Concealed Carry Ccw

Concealed Carry (CCW)

In 1776, our founding fathers made a choice. They had two options: let King George continue to tyrannize them from a small island thousands of miles away, or stand up and fight for freedom and independence from this psychopathic dictator. If you live in the United States, you can thank those men (and the woman) for making such a courageous choice. They risked everything to provide their children with a free nation. One in which you can be anyone, poor or rich, and make a name for yourself.

Why are we bringing all of this up? Because the founding fathers could only defend themselves using their firearms, which ironically the British tried to take away right before the revolution. The Minutemen, armed with their firearms, were the reason why America won the battle for independence, and it’s why our country stands so strong against invasion.

There’s an amazing quote that defines America in one sentence: “You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” – Isoroku Yamamoto (Commander In Chief of Imperial Japanese Navy).

The reason why other countries respect the people of America (even if they disrespect the politicians) is because of our persistence to allow the citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Even more, not only are we allowed to own firearms, but we’re allowed to carry them around in public under the laws concerning Concealed Carry.

What Is A Concealed Carry (CCW) Permit & What Does A Concealed Carry Permit Mean?

To put it simply, a concealed carry permit is a certification (generally recognized by the state, more on this in a moment) allowing you (a legal citizen with no felonies) to carry a weapon (usually a handgun) in public, but concealed from view by any person. This permit gives you the right to legally carry your weapon on your person (as long as it’s out of view) at all times, except for restricted premises.

Think of a concealed carry permit as a driver’s license. You need a driver’s license to drive a car, just like you need a CCW permit to carry a weapon. However, it’s important to know each state in the United States has its right to issue a concealed carry permit. You can learn more about gun permits and licenses here.

History & Meaning Of Concealed Carry Permit

Firearms in the United States are sort of a religion. And for good reason. We have a law called the Second Amendment within the Bill of Rights which states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

This guarantees citizens the right to defend their life, liberty, and Country through the use of firearms. There is no other country in the world where the ability to keep and bear arms (against enemies foreign and domestic) is seen as an inalienable right granted by the Creator.

The founding fathers knew that governments would always turn towards corruption because people make up the government (and those people will become corrupt), so they provided the citizens with a way to defend themselves that would be VERY hard to get rid of.

While the Second Amendment has been around since the birth of the United States, the concept of concealed carry is fairly new. Before the 1970 many states had laws banning the concept of concealed carry. It was fairly common (even up to that point) for people to openly carry a weapon for self-defense.

The culture of the time believed only criminals had to conceal their weapons as open carry was so common. These restrictions make up the earliest known firearm restriction laws for the United States. It’s unfortunate, but there’s evidence these concealed carry limitations were used as a roundabout method to commit serious racism.

It wasn’t until the mid to late 20th century (most historians point to 1976 when Georgia passed a law allowing concealed carry with a permit) that modern approaches to concealed carry licensing started. From this point, there was a massive wave of legislation legalizing the concept of a concealed carry permit or license.

Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license

A CCW license, or concealed carry permit, allows an individual to carry a concealed handgun on their person in public places. Licensing requirements vary by state but often include background checks, training courses, fees, etc.

See also  Cities with the Strictest Gun Laws

Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW)for skinny guys

Slim individuals looking to concealed carry have holster and handgun options tailored to their body type. Smaller single-stack pistols in proper holsters can be concealed well on skinny body frames. Positioning and outfit adjustment also help hide the weapon.

Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW)for non-citizens

Non-citizen CCW qualifications depend on state law. Some states allow all legal residents including non-citizens to receive a CCW. Others restrict permits to US citizens only. Federal laws may impact those in the country illegally.

Conceal Carry (CCW) Permit Policies

Conceal carry permits broadly fall into 4 different buckets. Before we get into the details, it’s important to remember each state has the individual right to pick which bucket they wish to operate in. Here are the four categories of concealed carry permits:

  1. Unrestricted: you’re not required to have a permit to conceal carry.
  2. Shall-Issue: requires a license to conceal carry and will grant license automatically if you meet the criteria.
  3. May-Issue: requires a license to conceal carry, and local authorities may or may not grant a license if you meet the criteria.
  4. No-Issue: no license will be allowed for concealed carry – unless federally exempt (military, law enforcement, etc.)

