Are Night Vision Goggles Legal In Virginia ?
Night vision goggles are legal to own in VA. The State of Virginia has made the ownership and use of night vision goggles legal for all individuals in the state.
Hunting With Night Vision Goggles In Virginia
Night vision scopes and artificial light can be used for hunting in Virginia during legal night time hours for the following species of animals.
Nuisance species may be taken day or night, unless protected by local ordinances.
Virginia nuisance species include:
- rock dove
- english sparrow
- mute swan
- european starling
- feral hog
- ground hog
- black rat
- norway rat
Note that some species may have a specific season.
Certain restrictions do apply. You must have the proper hunting license if hunting on public land and the type of firearms or weapons may be regulated.
Also note that local governments may impose restrictions on discharging firearms at night or hunting on a particular day of the week.
Artificial light is allowed but not if mounted on or cast from any vehicle.
Hunting laws may change from season to season so please review the current laws at the Virginia Department Of Wildlife Resources.
Legal Requirements To Own Night Vision Goggles In Virginia
There are currently no age requirements or restrictions imposed for purchasing night vision devices in Virginia. You may purchase the best night vision goggles that you can afford.
It is advisable to do diligent research on the particular brand of night vision goggles that you may be interested in purchasing. Image quality can vary greatly from one brand to another.
Night Vision Goggles Virginia & Federal Law
Night Vision Goggles in Virginia are regulated by federal law specifically the Department of State, under the rules implemented by the International Traffic In Arms Regulations a.k.a. ITAR. It is against federal law to take these types of devices out of the country or to allow non US citizens to look through these devices.
Can Civilians Buy Night Vision Goggles In Virginia ?
Civilian ownership of night vision goggles a.k.a. NVG’s is allowed under federal law, however some states may have laws to the contrary. The State of Virginia does however allow for ownership of NVG’s.
How Much Do Night Vision Goggles Cost ?
The affordability of night vision goggles in Virginia vary greatly. NVG’s may start on the low end for as little as $100.00 and on the high end they may be in excess of $5000.00. Pricing is normally dependent upon the quality of the manufacture that you choose and the generation of NVG’s that you wish to purchase.
The old adage you get what you pay for comes to mind so be careful of brands that you have never heard of. Know what night vision goggles to buy and which ones to leave on the shelf.
Generations Of NVG’s
There are several generations of night vision goggles in Virginia that are currently in use. The term “generation” actually refers to the image intensifier tubes, more commonly known as the (IIT).
This is an internal component that amplifies the available ambient light. This process is achieved by the IIT speeding up the electrons of the available incoming light and project that image onto the view screen.
Gen 1 Night Vision Goggles
Generation 1 night vision goggles are the oldest form of night vision and was originally invented in the early 1950s. Generation 1 devices are still available on the open market but lack the clarity of newer night vision generations.
Gen 1 devices need more ambient light to work properly and may have blemishes in the form of black dots that appear when looking through the device.
These black dots are the result of imperfections in the IIT tubes. The Generation 1 NVG is best suited for short distances and makes for a great starter pair of NVG’s.
The expected life of a pair of Gen 1 NVGs is roughly 1000 hours of use. This is due to the quality of the IIT.
Night Vision Goggles Generation 2
Gen 2 Night vision goggles are a huge step up form the first generation. With the addition of micro channel plates (MCP’s) that offer a clearer picture with a higher resolution then the Generation 1, these MCP’s allow the Gen 2 to work in lower light conditions than the Gen 1.
Offering a clearer picture better field of view and range of detection the Generation 2 is almost as good as the Gen 3. However if it comes to Gen 2 vs. Gen 3 always go with the Gen 3 if you can afford them.
Gen 3 Night Vision Goggles
With a higher price point than the first or second generation, the Generation 3 NVG’s are the most technologically advanced and up to date goggles on the market. However like the Gen 2 they do come with different grades of IIT’s.
With a set of quality Generation 3 NVG’s you can expect a clear image with amazing details. Average life span of the Gen 3 can be several thousand hours if properly cared for.
Do I Have To Purchase Night Vision Goggles From A FFL Dealer ?
You do not have to purchase NVG’s from a Virginia FFL dealer or go through a background check to purchase NVG’s, therefore you can purchase from any retailer that has them in stock.
What Night Vision Goggles To Buy ?
This can be a very heated and contested question depending upon who you ask. There are several great manufactures in the market place that offer several different generations of night vision goggles.
However, in recent years the market place has been flooded with cheap imports. The IIT’s are a major component and many of the cheaper versions of NVG’s utilize lower quality image intensifier tubes. Some of these IIT’s may even be as old as Gen 0 which came out in the early 1950s.
How Do Night Vision Goggles Work ?
Night vision goggles in Virginia are a type of goggles that will enhance your ability to see at night by a process know as image enhancement.
Using proprietary designs and electronics these NVG’s take in and amplify the ambient light in your surroundings. The source of this light could be the moon, stars, and even distant light sources such as street lights from a far away city.
Will Night Vision Goggles Work In A Pitch Black Condition ?
Night vision goggles must have some source of light in order to properly work. Image enhancement works by utilizing existing sources of light. Because of there passive nature they will not work in total darkness.
There are however night vision goggles on the market that do in fact have infrared capabilities. In instances of total darkness the infrared will allow you to see thermal images of your surroundings.
How Far Can You See With NVG’s ?
Lower end NVG’s may make it possible to see 50 yards away while higher end NVG’s may make it possible to see several hundred yards away.
Your ability to see longer distances is directly dependent upon the quality and generation of the NVG’s that you purchase. Bear in mind that inclement weather conditions and your general surrounding will affect how far you can see.
Legal Uses Of Night Vision Goggles In Virginia
- Law Enforcement
- Search and Rescue
- Nature Watching
- Star Gazing
All other legal uses which are not forbidden by State of Virginia or federal law.
Do I Need To Make Modifications To My Firearm To Use Night Vision Goggles ?
There should me no reason to modify your firearm for use with night vision goggles. Most goggles are head worn with internal battery packs. If for some reason you do need modifications performed we would recommend the talents of a Virginia gunsmith to insure that any modifications are properly performed.
Where To Buy Night Vision Goggles In Virginia ?
There are many online retailers from which you can buy NVG’s and have them shipped straight to your door. There are also a large variety of brick and mortar stores that carry night vision goggles in VA.
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