There are no federal laws surrounding concealed carry, also known as CCW (carrying a concealed weapon), which allows states to make their own laws about CCW. There are 4 types of state permit policies when it comes to issuing CCW licenses:
- Unrestricted – no permit is needed to carry a concealed weapon
- Shall-Issue – a permit is required to carry a concealed weapon, but criteria must be met to receive a permit
- May-Issue – a permit is required to carry a concealed weapon, but local authorities have discretion in granting permits
- No-Issue – private citizens are not allowed to carry concealed weapons
As different states have different requirements for obtaining CCW permits, reciprocity (respecting other states’ CCW licenses) varies with each state. We have analyzed the reciprocity for each state and found some interesting facts:
- Michigan and Arkansas CCW licenses are honored in 39 states, more than any other in the state.
- Illinois and Washington DC are the only No Issue states. It is illegal for a private citizen to carry a concealed weapon in public. They do not issue or honor any CCW licenses from any state.
- Wyoming, Alaska, Arizona, and Vermont are unrestricted states, no license is need to carry a concealed weapon.
All of this work has been compiled into the following infographic:
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Read our post on the number of CCW Licenses in each state.