In the United States, the phrase "constitutional carry," also called permitless carry, means that someone can carry a concealed handgun without a license or permit. The term was derived from the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gives citizens the right to bear arms. There are currently 13 constitutional carry states in the U.S. and two states with Constitutional Carry for residents only.
Aside from constitutional carry, states have concealed carry and open carry. In concealed carry states, a person can carry a legal weapon in their vehicle or on their person as long as it is hidden from sight. A permit is required in several states, and every state has laws about whether or not a permit will be issued to residents or non-residents. In open carry states, a person can legally carry their firearm in a holster or attached to a sling so that it is in the open and easily accessible.
In North Dakota, permitless carry has only been allowed for residents. All non-residents had to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun. However, as of August 1, 2023, this will change. HB 1339 was signed by Governor Doug Burgum in April 2023, allowing non-residents the ability to concealed carry without a permit. Concealed and open carry do not require a permit for any of the states mentioned above except North Dakota and some localities in Missouri.
As of mid-2023, there are currently twenty-seven states that allow for Constitutional Carry. These states include:
In many of these states, a person must be 18 or 21 years old to possess a firearm. Some states have an age requirement of 21 but allow military members to permitless carry at 18. It is important to check local laws to know the status of permitless carry.
Some U.S. states have a limited form of concealed carry without a permit. These states are Illinois, New Mexico, and Montana. In Illinois, a permit is not required to carry a handgun that is unloaded and fully enclosed. In New Mexico, it is legal to carry a loaded, concealed weapon while traveling in a vehicle, including cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and horseback. Montana does not quite make the cut for constitutional carry because it authorizes people to carry without a permit in restricted non-populated areas in Montana.
Constitutional Carry Status
|District of Columbia||Requires Permit|
|Florida||Permitless Carry||21||Minimum age effective as of July 1, 2023.|
|Missouri||Permitless Carry||19||Minimum age drops to 18 for members of the military.|
|Nebraska||Permitless Carry||21||Minimum age effective as of 90 days after the end of legislative session.|
|New Hampshire||Permitless Carry||18|
|New Jersey||Requires Permit|
|New Mexico||Requires Permit|
|New York||Requires Permit|
|North Carolina||Requires Permit|
|North Dakota||Permitless Carry||18||Effective August 30, 2023, permitless carry allowed for non-residents as well as residents.|
|Oklahoma||Permitless Carry||21||Minimum age drops to 18 for members of the military.|
|Rhode Island||Requires Permit|
|South Carolina||Requires Permit|
|South Dakota||Permitless Carry||18|
|Tennessee||Permitless Carry||21||Minimum age drops to 18 for members of the military.|
|West Virginia||Permitless Carry||21|