Shall Issue States 2021

Concealed carry or carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) is the practice of carrying a weapon, such as a handgun, in public in a concealed manner. Not all weapons that fall under concealed carry laws are lethal. For example, pepper spray over 2 ounces in Florida requires a permit.

State Laws

There is no federal law concerning the issuance of concealed carry permits, but all 50 states have passed their own laws allowing qualified individuals to carry specific concealed firearms in public. States decide whether to allow concealed carry without a permit or require one. Some states make it very difficult to obtain permits. 
 Nearly every state, gearing of its permit/license laws, places some restrictions on where concealed firearms can be carried, typically on carrying in bars, hospitals, schools, and public sporting events.

State regulations regarding the issuance of concealed carry permits generally fall under one of four categories: unrestricted, shall-issue, may-issue, and no issue.

In addition to issuance policies, more than half of the states and the District of Columbia reunite a CCW permit applicant to demonstrate that they have received training in firearm use and safety. This can include knowledge and safe handling of firearms and ammunition, safe shooting fundamentals, federal and state laws regarding lawful purchase and ownership, state laws about self-defense and use of deadly force, and safe storage of firearms and ammunition and child safety.

Among the shall-issue states, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas require live firing as part of the firearm training component.


A shall-issue policy for concealed carry means that individuals are required to have a license to carry a concealed handgun and the granting of such licenses is subject only to meeting specific criteria. Additionally, the granting authority has no discretion in the awarding of the licenses and there is no requirement of the applicant to demonstrate “good cause.”

In contrast with a may-issue jurisdiction, a shall-issue jurisdiction’s law state that the granting authority shall issue a license if the specified criteria are met. In a may-issue jurisdiction, however, the granting authority may issue a license at their discretion.

There are 27 shall-issue states in the U.S. Despite being shall-issue states, however, 14 provide the granting authority a limited amount of discretion. 13 states do no permit any discretion.

The 14 limited discretion shall-issue states are:

The 13 no discretion shall-issue states are:

Shall Issue States 2021

State Shall Issue 2021 Pop.
AlabamaShall Issue to Residents Only4,934,193
AlaskaConstitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents Only724,357
ArizonaConstitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents7,520,103
ArkansasShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents3,033,946
CaliforniaMay Issue to Residents Only39,613,493
ColoradoShall Issue to Residents Only5,893,634
ConnecticutMay Issue to Residents and Non-Residents3,552,821
DelawareMay Issue to Residents Only990,334
FloridaShall Issue Residents and Non-Residents21,944,577
GeorgiaShall Issue to Residents Only10,830,007
HawaiiMay Issue to Residents and Non-Residents1,406,430
IdahoShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents1,860,123
IllinoisShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents12,569,321
IndianaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents6,805,663
IowaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents3,167,974
KansasConstitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents2,917,224
KentuckyShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents4,480,713
LouisianaShall Issue to Residents Only4,627,002
MaineConstitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents1,354,522
MarylandMay Issue to Residents and Non-Residents6,065,436
MassachusettsMay Issue to Residents and Non-Residents6,912,239
MichiganShall Issue to Residents Only9,992,427
MinnesotaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents5,706,398
MississippiConstitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents2,966,407
MissouriConstitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents6,169,038
MontanaShall Issue to Residents Only1,085,004
NebraskaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents1,951,996
NevadaConstitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents3,185,786
New HampshireMay Issue to Residents and Non-Residents1,372,203
New JerseyShall Issue to Residants and Non-Residents8,874,520
New MexicoMay Issue to Residents and Non-Residents2,105,005
New YorkShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents19,299,981
North CarolinaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents10,701,022
North DakotaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents770,026
OhioShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents11,714,618
OklahomaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents3,990,443
OregonShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents4,289,439
PennsylvaniaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents12,804,123
Rhode IslandShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents1,061,509
South CarolinaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents5,277,830
South DakotaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents896,581
TennesseeShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents6,944,260
TexasShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents29,730,311
UtahShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents3,310,774
VermontConstitutional Carry and Does Not Issue Permits623,251
VirginiaShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents8,603,985
WashingtonShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents7,796,941
West VirginiaConstitutional Carry and Shall Issue to Residents Only1,767,859
WisconsinShall Issue to Residents and Non-Residents5,852,490
WyomingShall Issue to Residents Only581,075

Shall Issue States 2021