Concealed Carry: What to Expect When Applying for a Permit to Carry a Concealed Firearm
The process of obtaining a concealed carry permit depends on your state of residence and ability to own a gun legally
There are many reasons why you might want to carry a concealed weapon, including personal protection. However, in many United States jurisdictions, you'll need a permit to carry a concealed firearm on your body or in your vehicle.
Getting this certification is simple in some states but requires a lot more work in others. You'll have to read your local laws to determine the best route to take.
No matter your location, though, taking a concealed carry course is a good idea. Even if your state doesn't require this additional training, it can provide you with the skills necessary to be a safe and lawful gun owner.
Here's a look at what you can expect when applying for your concealed carry permit.
- Concealed carry licensing requirements vary by state
- You'll need to learn the legal conditions where you live
- Additional training might be necessary
What is a concealed carry permit?
In short, a concealed carry permit provides you the right to carry a weapon in a concealed manner away from personal property. Unlike open carry, where the firearm must be visible, concealed carry firearms can, and in some cases must be hidden on your body.
There are some restrictions, as some states ban you from carrying a firearm when consuming alcohol, in state parks, and at schools. States have different levels of rights, so be sure to check with your local government to determine the laws you'll have to follow.
Buying a gun from a licensed dealer anywhere in the country involves a federally mandated background check. This check goes through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System and ensures you don't have anything in your criminal record that prohibits you from owning a firearm.
Some states only require this check on firearms bought from federally licensed dealers, while others make background checks mandatory on private sales, too.
In some states, a CCW license allows you to skip these background checks when buying a gun.
Permitless carry states
Many states are permitless carry, which means a license isn't required to open carry or concealed carry a firearm. You'll still have to pass a federal background check, but once you have your gun, you can take it to most places without any additional certification.
Permitless carry states include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Keep in mind that it might still be worth it to apply for a concealed carry permit in many of these states because it can save you from legal problems if you accidentally take your firearm to a banned location. For example, some municipalities have local laws that revoke the state-level permitless carry rules in Missouri. A state concealed carry permit overrides these local laws, though, allowing you to carry your firearm in those locations.
Another benefit is that you can bypass the background check in some states if you have a concealed carry permit. Arizona, Georgia, and Montana are examples of states with this law, which streamlines the gun-buying process for those with the proper licenses in those locations.
Getting your concealed carry certification
The entire concealed carry permit experience begins by doing your homework and figuring out the process in your state. You'll have to start by determining if you meet the federal background check requirements and then figure out your state's laws.
You might have to take a course, provide proof of residency, or have your fingerprints taken to apply.
The next step is finding a concealed carry course in your area. The requirements on these courses vary by state, but most states have a list of instructors they have approved to provide this training. If you can find a state-approved trainer, you likely don't have much to worry about in terms of education.
There will also be an application for you to fill out before you receive your permit. Some paperwork, like a copy of your driver's license, Social Security card, or proof of residency, might be necessary, and there's a good chance you'll have to pay an application fee.
You'll then have to wait for approval. Your certification could arrive very quickly in gun-friendly states, but you could be waiting for as long as six months in places with stricter regulations like New York.
In total, 41 states are shall-issue, which means that as long as you pass the basic criteria for a concealed carry permit, they have to send it to you. Law enforcement officials aren't permitted to deny your application unless something on your background check prohibits you from owning a firearm.
The other nine states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island — are classified as may-issue states.
The gist is that the issuing authority in those states can reject your concealed carry permit application at its own discretion. Some of these states will force you to show good cause, meaning you have to offer a clear reason why you need a concealed carry license. Mental health record checks might also be necessary.
While going through some training might not guarantee your success in a may-issue state, it undoubtedly helps your chances by showing you're taking the process seriously and pursuing a good firearm education.
Stay within the law
No matter the laws in your home state, you don't want to lose your right to bear arms because you didn't stay within those rules. Obtaining a concealed carry permit ensures you're on the right side of the law when taking a concealed firearm off your property, making it a good idea for most gun owners.
When the time comes to buy ammo for your firearm, Ammunition Depot has everything you need. We aim to make purchasing ammo, guns, and accessories as stress-free as possible because we know how challenging the government is making this process in many locations. Visit our online shop to see what we currently have in stock.