Certification of Handgun Competency

Law Changes

  • Effective January 1, 2021, online certifications will no longer be accepted. Certification is required to be in-person firearms training.

Applicant Requirements

VA Code §18.2-308.02(B) requires the applicant to demonstrate competence with a handgun. The applicant may demonstrate such competence in the following ways:

  • Certification of completion of a hunter safety course
  • Certification of completion of a NRA safety or training course
  • Certification of completion of a safety or training course offered by local law enforcement agencies or a private institute certified by the NRA or the Department of Criminal Justice Services
  • Completion of any law enforcement firearms safety or training offered for security guards, investigators, or special deputies
  • Evidence of experience with a firearm through participation in an organized shooting competition, or current military service (photocopy of your active duty military I.D)
  • Proof of an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed services. Your DD-214 must indicate the character of service as honorable discharge.
  • Firearms training which the court deems appropriate
  • Obtaining a license to carry a firearm in the Commonwealth of Virginia, unless such license has been revoked
  • Completing any in-person firearms training or safety course or class conducted by a state-certified or NRA-certified firearms instructor 

More information regarding the manner in which an applicant can demonstrate competency with a handgun can be found at VA Code §18.2-308.02(B).

A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses; an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization or group that conducted, supervised or taught the course attesting to the applicant’s completion of the course; or a copy of any document which shows completion of the course or competition shall constitute proof of competency.