3 Reasons You Should Still Have a Carry Permit in a Constitutional Carry State

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Constitutional carry map gif
By Jeff Dege – http://www.gun-nuttery.com/rtc.php, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Governor Greg Abbott recently signed HB 1927, also known as Texas constitutional carry, into law during a ceremony on the grounds of the Alamo, making Texas the 21st state to allow some form of permitless handgun carry. Similar legislation is being advanced in multiple states across the country, and it’s safe to say that the idea of constitutional carry has gained significant traction.

When you consider that as of 2003, Vermont was the only state where you didn’t need some form of permit or license to carry a concealed handgun on your person, it’s clear that the political landscape, at least on the state level, has changed significantly. But even if you live in a state with constitutional carry (or one that is about to), having a permit is still in your best interest.

Why Get a Carry Permit?

The decision to still obtain a carry permit in a permitless carry state will, of course, be highly dependent on the specific individual, their priorities, and their lifestyle. In many states, the permitting process isn’t exactly user-friendly.

However, it’s important to understand that if your state legalizes permitless carry, whether open, concealed, or both, there are many reasons you will want to go through the permitting process. Three primary reasons are . . .

1. Reciprocity

Many states that issue handgun carry permits have reciprocity agreements in place so that a carry permit issued in one jurisdiction will be recognized in another. These agreements are generally negotiated between state attorney general offices and are often based on similar training requirements in each state. Additionally, other states choose to recognize out-of-state handgun licenses even in the absence of a reciprocity agreement.

If your state allows permitless carry, it’s important to remember that should you choose not to obtain a permit, you will not be able to travel to other states while carrying your handgun unless you happen to be going to or through a state that allows non-residents to engage in permitless carry. This is very important for people who live or work in a state that requires them to cross into neighboring states.

Also remember that even if the state you’re traveling to recognizes your carry permit, the laws of that state may be significantly different from those in your home state. That applies even if you are just traveling through a state, but choose to stop for any reason. Take time to research the local use of force and firearm carry laws whenever you’ll be traveling outside of your home state.

2. NICS Background Checks

Americans are purchasing firearms and obtaining the mandatory background checks at a record-setting pace. With so many people buying guns at once, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is often incredibly backlogged.

For people with busy schedules who have to carve out time to get to the gun store, a NICS delay can be incredibly frustrating. Most people who don’t have permits don’t realize that carry permits (in nearly 50% of the states) qualify as an alternative to the NICS background check requirement when they purchase a gun through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL).

Form 4473 and GLOCK (courtesy fbi.gov)
courtesy fbi.gov

If your state’s carry permit qualifies as a NICS exemption, it streamlines and speeds up the buying process significantly. You will still be required to fill out a Form 4473. However, if the NICS system is delayed or down, your carry permit will likely be the difference between walking out of the store with your new firearm or needing to find the time to return to the store later.

3. Reality

Every layer of the legal system is occupied by human beings who are just that: human. In the event you need to use your gun to defend yourself, your family, or a third party, it’s inevitable that the issue of your legal qualifications, training, and experience will come up at some point.

This could happen as early as when the first law enforcement officer arrives on scene, whose initial reporting may be positively influenced once they learn that you have a carry permit. Or it could come up as late as during jury deliberations.

With 12 strangers trying to determine who threatened whom and whether the use of deadly force was reasonable, it takes only one of those jurors having the perception of “the person with the permit was probably following the law” to make the difference between freedom and jail time.

gun shooting range practice train target

Training requirements for handgun permits vary from state to state, with some states requiring classroom instruction on use of force coupled with range time, and others simply having the applicant show the ability to load, point, and shoot. This can become a critical issue in the event an overzealous prosecutor chooses to make an example of an unlicensed victim who successfully defended themselves with a firearm against a violent crime.

You can picture it as if it’s a scene from a movie—the prosecutor standing in front of the jury, pointing at the defense table while firmly asserting, “The defendant doesn’t even have a license to carry that handgun!” Combining firearm training, education, and practice at the range is a good idea, and you should seek as much of it as your time and resources allow.

Even folks who never have to use their gun see important benefits from having a valid carry permit, especially in those states that have a duty to inform police of the presence of a firearm during a routine traffic stop. Being able to start that interaction with “Officer, I have a concealed carry permit and I am currently armed, do you have any special instructions for me?” is generally going to set a more positive tone for the entire interaction than saying, “I’m carrying a gun.”

Mirror Police side rear view rearview mirror

This is especially true if the officer is informed by the state databases that you have a handgun permit when they run your driver’s license at the beginning of the stop. The officer will know before the interaction that you have passed a background check and are likely to be a law-abiding individual.

