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Last night’s passage of a constitutional carry bill by the Texas Senate has Texans all aflutter. There’s still much to be done before it becomes law and we’re hearing that the bill’s fate is still very much in doubt due to some legislative chicanery, but let’s be optimistic and assume Texas will soon become the biggest state in the nation to adopt permitless carry.

The Lone Star State would make a total of 21 constitutional carry states. Four states — Utah, Montana, Iowa and Tennessee — have jointed the club just this year and there are still more bills working their way through the legislative pipelines in other states.

If you live in a state that doesn’t require a permission slip in order to legally carry a handgun, that’s a very good thing. Government shouldn’t be allowed to erect hurdles or charge you in order to exercise any enumerated civil right.

That said, there are still some very good reasons to navigate the official process and get yourself a concealed carry permit. Those reasons include . . .


Do you travel? Do you live near the border of your state? Even if you rarely leave home and only visit other states on your annual family vacation or for the occasional business trip, you still want to have the ability to legally carry a firearm wherever you go.

Concealed carry reciprocity laws — laws that recognize other states’ carry permits as valid — typically only apply to licensed carriers.

For instance, Missouri is a constitutional carry state. If you hold a Missouri carry permit and travel to Florida, you’re good to go when you’re there. Not so if you legally carry in the Show Me state, but do it without a state-issued permit. If you’re caught while packing on the sugar-white sands of the Redneck Riviera without a valid carry permit from your home state, you’ll find yourself in deep seaweed.

Just about every state maintains a list of other states that recognize its permits (here’s Missouri’s for instance). Be sure to check your state’s site and confirm that your permit will be recognized and legal wherever you intend to carry your firearm, and do it before you go.

Learn Concealed Carry Basics

While the curriculum taught in the various states’ concealed carry certification classes varies widely, most at least do a decent job of imparting the basics of safe gun handling as well as covering that state’s laws governing where concealed carry is permitted…and where it isn’t. That’s important information to have if you want to avoid a ticket, a misdemeanor, or even a felony charge (depending on the state and the location) by carrying where it’s prohibited.

For the most part, you’re not going to get much actual training in self-defense from a few hours spent in a concealed carry certification class, but instructors will usually cover some important fundamentals such as when it’s permissible — in a legal sense — to use your firearm in a self-defense situation.

These classes also give those new to gun ownership an opportunity to talk to other gun owners and ask the instructor questions about how to carry, quirks of local laws, or any other topic they might be confused about.

Permit Holder Benefits

In some states, having a concealed carry permit can save you a lot of time…mostly when you’re buying a firearm. Nearly 20 states such as Texas, Wyoming, West Virginia and more exempt concealed weapons permit holders from having to undergo a NICS background check every time they purchase a new gun.

See the ATF’s list of state exemptions here. If you buy many guns at all, having a permit for this reason alone is worth it.

Police Interactions

Talk to some cops and you’ll find out that a significant number of them have a very positive attitude toward concealed carry permit holders. As a group, permit holders are among society’s most law-abiding individuals and LEOs know it.

If you’re the subject of a traffic stop or other interaction with a police officer, showing him or her your permit can frequently result in a smoother process…and has even been known to occasionally get you off with a warning rather than a speeding ticket.

Increasing the number of permit holders has another salutary effect, too. As the number of licensed concealed carriers grows, the more politicians become aware of the prevalence of gun ownership and daily carry amongst the general population. That could have marginal beneficial effects on the number and kinds of gun control laws that are supported and voted on. At least that’s the hope.

Constitutional carry is certainly a good thing. Despite the nonsensical arguments in opposition and hysterical predictions of rampant, bloody shootouts that always get lots of media play while the laws are being considered, the more restrictions on the right to keeping and bearing arms are reduced, the greater the net benefits to society.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t good reasons to have your own permit, not to mention legal defense coverage (however you choose to carry) if — heaven forbid — you should ever have to actually use your gun in a self-defense situation.


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  1. There will be many new faces in the legislature and govenors office if this doesn’t pass. We are sick of this crap ! Myself, i have a clean record and have always passed background checks even to work in “sensitive” areas. I took my state required firearms training and passed. Next , i filled out the paperwork to mail in but they said i had to get a mug shot and get fingerprinted just like a damned criminal. Get treated like a criminal and pay a fee to exercise a right that i already have ? Nope. If i do so, as i see it, i am agreeing that they have this right to infringe.

