Virgin Islands


PLEASE NOTE: In addition to territorial laws, the purchase, sale and (in certain circumstances) the possession and interstate transportation of firearms is regulated by the Gun Control Act of 1968 as amended by the Firearms Owners' Protection Act. Also, cities and localities may have their own firearms ordinances in addition to federal and territory laws. Details may be obtained by contacting local law enforcement authorities, and by consulting the State Laws and Published Ordinances - Firearms, available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

The National Rifle Association does not publish a summary-of-laws brochure dealing specifically with the laws of the Territory of the Virgin Islands. We have included below the law text of the section dealing with the Virgin Islands's firearm laws as found in the Firearms State Laws and Published Ordinances, 1994 edition, distributed by the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, as a service to NRA members and other users of the NRA's computer services. The NRA takes no responsibility as to the completeness of the information below; please see the cautionary statement at the end of this file.

               Virgin Islands Territorial Law
                     V.I. Code
      Title 23. Internal Security and Public Order.

 451. Definitions. 
     As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires
otherwise -
      (a) "Ammunition" means any bullet, cartridge, projectile,
buckshot, or any load placed or which may be placed in a firearm
to be discharged.
      (b) "Commissioner" means the Police Commissioner of the
Virgin Islands.
      (c) "Department" means the U.S. Virgin Islands Police
Department (V.l.P.D.).
      (d) "Firearm" means any device by whatever name known,
capable of discharging ammunition by means of gas generated from
an explosive composition, including any air, gas or spring gun or
any "BB" pistols or "BB" guns that have been adapted or modified
to discharge projectiles as a firearm.
      (e) "Crime of violence" means the crime of, or the attempt
to commit, murder in any degree, voluntary manslaughter, rape,
arson, mayhem, kidnapping, assault in the first degree, assault
in the second degree, assault in the third degree, robbery,
burglary, unlawful entry or larceny.
      (f) "Dealer in firearms and/or ammunition" means any person
engaged in the business of selling firearms and/or ammunition,
for a profit or gain.
      (g) "Gunsmith" means any person who engages in the business
of repairing, altering, cleaning, polishing, engraving, bluing or
performing any mechanical operation on any firearm on an
individual order basis. ****

 452. Applicability of chapter. 
     No person shall have, possess, bear, transport or carry a
firearm within the Virgin Islands, or engage in the business of
dealer in firearms and/or ammunition or the business of gunsmith,
except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.****

 455. Application for license; form, oath; fees.
      (a) Every application for a license to have and possess a
firearm shall be made under oath and on forms which the
Commissioner shall prepare for such purpose. For the purposes of
the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, the applicant
shall furnish all information as may be required of him by the
Commissioner. ****

 458. Grounds for refusing to issue license.
      (a) The Commissioner shall not issue a license to have and
possess a firearm to any person convicted in or outside the
Virgin Islands of any crime of violence; or of any violation of a
narcotic or "harmful drug" law; nor to any person who is mentally
incompetent, or a habitual drunkard or a narcotic or drug addict;
nor to any person convicted for the violation of the provisions
of this chapter; nor to any person who for justifiable reasons is
deemed to be an improper person by the Commissioner. ****

 461. License to sell firearms and/or ammunition; gunsmiths;
report of transactions; private transfer sales to minors or
      (a) No person may engage in the business of dealer in
firearms and/or ammunition or as a gunsmith without holding a
license therefor issued by the Commissioner of Finance upon
favorable report of the Police Commissioner. ****
      (d) No person licensed or otherwise, may sell or furnish
firearms or ammunition to a minor, except that a shotgun or rifle
of such type or caliber as the Commissioner may prescribe or
ammunition therefor, may be sold or furnished by a licensed
dealer to a minor who displays a hunting or sporting license
issued him in accordance with the laws of the Virgin Islands, and
who further displays the written consent of his parent, guardian,
or other responsible person acting in their absence and interest,
in which such sale or delivery has been authorized.

