So…you’ve taken the required concealed carry class. You’ve sent in your paperwork. You’ve probably bought yourself a concealed carry pistol and maybe (hopefully) a good concealed carry holster to go with it. What do you do with yourself in the meantime?
The waiting period for a concealed carry permit can seem interminable. While some states offer emergency pistol carry permits, they require exigent circumstances. As a result, there’s really no way for John Q CCW Public to expedite the process. The wheels of government will have to grind. Some jurisdictions will have your permit to you in two to three weeks. Others may take a couple of months. It all depends on where you live.
What, though, to do until then? Bear in mind that this isn’t legal advice. This is a discussion involving typical state laws regarding the lawful carry of firearms.
First, check and follow your state and local laws for a starter. The last thing you want to do is apply for a permit and get busted for carrying without one while waiting for it to arrive. It will probably be revoked if you’d already been approved and will thus be DOA. You may end up in jail and you’ll deserve it.
However, if you feel the need to keep a gun on you as much as possible in the meantime, there are a few ways to carry legally in a limited fashion prior to receiving your permit.
You might consider open carry. Again, consult your state laws, but a good number of states allow open carry without a concealed carry permit. Note the exceptions in your state…which areas you can carry in and which you can’t.
Granted, you’ll need to weigh whether or not you want to open carry as some people don’t care to. Pay close attention to signage as well, as firearms aren’t welcomed by everyone. While signage may not carry the force of law in all jurisdictions, carrying against the express wishes of the property owner or residing tenant does make you guilty of trespassing. You probably won’t be able to open carry at work either, so take that into consideration, too.
If you can’t or don’t want to open carry, you aren’t without options.
Another avenue to explore may be found in your particular state’s laws. Most states have a provision wherein a person may conceal and carry a firearm on their person without a permit if at their home, on their property, or a “fixed place of business,” meaning a regular physical location (store, office building, what-have-you) where they work. In other words, you don’t need a permit at your house at work (depending on your employer’s rules).
Even the Democratic People’s Republic of California has the “home or fixed place of business” law. They just limit your choices of a handgun to do it and make it difficult or impossible to get a permit to carry anywhere else.
What makes matters complicated in that instance is in the car. Most states – though there are exceptions – don’t allow transport of loaded firearms. Long guns (usually) can’t be transported loaded, and handguns can’t be transported loaded (again…usually) unless you have a concealed carry permit. It’s also fairly common for state laws to require a loaded concealed carry pistol be concealed on your person. Ergo, there’s a good chance you’ll have to unload the gun before heading to your car to go home or to work.
Granted, some folks insist that “The Second Amendment is my permit!” and there’s something to be said for that. However, a judge won’t be buying that argument outside of constitutional carry states, so just don’t. One more time: check your state’s laws, know them and be sure to comply with them. You really don’t want to lose your gun rights permanently.
The wait for a permit can be a headache, but you may not be completely devoid of options until yours arrives.