2014 Concealed Carry Laws Coast to Coast

A look at the various concealed carry laws across the country.

Illinois Concealed Carry
Illinois Concealed Carry

We live in a fortunate time where concealed carry is legal in the vast majority of the states, but it is important to remember that the laws that govern it can vary dramatically from state to state. To help provide you with useful information, what follows is a general overview of each state’s laws. It covers laws in permit issuance, if out-of-state permits are issued to nonresidents, and if permits issued in other states are recognized there. Although “reciprocity” is a term of art, it is used here in the more general sense of whether a given state will recognize permits from other states. However, while a state may recognize one permit, that does not mean that it will recognize all permits from all states. Consequently, you will need to check that, as well as any other limitations—such as ammunition or magazine capacity laws and the laws of self-defense—that could affect you while you’re there. To that end, included are links to official sources in each state, as well as the citation for their CCW statute, to serve as starting points for the additional research you should do to make sure you obey the law.

I must stress that what follows is not legal advice. For that, you must contact an attorney licensed in that state who specializes in this area of law. The goal of this piece is not to answer all the questions you may have, but to tell you where to look for the answers you need.

In addition, you should be aware that laws change and that these changes frequently become effective at unpredictable times. Many states have changed their CCW laws in the past year (you’ll find notes on some of these changes and when they will become effective), and there’s no guarantee that they won’t change again by the time this gets to press and into your hands. Also, available information, even from state agencies, may be conflicting. While the information in this article came from state government sources (including directly from the most recently published statutes), do not rely on this or any other unofficial source. Verify all information prior to traveling, and if you have any doubt at all about carrying, don’t do it.

There’s a legal maxim that ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you’re going to walk around in public with a deadly weapon, the burden is on you to seek out and understand the law, and then to comply with it. Otherwise, the only way you’ll be educated on the law is when you’re charged with breaking it. Since that can cost you both your liberty and your right to ever own a firearm again, even hiring a lawyer to research the question ahead of time looks pretty cheap, doesn’t it?

ALABAMA
Statute: Code of Ala. § 13A-11-75
Issuing Authority: County Sheriff
Cost: $1 • Length: 1 year
Terms of Issuance: May issue • Reciprocity: Yes
Out-of-State Permits: No
Note: Nonresident permits from other states will be recognized, but this is a provisional decisions and subject to change.
http://www.ago.alabama.gov/Page-Gun-Reprocity-Law%20

ALASKA
Statute: Alaska Statutes 18.65.700
Issuing Authority: Department of Public Safety,
apply at State Trooper office
Cost: $91.50 initial/$25 renewal • Length: Up to 5 years
Terms of Issuance: Shall issue • Reciprocity: Yes
Out-of-State Permits: No
Note: While a permit is available, none is required to carry concealed in Alaska.
http://dps.state.ak.us/Statewide/PermitsLicensing/concealedhandguns.aspx

ARIZONA
Statute: A.R.S. § 13-3102, 13-3112
Issuing Authority: Department of Public Safety,
Concealed Weapons Permits Unit
Cost: $60 initial/$43 renewal • Length: 5 years
Terms of Issuance: Shall issue • Reciprocity: Yes
Out-of-State Permits: Yes
Note: While a permit is available, none is required to carry a weapon in Arizona. Consult AZ laws on where and how weapons may be carried.
http://www.azdps.gov/Services/Concealed_Weapons

ARKANSAS
Statute: A.C.A. § 5-73-309
Issuing Authority: Department of State Police
Cost: Depends on age and online/mail-in application. Over 65 years of age, $91.50 mail-in/$95.25 online; under 65, $141.50 mail-in/$147.25 online. Renewals, $60 mail-in/$63 online, with no difference based on age.
Length: 5 years • Terms of Issuance: Shall issue
Reciprocity: Yes • Out-of-State Permits: No
https://www.ark.org/asplicense/chcl_application/chcl.aspx

CALIFORNIA
Statute: Cal Pen Code § 26150, 26155
Issuing Authority: County Sheriff or Chief of Police
Cost: Varies • Length: 2 years max for civilian permit
Terms of Issuance: May issue
Reciprocity: Not provided for
Out-of-State Permits: N/A
http://oag.ca.gov/firearms

COLORADO
Statute: C.R.S. 18-12-203
Issuing Authority: County Sheriff
Cost: $52.50 initial, renewal from $13 to $52.50,
plus local fees
Length: 5 years • Terms of Issuance: Shall issue
Reciprocity: Yes • Out-of-State Permits: No
Note: Effective July 1, 2013, Colorado banned the acquisition of magazines that contain over 15 rounds. Unlike the nationwide ban in 1994, when magazines manufactured prior to the ban were still regularly sold after it went into effect, in Colorado magazines manufactured before the ban appear to be “grandfathered in” only if you actually possessed them prior to the ban and maintained continuous possession of them since that time.
http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPS-CBIMain/CBON/1251622199820

CONNECTICUT
Statute: Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-28
Issuing Authority: Chief of Police, Warden, or First Selectman for local permit, State Police for state permit and for nonresidents.
Cost: $70 initial and renewal • Length: 5 years
Terms of Issuance: May issue • Reciprocity: No
Out-of-State Permits: Yes
Note: Must apply for a local permit prior to eligibility for state permit; out of state, apply directly to State Police. Some elements of the law change effective October 1, 2013. Verify any changes.
http://www.ct.gov/despp/cwp/view.asp?a=4213&q=494614&desppNav_GID=2080

DELAWARE
Statute: 11 Del. C. § 1441
Issuing Authority: Prothonotary of Superior Court
Cost: $65 initial/renewal
Length: 2 years initial/3 years renewal
Terms of Issuance: May issue • Reciprocity: Yes
Out-of-State Permits: Attorney General has authority to issue a short-term permit to nonresidents under very limited circumstances.
Note: Statute allows 3-year initial permit/5-year renewal, but procedural rules only allow 2/3.
http://courts.delaware.gov/Superior/weapons.stm

FLORIDA
Statute: Fla. Stat. § 790.06
Issuing Authority: Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing
Cost: $112 initial, $60-102 renewal • Length: 7 years
Terms of Issuance: Shall issue • Reciprocity: Yes
Out-of-State Permits: Yes
http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/weapons/index.html

GEORGIA
Statute: O.C.G.A. § 16-11-129
Issuing Authority: County Probate Judge
Cost: $30 plus additional fees that vary by county
Length: 5 years • Terms of Issuance: Shall issue
Reciprocity: Yes • Out-of-State Permits: No
http://dps.georgia.gov/georgias-firearm-permit-
reciprocity
(reciprocity information only)

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