Concealed Carry and Public Places

All 50 states in America, and Washington D.C., allow for some form of legally carrying a firearm. Eligibility can be determined by a number of factors, including being a resident of the state, applying for a permit, or simply being of legal age.

Concealed Carry and Public Places

Constitutional Carry vs Concealed Carry 

Across the nation, some states allow for constitutional carry, which is the legal carry of a firearm without a concealed carry permit. There are currently 19 states that allow for constitutional carry, and they also offer the option for people to apply for a permit. Vermont is the only state that does not issue any permits for carrying a firearm; in Vermont, one can constitutional carry at will.

May Issue vs Shall Issue

Concealed carry states can be broken down into a few different categories. In some states, permits are granted on a “shall issue” basis, while others are granted on a “may issue” basis.

Shall-Issue 

If a person properly fills out an application and meets the criteria, the state will issue the concealed carry permit.

May-Issue

If a person properly fills out an application and meets the criteria, their application can go under further review from local authorities (i.e. police or sheriff offices). Their permit can be denied based on the judgment of others.

Basic Requirements for Concealed Carry Permit

Before you apply for a concealed carry permit, check to see if you meet the minimum requirements where you live. 

Federal Requirements

Thanks to the Federal Gun Control Act and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, there are some restrictions regarding who is eligible to apply for a concealed carry permit. Some of the federal regulations that prevent a person from applying are as follows:

  • Anyone convicted of a crime for which their term of imprisonment exceeds one year
  • Anyone with a misdemeanor conviction
  • Anyone convicted of domestic violence
  • A person with a restrainer order to prevents them from contacting a partner (former or current) or child
  • Fugitives from the law
  • Unlawful users of narcotics or controlled substances
  • Illegal aliens or anyone who’s renounced their United States citizenship
  • Dishonorably discharged military veterans
  • Anyone who has been committed to a facility for mental health concerns

There is no age minimum when it comes to Federal requirements, so the age at which one can apply for and receive a concealed carry permit will vary from state to state. Vermont allows minors aged 16 years and up to have a concealed carry permit, while the youngest age is other states in 18. Typically, anyone age 21 and older can apply for their concealed carry. Exceptions can be made for members of the military if the legal age in the state is older than 18 (the age at which one can join the service).

Concealed Carry Training

Not every state requires it, but participating in and passing a concealed carry class is helpful. You can learn the basics of gun ownership, as well as self-defense. Such training is important in order to learn proper handling protocols. There are many Americans who face wrongful death each year as a result of negligence. Such negligence creates the need for costly, though helpful legal representation, grief, and undue strain on the lives of many. In short, proper training is worth the time and effort.  

Application Process

There can be up to a six-month wait after you submit your application for a concealed carry permit. Your application may have a variety of requirements including, but not limited to:

  • Copy of valid U.S. driver’s license
  • Background check
  • Fingerprints
  • Concealed Carry Training certificate
  • In-person shooting demonstration of competency
  • Character reference letters

Additionally, depending on where you live, you may or not be eligible for a concealed carry permit unless you are a resident of the state.

States That Issue to Residents Only

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska

States that Issue to both Residents and Non-Residents

  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.
  • Wisconsin

Bill of Rights

Although the Second Amendment grants Americans the right to keep and bear arms, there are some places where concealed and constitutional carry is not permitted. While these laws may vary from state to state, the following places are typically a no-go when it comes to carrying.

Places You Cannot Conceal Carry

It may be your right to carry a firearm, but there are still restrictions based on who owns the property you’re on. Before you head anywhere with your legal firearm, do some research to ensure you’re acting within the guidelines of Federal or State law.

Federal Buildings Where You Can’t Carry

  • Post Office
  • IRS Office
  • Court buildings
  • Airports/commercial airplanes
  • Buildings/restrooms on Federal Parks and wildlife preserves land
  • Caves on Federal land
  • Correctional facilities

State Restricted Areas

  • Court buildings
  • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) buildings
  • Police Stations
  • Correctional facilities

Other Places you Cannot Conceal Carry

  • Public venues being used for political events
  • Public schools, including teaching hospitals
  • Amusement parks
  • Municipal mass transit vehicles or stations 
  • Churches

Private Businesses

Did you know private business owners have the right to prohibit concealed carry in/on their property? However, an individual can take the issue to court if they think the business violates their constitutional right to bear arms. For example, Nevada law allows concealed carry but, as a private business, a casino can prohibit firearms, regardless of permit status. 

If a business wants to prohibit concealed carry, the signage posted much meet state law requirements in order to be legally enforced. Regardless of signage, if a person is verbally asked to leave the premises due to carrying a firearm, they must comply or risk being convicted of trespassing.

Although not a private business, land owned by Native Americans is governed by varying restrictions. On some reservations, you are permitted to conceal carry according to state laws. On other reservations, you must obtain a concealed carry permit from the tribe. 

Exceptions

As with every rule, there are exceptions. 

It is illegal to be in possession of a firearm while intoxicated. So while it’s legal to conceal carry in a bar or an establishment that serves alcohol, if an individual’s blood-alcohol level surpasses the legal limit for driving, they can not legally conceal carry.

If you are an aggressor in an altercation and wield your firearm, your concealed carry permit can be revoked if you’re criminally charged in the incident. Brandishing a firearm is cause for investigation, and is considered a crime.

The point of concealed carry is to conceal the fact that you’re legally carrying a firearm. As a result, if the outline of a firearm can be seen, referred to as printing, you could be found in violation of the concealed carry permit. 

It is not just a right, but a privilege and a responsibility to own and carry a firearm. Be sure you are adhering to the requirements and the necessary training to legally conceal carry a weapon in public places. 


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