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Posted on June 27, 2016 by in Uncategorized

Concealed Carry 101-Part 1: The Application Process

Concealed Carry is growing at an incredible rate across the United States. Since Obama has been elected, the number of concealed carry permits has risen from 4.6 million to over 13 million, with 1.7 million additional new permits issued in 2015 – a 15.4% increase in just one single year. In ten states, a permit is no longer required to carry in all or virtually all ofthe state. This is a major reason why legal carrying handguns is growing so much faster than the number of permits.

The Application Process

There are 10 states that currently allow citizens to carry handguns without a permit.  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming do not require residents to have a permit to carry concealed.  In all the other states that have concealed carry permits available, you will need to get a permit to carry concealed. Some states may require more, some states require less.  In states known as “shall issue”, you can get a permit if you meet the requirements of that state, which is usually an age requirement, and requirement of not being prohibited.  Other states, known as “may issue” states, make permits available to anyone who meets further selection, usually at the discretion of the Sheriff, or county or state agency who oversees the program. Even if your state does not require a permit, it is a good idea to get a permit if you travel across various states.  Like mentioned earlier, if you travel to Wyoming or Idaho, even though they don’t require permits for residents, if you are a non resident, you will need a permit that has reciprocity.  Most states that require a permit have reciprocity with other states, which just means that you can carry concealed in those states that honor the state of your permit.

Talking about travel, if you do travel often, then we highly recommend the Legal Heat app that allows you to check the self defense laws of other states and the information in the app is continually updated.  You can find that for both iPhones and Android.

To get a concealed carry permit, you will need to fill out an application to the state or issuing agency, and you will most likely need to hand deliver it in order to get fingerprinted. Some states will require that you complete a Concealed carry training course before you submit your application.  Once submitted, the process can take up to weeks or even months in some states.  Specific information on each state is available below, or by following this link.

Many people think that once you receive your permit you have completed the process of being a concealed carrier, but actually, you have just begun.  If you’re serious about concealed carry and actually plan to carry daily, then you will need advice on firearm, ammunition and holster selection for daily carry, and you will need continual training.


  • Do you meet the requirements to apply for a concealed carry permit?  Most states have various requirements.  Some states have age restrictions that you have to be 18 years or older, but most states you have to be 21 years old.  You will need a valid ID and you cannot be a convicted felon or have a psychiatric history.  Some states may require a valid email address and valid credit card.   Check out the states below on what the requirements are.


    Determine if your state requires that you complete a concealed carry course in order to obtain a concealed carry permit.  Some states require that you complete a certified course by certified instructor.  Some states may require a shooting portion in the class.  If your state does require a class, look for a experienced trainer and complete the course.  If you don’t know where to begin, start with gun ranges near you, or talk to someone who has a permit.


    In most states, once you complete your course (if required), you will need to fill out an application and turn it in to the administering agency.  This may be a State Investigative Bureau, or it may be a Sheriff’s Office.  Below is a list of states with information and links to help you.  You will need to get fingerprinted and may need to include a passport ID photo.


    If you meet the requirements, complete a class (if required) and complete your application, then you will only need to wait to receive your permit.  Some states have a processing time of under a month, some may have a 90 day or more processing time.

    Once you get your permit, don’t stop there.  Many people think that this is the end of the process, but it is really just the beginning.  Practice with your firearm.  Practice your drawing and holstering with an unloaded and safe firearm.  Practice shooting your firearm at a range.  Seek out training classes from certified and and reputable instructors.   The more trained you are, the safer you are with a firearm, the more proficient you will become, and the better the chance of survival if you really are faced with a threat and have to use your firearm.