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What Is the Difference Between Concealed Carry and Constitutional Carry?

By: Brittany Huttner, Esq.

March 18, 2024

What Is the Difference Between Concealed Carry and Constitutional Carry?  

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the right of the people to keep and bear arms. There is no federal law pertaining to the concealed carry of firearms. States differ on the extent to which they regulate gun ownership. Therefore, each state determines the requirements for carrying firearms, including if a permit is needed to carry a concealed weapon (CCW). Some states allow permitless concealed carry and other states require individuals to obtain a permit to concealed carry. Regardless of if you live in a constitutional carry state or a concealed carry permit state, it is important to be up to date on all new firearm laws to remain educated, safe, and law-abiding.

 

What Is Concealed Carry?

Concealed carry is the practice of carrying a weapon, typically a handgun, in a hidden manner. This is usually on one’s person or in close proximity. There are many individuals who would like to start to concealed carry to protect themselves, loved ones, and even strangers. To legally carry, each state has individual requirements. In some states, you may carry a firearm without a permit. These states are called permitless states or constitutional carry states. In other states, to legally concealed carry, the individual must receive a specific legal document known as a concealed carry license. This means, in these states, it is illegal to carry a concealed firearm if you are not the holder of a concealed carry permit. In these states, a concealed carry license is a legal authorization that allows an individual to carry a concealed weapon in public.

 

What Are Constitutional Carry States?

Constitutional carry means individuals can carry a firearm without restriction from the state or local government. There are no licensing requirements to legally carry a firearm. There are still qualifications that individuals must meet in order to constitutional carry in these states. Generally, to qualify for constitutional carry in these states, you must be an individual who can legally own firearms (not a felon, have no domestic violence convictions, and in some instances, have no orders of protection/restraining orders). In addition to being an individual who can legally own firearms, some states require you to be twenty-one years old, some states only allow open carry, while others only allow concealed carry. Even if you live in a constitutional carry state, it is important to remain up to date on all state firearm laws to make sure there has been no change in law. Below is a list of states that are currently permitless concealed carry state.

 

 

States That Allow Permitless Concealed Carry:

  • Alabama
  • Alaksa
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana (effective July 4, 2024)
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

 

What Are Conceal Carry Permit States?

There are two types of states that require a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm. There are “shall issue” states and there are “may issue” states. Shall issue states have the policy that if you meet all requirements, you can get a permit to carry. May issue states have the policy that even if you meet all state and federal requirements, there is a chance you will be denied for a permit because they decided on a case-by-case-basis. All concealed carry states have different requirements you must meet before being awarded a permit. Some states require fingerprinting, a background check, and training. The application process can be long and tedious, but you cannot carry a concealed weapon until you have your CCW permit in hand. It is important to understand your state guidelines for when a permit renewal is required. It is also important to remain up to date on all state firearm laws to make sure there has been no change in law. Below is a list of states that are currently a concealed carry permit state.

 

States That Require a Concealed Carry Permit:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York State
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

 

If you would like to have a legal team on your side in a self-defense shooting, regardless of if you live in a constitutional carry state or a concealed carry permit state, then you should join the Attorneys On Retainer Program. Our attorneys are pro second amendment and ready to defend you in self-defense related incidents!

To become an Attorneys On Retainer member please call 866-404-5112 or email us.

Brittany L. Huttner, a passionate criminal defense attorney, excels in trial advocacy and strategy. She fights tirelessly for others’ rights, advocating for fundamental freedom. Additionally, Brittany is an author on the Attorneys On Retainer website.

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