Most states have laws in place which prohibit citizens from hiding or concealing their handguns from plain view. Some may allow citizens to store their handgun at their home or place of business, but carrying it may be against the state law. In order to legally carry your firearm in such a manner, you must apply for a concealed weapons permit.

Because there are no federal laws governing concealed weapons permits, each state must decide if and how they wish to issue a concealed weapons permit. Typically, the requirements vary from state-to-state, but most fall into one of four categories – “shall issue”, “may issue”, “no issue” and “unrestricted”. If you’re thinking of getting a concealed weapons permit, it’s important to know which category your state falls under, and what their specific requirements are.


Vermont, Alaska, Montana (outside of city limits only), Wyoming (WY residents only) and Arizona are considered unrestricted states. These states allow citizens to carry firearms without requiring a concealed weapons permit.

Shall Issue

Most states fall into the category of shall issue. Basically, these states will issue a concealed weapons permit if the individual meets certain requirements. These requirements may include a minimum age, state residency, fingerprinting, background check, paying a fee and participating in a firearm safety class.
To apply for a concealed weapons permit in a shall issue state, contact your local sheriffs office. They’ll tell you what your states specific requirements are and where you can find an application to fill out and submit.

May Issue

With shall issue states, any resident can get a concealed weapons permit as long as they meet the requirements. However, with may issue states, the decision to issue is based on both meeting the states requirements and the discretion of local authorities.
Some may issue states are more lenient on handing out concealed weapons permits than others. The more restrictive states will only issue permits if there’s a viable threat to the individuals life or their well-being. Other may issue states will only give out permits to celebrities, politicians or those with a significant amount of wealth.

No Issue

As you may expect, a no issue state prohibits citizens from carrying a concealed weapon in public. There are only a handful of states which are considered no issue, and many of these states are having this decision challenged as being unconstitutional.

Applying For a Concealed Weapons Permit

Always check with your local police or sheriffs department to determine what the requirements are for getting a concealed weapons permit. The application process is usually fairly simple for shall issue states. You’ll fill out the paperwork, pay a fee and wait a given number of days before you can pick up your permit. Unless you live in an unrestricted state, never conceal your firearm or you could risk a hefty fine along with jail time.Click Here if you need to know about gun safety.

Author's Bio: 

James Markham is a content marketer. A writer by day and a reader by night, he is loathe to discuss himself in the third person, but can be persuaded to do so from time to time. Currently he is writing for