the provisions of § 61-7A-5 of this chapter.

(g) Any person who has been convicted of an offense which disqualifies him or her from possessing a firearm by virtue of a criminal conviction whose conviction was expunged or set aside or who subsequent thereto receives an unconditional pardon for said offense shall not be prohibited from possessing a firearm by the provisions of the section.


Conviction (felony or misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year (even if a buyer did not receive actual imprisonment exceeding 1 year).
Warrant (felony or out-of-state misdemeanor).
Felony pre-trial release.
Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection order mental health adjudication or commitment.
Unlawful use or addicted to a controlled substance (including marijuana).
Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
Renounced U.S. citizenship.
Illegal alien.

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The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. has used reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing, and providing quality information and material, but does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. Users of information from this website or links do so at their own risk and should consult their local firearm law resources and/or an attorney when engaging in selling a firearm. The cited information in this article was obtained on 10/05/2021 from