Each state has different laws pertaining to the carrying of a concealed weapon, also known as “concealed carry.” These laws dictate who may concealed carry, which weapons can be carried, and where they can be carried. Generally, concealed carry requires the issuance of a special permit, but Vermont and a handful of other states do not require a permit or license to concealed carry. The laws governing concealed carry typically allow people to concealed carry:
Prohibited weapons that cannot be carried, concealed or otherwise, usually include:
- Switchblades and daggers
- Automatic rifles
- Brass knuckles
- Explosives and dynamite
Concealed carry laws pertain to only public areas. Private businesses and homeowners have the right to place even more severe restrictions on concealed carrying, including only allowing certain types of weapons or outright banning all weapons.
Permit eligibility requirements and protocol vary by state. Some state enumerate who may obtain a concealed carry permit and how in the state statutes, while other states enlist the local police with full discretion over issuing permits.
Eligibility requirements commonly include:
- Not a convicted felon
- No history of mental illness
- Not a minor
- Must pass a background check
If you are eligible, you will generally then need to complete a concealed carry application. Many states require you to provide information about the types of weapons you plan on concealed carrying, any training you have undergone, your home address, and your criminal background.
Violations vary based on state law but normally include:
- Lack of permit or license to carry
- Illegal firearm or weapon not permitted under the statute
- Felon in possession of a weapon
- Minor in possession of a weapon
- Carrying a weapon into a place that has banned weapons, such as a school or courtroom
Violating the concealed carry statute may result in a criminal conviction, civil fines or prohibition against concealed carry.
If you violated the concealed carry statute in your state, you may lose certain rights or privileges, as well as face criminal charges. A criminal defense lawyer can assist you with researching the law, understanding the nature of your charges, and defending you against unfounded accusations.