Carrying Guns in America
In America, there are two ways of carrying firearms – concealed carry and open carry – as discussed right in the beginning too. As there aren’t any federal laws covering the issuance of open carry or concealed carry permits or licenses, the states are responsible to determine the extent to which those can be granted. Almost all 50 states (at some level), permits concealed carry, though, some states have implemented more restrictions as compared to others. New York, South Caroline, Texas, Illinois, Florida, California, and Washington DC are the states that have prohibited open carry of firearms in public places.
Concealed carry laws have been grouped in to three categories – may
issue, shall issue, and unrestricted.
MAY ISSUE – these states require a license or permit for concealed carry. The local authorities are provides some discretion about whether permits and licenses should be issued or not. The laws vary from highly permissive to difficulty in attaining permits, unless considerable justifications have been provided by the applicant. For example, in New Jersey all applicants have to exhibit ‘justifiable need’ like urgent need of self-protection which can’t be avoided by different means besides issuance of license or permit to carry a firearm.
SHALL ISSUE – these states require the issuance of a license or a permit after the individual fulfills the standard criteria which includes a background check and a minimum age. Furthermore, a few states also require gun safety training before issuing a license or permit.
UNRESTRICTED – no need of license or permit but there might be certain regulations about carrying guns in public.