PERMITLESS CARRY: Concealed Carry in Public with No Permit and No Training

Bottom Line: The gun lobby is pushing legislation in states across the country that would let people carry concealed guns in public without a permit or safety training. These permitless carry bills lower the bar for who may carry hidden handguns in public—and in many states would let violent criminals, teenagers, and people with no safety training legally carry in crowded town centers and on city streets. States that pass permitless carry see a substantial increase in gun violence. This dangerous legislation ignores the 88 percent of Americans who support requiring safety training and a clean criminal record in order to carry a concealed handgun in public.

The vast majority of states require that a person get a permit before carrying a concealed gun in public. Permitless carry legislation dismantles these state permitting systems.

  • In the vast majority of US states, a person must have a permit to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in public. These laws ensure that core public safety standards are preserved when people carry guns in public places.
  • Permitless carry bills would repeal these important public safety laws, allowing people to carry concealed guns in public without a permit or safety training.
  • Eighty-eight percent of Americans think you should get a permit before carrying a concealed handgun in public.Strategies 360 Survey, March 2015.

States that have passed permitless carry legislation have seen a substantial increase in firearm violence.

  • In 2003, Alaska became the first state to enact permitless carry legislation. Aggravated assaults committed with a firearm have increased incrementally since the law went into effect. Since 2003, the rate of aggravated assaults committed with a firearm in the state increased by 82 percent by 2017.Crime Reported in Alaska 2003. Anchorage, AK: Alaska Department of Public Safety, Statewide Services. https://bit.ly/2Hy475w. Rates were calculated using population data from the United States Census Bureau.,Crime in Alaska 2017. Anchorage, AK: Alaska Department of Public Safety, Statewide Services. https://bit.ly/2G0nq4R. Rates were calculated using population data from the United States Census Bureau. That increase represents 526 more gun-related aggravated assaults committed in 2017 than in 2003.
  • Since Arizona enacted permitless carry legislation in 2010, the rate of aggravated assaults committed with a firearm in the state increased by 39 percent by 2017.Crime in Arizona, 2010. Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona Department of Public Safety. https://bit.ly/2Uffq3Q. Rates were calculated using population data from the United States Census Bureau.,Crime in Arizona, 2017. Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona Department of Public Safety. https://bit.ly/2Rds4hV. Rates were calculated using population data from the United States Census Bureau. That increase represents 1,797 more gunrelated aggravated assaults committed in 2017 than in 2010.
  • After Missouri passed a permitless carry bill in January 2017, the city of St. Louis experienced a nearly 25 percent increase in the rate of aggravated assaults with a gun in 2017 compared to 2016.Report: CRM0013-BY: Part 1 Crime Comparison Based on UCR Reporting Neighborhood Report. City of St. Louis, MO: Metropolitan Police Department. January 6, 2017. https://bit.ly/1kzVFQP. Rates were calculated using population data from the United States Census Bureau. That represents 484 more gun-related aggravated assaults in 2017 than in 2016.Report: CRM0013-BY: Part 1 Crime Comparison Based on UCR Reporting Neighborhood Report. City of St. Louis, MO: Metropolitan Police Department. January 8, 2018. https://bit.ly/2HDE8tA. Rates were calculated using population data from the United States Census Bureau.

Permitless carry dramatically lowers the bar for who can carry a concealed handgun in public—to include in some cases violent criminals and weapons offenders, teenagers, and people who have no firearm training.

  • Violent criminals: In many states, people convicted of violent crimes and weapons offenses are disqualified from getting a carry permit. But under permitless carry, these convicted criminals would be legally allowed to carry hidden guns on city streets.
  • No firearms training: Most states currently require a handgun safety course before a person can get a permit and carry a concealed handgun—including 25 states that require live-fire training.AK, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, IL, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, MN, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NC, OH, OK, RI, SC, TN, TX, WV Permitless carry would let people who have never handled a gun carry one concealed and loaded in public.
  • Teenagers: In 35 states, the minimum age to get a concealed carry permit is 21.AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IL, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MI, MN, MS, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI, WY, DC Permitless carry bills would let people as young as 18 carry concealed guns in public—even though this demographic commits nearly four times as many gun homicides as adults 21 and over.FBI Supplementary Homicide Report, US Census data, 2012. Persons 18-20 are 4.2% of the population and commit 17.35% of gun homicides where offender age is known. Older adults are 72% of the population and commit 76.5% of gun homicides.
  • People with dangerous histories: Thirty states give law enforcement the authority to deny a permit to people who pose a danger to the community. Permitless carry would strip law enforcement of this authority and force them to allow people with recent violent criminal histories to carry concealed guns throughout the state.AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MN, MO, MN, NJ, NY, ND, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, UT, VA, WY