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State-by-State Danger of Overriding Concealed Carry Laws

7.3.2018

Summary

While all 50 states allow the concealed carry of firearms, standards for carrying vary dramatically across the country. There is no national standard.

This chart shows each state’s standards for who may carry a concealed firearm in public.1Federal law prohibits several narrow categories of people from possessing a handgun; prohibited people may not carry handguns in any state. These categories include felony offenders (but not most misdemeanor offenders), certain abusers convicted of domestic violence or under restraining orders (generally including abusive spouses and generally excluding abusive boyfriends), and people under 18 (with certain exceptions). The state concealed carry standards discussed in this document generally surpass this federal floor. Twelve states do not require a permit to carry a concealed gun in public—those states appear shaded here.2A person has the option of applying for a permit in 11 of the 12 “permitless” carry states (all other than VT). Nine of those 11 states have some additional standards for getting a permit, including safety training required (AK, AZ, KS, ME, MO, ND, WV, and WY), live-fire experience required (AK, KS, MO, and WV), must be 21 years old (MS), issuer can deny dangerous people (KS, ME, MO, ND, and WY), no crime of violence convictions (AK (multiple offenses), MO, and WV), no abusive dating partners (MO), and no drunk drivers with multiple convictions (AK, MS, MO, and WV). Under proposed federal concealed carry reciprocity legislation, each state would be forced to accept the standards of all other states—including those with much lower standards, or even no standards at all. Your state could not stop visitors from carrying concealed firearms—even if they had recently been convicted of violent crimes or had never received firearm safety training. And people from those 12 “permitless” or “constitutional carry” states could carry concealed guns in all 50 states with no permit at all.

Safety Training RequiredLive-Fire Experience RequiredMust Be 21 Years OldIssuer Can Deny Dangerous PeopleNo Convicted StalkersNo Crime of Violence Convictions3These states disqualify people convicted of a) misdemeanor “crimes of violence,” as classified by the state; or of b) certain serious violent misdemeanors such as assault and battery, threatening, or crimes committed with a weapon. Some state disqualifiers elapse after several years. NJ disqualifies offenders convicted of offenses punishable by more than 6 months. While NJ crimes in this category are generally punishable by at least 18 months, misdemeanor crimes from other states are disqualifying in NJ.No Abusive Dating Partners4These states bar people who have been convicted and/or are under restraining orders for domestic abuse.No Drunk Drivers (Multiple Convictions)5These states bar all applicants with two DUI offenses in the past 3 years, except MD and PA bar people with three recent offenses and IA bars people with three or more recent arrests and one conviction.
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California✔+
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware✔+
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii✔+
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland✔+
Massachusetts✔+
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey✔+
New Mexico
New York✔+
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island✔+
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
DC
Total31 + DC21 + DC34 + DC25 + DC28 + DC27 + DC36 + DC23 + DC
✔+ Applicants must show good cause (or similar need to carry)
  1. Federal law prohibits several narrow categories of people from possessing a handgun; prohibited people may not carry handguns in any state. These categories include felony offenders (but not most misdemeanor offenders), certain abusers convicted of domestic violence or under restraining orders (generally including abusive spouses and generally excluding abusive boyfriends), and people under 18 (with certain exceptions). The state concealed carry standards discussed in this document generally surpass this federal floor.
  2. A person has the option of applying for a permit in 11 of the 12 “permitless” carry states (all other than VT). Nine of those 11 states have some additional standards for getting a permit, including safety training required (AK, AZ, KS, ME, MO, ND, WV, and WY), live-fire experience required (AK, KS, MO, and WV), must be 21 years old (MS), issuer can deny dangerous people (KS, ME, MO, ND, and WY), no crime of violence convictions (AK (multiple offenses), MO, and WV), no abusive dating partners (MO), and no drunk drivers with multiple convictions (AK, MS, MO, and WV).
  3. These states disqualify people convicted of a) misdemeanor “crimes of violence,” as classified by the state; or of b) certain serious violent misdemeanors such as assault and battery, threatening, or crimes committed with a weapon. Some state disqualifiers elapse after several years. NJ disqualifies offenders convicted of offenses punishable by more than 6 months. While NJ crimes in this category are generally punishable by at least 18 months, misdemeanor crimes from other states are disqualifying in NJ.
  4. These states bar people who have been convicted and/or are under restraining orders for domestic abuse.
  5. These states bar all applicants with two DUI offenses in the past 3 years, except MD and PA bar people with three recent offenses and IA bars people with three or more recent arrests and one conviction.

Everytown Research & Policy is a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to understanding and reducing gun violence. Everytown Research & Policy works to do so by conducting methodologically rigorous research, supporting evidence-based policies, and communicating this knowledge to the American public.

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