 462. Application for dealer's or gunsmith's license; form and
content; term; fee; renewals. 
      (a) Any person wishing to obtain a license to engage in the
business of dealer in firearms and/ or ammunition or the business
of gunsmith, or both, shall file with the Commissioner of Finance
a sworn application in the manner provided by the said
Commissioner of Finance in consultation with the Police
Commissioner which application shall contain all the information
necessary so that the license may be issued in accordance with
the provisions of this chapter. Such application shall be
transmitted to the Police Commissioner and no license shall be
issued under this section without the latter Commissioner first
making an investigation of all the statements set forth in the
application and without the records of the Department first being
examined for the purpose of determining any prior conviction of
the applicant, and only when such an investigation establishes
that the statements of the applicant are true, and that the
applicant has not been convicted of any crime of violence and the
Commissioner so certifies, recommending that the license be
issued. Where the applicant is a corporation or partnership, no
license shall be issued if any officer of the corporation,
partner of the partnership, has been convicted of any crime of
      (c) The annual fee for a license as a dealer in firearms
and/or ammunition shall be $100, for a license as gunsmith, $100,
and for a license as both, $150.

 463. Qualifications of dealer or gunsmith. 
     No license to engage in the business of gunsmith or of
dealer in firearms and/or ammunition shall be issued to a person
not over 21 years of age and not a resident of the Virgin Islands
and a citizen of the United States.
 When the applicant is a corporation, it shall be organized under
the laws of the Virgin Islands and if a partnership all partners
shall be residents of the Virgin Islands and citizens of the
United States. ****

 465. Conditions for dealers' operations; records of
     Any person, to whom a license has been issued under section
461 of this chapter may engage in the business of gunsmith or of
dealer in firearms and/or ammunition under the following
      (1) The business shall be operated only on the premises
specified in the license.
      (2) The license, or a copy thereof, certified by the
authority issuing the same, shall be posted in the establishment
so that it may be easily read.
      (3) Under no circumstance shall a weapon or shall
ammunition be sold unless the vendor is personally acquainted
with the buyer or the latter clearly establishes his identity.
      (4) A record in triplicate shall be kept of each firearm
sold and of each sale of ammunition, on books devoted to this
purpose which shall be printed in the manner prescribed by the
Commissioner and the record of each sale shall be personally
signed by the buyer and by the person making the sale, each in
the presence of the other; and such record shall set forth the
day and hour of the sale, caliber, manufacture, model and factory
number of the weapon, caliber mark, and quantity of ammunition,
the name, birthplace, address and occupation and the buyer. Said
record shall also contain a thumbprint of the buyer and shall
also set forth whether the buyer is personally known to the
vendor, and in case he should not be the manner in which the
buyer established his identity. ****
      (5) A licensee, if limited to the business of a gunsmith,
shall not be required to forward reports of the work performed
under said license, but shall maintain at his place of business
an accurate and legible accounting of the nature and type of the
jobs or work performed, together with a name and address of the
customers, a description of the firearm, including the serial
number which accounting shall be available as required by the

 466. Sales of weapons and ammunition without licenses
prohibited; sales slips. 
     No dealer in firearms or ammunition shall deliver a firearm
to a purchaser without the latter's handing over to him a license
to have and possess a firearm, duly issued in accordance with the
provisions of this chapter, and unless said license contains an
authorization for the purchase of such firearm, and said dealer
shall not sell to such purchaser any other weapon than the one
described in said license. The dealer in firearms and ammunition
shall separate from such license and keep the dealer's coupon,
and shall return the license to the purchaser. No weapon shall be
sold to the holder of a license from which the coupon has been
removed, and in no case shall a pistol, revolver, or other
firearm be delivered to the purchaser thereof until after
forty-eight (48) hours have elapsed from the time he applies for
the purchase and the same shall be delivered to him unloaded and
securely wrapped.
 No dealer in firearms or ammunition shall sell any quantity of
ammunition to any person failing to present a firearm license.