The Bottom Line 

These are just a few of the factors you should consider in deciding if you should keep or obtain your permit even if you live in a constitutional carry state. Ultimately, you will have to decide for yourself if you want to forgo the benefits of having a handgun carry permit. Given these reasons and others you may have thought of yourself, the value of having a handgun permit remains undiminished if you live in a constitutional carry state.


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    • Old Guy in Montana,

      I especially liked Dan’s suggestion (under category three–Reality) that having a concealed carry license with its requisite training could have a very positive influence on a jury in a self-defense case.

      I also agree that it tends to make for much more positive interactions with police traffic stops. Deputies have stopped my spouse two or three times for something extremely minor and never gave a traffic ticket after my spouse disclosed conceal carry license and armament status.

      • “I especially liked Dan’s suggestion….that having a concealed carry license with its requisite training could have a very positive influence on a jury in a self-defense case.”

        Being a contrarian, here…as a prosecutor, I would describe all the preparations as intent to eventually shoot someone. Why get educated, trained and practiced for an event that is highly, highly unlikely to happen….an attack where only a gun would save the victim’s life. Yeah, I would really bring emotions of the jury to high pitch. Especially if the one on trial has “murder insurance”.

        Hhhhmmm. Am I inadvertently making the case for prepaid legal representation? Wasn’t on purpose; just sorta ended up here.

        • Sam I Am,

          Sadly, you actually bring up a valid point. (A prosecutor very well could spin a case exactly as you described.)

          There are no guarantees in life.

    • I’ll start the list: Montana.

      Bought a new .22 a couple of weeks ago. NICS was taking 30 minutes (more or less) for most people…handed the salesman my DL and CWP, filled out the 4473, paid cash and walked out in 10 minutes. If for no other reason, a MT CWP is worth it for this convenience alone.

    • Oregon- here you can’t skip the NCIS check entirely but normally the OR CHL will let you jump to the head of the line.

    • And Idaho as well; you can pay for and pick up the gun at the same time. I have the ID Enhanced Concealed Carry permit (ID is a constitutional carry state) which allows me to carry in 31 states.

    • Asking for the government’s permission to exercise a God given constitutionally protected Right is an act that converts a Right into a government granted privilege and thereby making you liable to accepting all of the restrictions and limitations and the requirements associated with obtaining that permission.

      It is the difference between true freedom versus servitude and obedience to a government acting as master.

    • Texas will, because as I understand it, you still need a LTC in order to carry on campus here. I do not understand why the new law didn’t affect that, maybe someone can help. Also, for the valid reasons listed in this post. I’ll probably renew mine when it expires.

    • Floyd: Arizona and Montana still issue permits, most others, too. Many advantages in having one: Travel, police interactions, DGU defense, carrying in certain (otherwise restricted) places, etc.

  1. There’s a valid 4th. reason; so you can lawfully carry/wear a handgun in a state that politically claims to have passed constitutional carry but in reality doesn’t have constitutional carry at all. Texas is such a state.

    You either have constitutional carry, or you don’t. There’s no gray area. Texas DOES NOT have constitutional carry and most likely never will unless we see total anarchy.

      • There are restrictions. Texas law does not allow every single person to carry. For example, if you are legally allowed to purchase a gun then you can now legally carry that gun. Many Texans can’t legally purchase or even posses firearms.

        • @Prndll
          “in response to who cares:
          Please explain why Texas’s new law isn’t constitutional carry

          There are restrictions.”

          Many may not understand you just illustrated the concept that 2A is absolute.

        • This is not entirely correct. You can only carry in few certain public areas without a permit. More areas and with greater ease in Texas WITH the permit.

          But I’ve already explained this before.

        • @GRA

          It’s correct. What your describing is more restrictions. There are more restrictions. It’s why I said “for example”. I just didn’t care to make my post that long.

        • Narcos are flooding across the border into Texas. I want them prohibited from constitutional carry.

          I want violent felons prohibited from carrying.

          You disagree?

      • The “narcos” flowing across the border have been doing so since before you voted for the Clintons. Before this is over they will be the only persons armed regardless what the laws are.

        • No in Il. Pritzker “fixed” that yesterday. No more private sales without a background chack/4473. Peace rules in Chiraq next weekend.

          Next on agenda for the idiot – Government corruption in Il. Should it be eliminated or expanded?

        • Character attacks are the first resort for the ignorant.
          Absolutism about the 2ed amendment is as bad an idea as with the first. Falsely yelling fire in crowded places is illegal. Threatening to kill someone is illegal. Both are speech protected by 1st amendment.
          Felons have no business legally owning firearms. Everybody else is ok. No licenses. No tests. No databases of owners. No waiting periods.

      • You sound like somebody who flies around in single engine Cessna airplanes and drops propaganda leaflets over third-world countries. Next time before you open that ignorant mouth of yours you should first practice what you preach.

