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New Virginia laws: Changes to concealed carry permit take effect Friday. Here's what you need to know

Starting on Jan. 1, 2021, concealed handgun training for a permit has to be done in-person.

NORFOLK, Va. — This week, we’re keeping you in the know about new Virginia laws starting in the new year.

The new orders include a change to how people apply for concealed handgun permits.

Current legislation requires you to complete training from a qualified instructor or class, but that training can be online.

That means, technically speaking, you can receive a permit having never handled a gun.

This new legislation, starting Jan. 1, removes the online option and requires people to get that training for a permit in-person applicants will have to physically demonstrate handgun competence.

The pandemic certainly intensifies the gun control debate over the new law.

Opponents argue that it doesn’t make sense to ask people to stay home, then require them, by law, to go out and interact with someone in-person to get a permit.

It is worth noting that lawmakers couldn’t have predicted the effects of COVID-19 when they approved the legislation early in the year.

Still, advocates have said gun training, for the most part, is socially distant by nature.

If you do want to avoid in-person training, you still have time left to complete authorized online training.

But time is running out. You’ll have to have it completed and submitted to the circuit court clerk by close of business Thursday.