 470. Report of firearms purchased outside or brought into the
Virgin Islands; fees; penalty.
      (a) Any person other than a licensed dealer, who purchases
or otherwise obtains any firearm or ammunition from any source
within or outside the Virgin Islands shall report such fact in
writing or in person to the Commissioner within 24 hours after
receipt of the firearm or ammunition, furnishing a complete
description of the firearm or ammunition purchased or otherwise
obtained. He shall also furnish his own name, address, date of
birth and occupation.
      (b) Any person upon entering the Virgin Islands bringing
with him any firearm or ammunition shall report in writing or in
person to the Commissioner within 24 hours of his arrival,
furnishing a complete description of the firearm or ammunition
brought into the Virgin Islands. He shall also furnish his own
name, address, date of birth and occupation. ***

 471. Report of loss of firearm. 
     Every person possessing or having under his control a
firearm, and who loses the same or finds that it has disappeared,
shall report the same to the Commissioner within 10 days,
following his discovery of such loss or disappearance, and in the
event of his failing to do so, such person shall be fined not
more than $100.****

 474. Death of licensee. 
     Upon the death of a person leaving in his estate a firearm
it shall be the duty of his administrator, executor or any other
person legally authorized to represent the estate to report to
the Commissioner the brand, caliber and serial number if any, of
the firearm in question. Upon such report, or upon information
otherwise verified, the Commissioner shall make the necessary
provisions for the custody of said firearm by any interested
party or by its deposit with the Department, pending the
settlement of the estate. If the firearm Is assigned to an heir
or distributee who Is eligible to obtain a license for a firearm,
and such license is issued, said firearm shall be delivered to
such heir or distributee. If the heir or distributee is not
eligible for a firearms license, then the firearm shall be
disposed of as part of the estate through public or private sale
as the District Court of the Virgin Islands may direct; provided
that the firearm may be acquired only by a duly licensed dealer,
a person eligible for a license to possess or carry firearms in
the Virgin Islands, or a nonresident of the Virgin Islands in
compliance with the laws of the buyer's state. ****

 476. Collections of antique firearms; certificates of
     No provision hereof shall prevent that private collections
of antique firearms, which may not be used as weapons. be
preserved and maintained and that their owners possess them as
ornaments or as matters of curiosity, nor the collections of
firearms kept as relics, but for the preservation of any weapon
of those included in this section the prior inspection thereof
and approval therefor by the Commissioner shall be necessary and
he shall render such firearms unless, so that the same may not be
used as such. The Commissioner shall issue a certificate of
uselessness of all the weapons possessed under the provisions of
this section, and the possession of any firearm not included in
said certificate shall be subject to all the provisions hereof.

 480. False information forbidden in sale of weapons. 
     No person shall in purchasing a firearm or in applying for
any license or in making any report hereunder give or offer false
or misleading information or offer false evidence of his

 481. Alteration of identifying marks of weapons prohibited. 
     No person shall within the Virgin Islands change, alter,
remove, or obliterate the name of the maker, model,
manufacturer's number, or other mark or identification on any
pistol, machine gun, or sawed-off shotgun. Possession of any
pistol, machine gun, or sawed-off shotgun upon which any such
mark shall have been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated
shall be prima facie evidence that the possessor has changed,
altered, removed or obliterated the same within the Virgin
Islands: Provided, however, that nothing contained in this
section shall apply to any officer or agent of the United States
or the Government of the Virgin Islands engaged in experimental

 482. Illegal use of license; penalty. 
     Whoever knowingly allows the use of his license issued under
this chapter or any prior law of the Virgin Islands by another
person for the purpose of obtaining or transporting firearms
shall be punished.

CAUTION: State and territorial firearms laws are subject to frequent change. The above section is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law. To determine the applicability of these laws to specific situations which you may encounter, you are strongly urged to consult a local attorney.

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