  2. Nice try but you didn’t mention to keep instructors employed or make money for the range isn’t that what that is all about

    • Delaware. This is a may issue state, and there are a lot of really stupid hurdles to jump, but I don’t know anyone who has applied for a permit who has been denied. I suppose there are some, but I haven’t run across them. The process is the biggest deterrent to getting a permit.

      • “The process is the biggest deterrent to getting a permit.” kinda like purchasing your first suppressor…ya gotta make that decision to dive into the process, pay your “dues” and then wait…and wait…and wait…and…..

      • Which is a great benefit if the goal is to prevent the working poor from bearing arms, leaving the “right” to be exercised primarily by the affluent who can afford to jump through the hoops.

  3. Only when the American public is once again educated about their civil rights, only then will we no longer need a concealed carry permit. If you still want to travel across state lines from one free state to the next, you need to have a carry permit.

    Incrementalism is the way to go. Over 20 states now have some form of constitutional carry. We still have a long way to go. But things are much better than they were just less than 10 years ago.

    • “Only when the American public is once again educated about their civil rights, only then will we no longer need a concealed carry permit. ”

      I think you are making an unwarranted assumption: knowledge of something equals endorsement of something. Knowledge/training/education about a specific natural, human and civil right which is of no interest to me will not galvanize me into an activist for that natural, human and civil right.

      • There was a time in this country when nearly every child was taught about the right to arms. And that included having rifle teams in most schools.
        The Communist know how important public education really is. Which is why they have taken it over, in many districts across the country.

        If people want to keep freedom, then you need to take back their school boards. It was Tom Ammiano, a gay gun grabber, who ran for the SF school board. Back in the 1970s. He won and had all the rifle teams done away with.

    • “Only when the American public is once again educated about their civil rights”

      and the christianity behind those rights?

      • It’s the atheists who are passing gun control laws, raising taxes, and growing the size of government. Because it was the church/synagogue, that provided for the people. And the Socialist Progressive atheists don’t like the competition.

        • I’ve never met an atheist who hated the first amendment.

          I’m so glad America is not a Christian nation and was not founded on Christian principles, just as the treaty of Tripoli states.

  4. I lobbied using the same points as illustrated in the article concerning “Constitutional/Permitless Carry” which passed into Iowa law this July. While I was/am totally in favor of such legislation, there is no way I, nor even those others lobbying for it for several years are going to give up their State-issued permits to carry. I’m still somewhat concerned for the Gomers who will let the permit go and then forget other states don’t accept Iowa’s statute.

    In one sense- having Permitless Carry, yet keeping the permit is somewhat akin to vaccinated people still wearing masks… The threat that keeps me packing everyday is, however, real. The mask thing is more of a virtue signal as far as I’m concerned.

    • What is needed is a good Article IV, Section 1 case (Full Faith and Credit Clause). Force the morons in Ill and Mn to recognize the rights of citizens of other states.

      My misfortune to, again, pass thru that cesspool this week. By planning, can cross no mans land and get to In without spending $0.01 in Il. Usually stop for a #2 though.

  5. #3.
    Well if constitutional carry is in your state anyone having a gunm is within the law, permit or not. So I dont see how that should affect the jury.

  6. “So I dont see how that should affect the jury.”

    Are all the members of a jury guaranteed to be 2A defenders? Gun owners? Or are they only “reasonable people” (“reasonable people” are convinced no reasonable person would use a gun in self-defense).

    • So to the reasonable jury the permit really wouldn’t matter at all. All that would matter was an unreasonable person used a gunm.
      Should affect is different then could affect.

    • Jury questionaire. “Do you understand and support the Constitution of the US including the 2nd”?

      • “Jury questionaire. “Do you understand and support the Constitution of the US including the 2nd”?”

        Most likely prospective juror response: “Yes, but….”

  7. “So to the reasonable jury the permit really wouldn’t matter at all. ”

    Correct. Just because one has a natural, human and civil right, backed by government permission, to have and use a gun in self defense-doesn’t mean it is reasonable to use that firearm in self-defense; no one needs a gun.

    How did I get to this reasoning? No “reasonable” person would allow themselves to get into a situation where using a gun in self-defense would be required. A “reasonable” person would call 911, or run away. A “reasonable” person would not appoint themselves judge, jury and executioner. A “reasonable” person would understand that some people are in desperate circumstances, and believe that only by striking out in crime can they survive, or acquire the money and status quickly granted people who are not downtrodden, oppressed, marginalized, win the lottery of life.

    In a 10 mile radius, how many “reasonable” persons do you suspect would consider gun ownership/carry to be “reasonable”? How many of these “reasonable” persons do you think are not mainly driven by emotion when making decisions regarding use of firearms in self-defense?

    Does every DGU brought before a jury result in conviction? No. But do you really want to actually trust a jury will set aside prejudice, and personal choices?

    • “In a 10 mile radius, how many “reasonable” persons do you suspect would consider gun ownership/carry to be “reasonable”?”