    • I felt the same upon my application for my first permit. But until CC is more broadly passed, we don’t have much choice in many states. I, for one, went through the process of getting my NV CCW to help me be in a better position (1) when I apply for one in my “may issue” County of Los Angeles, and (2) if – God forbid – I’m actually involved in a defensive shooting. The fact that I’ve gone through private training and state training/approval should help to discourage a zealous anti-gun DA from trying to litigiously tear me apart.

      • I wouldn’t count on it discouraging a progtard or a corrupt, Soros-bought DA from trying to put you in prison. It might even enrage them.

        It might help prevent them from *succeeding*, though, if your lawyer is worth the paper his diploma was printed on.

    • Your thinking is twisted. The thing I like most about my Texas License to Carry is that my FFL does not send info about my purchase to the liberals at the FBI. Of course, that doesn’t make my purchase a ghost gun. In the event they needed to, LE could trace my gun to me by subpoenaing the manufacturer, then by subpoenaing the distributor, then by subpoenaing the dealer. However to get a subpoena, they must show probable cause. My point is that if the liberals ever pass gun registration, my gun’s owner won’t be listed on NCIS. While they aren’t supposed to maintain a list, no one believes they don’t. While I favor Constitutional Carry from a 2A perspective, given the current state of affairs, for reasons stated here and in the article, you are much better off getting a License to Carry. It’s certainly not ideal, but definitely real.

  2. 25 days “in conference” and the clock runs out. Texas will become a May Issue state before it becomes a Constitutional Carry state.

    F….k those “Republican” clowns. I’m moving to Arizona.

  3. In a practical sense, they do make going through the 4473 more smoothly and quickly. But in every other way, the fact that they ever existed at all is an affront to liberty and the U.S. Constitution.

    Imagine needing a permit to carry the books None Dare Call It Treason or Common Sense on your person, hidden by an article of clothing.

    The original idea is equally as absurd. We’re watching the slow death of something that cropped up as a closeted means to discriminate against certain walks of society who the State deemed unworthy to exercise their rights to pack heat.

    Needing any kind of permit to exercise a right is absurd in both principle and practice. It’s a shameful vestige we cannot shed soon enough.

    • A Michigan CPL WAS (past tense) good to bypass the background check right up until the voters approved recreational use of marijuana. We can’t have potheads skipping the drug use question so it seems.

  4. Well on the map Alaska does look smaller.
    Oh you Texans.
    Welcome to the club, keeping fingers crossed for five more states to 2A up.

    • It is well known, Sir, that Alaska, like Hawaii, is an island state located in a box somewhere off of the California coast. Alternatively, it may be found just to the west of Baja California; It is, however, always in some sort of box, and always right next to Hawaii.

      I just double checked some maps on Google to make sure we hadn’t moved up next to Siberia or anything; Yep, we’re still in that box off of California with Hawaii right next to us.

      I’m still at a loss to explain why we have to go through British America to get here by road.

  5. Avoiding those stupid 4473s is reason enough, and your lawyer (obviously paid by your ccw insurance) will be happy you have a license and receipts for formal training. It’s not a must, but certainly a nice to have.

    • “Avoiding those stupid 4473s is reason enough…”

      Uh, no, you still fill out a 4473 on FFL purchases in every state. You do, however, avoid the NICS system if you live in one of the better ones, like Iowa. Now my second state of Minnesota has a law preventing me from purchasing a stripped, AR lower. Can buy a hunting rifle or shotgun but if it has a vertical grip or is AR platform, no go. If you’re from MN you can buy it in IA, however. Another example of states controling their populations. IA has been much more open on the idiot face coverings than MN, for example.

  6. I like how the CCW card in the article shows the holder as being only 31, yet the photo looks like Mr. Iam A. Baynxter from the 1910s.

      • Egad, you’re right! Shame on me and the horse I rode in on…

        And I have two BARs, no less. No dessert for me after dinner tonight.

        • Took me a minute (wait…why does that John Doe look so familiar…?), but I did recognize him. I bet your horse did, too. 🙂

        • And ‘Ing’ has gotten very good at ‘amusing himself’, believe me!

        • “believe me!”

          Considering your extensive very *personal* expertise with wanking instead using a live woman, I can believe you. 😉

          Dance, troll. I order you to amuse me…

  7. Carriers should also note the Gun Free School Zones exemption applies only to holders of permits for the corresponding state.

    So, suppose you NEVER carry outside your Con-Carry state. Nevertheless, you violate GFSZ if you travel through a school zone in your Con-Carry state without a permit from YOUR state.

    Generalizing, if you DO carry in other states which grant you reciprocity, you still can’t carry into a school zone in ANY such OTHER state without a permit issued by THAT OTHER STATE.

