ATTENTION GUN OWNERS & FUTURE GUN OWNERS: GET CONCEALED CARRY CERTIFIED BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE

Constitutional Carry – Understanding Your Gun Rights and the Concept of State Reciprocity

Constitutional Carry

Constitutional carry and reciprocity are two sides of the same coin. Gun owners with constitutional carry rights must know which states reciprocate that stance and which don’t. Taking a Concealed Coalition Certification Class provides reliable reciprocity information with other states and up-to-date reciprocity maps.

Constitutional carry means there is no training or licensing requirement to own and carry a firearm in that state. This grants certain inherent rights regarding gun ownership and carry permissions, with some restrictions. Call Concealed Coalition at 800-805-2238 or email us to discuss your CC permit educational needs.

A List of Constitutional Carry States

Several states allow constitutional carry, with some only recently signing it into law. Here’s a breakdown on both:

  • Alaska – Effective Sept. 9, 2003, for open carry (16 and older) and CC (21 and older)
  • Arizona – Effective July 29, 2010, for residents and nonresidents age 18 and older (open carry) and 21 and older (CC)
  • Arkansas – Effective Aug. 16, 2013. Any person 21 or older or those 18 years or older who are active military, National Guard, reserve or honorably discharged veterans may CC without a permit.
  • Idaho – Effective July 1, 2016, with 18 and older able to CC
  • Iowa – Effective July 1, 2021, allowing open carry or CC for anyone 21 and older
  • Kansas- Effective July 1, 2015, allowing CC for 21 and older
  • Kentucky – Effective June 27, 2019, allowing CC for 21 and older
  • Maine – Effective Oct. 12, 2015, for 21 and older and 18 and older who are active military or honorably discharged veterans
  • Mississippi – Effective July 1, 2015, for 18 and older
  • Missouri – Effective Jan. 1, 2017, for 19 years and older and 18 or older for military
  • Montana – Effective Feb. 18, 2021, for 18 and older
  • New Hampshire – Effective Feb. 27, 2017, for 18 and older
  • North Dakota – Effective Aug. 1, 2017, for CC only and solely for those who have resided in the state for at least one year
  • Oklahoma – Effective Nov. 1, 2019, for 21 years and older or 18 and older for active military, National Guard, reserves, and honorably discharged veterans. Oklahoma imposes a caliber limit of .45 on handguns
  • South Dakota – Effective July 1, 2019, for 18 and older
  • Tennessee – Effective date July 1, 2021, for open carry and CC by 21 and older or 18 and older if active military or an honorably discharged veteran. Carriers must be in a place where they have a right to be.
  • Texas – Signed into law but not effective until Sept. 1, 2021, for 21 and older
  • Utah – Effective May 5, 2021, for 21 and older
  • Vermont – Effective March 4, 1791, for 18 and older
  • West Virginia – Effective May 26, 2016, for U.S. citizens or legal residents 21 and older or 18 and older if active military, National Guard, reserves, or an honorably discharged veteran.
  • Wyoming – Effective date July 1, 2021, for residents and nonresidents (provided they are American citizens) 21 or older. Previously, only those who had resided in the state for at least six months could carry.

This means 29 states don’t allow constitutional carry, but the situation is constantly evolving. Reach out to the Concealed Coalition team at 800-805-2238 or email to discuss your CC permit educational needs.

The Benefits of Constitutional Carry Combined With CC Training

Understanding your gun rights to carry

Gun owners who live in a constitutional carry state do not have to spend money on licensing costs or training fees, and they avoid the application and waiting process. Constitutional carry renders firearm ownership a right, as was originally intended, rather than the status of a privilege due to permit requirements. Here’s what to know:

  • Constitutional carry allows individuals to swiftly obtain a firearm and prepare themselves for self-defense in their state. 
  • They will still find themselves significantly limited in other regards, despite these freedoms, without possessing additional CC and open carry certifications. 
  • This is because constitutional carry and reciprocity are interconnected.
  • For example, Vermont has always been a constitutional carry state. No permit is required for either residents or nonresidents to freely carry a firearm. 
  • This poses little to no problem if they travel with their gun to a reciprocating state or one that shares that policy. 
  • The policy does not apply in all states, however. You need reciprocity knowledge and the required CC training to qualify for a permit and the right to carry a gun in certain states.

CC training makes you a responsible and informed gun owner, no matter where you go. Your CC certification will be viewed as acceptable proof by other states that you meet the standards necessary to carry a weapon beyond your state of residence. Contact us at 800-805-2238 or email to discuss your CC permit educational needs.

Some Constitutional Carry FAQs

The status of constitutional carry is always evolving, which leaves current or future gun owners with questions. A few of the most common are:

When Does Texas Constitutional Carry Take Effect?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed into law a bill to allow Texans 21 and older to carry handguns without a license or training. It takes effect Sept. 1, 2021.

How Many States Are Constitutional Carry?

There will be 21 constitutional carry states once Texas’s law takes effect.

What Is the Difference Between Constitutional Carry and Open Carry?

Constitutional carry does not immediately allow for open carry, nor vice versa. In some states, only CC is allowed under constitutional carry law. Open carry means an individual may have a weapon on display, but the legal ways in which they may do so vary from state to state. Some typical restrictions are that the gun must be unloaded, partially loaded, disabled, or in transit to or from hunting, fishing, or firearms practice.

Are There Restrictions on Constitutional Carry?

Yes, states that allow it usually impose age restrictions (typically 18 or 21), and all individuals must be legally allowed to own a weapon. There may also be residency and location carry restrictions. Constitutional carry also only applies to handguns and not any other firearm type.

Does Constitutional Carry Mean There’s No Need for a CC Permit?

A good CC class teaches you how to use and carry a gun safely, the many laws in your state that regulate guns, when you’re allowed to use deadly force, where you can and can’t carry a firearm in your state, and many other necessary lessons. Just having a constitutional right to carry a gun doesn’t mean you’ve got the skills and knowledge to defend yourself and stay out of legal trouble.

Concealed Coalition has trained over a million people across the nation to get their CC permit and use a gun safely. Our classes will leave you ready to defend yourself and your family responsibly.

Get Training and Get Certified to Concealed Carry Safely 

Taking Concealed Coalition’s certification class ensures you’ll understand state reciprocity while gaining additional knowledge and skills to enhance your constitutional rights. Call 800-805-2238 or email to discuss your CC permit educational needs, or sign up for a class.

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