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House Committee Advances Bill To Scrap Online Courses For Concealed Handgun Permit

Handgun in holster
A measure to eliminate the online tests used to get a concealed-carry permit passed out of a House subcommittee on Tuesday.

A measure to eliminate the option to qualify for a concealed handgun permit in Virginia by taking an online course passed out of a House committee Tuesday.

Right now, people applying for a concealed carry permit in Virginia don’t have to prove they know how to use a firearm. They can take a firearms safety course in person or online before filing an application with the local circuit court.

Some state lawmakers want to do away with the online option.

Andrew Goddard with Virginia Center for Public Safety said that’s a good idea. 

“We should at least know that people know a little bit about safe handling, the laws governing concealed carry, where you can carry, when you can carry, how you behave in public,” Goddard said. 

Opponents of the measure say removing the online option limits access to concealed handgun permits, especially for people in rural areas. 

Patricia Webb is a certified firearms instructor in Hanover County.  

“I would prefer people take an in-person course, but the onus is on the individual who wants to own a firearm and wants to carry a firearm for personal defense,” Webb said. 

The same house committee shut down a bill that would do away with concealed carry permits altogether, making Virginia a permitless carry state. 

Another version of this bill has already passed the full Senate. 

Whittney Evans is VPM News’ features editor.