By the way, these laws assume you’re eligible federally to purchase and own a firearm. These permit policies are null and void if you’re not able to own a firearm. For instance, if you’re a felon, mentally ill, or an illegal alien, you’re not allowed to own a firearm. Check your local regulators for more information.

Unrestricted Concealed Carry Permit

This is a relatively new concept in the United States, but it’s quickly being adopted by many states within the union. What is Unrestricted concealed carry? It’s a state (or jurisdiction) that allows a resident to conceal and carry a handgun without a permit.

This is also known as constitutional carry – where the law is being taken from the constitution as the resident’s right to conceal carry. There are two different forms of unrestricted concealed carry:

  1. Fully unrestricted: where the entire state allows for concealed carry.
  2. Partially unrestricted: only certain forms of concealed carry are allowed without a license, and other forms require a license.

Currently, there are 19 states with unrestricted constitutional carry laws in place:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi*
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
  • Only if carried in a holster, bag, sheath, or fully enclosed case.

Shall Issue Concealed Carry Permit

A majority of the states in the union operate under the shall-issue model. The states that operate under this style of concealed carry laws indicate that a resident is required to have a license to carry a concealed weapon, but as long as the resident meets the criteria for obtaining the concealed carry permit, the state will automatically grant the license.

The resident doesn’t need to demonstrate reasonable cause for needing the weapon to the state. The requirements for each state vary (often widely) but they typically include submitting fingerprints, passing a background check, taking a safety class, and paying a fee for the permit.

Be sure to check with your local state legislature to understand your specific requirements. The good news is that if you meet the criteria, you’ll automatically be given the concealed carry permit.

There are currently 41 states (plus D.C.) operating under the shall issue methodology:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

It’s important to note – each state has a different method for renewing your permit. Some allow for automatic renewal if you pay the fee before expiration, others require additional training to renew. As always, be sure to check with your local authorities.

May Issue Concealed Carry

This is a highly controversial topic within the concealed carry space. States that operate under the May Issue legislation indicate that a resident is required to have a permit to conceal carry, and these permits are solely granted by the approval and discretion of the local authority (usually the local police department).

See also  Common Sense Gun Laws

These states have the right to deny you any access to a concealed carry permit, even without a good reason for the denial. The only way to obtain a permit within these states is to:

  1. Meet all requirements laid forth by the state’s legislature – these are typically the same requirements usually required by the shall-issue states.
  2. Provide good cause to the local authorities – this means you must convince your local authority of why you need the permit.

Good cause can create confusion because each state is different. For instance, in New York (particularly further inland) you’ll find that self-defense is a perfectly reasonable “good cause” for getting a concealed carry permit. While further near the port this isn’t the case. As always – check with your local authorities to verify.

These 9 states fall under the May Issue jurisdiction:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island

No Issue Concealed Carry Permit

This indicates the state does not allow residents to obtain any form of a concealed carry permit, nor are they allowed to conceal carry a handgun in public. There are currently no states that fall into this jurisdiction, however, it was popular before the late 1970s.

How To Get A Concealed Carry Permit

Now that you’re familiar with the different permit policies for each state, you’ll be able to successfully navigate the process of obtaining your concealed carry permit. We need to remind you again…

Each state has a different application process, along with its legislation and views on permit rights. We do our best to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information, however, you MUST double-check with your local authorities for confirmation. Remember – just because a statute or law says one thing clearly, and you know this, it doesn’t mean all members of the law do. Keep this in mind while navigating this process.

Here are the steps to get started:

  1. Research Your State’s Concealed Carry Laws
  2. Complete A Concealed Carry Class
  3. File Application To Local Authorities
  4. Stay Current With CCW Training

Research Your State’s Concealed Carry Laws

Before you start filling out applications or taking courses, you’ll want to have a good grasp of your state’s laws regarding obtaining a concealed carry license.

Before you begin this process, you first need to ask yourself: “Do I meet the federal requirements for owning a gun?” What are the federal requirements for CCW? In the U.S. there was a law passed in 1968 called the “Gun Control Act of 1968” which lays out the federal requirements for possession of a firearm. Here are some quick highlights:

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years old to purchase a long barrel
  • Must be a minimum of 21 years old to purchase a handgun
  • Felons, fugitives, people involuntarily committed to a mental facility, and illegal immigrants are not allowed to purchase a weapon
  • If you’ve ever been found guilty of possession of a controlled substance (including marijuana), you’re not allowed to own a gun

There are more details, but those are the big highlights. If you meet the federal criteria, you’re now able to look at your state criteria as the next portion of this step.

