How To Get a Concealed Carry Permit For All States | Full Guide to the Legalities

You’re well within your rights to secure a concealed carry permit because of the fundamental rational reason: personal safety. Plus, the window of securing one is open. So take that chance, you never know when you’ll need a firearm away from home. So here’s how to get a concealed carry permit for all states.

Key Takeaways:

  • To get a Carry license, research the state and federal law, go on to the application process, take a training carry course, then maintain the warrant qualifiers. 
  • You can walk around in constitutional-carry states with a handgun, without a permit, so long as you follow gun laws.
  • LEOSA is the only permit issued by the federal government allowing reciprocity
  • All states have several standard federal requirements before issuing a concealed Carry Permit.

How To Get a Concealed Carry Permit For All States

Getting concealed carry permits cutting across all states is called reciprocity. Now, it would be nice if one could carry their firearm on vacation freely and securely. 

Unfortunately, concealed carry reciprocity is limited to active duty members and qualified retired officers. But it’s off-limits to civilians. It is possible only for qualified law enforcement officers granted by the LEOSA (Law Enforcement Officers Security Act).

Sadly, that remains so until the federal government passes the national reciprocity agreement. Or the SCOTUS house enacts it. Also, it must survive all legal challenges.

Law Enforcement Officer Security Act

LEOSA is the federal law giving each active-duty officer the permit to hold a weapon (mostly a handgun) in all states.

The officer must be fully qualified to carry the firearm and can make arrests as federal law permits. Apart from their capacity as LEO, they are prohibited from carrying guns without a license except in constitutionally-carry States.

Additionally, some states aren’t happy with the LEOSA. Surprisingly, New York and Hawaii oppose outside LOEs carrying firearms in the name of LEOSA. Though the courts drop most cases of officers arrested at the state borders, be keen on state and federal laws while exercising your LEOSA right.

For an officer to enjoy LEOSA rights, whether on duty or retired, they must.

  • Have a LEOSA ID called CBP LEOSA. If its a retired officer, they must have a CBP retired

  • Must have an interstate firearm test certification which they take annually.

  • They should have served for over ten years before the application day.

  • They must have been released or retired following legal reasons. They shouldn’t have accusations of misdemeanors while in the force. 

a handgun and the permit

How to Get a Concealed Carry Permit as a Civilian

There are four main steps to getting a valid concealed carry permit. They include the following:

  • Do requirements research.

  • The Application Process.

  • Take a concealed carry firearm training course.

  • Maintain your permit requirements up to date

Please note that illegal aliens aren’t allowed to have concealed carry permits. 

  1. Do Requirements Research

Do your research well to ensure that you meet your state requirements. Some general State prerequisites include the following.

  • Age limit.
  • No criminal history.
  • A discharged military veteran or police officer released under unfavorable circumstances, etc.
  • Residency.

Also, look out for the type of State you want to carry a concealed firearm. Some states issue non-resident permits along the residential ones, and some offer them exclusively to residents (see how to buy a handgun in California).

Others are may-issue States like Connecticut and New York, which MAY issue them to locals only or both residents and non-residents.

Some others are the Constitutional-Carry States (shall-issue) with carrying permits issuable to residents only, like Alaska and Montana. Others are the Constitutional-Carry States giving the license to both locals and non-locals. Such include Mississippi and Missouri.

The Shall-issue States (Constitutional-Carry) issue the license if you meet all qualifications. But may-issue states can deny you or grant permission on a case-by-case basis. So meeting the fundamental requirements of the state laws in such a state doesn’t guarantee the permit issuance.

Tip: The States that allow constitutional carry, like Texas, Mississippi, Missouri, and North North Dakota, are the best to get your certification of owning the Carry license. That’s because you get a certificate valid in many states.

  1. Take a Firearm Training Session

Next is taking a Firearm Training Session. So continue to watch the video instructions or answer the questions. Watch some other instruction videos and choose to get a certification. Finally, you’ll schedule a live firing session for assessment.

