What is the legal age to carry a handgun openly?

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What is the legal age to carry a handgun openly?

Officers have told me 18 years old, and some have told me it’s actually 21 years old. Of course, you must be 21 to purchase a handgun in VA, but just wondering about the carry/possession.

Asked on September 28, 2010 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When you say "openly" what do you mean?  Like walking around with it in your hand?  Brandishing a weapon is never legal.  Most laws on this topic deal with the right to carry a concealed weapon, which has to do of course with the ability o purchase the weapon and obtain a permit to carry it.  And for clarification, you must be 21 to purchase a handgun in Virginia, that is correct.  Because by its very size it can be considered a concealed weapon.  You must only be 18 to purchase a rifle or shotgun.  Those are not easily concealed. Additionally, Federal Law does not allow you to purchase ammunition for a handgun until you are 21 either.  So let's assume that if you are under 21 it is not a good idea.


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