State-by-State Danger of Overriding Concealed Carry Laws

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.Twelve states do not require a permit to carry a concealed gun in public—those states appear shaded here.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” states could carry concealed guns in all 50 states with no permit at all.

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.

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. AK disqualifies people with multiple offenses. 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., These states bar people who have been convicted and/or are under restraining orders for domestic abuse., 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, Vermont does not issue a concealed carry permit, but does bar convicted stalkers from having or carrying firearms