You can also opt for a concealed carry course through the U.S Concealed Carry Association. USCCA offers diverse materials for training applicants and any gun owner who needs to possess a concealed carry permit legally.

  1. Make An Application 

The application process entails going to the physical conceal application premise or applying online, depending on the State. 

For online application, go to the State’s website and fill in all the information needed. You are also required to attach all the documents needed as a copy of your firearm training certificate, fingerprints, and I.D. If it’s a physical application, different states require different credentials. Therefore, provide the necessary details and supporting documents. 

Note that both of the above methods attract a processing fee.

  1. Maintain Your Permit Requirements up to Date

Maintaining the permit requirements updated means your skills demonstrate competence. Therefore, ensure your training certification and credentials, like licenses, are up-to-date with state or federal law. The goal is to ensure that you are a law-abiding citizen.

a person with a handgun under the belt

Vital Facts About Securing a Concealed Carry Permit

First, a concealed carry permit is an official allowance or authorization allowing the holder to carry a firearm or any other weapon in public legally. So the permit holder can carry a concealed weapon on their person or within their nearest vicinity. And the most common weapon allowed is a handgun.

The main reason for having a CCW permit is self-defense.

Second, you keep a fundamental human right. The Constitutionally Carry States deem it an absolute right to carry firearms for self defense. In some states, you can carry concealed weapons without a license. In others, however, you must have a permit, otherwise, you face jail time and possible fines.

The tricky side of having a CCP for all states is that the rules differ in some factors. To keep up with them and changes that may occur, use an app called CCW-Concealed Carry 50 States.

concealed carry documents and a court hammer

Similarities & Differences of State Concealed Carry Permits

Some similarities include the following.

  • The carry permit is not a go-ahead to use the gun however the holder pleases. So using a gun to threaten is illegal. Also, the government regards using guns in militias and other reasons as felonies.
  • Most states require the usage of concealed weapons as the last result. Such includes where the other party uses deadly force, and you feel your life on the line while facing a death threat.
  • You must have a license to use a concealed weapon. So three reasons warrant using the handgun, threatened life, no chance for escape, and a permit.

The differences include the following:

  • Some states allow concealed weapons to protect another person’s life and personal property.
  • There’s a difference in the minimum age for having the permit; Some it’s 18, and others are 21.
  • Who can have the CCW permit? For instance, some issue the license to residents exclusively, like Nebraska and Colorado, while others to residents and non-residents, like Illinois and Hawaii.
  • Some states, like Texas, honor Concealed Carry Permits from other States, while others do not, for example, Pennsylvania.

Also, some areas are gun-free zones. Such include churches, schools, hospitals, shopping malls, and others. I’ve seen some grocery stores with a no-gun policy. So be keen on such. However, beware of criminals who take advantage of the fact that most citizens in such places have no guns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which State Has the Most Recognized Concealed Carry Permit?

Alaska has the most recognized concealed carry permit. As of 2022, its CCW permit is acknowledged by 38 States. The runner-up is Arizona, honored in 37 States. Texas has recently risen to 36 States. Other highly recognized CCW permits include those from Arkansas, Kansa, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, and Maine.

What Is the Easiest State to Get a CCW?

The easiest State to get a Concealed Carry Permit is Arizona. Arizona, alongside other constitutional carry states like Alaska, Kentucky, Wyoming, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Vermont, etc., is the easiest to get a Concealed Weapons Permit.

In What States Can You Carry a Gun Around?

Ideally, you can carry a concealed firearm with an acceptable Concealed Carry Permit in any State except Samoa and N. Mariana. The two deny the right to have concealed weapons completely. However, only in the 17 constitutional-carry States can you legally carry a gun without a permit. Others have varying prohibitions, limits, and requirements. 

Does LEOSA Cover All 50 States?

Yes, LEOSA covers all 50 States. Officers on active duty can carry concealed firearms in 50 states.

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