Constitutional Carry/Unrestricted/Permitless Carry

Although the terms constitutional carry, permitless carry and unrestricted carry are often used interchangeably, definitions of the terms differ.

Constitutional Carry: Constitutional carry means that the state’s law does not prohibit citizens who can legally possess a firearm from carrying handguns, (openly and/or in a concealed manner) thus no state permit is required. Sometimes, constitutional carry may be conditional such as in those states that have no laws prohibiting the open carry of a handgun but which require a permit to carry the handgun concealed.

Permitless carry: Permitless carry includes constitutional carry states as well as states where an individual must meet certain qualifications, e.g., no DUIs in the last 10 years, in order to legally carry (Tennessee). Some states are fully unrestricted, meaning no permit is required for open or concealed carry. Others allow the open carry of a firearm/or handgun without a permit but require a permit for concealment. 

For more information on state laws regarding open carry, see our Open Carry page.




Constitution of United States of America

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Amendment II



State Concealed Carry Permit Requirements

Permit Required
Permitless Carry
Permitless Carry for Residents only

Each state determines the requirements and any limitations on the carry of firearms. The states below allow permitless concealed carry (PC): 

In order to carry a handgun, an individual must be: 

  • Able to lawfully possess a handgun per Federal law (e.g. not a felon or an individual with a conviction of domestic abuse) and any state requirements; and
  • Be in a place where the person has a legal right to be.

[18 USC 922 (g)]

Related Articles From the USCCA Blog

Constitutional Carry and You

Constitutional Carry and You

Kevin Michalowski — October 9, 2017

Find Information on Constitutional Carry and Gun Laws

To learn more about constitutional carry, gun laws, and to stay up to date on any changes to legislation, subscribe to our free emails.


hands on laptop keyboard

Your USCCA Membership Will Help You Stay Safe & Informed...

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. We make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed.