There are lots of reasons for wanting to get a concealed carry permit. And while your “why” may be different than someone else’s, the “how” requires that you understand and follow a specific process for getting a license to carry concealed.
The concealed carry permit application process varies by state, so you’ll need to check state gun laws where you live, but general guidelines for obtaining a gun permit are outlined below.
To start, make sure you meet basic state-specific requirements regarding minimum age and that you meet federal requirements. Then research state CCW permit requirements, which may include proof of residency, training, a background check and fingerprinting.
You should also understand the different types of concealed carry permit applications. If you live in a shall-issue state, you can get your permit if you meet all requirements. In a may-issue state, your permit may be denied even if you meet all the criteria, with judgments made on a case-by-case basis.
Find a concealed carry class near you and learn the basics of defensive firearms safety. Even if it’s not required in your state, knowing how to handle a handgun and legally stop a threat can literally save your life, keep you out of jail and shield you from a lawsuit. For industry-best training videos and other resources to help build your confidence as a protector, explore USCCA Membership today.
Fill out your CCW permit application exactly as stated and according to state-specific requirements. Submit your paperwork and include necessary items like a copy of your driver’s license, background check, fingerprints, firearms training certificate and the processing fee.
It can take between seven days to six months — or longer — to obtain your CCW permit. Until you have it in hand, you can NOT carry a concealed weapon.
Renew your permit as required and stay up to date on gun laws and shooting skills so you will always be ready to protect.
Getting a concealed carry permit may seem like a daunting process, but the USCCA has all the resources you need to become a responsibly armed American.
When it comes to understanding your rights and responsibilities as a gun owner, the more you know about the law, the better. In addition to the concealed carry process summary above, the USCCA offers the following in-depth information on both federal and state laws for permitting.
There are currently 25 states that have some form of permitless or constitutional carry. Permitless carry means that no permit is required for individuals of a minimum age — determined by that state — who are not prohibited by federal law to legally possess a firearm.
Possibly the only requirement common to all states may be that an applicant not be a federally prohibited person. That said, state requirements may include the following:
Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether permits include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, permit duration, permit costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant provide a list of non-related character references.