Approximately three million American adults carry a loaded gun every day. On a monthly basis, this figure rises to around nine million. If you’d like to be licensed to carry a weapon, you need to know how to apply for a concealed carry permit.
One of the reasons cited for carrying a firearm is protection. According to the above research, concealed hand-gun carrying behavior is unique to each state. Laws surrounding carrying loaded handguns differ from state to state.
In the United States today, there are increasingly permissive laws surrounding concealed carry permits. Today it’s easier, than it has ever been, to carry a gun at all times. A majority of the states have become more lenient on their concealed-carry policies.
As you read along, you’ll learn how to apply for a concealed carry permit in any state.
What Is a Concealed Carry Permit?
Concealed carry refers to the act of carrying a weapon secretly so that it’s hidden away from the public. The weapon can be on an individual, or in very close proximity. Not all weapons are considered lethal under concealed carry policy.
The act of getting licensed to carry a concealed weapon depends on the laws of the state or jurisdiction. The laws have progressively evolved from long ago when there were bans on concealed weapons. Increasing crime rates necessitated the need for self-protection.
With this knowledge, some states realized the need to issue concealed carry permits.
Some concealed carry permits allow the holder to cross over to another state with their weapon. Other licenses are only valid within the jurisdiction of issuance. This brings up the issue of the various permitting policies.
Each state might have a different term for the concealed carry permit. Some of the commonly used words are
- Concealed carry Weapon
- License to Carry Firearm
- License to Carry
- Concealed Carry Pistol
- Concealed Handgun License
- Concealed Pistol License
- Concealed Handgun Permit
- Concealed Carry License
For the sake of understanding how to apply for a concealed carry permit, we’ll refer to concealed carry permit.
As you buy your weapon for concealed carry, first check the licensing laws in your state. It’s advisable to buy from trusted sources like Wing Tactical, where you will get advice about the licensing process. Being licensed will keep you from the wrong side of the law in case you’re caught up in a murky situation.
Different jurisdictions offer permits for concealed carry based on four primary permitting policies. It’s essential for you to understand the policies that govern your state. This will guide you in how to apply for a concealed carry permit depending on where you live.
This is where a permit is not required by law for an individual to carry a concealed weapon.
Within this category, some states are entirely unrestricted, while others are partially unrestricted. In the latter case, some form of weapons can be carried without a permit while other forms of firearms must strictly have a license.
The states that are entirely unrestricted for the residents only are Alaska, Wyoming, Vermont, and West Virginia. States that are unrestricted and issue to both residents and non-residents include Kansas and Arizona.
Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, and New Hampshire are also in this list. These states allow people who are not restricted from owning a firearm to carry concealed weapons without a permit. In North Dakota and Wyoming, only residents can carry handguns without a license.
Montana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico are partially open states. However, there are specific variations in each state. For example, New Mexico only allows a resident to conceal-carry an unloaded handgun without a permit.
You can only carry a loaded handgun while traveling in a vehicle or riding a horse. However, remember that having a weapon and driving under the influence of alcohol can land you in trouble.
Oklahoma allows for permitless concealed carry residents from other states. The condition is that they must have a valid ID from their home state.
A state operating under this policy requires an individual to be licensed to carry a handgun. However, the person must meet determinate criteria laid out by the law. Some of the requirements include attainment of the minimum age.
Others are proof of residency, submission of fingerprints, and a computerized background check. The applicant is not required to demonstrate “good cause,” and the granting authority has no discretion in issuing the permit.
Shall-issue policies fall into two classes; for citizens and non-citizens. A state can choose to issue to residents only, or both residents and non-residents.
Applicants must also attend a certified firearm safety class. They also must pass a practical demonstration of handgun proficiency. All these are done at a fee.
Although they vary from one jurisdiction to the next, they are the bare minimum. States under the shall-issue policy include Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, District of Columbia, and Florida.
Others are Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, New Mexico, and Oregon. Missouri, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Nevada, Michigan, Maine, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin also fall here.
These states require that the issuing authority give permits to any applicant who has met the criteria specified by law. There’s no discretion for the administration to withhold licenses by factors beyond qualification criteria.
May-issue states require you to carry a permit if you’re to carry a concealed weapon. The granting of the licenses is at the discretion of the authorities. The police or sheriff’s department usually handles the process.
Just like the shall-issue policy, a May-issue jurisdiction can subject residents only to their decision to issue. Other states will decide whether or not to grant to both residents and non-residents. This is regardless of whether they meet the requirements or not.
A few states consolidate the option under the state-level law enforcement. In most cases, the authority won’t provide the applicant with a reason for denial of a permit. Some states allow applicants to appeal a permit denial through administrative and legal avenues.
Justification for Licensing
A may-issue permit is issued based on specific criteria being met. The applicant must also have a good cause to carry a concealed weapon. In most cases, self-defense usually doesn’t match the “good cause” requirement.
In some jurisdictions, an applicant should justify the continual need for a permit for concealed carry during renewal. Some authorities may revoke a license when the “good cause” provided during the application seems irrelevant to the authorities. Strive to demonstrate why a handgun is an essential tool for your survival in emergencies.
Other jurisdictions allow for the automatic renewal of a permit. This is on condition that the permit holder completes firearm safety training before the expiration of the permit. Request for renewal must also be filed before the date of expiry.
States that operate under this policy include Connecticut, California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Delaware.
A state may be considered “de jure” under the may-issue policy in which it ranges from a shall-issue to a no-issue state. This largely depends on the willingness of the authorities to issue applicants with permits. Connecticut and Delaware are examples of shall-issue states while Maryland, Hawaii, and New Jersey are no-issue states.
In such a state, there are very few exceptions whereby a private citizen can be allowed to carry a concealed handgun. Under normal circumstances, private citizens aren’t allowed to carry concealed weapons.
Other policies in weapon licensing are as follows:
Constitutional Carry and Shall Issue
This can apply to residents and non-residents, or residents only. Under this policy, it’s allowed for residents, and sometimes non-residents to carry concealed weapons. However, permits will be issued to any resident that meets the requirements.
Constitutional Carry and Doesn’t Issue Permits
States operating under this policy allow residents to carry weapons without a license. Non-residents are also sometimes granted the same privilege.
Right denied- such states don’t allow residents or non-residents to carry handguns or concealed weapons. They also don’t issue permits under any circumstances.
How to Apply for a Concealed Carry Permit -Take Away
Before applying for weapon licensing, familiarize with how to apply for a concealed carry permit. Don’t make assumptions based on information you’ve heard from friends. If you’re not sure where to start, check with the sheriff or police in your area.
You also need to know how the licensing laws in your state apply in other states. In that case, you need to know if other areas of administration will honor a permit from your jurisdiction. This is what is known as concealed carry reciprocity.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you’re licensed, you can carry your firearm across all states.
For quick processing of your conceal carry license, prepare your documents in advance. The requirements include a copy of your training document and a picture of your state-issued identification card. You also must have money for payment ready.
For the amount required for payment, contact your local tax collector for more details.
Also, read more of our lifestyle blogs to stay informed.