    It’s highly unlikely that you would be arrested and charged merely for crossing into a GFSZ without the required permit. Nevertheless, it is a risk. Suppose you happened to have an accident while in such a zone (or, just outside the zone having clearly passed through the school zone). You will be dealing with the cop who writes up the accident report. You may have to disclose you are carrying; or, he may arrest you and find you are carrying without having first disclosed that fact.

    The cop may be in a bad mood and wish to throw the book at you. He may report you to the Assistant US Attorney.

    Likely this will seem much ado about nothing. But here is an interesting angle. Some states will not issue carry permits to non-residents (e.g., NY). Others to residents of only enumerated other states (OR, IL). Or there is some other requirement such as having a business in the state (IN) or owning real estate in that state (SC). These states discriminate against non-residents in a manner prohibited by the Constitution.

    The GFSZ serves as a pretext for a cause of action against these states for such discrimination. We desire to carry in all states were we enjoy reciprocity/recognition but this is – as a practical matter – at our peril for violating the GFSZ Federal law. We would (gladly) abide by the GFSZ law by applying for and maintaining a non-resident permit in such other states; but for their unConstitutional laws discriminating against us for being non-residents.

    I’d like to see test cases in multiple Circuits whereby one would find for this cause of action and the other against. That would create a circuit split and might get SCOTUS to take the case.

    Ho hum. Such a case would afford SCOTUS an opportunity to rule in a (not especially controversial) case that the People have a right to lawfully carry outside our home states without being impeded by laws that operate to discriminate against non-residents. As such, it would serve as a precedent toward establishing a national right to reciprocity/recognition.

    I do NOT portray this as a “one stop” trip to national reciprocity. It certainly is NOT THAT. Instead, it is laying the groundwork for SCOTUS to take a case ruling that there IS a right to interstate carry that can not be denied merely on non-residency. This would seem to be a prerequisite right to achieve the end goal of national reciprocity.

    • Good points, all. When I applied for my NV CCW, I left the location of the shooting portion of the test to drive half an hour to the Sheriff station to submit the application. Several other applicants left that location a few minutes after me, but arrived at the station ahead of me and therefore ahead of me in line.

      When it was finally my turn to be “processed”, I was good naturedly joking with the two ladies there (who were taking the photos and fingerprints) about it, and one of the smiled and said “well, that’s what you get for driving the speed limit, haha”.

      I replied by explaining that I have guns and gear with me in my vehicle, and I always drive the speed limit (or only 5 mph over max) because I do not want to be involved in a vehicular accident and be carted away in an ambulance while my vehicle is towed to a yard, exposing my (unregistered and private) guns to theft. Then we’d have criminals out there with stolen guns. Not good.

      The ladies – and their supervisor, who was listening in – all nodded their heads and said “yeah, good point.”

      • I drive as fast as the motor will allow. I go on the premise that the less time you spend on the road the less time you have to get in an accident.

      • ….because it’s impossible to get in a motor vehicle accident when you go the speed limit. Durrrrrr!

      • Hey Haz, I was just thinking that it’s been four months to the day since you skipped out on 1/6 Freedom Day like a coward.

        • If there’s anyone who knows the deep shame of being a coward, it’s little ‘end of watch’… 😉

        • “Freedom Day”is going to culminate with around 400 insurrectionists going to prison, how ironic.

    • why can’t we have national reciprocity on the interstate highway system?…on all federal highways, for that matter?…..

      • They’re technically all state highways. The feds funded construction, but each state owns and maintains its own pieces of the interstate highway system.

        Still, as a matter of ensuring full faith and credit and the free flow of interstate travel and commerce, national reciprocity would make perfect sense. And it should be in the fedgov’s wheelhouse…but there’s no powerful, moneyed lobby paying congresscritters to do it and there are powerful, moneyed “progressive” groups that’d attack them if they did, so…

  8. Well, I guess that answers my question of “Should I get a carry permit for Missouri when I move there next month?” I currently have a Michigan CPL and Missouri does not require a permit so I questioned the need. But I will be doing most of my shopping over the border in Arkansas (less than 10 miles away), so I guess it would make sense to have the permit after all.

  9. Getting a permit in a permitless state just legitimizes permits. The only way to actually exercise permitless carry is to forego permits.

    If learning CC basics will help you, just take the classes and don’t actually apply for a permit. If reciprocity is critical, can you at least get a non-resident permit from another state? And permit holder perks remind me of the gimmicks / SWAG that companies use to get you to sign up for 2-year contracts or surrender privacy for convenience.

    I certainly don’t knock the benefits of a permit outlined in this article, but if carrying a firearm really is a universal right, then capitulating to a permit system for its perks only legitimizes permit systems as mechanisms to infringe on the right to carry.