      I’m not sure about 10 miles but many up and down my street. I’ve met and talked with a few.

      Now I do know for sure that there are BLM activists within a 10 mile radius. I’ve met and talked with them too.

  8. There is a downfall to cops having available weapons/handgun permit info. If your state shares that info with all states, when traveling through firearm unfriendly states you run the risk of being harassed/pulled over when either a cop runs your plate or it pops up on an ALPR system.




    • Most conservatives are saying that the vaccine is the mark of the beast, we will see how that works out for them and their families.

      “Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT|Updated: 2 hours ago
      NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The latest surge in COVID-19 cases in Louisiana is not sparing children. Of the more than 11,000 new cases reported after the weekend, more than 2,000 are children.

      “Two-thousand, 79 of those cases are children from today’s report and we know, we told you this last week those under 29 are driving the surge,” said Governor John Bel Edwards during a press conference on Monday.

      An internal state report shows kids 0 to 4 account for 471 of the new cases and children ages 5 to 17 account for 1,608.

      And doctors who treat children are concerned.“


      Of course, I’m sure you conservatives will say this local Fox station is part of the Obama/Clinton vaccination conspiracy, helping to implant micro chips in good Americans.

  10. In some states it s an felony trap to park on k12 schoolground whiteout ccw (gun loadet inside car not outsite ore building) ………….

  11. When did having to beg and pay for permission from the Fed/State/County become a good thing? Seems like a whole lot of people roll over pretty easily.

  12. And Idaho as well; you can pay for and pick up the gun at the same time. I have the ID Enhanced Concealed Carry permit (ID is a constitutional carry state) which allows me to carry in 31 states.

  13. @Who cares
    “I want violent felons prohibited from carrying. ”

    Are you aware such a stance puts one squarely in the “I believe in the Second Amendment, but….” cabal? Any limitation merely becomes a war of opinion, each restriction being considered “common sense”. The result is supporting the notion that the Second Amendment is rather vague, subject to interpretation based on analysis using “common sense”. As if the founders were dumber than our current rulers*, and could not make themselves clear in their expressions of intent.

    *”There is no distinctly native American criminal class save Congress.” ― Mark Twain

    • “Any limitation merely becomes a war of opinion… “

      So you’re saying there should be no limitation on the bill of rights?

      Does that include the first amendment?
      So no limitation on slander, libel, terroristic threats of violence?

      If one saw your wife in a parking lot, could he walk up to her and say “Later tonight I will rape you, kill you and then rape your corpse”, without consequence?

      Would one be permitted to post handbills up and down your block stating that Sam is a pedophile who molested my children?

  14. I live in a state where a permit *can* legally end-run a NICS check. In practice, the vast majority of retailers require the NICS check anyway. Their reason: a layer of protection against liability and/or prosecution. They fear the latter if a) the purchaser commits a crime later with his purchase, and/or b) if the victim or prosecutor finds out that the purchase was permitted w/o a call to NICS and/or c) the purchaser had disqualified himself from legal carry or purchase since being backgrounded for his permit. With Creepy threatening FFLs with microscopic scrutiny, shutdowns and prosecutions, dealers’ reluctance to skip NICS is entirely understandable. If I were a dealer, I’d cover my ass likewise. During a recent purchase, I asked the dealer why he would not accept my years-old-and-still-valid permit in lieu of NICS to process the sale. His answer: “What if you have somehow disqualified yourself since you passed NICS for your permit? That could blow back on me.” I respected his concern and his policy.

  15. I love more the honest ones that indicates the reality of how Texas and other “constitutional carry” states are anything but that.

  16. It does make sense to invest in a gun carry permit so that you could travel around the state without worrying about gun possession problems. My colleague wants to try investing in a firearm that he could use for self-defense. I’ll probably share this with him so he’d consider getting a permit for his purchase.

  17. It’s great that you pointed out how a permit to carry could be recognized in another jurisdiction due to the reciprocity agreements in place. I am thinking of getting a gun for self defense, however, I don’t know much how handle one yet. Before getting the gun, I should probably attend a permit to carry class first.

  18. Texas does not have Constitutional carry. Texas has a very restrictive and limited permitless carry and it’s as foolish as the useless turds that lobbied for it are corrupt. You have more handgun rights in Texas with an LTC than you do without it. It’s a pathetic slap in the face to all Texans.

  19. It’s interesting that you mentioned how one must have a carry permit when owning a gun. My sister recently told me that she’s been thinking of owning a gun, but she wants to make sure it’s legal. I should tell her to get a permit to carry soon if she wants to continue her plans.

  20. Making sure that I legally own a firearm could indeed be important. I want to protect my family as much as possible without hurting anyone, so carrying a weapon without any legal trouble will help me with that. I’ll remember to look for a concealed carry permit center I can start working with in order to have this done.

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