State Requirements

Normally, the states require the following:

  • Proof of residency
  • Background check
  • Fingerprints
  • Training
  • Good cause

Now, other states may have more strict (or less strict) requirements, but that’s what we typically see when it comes to obtaining your concealed carry permit. If you’re interested, here’s a list of each state’s concealed carry requirements broken down in further detail.

Complete A Concealed Carry Class

We highly recommend you complete a concealed carry class, even if your state doesn’t require it to be completed for obtaining a CCW permit. These classes are designed to give you a winning edge over any threat you might encounter. You’ll learn the fundamentals of gun safety, owning a firearm, and the ways to prevent a threat.

These are skills you’ll keep with you for your life. Plus, by taking a class you’ll be more knowledgeable about your state’s laws or jurisdictions related to concealed carry. This can prevent you from going to jail and could keep you out of a lawsuit.

See also  Private Gun Sales Law

File Application To Local Authorities

If you complete the 2 steps above you’re now ready to fill out your application. Be sure to complete your CCW permit exactly as requested. Most applications ask for the following:

  • Copy of a driver’s license (for proof of residence)
  • Background check
  • Fingerprints
  • CCW class certification
  • Check (or money order) for the processing fee

Depending on your state it can take between 1 week and 2-3 months to get approval for a CCW permit. We’ve often heard it taking up to 6 months for some jurisdictions in May Issue states like California, New Jersey, and New York.

Stay Current With CCW Training

Each year you should double-check with your state legislature to ensure there are no requirements for recertification with your CCW permit. It’s constantly changing and it’s best to stay up to date on the gun laws within your jurisdiction. The last thing you need is a lawsuit because you were unaware of a law change.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Concealed carry reciprocity is the concept that one state’s certification process is rigorous enough to be viewed as “valid” by another state. For example, let’s say I have a concealed carry permit in the state of Texas. I’ve gone through all training programs and processes to obtain the permit, and I’m a federally legal gun owner.

If I were to cross into the state of Louisiana, would I be allowed to conceal carry there also?

That’s the question of reciprocity. Do the states have a mutual agreement with each other for accepting a concealed carry permit as valid within their jurisdiction? Here’s a quick list of the current state codes for issuing a concealed carry permit.


Concealed carry permits empower individuals to take responsibility for their safety and the safety of those around them. Understanding the laws and regulations surrounding concealed carry is essential for those considering obtaining a permit. Whether you live in a state with unrestricted, shall-issue, or may-issue policies, knowing your rights and responsibilities is crucial.


Q1. What is a concealed carry permit?

A concealed carry permit is a certification that allows eligible individuals to carry a concealed weapon, usually a handgun, in public. This permit grants the right to legally carry a weapon on your person, as long as it remains out of view, except for restricted premises.

Q2. How does concealed carry work?

Concealed carry permits vary by state and fall into categories like unrestricted, shall-issue, may-issue, and no-issue. Depending on the state, you may need to meet specific criteria, undergo training, submit fingerprints, and pass background checks to obtain a permit.

Q3. Can I carry a concealed weapon in any state?

Concealed carry reciprocity allows some states to recognize permits issued by other states as valid within their jurisdiction. However, not all states have reciprocity agreements, so it’s important to research each state’s laws before traveling with a concealed weapon.

Q4. What is constitutional carry?

Constitutional carry, also known as unrestricted carry, allows residents to carry a handgun without needing a concealed carry permit. This concept is based on the belief that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry firearms without government interference.

Q5. What is the Second Amendment?

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution grants citizens the right to keep and bear arms. It’s an essential part of American history and culture, allowing individuals to defend themselves and their country.

Q6. What does CCW stand for?

CCW is an abbreviation for “carrying a concealed weapon” or “concealed carry a weapon”, referring to carrying a hidden handgun on one’s person. It requires a special permit in most jurisdictions.

Q7. Can a non US citizen get a concealed carry?

It depends on state law. Some states allow all legal residents including non-citizens to obtain concealed carry permits. Others restrict CCW issuance to US citizens only per their statutes and eligibility requirements.

Q8.What countries don’t allow concealed carry?

Most developed nations heavily restrict or effectively prohibit private concealed carry of firearms. Exceptions include the Czech Republic and small categories in some countries like Canada. The US has among the world’s loosest concealed carry laws.

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