    Put another way, is the ability to carry concealed into a restaurant that serves alcohol (even if I don’t intend to consume any) a benefit of a CC permit in my state, or is the inability to do so without a permit an infringement of my natural right to carry? The answer to that is a matter of perspective, but to me it’s clearly the latter.

  10. In a state with lots of border mileage I am about to switch counties and plan to turn in my old CCW to the Sheriff in the old county and get a new one from my new Sheriff. Still tricky as I am to be about 400 yards from the conservative part of Maryland, but still no reciprocity, and 3 or 4 miles from Pennsylvania with reciprocity.

    When you have a permit it is important to remember that you are entered into some law enforcement database that is shared internationally as I used to have a discussion with the officer at the border about weather I had a gun in the car or not every time I entered Canada for at least a decade, some were pleasant and some not so much.

    In a semi-related area I recently found a back road to the range that doesn’t enter Maryland. In case you haven’t worked it out I’m in West Virginia with some of the least restrictive gun laws in the US so blundering into very restrictive Maryland with some of my collection or even “high capacity” magazines would not be healthy.

    • I think you are overestimating law enforcement databases, their availability to average cops nationwide (and internationally if you include Canada) and the cops willingness to check whether or not you have a CCW. It can already be a headache for them to get the info they’re looking for when running out of state DL and license plates on a traffic stop. Canadian customs are most likely just assuming you might have a firearm since you reside in the USA, I don’t think they automatically check databases for that.

  11. As a citizen of Texas with a LTC, I still am keeping my LTC, There are many reasons, one being concealed carry reciprocity laws, ( Even though my home state of R.I. doesn’t recognize any other states CCW/LTC) if I travel to states surrounding Texas, I can still carry my gun, which is important. Also, purchasing a firearm means walk in pay, show LTC, fill out 4473 and leave, no waiting.

    • Same here in Iowa after July 1. Yes having to get a permit to carry in reciprocity states is a pain, but Iowa can’t fix other states. That’s up to Local POTG to take care of. We’ve been working hard to get Iowa turned around. We were a May, but Not Likely Issue state 10 years ago. Still more work to do. At least We’re moving in the Rights direction.

  12. When NH went constitutional carry there was a lot “but we NEED permits!” noise regarding these very concerns.

    I could never tell if it was all from antis trying to find any angle they could or if it was from genuine gun folk who were too stupid to understand that just because a permit is not required that doesn’t mean you can’t get one if you want to.

    I’ve realized over the course of coronapaolooza just how rare it is for an individual, even an adult in the “freest” nation on earth, to actually embrace free will. Most simply cannot function day to day without being told what they can and cannot do or should and should not do. The NPC meme is frighteningly all too real.

    • I listened to some of the debate in the Texas House and Senate concerning constitutional carry. The utter ignorance and stupidity of some of these people regarding the Second Amendment is mind-boggling! Not to mention the downright lies that some of them spewed. This is a long time coming. It should have been passed two or three or even four legislative sessions ago. And in Texas, legislative sessions are only every other year. I resisted getting a LTC but finally did. It is very convenient to purchase a gun without having to run a background check. And it is moving the ball forward on complete and total 2A absolutism.

  13. The permit can make the difference from legal parking on k12 ground ore be an felony.
    Same shit for non steril airport and public transport in colorado.

    Be carfull

  14. once upon a time gun permits were pretty rare in a lot of states…even owning a handgun raised eyebrows unless you justified it in some way…in which case people just shrugged their shoulders and said “well,..ok”…but the penalties for unlicensed carry were pretty light although it might cost you your gun…so people weren’t too concerned…all of that changed in the sixties…it seems civil unrest…and the inability of the police to be everywhere has drastically altered the equation…average people don’t buy guns in such record numbers unless they’re afraid…. of something….

    • In 1991 in this state it was a $110 fine but they kept/stole my gunm. It was also a misdemeanor, so you get caught 3 times your a felon.

  15. For me the advantages of the permit have mostly been not having to pay for NICS fees when an FFL handles my transfer, and going into places that sell alcohol but do not have the required “No Guns” signs up.

    However, the fact that any of this is even a concern is just plain wrong. The Constitution is clear, permits are not a requirement. To be forced to play this game of needing a permit to enter a restaurant for dinner with friends is an infringement. A much smaller infringement than, say, an assault weapons ban, but an infringement just the same.

