A Brief Guide To Getting Your Concealed Carry Permit

These days there are a lot of reasons to consider carrying a concealed firearm. With so many dangers out there, having a firearm can give you peace of mind and protect yourself and your family. But before you purchase a handgun it is important to make sure you get the right permit. Start here for a guide to give you the basics of getting a CCW permit:

Checking Your Local Laws

What you need to know right off the bat is that when it comes to obtaining a permit, laws are not universal. Researching the laws in your state is important, because they may restrict you from even carrying a concealed weapon at all. For permits there are three types of jurisdictions you may have to deal with:

  • Shall-Issue:  The most common type of jurisdiction which covers most states. With this jurisdiction you only need to meet certain criteria and there is no requirement to demonstrate a good cause for obtaining a permit.
  • May-Issue:  If your state has this jurisdiction, permits are granted at the discretion of the issuing authority. To meet the requirements you may be asked to demonstrate a “good cause” for why you need the permit. Self-defense is typically not considered a sufficient cause.
  • No-Issue: The only area that doesn’t grant permits to private citizens at all is Washington DC. Although there are some states, such as Hawaii and New Jersey, which are considered no-issue places due to permits almost always being arbitrarily denied.

Finding which jurisdiction your state is can help you prepare the right documentation and increase your success of getting a permit.

Starting the Process

No matter which state you live in, there are a few common requirements. First, you have to be at least 21 years old. If you live in California, you also need to prove you are “of good character,” meaning you haven’t been convicted of a felony. Once you have met these requirements you will also have to obtain a proof of residency. This can vary from state, but typically something with your address will work.

Other things that you’ll need ahead of time include a background check and meeting your state’s requirements for proper firearms training. Knowing ahead of time what you need – by speaking with others who have gone through the process in your state – can help you get everything in order before applying because many states deny permits for even the slightest infraction.

Filling Out the Application

Completing a CCW application isn’t necessarily straightforward and the process can vary from state to state. Taking a gun safety class prior to applying is required in most states, but even if it isn’t then it’s recommended because it can increase your application’s chances of being approved. With your application, it is important to include a copy of your driver’s license and a color photograph of passport quality along with a fingerprint identification card.

While fees vary, you can expect to pay from $30-$50 in application costs. Exact costs and requirements can be found through your state’s CCW website or by contacting your local sheriff’s department. Once your application is filled out then you’ll have to wait 30 to 60 days to hear back. But once you obtain your CCW permit it will be valid for a while; typically five years.

Good Practices for Obtaining Your Permit

One thing to keep in mind before submitting paperwork is to make copies of everything for your personal records. That way if your permit is denied you can refer to your copies to determine where a mistake may have occurred. It is also important to gather as much information from more than one source as possible, as websites or local literature may be out of date with current laws. Unofficial websites may also have inaccurate information, so consulting official channels is your best bet to avoid getting denied.

If your state does not issue a permit that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. In some cases receiving an out-of-state permit is feasible and allows you to conceal carry a weapon. However, these permits are not always recognized in your state of residency, so it’s important to double check before spending the time and money applying for a permit.

Resources for Responsible Gun Owners

As a new gun owner, it will be important to have the appropriate tools to care for your firearm, including safely storing it and its ammunition. For further reading, see a beginners guide to gun safes. This is important for protecting against tampering, theft, and liability issues.

You’ll want a good holster if you plan on carrying outside of your home. Leather holsters are excellent for concealed carry once you break them in.

Even if your state does not require extensive firearms training or certification for your CCW permit, additional training can still be very important to use your weapon effectively. As another responsible gun owner making the decision for concealed carry, you’re making our country that much safer.

About the author:

Brian Ford is a freelance writer and blogger based in Austin, Texas. His clients include businesses in firearms and their accessories, including Outbags USA. With a love for hunting, hiking, and the great outdoors in general, Brian spends much of his time writing outside. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at his local shooting range.




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