Where Is It Legal to Carry a Gun? List of States With Concealed-Carry Laws

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Looking for a state that doesn't permit the concealed carry of guns? There isn't one, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

But concealed-carry laws in the U.S. vary between states, with some making it easier to strap-up than others.

Those distinctions are divided into categories: states that "may issue" and "shall issue" concealed-carry weapon permits and states where no permit is needed. 

Here's how the Law Center breaks it down:

"May issue" states are those that can decide whether an individual can get a concealed-carry permit, so long as the individual meets that state's requirements. In some of these states, the individual applying for the permit is asked to show "a justifiable need to carry a handgun." Among gun rights advocates, these states are considered the most restrictive.

The Law Center lists California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island as the "may issue" states.

"Shall issue" states are those that have limited discretion and no discretion in whether to issue a concealed carry permit to an applicant. This means that so long as the applicant meets state requirements — which can include passing a safety training exam or a criminal background check — the permitting office cannot deny the applicant a permit.

The Law Center lists Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia as the limited discretion states.

The no discretion states are Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

States that require no concealed-carry permit at all — which are considered the least restrictive — include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Although these restrictions can ebb and flow under the auspices of state legislatures, it is legal to carry a concealed weapon in all 50 states.

Read more:
• Senate Rejects Four Gun Control Amendments, Just a Week After Orlando Shooting
• 19 Years After Passing Strict Gun Control Laws, Here's What Happened in Australia
• One Tweet Exposes the Racist Hypocrisy of Gun Control Debates in the United States

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Aaron Morrison

Aaron is a Senior Staff Writer for The Movement at Mic. He covers the intersection of race, justice, politics, diversity and civil rights. He has previously written for IB TImes, Miami Herald, The Bergen Record of New Jersey and the Associated Press. Send tips to aaron@mic.com.

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