Concealed Carry States 2019

In the United States, each state has its laws surrounding whether or not it is legal to carry weapons. In some states, open carry is permitted, which means that a firearm can be carried out in the open if the individual meets all requirements of the state. In other states, concealed carry is allowed. This means that a person can carry a legal weapon in their vehicle or on themselves, but it must be hidden from sight.

While most people associated concealed carry with guns, other weapons may also be included in these laws. In the state of Florida, pepper spray canisters that are over 2 ounces can only be carried by a person with a concealed weapons permit.

All 50 states have laws in place that allow citizens to carry concealed weapons. However, some states will not issue permits or make it extremely difficult to acquire a permit. In 2018, over 17 million permits were issued throughout the nation.

Since all 50 states have laws in place, we will break down the permitting policies found throughout the nation.

In some states, concealed carry is unrestricted. This means that anyone that can legally carry a weapon may do so without a permit. The unrestricted states are:

Some of these states have special considerations. For example, only Wyoming residents may carry without a permit in the state of Wyoming. In New Mexico, only unloaded weapons may be carried without a permit. In Montana, concealed carry without a permit is only allowed outside of city limits.

Other states have shall-issue laws. This means that a license is required to carry a concealed handgun. However, the permitted carrier does not have to demonstrate “good cause” for carrying the weapon. States with shall-issue laws are:

Other states have may-issue laws. This is when a permit is required, and local authorities help determine whether permits are given. These states are:

In some states, there are no-issue laws. This means that most private citizens are not allowed to carry a concealed handgun. In California, this is the case in 12 counties. In other areas, while these laws are not technically on the books, they are in practice. The states that have these laws in practice are:

  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Rank State 2019 Pop. 2019 Growth 2018 Pop. 2010 Census Growth Since 2010 % of US
6Illinois12,700,381-0.32%12,741,08012,840,762-1.09%3.82%
14Arizona7,275,0701.44%7,171,6466,407,77413.54%2.19%
18Missouri6,147,8610.35%6,126,4525,995,9762.53%1.85%
28Oklahoma3,948,9500.15%3,943,0793,759,6325.04%1.19%
34Arkansas3,026,4120.42%3,013,8252,921,9783.57%0.91%
35Mississippi2,987,8950.05%2,986,5302,970,5360.58%0.90%
36Kansas2,910,931-0.02%2,911,5052,858,2131.84%0.88%
37New Mexico2,096,0340.03%2,095,4282,064,5881.52%0.63%
39West Virginia1,791,951-0.77%1,805,8321,854,214-3.36%0.54%
40Idaho1,790,1822.05%1,754,2081,570,77313.97%0.54%
42New Hampshire1,363,8520.55%1,356,4581,316,7773.58%0.41%
43Maine1,342,0970.28%1,338,4041,327,6321.09%0.40%
44Montana1,074,5321.15%1,062,305990,7228.46%0.32%
48North Dakota760,9000.11%760,077674,71012.77%0.23%
49Alaska735,720-0.23%737,438713,9063.06%0.22%
51Vermont627,1800.14%626,299625,8800.21%0.19%
52Wyoming572,381-0.93%577,737564,4831.40%0.17%