FORT LEE, Va. -- Those interested in purchasing a firearm should first visit the Virginia State Police website – www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_PurchaseEligibility.shtm – and answer the eligibility test questions to determine if they are lawfully allowed to do so.

While most people know convicted felons are not permitted to purchase firearms, the test enumerates other, lesser-known disqualifiers. For instance, individuals may not be eligible to purchase a firearm if they have been convicted of certain misdemeanors, including domestic violence; have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility; or are the subject of certain outstanding restraining orders.

Those deemed eligible for purchasing a firearm after going through the test must then complete the necessary paperwork and pass a background check. Please remember that providing any materially false information during the application process will likely result in criminal prosecution.

Even though Virginia does not require registration for most firearms, it is recommended that individuals do so, particularly if the wish to sell any weapons at a later time. Anytime a firearm is sold, it is a good idea to use a Virginia firearms dealer on a consignment basis. This is the best assurance of legal protection since the dealer will only sell to eligible individuals, and will properly document the sale, shielding the previous owner from potential liability if the weapon is associated with a crime in the future.

It is important to note that Virginia law regarding firearms is not applicable on a federal installation. Firearms brought onto Fort Lee must be properly registered. There also are specific rules regarding storage and transportation of firearms while on the installation. Additional details are provided on the following webpage: www.lee.army.mil/pmo/flp.weapon.registration.aspx.