How Many States Have Constitutional Carry (Updated 4/26/2023)

Constitutional Carry Gun
Constitutional Carry Gun

What States Have Constitutional Carry?

This article will show how many states have Constitutional Carry and which states currently have Constitutional or Permitless Carry Laws. There are 25 states as of August 1, 2022 that allow the Open and/or Concealed Carry of a handgun without permit or license.

***Update April 26, 2023. There are now 2 additional states that have passed Constitutional Carry into law and will go into effect shortly. These states are Florida and Nebraska.

Not all of these states allow Open AND Concealed Carry without a permit. You must meet the legal and age requirements which vary by state. See States that Allow Open Carry.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is NOT legal advice. You bear all responsibility for the use or misuse of this information. Only a lawyer can guarantee your complete compliance with the law in your state.

The terms, ‘Constitutional Carry” and “Permitless Carry” are used interchangeably, although their definitions are different in each state. Generally, the terms refer to the legal open and/or concealed carry of a handgun without a permit.

Constitutional and Permitless Carry do not change the fact that there are Federally prohibited areas in every state. These are places such as courthouses and secure areas of airports. There is no state where you can legally carry everywhere in the state.

How Many States Have Constitutional Carry?

As of August 1, 2022, there are 25 out of the 50 states that have some form of Constitutional or Permitless Carry laws for handguns. Most of these laws were passed in the last 5 years or so.

Prohibited Persons

In every state it is still illegal to possess or carry any handgun if you are prohibited by Federal Law or State law! Constitutional Carry and Permitless Carry do not overrule these laws.

ATF Prohibited Persons

If you are prohibited in the US to possess a handgun or other weapon, you are prohibited, PERIOD.

Constitutional Carry rules vary by state

Some states allow Open carry without a permit or license, but still require a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Other states allow both open and concealed carry without a permit, but restrict some locations to those that do have a permit.

Most states have different rules for those that have a State Issued Permit and those that carry under the Constitutional or Permitless Carry Laws. Generally, those with permits are allowed in some areas that permitless carriers are not. Be sure you understand the difference in your state.

For example, in Indiana you cannot carry in a vehicle without a license. If you do not have a CCW, the gun must be unloaded and stored in a secure area of the vehicle that is not readily accessible.

Why get a Concealed Carry Permit in a State that has Constitutional or Permitless Carry?

Most, if not all states that have Constitutional and/or Permitless Carry also issue Concealed Carry Permits. They may be called CCW (Carry of Concealed Weapon) Permits, CHCL (Concealed Handgun Carry License), CWL (Concealed Weapoin License), etc.

These permits generally will allow Concealed Carry and some times Open Carry in places that would be off-limits to a Permitless carrier.

What states have constitutional carry: No Guns sign

This is generally because to get a permit, your background has been checked and you will have had to pass Firearms proficiency tests and taken some training. The requirements are different for every state.

Having a Concealed Carry Permit also allows you to carry in other states that have a reciprocity agreement with your state.

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What States Have Constitutional Carry?

There are currently 25 states with Constitutional or Permitless Carry and they are listed below with a high level overview. All states have many rules and prohibited areas, too many to list here.

All states require that you are not prohibited by state or Federal Law to participate in Constitutional or Permitless Carry.

Each State has locations that are off-limits so be sure you know what they are before you carry.

The overview below does not list all rules, regulations or restrictions in any state. Be sure to research your state before you carry there.

For more detail, there is a link at the bottom of the page.

Constitutional Carry States List

Alabama: Constitutional Carry in Alabama (AL) became effective January 1, 2023. Minimum Age 21 to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. Open Carry is permitted if you are 18 years of age or older. Alabama honors Concealed Carry permits from all other states.

See Alabama Concealed Carry Reciprocity.

See Alabama Constitutional, Open and Concealed Carry Laws.

Alaska: Constitutional Carry in Alaska (AK) became effective in 2003. Minimum Age 21 to Open or Concealed Carry in Alaska without a permit.

Arizona: Constitutional Carry in Arizona (AZ) became effective in 2010. Minimum Age 21 to carry concealed and 18 to open Carry in Arizona. If in a vehicle and you are under 21, handguns must be in plain view.

Arkansas: Constitutional Carry in Arkansas (AR) became effective in 2018. Minimum Age 18 to Open Carry and also 18 to Concealed Carry without a permit. Arkansas has 2 types of Concealed Carry Permits available: CHCL (Concealed Handgun Carry License) and E-CHCL (Enhanced).

  • The E-CHCL allows the holder to legally carry in areas that are forbidden to all others.
  • These areas include churches, public buildings, public colleges, etc.

Florida: Constitutional Carry in Florida. On April 3, 2023, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed HB 543 into law, making Florida the 26th constitutional carry state in the U.S. The new law will go into effect on July 1, 2023.

Georgia: Constitutional Carry in Georgia (GA) became effective April 12, 2022. there are many restrictions, so be careful here. It is a good idea to get the Georgia WCL (Weapons Carry License) as it has many benefits over a permitless carrier. See Constitutional Carry in Georgia. Georgia Gun Laws

Idaho: Constitutional Carry in Idaho (ID) became effective in 2016. Minimum Age 18 for permitless Open Carry or concealed Carry.

