How to Buy a Firearm
Requirements for Purchasing a Firearm in Virginia:
Note: These requirements, and a background check, apply whether purchasing a firearm, transferring a firearm, or picking up your unsold consigned firearm.
With all firearms sales and transfers: if any staff member at NOVA Armament feels uncomfortable with the sale, we reserve the right to deny the transfer or sale of the firearm and return the firearm to the seller.
For Firearms transfers, please refer to our Transfers page.
Primary Identification consists of a VA Drivers license or DMV-issued Photo ID that is more than 30 days old. The ID must have the current and correct name and physical address for the cardholder. A copy of the purchaser’s DMV driver’s record showing that the original date of issue for the license was more than 30-days prior will suffice if the license has been re-issued, or the person has changed addresses.
Primary Identification for a non-VA Resident, for the purchase of a rifle or shotgun, must consist of a valid driver’s license or photo-ID issued by a governmental agency of the prospective purchasers home state that denote the purchasers name, race, sex, date of birth and current address. Federal law prohibits the sale or transfer of a handgun to a nonresident of the state in which the handgun is being purchased.
A social security card or birth certificate IS NOT an acceptable form of Primary identification. A birth certificate is, however, good for proof-of-citizenship for “assault firearm” purchases.
Virginia State law requires a second form of identification to verify the buyer’s address. This second form of ID must have a name and address that matches the buyer’s primary ID. Acceptable documents include:
- concealed Handgun Permit
- a current lease
- evidence of currently paid personal property tax or real estate tax
- a current utility or landline telephone bill
- a bank statement
- a current voter registration card
- a current bank check
- a current automobile registration
- a current hunting or fishing license
Assault Firearm Transfer:
An assault firearm is defined as any semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that is equipped at the time of sale with a magazine which will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition, equipped with a folding stock, or designed to accommodate a sound suppressor/silencer. Shotguns with a magazine able to load seven or more rounds of the longest shell it can chamber are also considered assault weapons.
Proof of citizenship, or of lawful admission for a permanent residence, must be established prior to the purchase of an “assault firearm.” One of the following forms of proof of citizenship or lawful residence, pursuant to 18.2-308.2 must be presented to purchase an assault firearm:
- a certified birth certificate or certificate of birth abroad issued by the US State Department
- an un-expired US Passport
- a U. S. citizen identification card
- a current voter registration card
- a current selective service registration card
- an immigrant or registration card issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service
- a certificate of citizenship or a certificate of naturalization issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Transfer of Firearms to Non-Citizens:
In addition to the requirements listed above, non-citizens have an additional requirement to purchase or transfer a firearm. Depending on your status, in addition to the two forms of identification, you:
Permanent Residents (“Green Card” Holders): are required to bring a current, valid Green Card with you.
Non-immigrant Aliens (Visa Holders): are required to bring their I-94 Departure Record and bring documentation showing an exemption to the prohibition on non-immigrants possessing a firearm:
- a hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United States
- a waiver from the prohibition from the Attorney General of the United States