  16. So in my 28+ years in L.E. I rarely issued a violation notice (ticket) to a CC permit holder. Why? Simple, because I knew they were obviously a good American and they took the time to get a CC permit to comply with law while still being able to defend themselves and their rights. They also beleived in the Constitution and they did not have a felony record. Responsible people deserve a break. Hats off to them

  17. Found it interesting that you show a WA permit. Last I knew, they didn’t have reciprocity with any other states, and then over the last two years, made out of state licensing difficult. Two years ago I think that the excuse was budgetary. And last year, the excuse was COVID-19. They may be Shall Issue, but that isn’t helpful if the don’t staff the offices needed for issuing permits.

    I have CCLs from MT, AZ, and maybe CO (the maybe is because it is supposed to be automatically canceled when you leave the state – it still looks valid, but I never use it). But we travel to WA (Spokane area) regularly, for doctors, airline travel, etc, and legally I can’t carry concealed when I cross the border. Major pain. They are the only state I routinely travel to or through where my CCLs aren’t valid.

    • WA actually has broad reciprocity, and most states’ permits are good to go; you happen to have permits from two of the few that aren’t.

      The ones that aren’t accepted are generally either because that state won’t recognize a Washington permit (which is the case with California and Oregon — a pain because I visit OR frequently) or because that state’s permit is available to people under 21 or doesn’t meet the same fingerprinting & background check standards (which is probably the case with ID and MT).

  18. There may be benefits to having a permit in a Constitutional Carry state. There may also be some benefits to wearing a mask after receiving two Covid jabs.

    However, I’m not down with doing either.

  19. Incrementalism is how we lost our rights. And incrementalism is how we are going to get our rights back. We lost our rights over a long. And we will get our rights back and it will take a long time for that to happen. An all or nothing approach only makes you a proud loser.

    Constitutional carry at the state level is a big win. And each state, internally, is going to have to fight that battle on their own.

    Don’t be a “proud Libertarian loser”, and not vote. You need to stay involved. Texas is close to a win because there are people who have NEVER given up the fight.

    From 2019

    From 2017

    • Yep. Keep throwing the pasta against the wall until it sticks. The left know this, and they throw pots of it around. Pieces stick here and there, now and then, and that’s why we are where we are today.

  20. I have a permit so I can travel to see friends and family in other states and be armed. And that was not possible 40 years ago.

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  22. No, registering yourself instead of your gun is stupid. We need National Constitutional Carry. As if we really need it considering we already have a right to BEAR ARMS. Why we ignore that part is beyond me. We have allowed totalitarian politicians from both parties dictate our natural rights and it needs to end! Criminals adhere to no law!

  23. Constitutional carry states should put a line on their driver’s licenses stating “authorized to carry concealed” and declare that license to be a valid concealed carry card. That way everyone from such a state would have a CHL wherever they might travel.

  24. Having a permit from your home state is absolutely the best way to go until we have a national one. First of all, it shows you are competent. 2nd, It tells LE’s or any other authority that you are competent. 3rd, in many states like my own buying a firearm through a dealer is much more simplified and often less expensive as both the dealer and ATF understands that the permit in your wallet certifies that much of the ATF form questions are moot in your case. Within seconds of a dealer hitting the key sending my app off to ATF it is usually approved. Yes that is seconds compared to anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Now I live in one of the best states in the USA for a firearms owner so I am blessed but regardless, that permit is a key to an easier go just as surely as a retired LE badge or ticket is.

  25. Still sounds like gun registration ‘cepin’ it registers the gun owner. ‘course, with all the high tech in todays world there is nowhere to hide if you want to enjoy all the 1st world benefits. Most of us could not pull off living totally off the grid. I myself am too old to fight and too weak to run. I’ll hold the fort as best I can or ’till the ammo runs out. I’ll go down kickin’ & screamin’ and not without a fight!!! Best of luck when the Big Shit Hits the Big Fan. 😎Fuckin’ A FLA.!!!

  26. So many jurisdictions are using COVID-19 as an excuse not to process CCW applications saying they can’t fingerprint.

  27. Texas Republicans need to get their ship together and oust everyone who isn’t supporting constitutional carry. I was living in Oklahoma when it passed there and I remember saying out loud that it must be one of the signs of the apocalypse that Oklahoma had it and Texas didn’t. In Oklahoma we were always years and sometimes decades behind everyone else. Then came Governor Stitt and the state did a 180. If only we had been able to get rid of RINO Mary Failin’ earlier.

    We had to move soon afterwards to Georgia and while the scenery is certainly much better we arrived just as the political scene took a hard left. No constitutional carry, no second amendment sanctuary and nothing but bad far left politics in the future. If I could magically install a twin to Oklahoma’s government here it would be perfect.


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