Reviewing Eligibility for Concealed Carry Permits

Posted by Team Springfield

Sep 12, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Obtaining a concealed carry permit is a big responsibility. While laws concerning concealed carry permits vary considerably from municipality to municipality, there are a few general rules that nearly every municipality adheres to with regard to concealed carry permits. 

We believe it is important to discuss general eligibility requirements, including the minimum age requirement of 21, being a United States citizen, and having no prior felony offenses, unless the offense was cleared. In addition, we find it beneficial to discuss the differences between permitting policies in each state. These include unrestricted, shall issue, may issue, and no issue.

General Eligibility Requirements

To obtain a new concealed weapons permit, applicants must: 

  • Be a United States citizen or resident of the state in which they apply
  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Not be under indictment for a felony offense
  • Have no prior felony offense convictions, unless the conviction has been vacated, expunged, or pardoned
  • Not have any known mental illness
  • Not be in the United States unlawfully
  • Complete an official firearm safety training program

State Laws Regarding Concealed Carry Permits

As previously mentioned, state laws usually dictate concealed carry rules. Each state’s regulations fall into one of four categories: 

  • Unrestricted. In unrestricted states, citizens are not required to have a permit in order to carry a concealed handgun. This is also called constitutional carry. Only a few states have unrestricted regulation: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Vermont and Wyoming. 
  • Shall-Issue. Shall-Issue jurisdictions only grant concealed permits to those individuals that meet certain predetermined criteria specifically laid out in the law.
  • May-Issue. May-Issue jurisdictions also follow certain criteria, but give discretionary power to local law enforcement.
  • No-Issue. In No-Issue jurisdictions, private citizens are not allowed to carry concealed handguns in public. Washington, D.C., is an example of a No-Issue jurisdiction.

Times are Changing 

Over time, American citizens have gone from high restrictions on being allowed to apply for concealed carry permits to a much fairer system. Outside of Washington, D.C., there are no No-Issue jurisdictions in the 50 continuous states. This marks a stark contrast to 30 years ago when only one-third of the population lived in states where it was possible to apply for a permit.


Springfield Armory®

At Springfield Armory®, we believe in each citizen’s right to carry a firearm for self-defense purposes. We are proud to offer high quality, effective firearm solutions for individuals of every lifestyle. Whether you carry a firearm on a daily basis or would prefer to keep it locked away in your home, come check out our large selection at

Topics: Concealed Carry

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual.  These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory®.