Concealed Carry Laws and Permit Numbers by State

Concealed Carry Permit

Gun laws have long been a hot button topic, but as more campuses are choosing to or are being forced to create concealed carry policies, it is also becoming a popular discussion among campus safety officials.

Whether you agree with campus concealed carry or not, there seems to be an abundance of terms circulating regarding concealed carry — many of which mean the exact same thing. Because of this, we wanted to provide a breakdown of the terms you may see when doing research on the topic. (It should be noted that Campus Safety magazine officially opposes arming teachers or allowing others with gun permits on campus. To read the reasons why CS is opposed to campus carry, read Should We Allow CCP Holders to Carry Guns on Campus? 11 Reservations of a ‘Gun Guy’ and Negligent Discharges: A Real Risk If We Allow Guns on Campus.)

Furthermore, we recently reported that in Florida, incidents of negligent discharge have increased 82% from 2007 to 2017, while the rest of the country has remained relatively stagnant. Florida also has the highest number of concealed carry permits. Because of this, we will also provide a breakdown of concealed carry permits by state and laws and requirements by state.

First, let’s take a look at what states actually allow campus carry. The below map, provided by The Trace, was last updated on April 23, 2018:

Next, let’s look at the common acronyms used when talking about concealed carry:

  • CCW – Concealed Carry Weapon
  • CCP – Concealed Carry Pistol
  • CCP – Concealed Carry Permit
  • CCL – Concealed Carry License
  • CPL – Concealed Pistol License
  • CHP – Concealed Handgun Permit
  • CHL – Concealed Handgun License
  • CWP – Concealed Weapons Permit
  • LTC – License To Carry
  • LTCF – License to Carry Firearm

Each state has its own concealed carry laws and requirements. According to USA Carry, there are four categories each state can fall under: Shall Issue, May Issue, Constitutional Carry and Right Denied.

Below are USA Carry’s more specified definitions and a list of the states that fall under each category. We have also linked each state to its specific laws and requirements*:

Shall Issue to Resident Only: States that are Shall Issue to Resident Only will issue any resident of that state a concealed carry permit as long as they meet all requirements.

States that fall under this category:

Shall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents: States that are Shall Issue to Resident and Non-Residents will issue any resident of that state or a non-resident a concealed carry permit as long as they meet all requirements.

States that fall under this category:

May Issue to Residents Only: States that are May Issue to Residents Only have the authority to make a judgment on whether or not they want to issue a concealed carry permit to a resident of that state even after they have met all requirements. They will not issue to non-residents of that state.

States that fall under this category:

May Issue to Residents and Non-Residents: States that are May Issue to Residents Only have the authority to make a judgment on whether or not they want to issue a concealed carry permit to a resident of that state or non-resident even after they have met all requirements.

States that fall under this category:

Constitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents Only: States that are Constitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents Only have some form of Constitutional Carry law which allows residents (and in some cases non-residents) to carry a concealed weapon without having a permit. But they will still issue any resident of that state a concealed carry permit as long as they meet all requirements.

States that fall under this category:

Constitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents: States that are Constitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents have some form of Constitutional Carry law which allows residents (and in some cases non-residents) to carry a concealed weapon without having a permit. But they will still issue any resident of that state and non-residents a concealed carry permit as long as they meet all requirements.

States that fall under this category:

Constitutional Carry and Does Not Issue Permits: States that are Constitutional Carry and Does Not Issue Permits have some form of Constitutional Carry law which allows residents (and in some cases non-residents) to carry a concealed weapon without having a permit. They also do not issue any form of concealed carry permit.

The only state that falls under this category is Vermont.

Right Denied: States that are Right Denied DO NOT allow private citizens to carry handguns and do not issue concealed carry permits.

This only applies to American Samoa and the North Mariana Islands.

Concealed Carry Permits by State

As of 2017, there were 16.3 million concealed carry permits, making up approximately 6.6% of the adult population, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC).

Additionally, according to Guns to Carry, Alabama has the highest population of permit holders with 22%. The chart below, provided by Guns to Carry, shows where each state falls:

Click here to view an interactive map with more detailed data.

As previously mentioned, although Alabama has the highest percentage of permit holders, Florida is the state with the highest number of concealed carry permits. Below is a chart of the top 10 states with the most concealed carry permits as of 2017:

Click here for more detailed data from the Crime Prevention Research Center’s 2017 study.

Whether or not you live in a state that allows campus carry, it is important to educate yourself and stay up-to-date on concealed carry laws and statistics since it is affecting so many campuses and schools.

If your campus is looking to create a concealed carry policy or may need to in the future, here’s a helpful step-by-step guide.

Additionally, here’s some advice on best practices from Lieutenant John Weinstein of the Northern Virginia Community College Police Department.

*Please note the pages we have linked to are maintained by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Each state’s landing page is dated, which we presume means that was the last date that specific page was updated. Be sure to check with your state legislature for completely up-to-date laws and requirements.

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