Changes coming to Virginia’s concealed carry permit process on January 1

Training for permits must be taken in person in 2021

ROANOKE, Va. – The new year will bring a change to the concealed carry permit application process in Virginia.

If you were planning on completing online training for a concealed carry permit, time is running out.

SafeSide Tactical, which has locations in Roanoke and Lynchburg, started offering its concealed carry course online earlier this year after having to cut class sizes to maintain social distancing guidelines in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly, all training for a concealed carry permit must be taken in person starting January 1.

“It doesn’t make sense that we’re asking people to stay home, do curbside pick-up, not go into groups, but then we’re taking away one of the ways that someone can learn about gun safety in their own home,” said Mitchell Tyler, co-owner of SafeSide Tactical.

Tyler while some people still choose to take an in-person course, more than 2,000 people have taken the online version since SafeSide Tactical started offering it.

“You know, it’s important to me that people aren’t just getting guns off the shelf, and then have no idea how to use them. And so that’s why the basics of gun safety can be taught in an online or in-person format,” said Tyler.

Any potential trainees can still take SafeSide’s online course through Thursday at 10 p.m.

Tyler said the important lessons taught in these courses prevent tragedies from happening in the community.

“We were mindful of the fact that guns are powerful, and we want gun owners to, you know, really take the initiative to learn about firearm safety and then become proficient in what they’ve purchased,” said Tyler.

It is illegal in Virginia to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. A violation of the law could result in up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.