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. Listed below are the 29 states that allow permitless concealed carry (PC) and the minimum age requirement:

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
  • Be in a place where the person has a legal right to be

[18 USC 922 (g)]

*In April 2021, the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) sued the state of Tennessee for prohibiting 18- to 20-year-olds from carrying a concealed firearm in public or from obtaining a permit, stating that these restrictions were unconstitutional. On Jan. 23, 2023, attorneys for the state of Tennessee entered into an agreed order in federal court with the FPC. The order stipulates that the state’s restrictions were unconstitutional and that they will no longer be enforced. The order immediately went into effect.

Related Articles From the USCCA Blog

Thank you! You’ll start receiving emails from USCCA — you’re now one step closer to being even better prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Stay In The Know

Subscribe Now

Get lifesaving education and training, the latest laws governing your right to carry, and exclusive offers from the USCCA!

True Story From a USCCA Member

“My Kids Are Here, Please Don’t Shoot” [Security Footage]

It was an average day at the neighborhood barbershop … until David Jackson found himself looking down the barrel of a sawed-off shotgun. With his adrenaline pumping and fearing for his childrens’ lives, when he had the opportunity to fire, David took it and ended the threat.

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.