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

What Is A Shall Issue State? (And How To Navigate CCW Permit Requirements)

Applying for a concealed carry permit in Shall Issue states

Over 32% of Americans claim to own personal guns, and 44% of Americans report that they live in a household that has guns. We’re not here to necessarily talk about the percentages of gun-owning families though, but rather the rules and regulations around owning guns. Specifically, what a Shall Issue state is and what that means for you.

If you have questions about gun ownership and Shall Issue state laws, stick around, because we’re about to dive in!

What Is a Shall Issue State?

A Shall Issue state is a state in which law enforcement officials are required to issue a concealed carry permit to any applicant who meets the requirements specified by law. In Shall Issue states, law enforcement officials are not allowed to exercise discretion when deciding whether or not to issue a concealed carry permit to an individual meeting state and federal requirements.

The “Shall Issue” meaning is that it’s guaranteed you’ll obtain your permit for carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) if you meet all local requirements. The key word here is guarantee.

So, what are the requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit in a shall issue state?

Requirements for a CCW in Shall Issue States

In most cases, the requirements for CCW are relatively simple. In order to obtain a concealed carry license in a Shall Issue state, an applicant usually needs to meet the following:

  • Must be of legal age to own a firearm
  • Complete a certified firearms safety course
  • Undergo and pass a background check
  • Must not have a Class A or Class B misdemeanor
  • Must not have been convicted of a disorderly or assault offense
  • Must not be a fugitive of justice for a Class A or B misdemeanor
  • Must not be currently under a protective order or a restraining order
  • Must not be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder or condition

It’s important to remember that the requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit vary from state to state. So, if you’re interested in obtaining a concealed carry permit, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the laws of your home state.

CCW Certification in Shall Issue States

Which States Are Shall Issue States?

As of right now, there are 41 states that are considered Shall Issue states. If you live in one of the many states that allow this and complete the local requirements, you can receive your concealed carry permit.

If you are not within one of these states, you might live in a state considered a May Issue state.

What Is a May Issue State?

In a May Issue state, law enforcement officials are not required to issue a concealed carry permit to any applicant who meets the requirements specified by law. Instead, they are allowed to exercise discretion when deciding whether or not to issue a concealed carry permit to an individual.

When looking at a Shall Issue vs. May Issue states, the main difference is this:

  • A May Issue state allows you to apply a permit for CCW, but does not guarantee application approval. It’s up to the law enforcement officials on whether to issue the permit or not after you meet all requirements and justify why you need a concealed carry permit for reasons of personal safety.
  • A Shall Issue state does guarantee you the permit when you meet all requirements. Law enforcement officials can’t deny you the permit after you meet local requirements.

Which States Are May Issue States?

As of 2022, there are only 9 states that fall into this category. They include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

If you live in one of these states, you can apply for CCW, but you’re not guaranteed to receive your permit after meeting requirements.

States That Offer No Issue or Unrestricted

If you live in a state that isn’t Shall Issue or May Issue, that means you either live in a No Issue or Unrestricted state. Let’s take a look at both of those.

No Issue State

A No Issue state is a state where law enforcement officials are not required to issue a concealed carry permit to any applicant who meets the requirements specified by law. In No Issue states, law enforcement officials are allowed to exercise discretion when deciding whether or not to issue a concealed carry permit.

In addition to that, if you are in a No Issue state with your permit from another state, they will not honor that license.

No Issue states include Illinois, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

Unrestricted States

An Unrestricted state is a state where you don’t need to apply for a license or provide any reason to carry a concealed firearm. This means that in an Unrestricted state, anyone could carry without having a license.

These states include Alaska, Arizona, and Vermont.

It’s also important to note that Alaska and Arizona are both Unrestricted and Shall Issue states. This means they are unrestricted for local residents but also recognize permits from other states that are shall issue.  

Vermont does not require permits or licenses for either a resident or non-resident.

How to apply for a concealed carry permit in a Shall Issue state

How to Get Your Permit for CCW

The process of obtaining a permit for CCW can vary from state to state. However, in general, you will need to meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for a concealed carry permit.

You should start by looking at local gun laws to find out the requirements for you. From here, you can see if there is anything that may disqualify you. If not, then you should contact a concealed carry training facility.

In most states, the application process for a concealed carry permit is straightforward and can be completed online or by mail. Some states may also require you to appear in person at a law enforcement office to submit your application.

Once your application is approved, you will typically receive your concealed carry permit within a few weeks.

Get Your Permit for CCW From a Shall Issue State

Knowing your local laws is important when talking about a shall issue state and CCW. The requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit vary from state to state, so it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the laws of your home state before applying for one.

It’s also important to know all laws for the state when traveling through or moving into a new one as not all states will recognize your license.

If you’re ready to learn more and obtain a license, contact Concealed Coalition today. We’ll discuss your concealed carry permit educational needs and any local requirements so you can be prepared.

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