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Covert Transportation in the United States - Concealed carry in the United States

Hidden laws on the carrying of guns

Concealed carrying or Carrying a hidden weapon ( CCW ) is the practice of covertly carrying a weapon (e.g. a pistol) in public, either on oneself or in close proximity. CCW is often practiced as a means of self-defense. In many states, it is illegal to carry a hidden pistol without first obtaining approval from a specific government agency at the state and / or local level. Obtaining permits can be difficult in some areas.

An extensive 2004 literature review by the National Academy of Sciences found that there was no evidence that covert broadcasts increased or decreased violent crime. A 2020 review by the Rand Corporation found that there was evidence that covert broadcasts either had no impact or could increase violent crime, while there was no qualifying evidence that covert broadcasts reduce violent crime.

history

History of the Hidden Laws of Carrying

The second amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to "keep and carry arms". Hidden gun bans were enacted in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. (In those days, carrying arms openly for self-defense was considered acceptable; carrying undercover was denounced as the practice of criminals.) In 1859, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, and Ohio followed. By the late nineteenth century, similar laws were passed in places like Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma that protected some gun rights in their state constitutions. Before the mid-20th century, most US states had hidden carrying laws instead of banning guns entirely. Until the late 1990s, many southern states were either "No-Issue" or "Restrictive May-Issue". Since then, these states have largely enacted "shall issue" licensing laws, with numerous states legalizing "unrestricted concealed carry".

State Laws

County Council Obscure Carrying Permit (2021):
Target problem
May issue (target issue in practice)
May edition (in practice no edition)
No problem

Government regulations regarding the issuance of covert transportation permits generally fall into four categories known as unrestricted, debit, May, and no.

Allow policies

  • Full jurisdiction : One that doesn't require a permit to carry a hidden pistol. Some unrestricted states limit covert carriage to residents of that state, while others allow any non-prohibited person regardless of their state of residence.
  • Place of jurisdiction : One that requires a license to carry a concealed pistol if certain statutory criteria must be met in order to obtain those licenses.
  • Jurisdiction in May : One that requires a concealed pistol carrying permit if the statutory criteria must be met for such licenses to be issued. Those applicants who meet the required criteria may or may not be licensed at the discretion of local authorities (often the sheriff's office or the police department).
  • No issue jurisdiction : One that - with very limited exceptions - does not allow private individuals to carry a hidden pistol in public

The regulations vary widely from state to state, with most states currently maintaining a "Shall Issue" policy.

There is currently a split between several federal courts regarding standards for licensing and the right to carry guns outside the home. The 9th and 3rd circuits have opted for approval guidelines, while the 7th and DC circuits have ruled that states are required to implement approval guidelines, given the right to bear arms , located outside the house.

The Federal Gun Free School Zones Act limits where an unlicensed individual can carry; Carrying a weapon, openly or concealed, within 300 m of a school zone is prohibited, with exceptions that are granted in federal law to holders of valid state-issued weapons permits (state laws can reconfirm the illegality of carrying in the school zone by license holders) and under LEOSA to current and honorably retired law enforcement officers (regardless of authorization, usually under state law).

Upon contact with an officer, some states require individuals to inform that officer that they are carrying a pistol. For detailed information about each state's licensing policy, see Gun Laws in the United States by State.

Not all weapons covered by CCW laws are lethal. For example, in Florida, carrying pepper spray in more than a certain volume (2 ounces) of chemicals requires a CCW permit, while anyone can legally wear a smaller chemical self-defense device hidden on their person without a CCW. As of 2019, 18.66 million covert gun permits had been issued in the United States.

Jurisdiction Unrestricted Target problem May edition No problem Non-residents
Permits available
Allow reciprocity
Alabama Y.
Yes
Alaska Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity.
Yes
American Samoa Y.
No
Arizona Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity. Y. Yes
Arkansas Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity.
Yes
California In practice in 37 out of 58 districts from the beginning of 2021; Cities in these counties can be stricter. Y. In practice in 6 out of 58 districts from the beginning of 2021; Cities within these counties can be milder.
No
Colorado Y.
Partly (33 states);

Residence permits only

Connecticut In practice Y. Y. No
Delaware Y. Rarely exhibited Partly (21 states)
District of Columbia Briefly from July 26, 2014 to July 29, 2014. See below for details. Y. Y. No
Florida Y. Y. Partly (35 states);

Residence permits only

Georgia Y.
Partly (32 states)
Guam Y.
No
Hawaii Y. In practice
No
Idaho Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity. Y. Yes
Illinois Unloaded and enclosed in a suitcase, gun carrier, shipping box, or other container Y. Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, and Virginia residents only. Carry only the vehicle
Indiana Y. Y. Yes
Iowa ** Valid from July 1st, 2021 Y. For the sake of reciprocity. Y. (rarely exhibited) Yes
Kansas Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity.
Yes
Kentucky Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity.
Yes
Louisiana Y.
Partly (36 states)
Maine Y. Duty to inform in the event of concealed carrying without permission. Y. For the sake of reciprocity, transportation in state and national parks, regular archery hunts during deer season, and employee vehicles on the work site. Y. Partly (27 states);

Residence permits only

Maryland Y. In practice in some cities Rarely exhibited No
Massachusetts Y. In practice in some cities / counties Rarely exhibited No
Michigan Y.
Yes;

Residence permits only

Minnesota Y. Y. Partly (15 states)
Mississippi Y. Only in a belt / shoulder holster, sheath, purse, purse, bag, similar bag or briefcase, or a fully enclosed bag. Y. For reasons of reciprocity or to be carried without a holster, in an ankle holster, or using any other method not covered by the statutory exception.
Yes
Missouri Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity and for open transport in places where this is restricted.
Yes
Montana Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity.
Partly (43 states)
Nebraska Y.
Partly (37 states)
Nevada Y. Y. Partly (30 states)
New Hampshire Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity. Y. Partly (28 states);

Residence permits only

New Jersey Y. In practice Rarely exhibited No
New Mexico Unloading. Y.
Partly (23 states)
new York Y. In practice in some cities / counties, e.g. NYC
No
North Carolina Y.
Yes
North Dakota Y. North Dakota residents only. Duty to inform in the event of concealed carrying without permission. Y. For reasons of reciprocity and for open wear. Y. Partly (39 states)
Northern Marianne Islands Y.
No
Ohio Y. Y. Yes
Oklahoma Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity.
Yes
Oregon Y. Y. For residents of CA, ID, NV, and WA only. No
Pennsylvania Y. Y. Partly (29 states);

Residence permits only

Puerto Rico From June 20, 2015 to October 31, 2016. Y.
Yes
Rhode Island Y. Local permits Y. The Attorney General granted permits In practice for permits issued by the Attorney General and some local authorities. Y. Both the local authorities and the Attorney General can provide information. Carry only vehicle
South carolina Y. Y. Partly (25 states); Residence permits only
South Dakota Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity.
Yes
Tennessee ** Effective July 1, 2021 for Tennessee residents age 21 and older Y. For the sake of reciprocity. Y. Yes
Texas Y. Y. Partly (43 states)
American Virgin Islands Y. In practice
Has reciprocity law but does not recognize other government approvals
Utah Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity. Y. Yes
Vermont Y.
N / A
Virginia Y. Y. Yes
Washington Y. Y. Partly (10 states)
West Virginia Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity. Y. Partly (35 states)
Wisconsin Y.
Partly (47 states)
Wyoming Y. Y. For the sake of reciprocity.
Partly (35 states)
US military facilities Y.
No
Native American reservations