Concealed Carry Jurisdictions

May-issue, Shall-issue, and Constitutional Carry (and No-issue)

State regulations relating to the issuance of concealed carry permits generally fall into four categories described as Unrestricted(Constitutional Carry), Shall Issue, May Issue, and No Issue.


A may-issue state is one that requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun, and where the granting of such permits is partially at the discretion of local authorities (sheriff’s department)

The following states are may-issue: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.


A shall-issue state is one that requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun, but where the granting of such licenses is subject only to meeting requirements as laid out in the law; the granting authority has no discretion in the awarding of the licenses (E.g., There is no requirement of the applicant to demonstrate “good cause”.)

The following are shall-issue states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island (for permits issued by local authorities), South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The territory of Guam is also shall-issue, and Puerto Rico as of 2020.

Constitutional Carry

An constitutional carry state is one in which a permit is not required to carry a concealed handgun. This is sometimes called unrestricted. Within the unrestricted or constitutional carry category, there exists states that are fully unrestricted, where no permit is required for lawful open or concealed carry, and partially unrestricted, where certain forms of concealed carry may be legal without a permit, while other forms of carry may require a permit.


A no-issue state is one that does not allow any private citizen to carry a concealed handgun in public. The term refers to the fact that no concealed carry permits will be issued (or recognized).