  • Idaho also offers 2 Concealed Carry Licenses: CWL (Concealed Weapons License) covering many different weapons including pistols.
  • Enhanced CWL that is recognized in a many other states when traveling. Both permits require firearms training.

Indiana: Constitutional Carry in Indiana (IN) became effective July 1, 2022. Minimum Age 18 to Open Carry or Concealed Carry in Indiana. You must have a valid concealed Carry Permit to carry a handgun in a vehicle. If you do not have a permit, guns in vehicles must be unloaded and stored in a locked case out of reach of the driver.

Iowa: Constitutional Carry in Iowa (IA) became effective in 2021. Minimum Age 21 to Open or Concealed Carry in Iowa without a permit. To get a Non-professional permit, you must be 21 and to get a Professional Permit, 18.

Kansas: Constitutional Carry in Kansas (KS) became effective in 2015. Minimum Age is 21 for Concealed Carry without a permit. Minimum age is 18 to Open Carry without a permit in Kansas.

  • CCHL (Concealed Carry Handgun License) is for residents and military personnel that are stationed in Kansas.

Kentucky: Constitutional Carry in Kentucky (KY) became effective in 2019. Concealed Carry without a license is legal for those Age 21 and older. Open Carry is permitted for those 18 and older, but most establishments that primarily sell alcohol are off-limits.

  • Concealed Carry Permits in Kentucky are referred to as CCDW (Concealed Carry of Deadly Weapons).
  • Kentucky recognizes valid Concealed Carry Permits from all other states.

Maine: Constitutional Carry in Maine (ME) became effective in 2015. Anyone Age 21, or 18 if Active Member or honorably discharged from the Military can Open Carry or Concealed Carry without a permit.

  • A Maine Permit to Carry a Concealed Handgun (CCH) and recognized permits from other states allow the Permit holder to carry in some areas that Permitless carriers cannot.
  • Acadia National Park is one of those areas.

Mississippi: Constitutional Carry in Mississippi (MS) became effective in 2015. Minimum Age 18 to Open Carry without a license, but gun must be in a “holster, sheath or scabbard”. Schools and bars are off limits.

  • Minimum age for Permitless Concealed Carry is not specified, but you must be 21 or older to apply for a Mississippi Concealed Carry Permit. Link to Application for Mississippi Standard Firearms Permit (SFP).

Missouri: Constitutional Carry in Missouri (MO) became effective in 2016. Minimum age to Open Carry or Concealed Carry in MO is 19. For active members (or honorably discharged) of the Military, the age is 18.

  • Missouri Concealed Carry Permits (CCP) must be applied for in the county you live in. Even with a Permit, Concealed Carry is not allowed in some places such as courthouses and public passenger buses and trains.

Montana: Constitutional Carry in Montana (MT) became effective in 2021. Minimum Age to Open Carry a handgun without a permit is 18. Permitless Concealed Carry is legal for those 18 years of age and older.

  • Concealed Carry is now permitted in most areas in Montana including establishments that sell and serve alcohol, but you must not be under the influence. Federal buildings, schools, Universities and some other locations are still off limits.
  • Montana Concealed Weapons Permit (MCWP) allows less restrictions on where you can carry in the state.

Nebraska: Constitutional Carry in Nebraska was just passed 4/25/23.

On April 25, 2023, Gov. Jim Pillen (R) signed LB 77 into law, making Nebraska the 27th constitutional carry state in the U.S. The new law will go into effect 90 days after the legislative session ends.

New Hampshire: Constitutional Carry in New Hampshire (NH) became effective in 2017. Any person 18 years of age or older can Open Carry or Concealed Carry without a license.

  • A New Hampshire PRL (Pistol/Revolver License) is issued to resident for reciprocity with other states, although firearms training is not required.

North Dakota: Permitless Carry is for Concealed Carry Only. Law Passed in 2017. Open carry requires a CWL (Concealed Weapons License) or a valid Concealed Carry Permit from a state that North Dakota honors. The minimum age is 18 to Carry Concealed without a license.

  • Individuals that are Carrying under the Permitless Carry law MUST also carry their Drivers License or ID.

Ohio: Constitutional Carry in Ohio (OH) became effective June 12, 2022. Minimum Age 21 to concealed Carry and 18 for Open Carry without a license.

Oklahoma: Constitutional Carry in Oklahoma (OK) became effective in 2019. Persons that are age 21 or older, (18, if Active Member or Veterans of the Military) may carry Concealed or Open in the state of Oklahoma.

  • Oklahoma honors permits from all other states.
  • Persons from other Permitless States can carry in Oklahoma without a permit.

South Dakota: Constitutional Carry in South Dakota (SD) became effective in 2019. Open Carry and Concealed Carry are legal in South Dakota, with a minimum age of 18. Without a permit, Handguns must be in plain sight if in a vehicle.

  • Concealed Carry is not allowed in Bars or bar areas of restaurants.
  • For reciprocity purposes, there are 3 Concealed Carry permits available: Regular, Gold and Enhanced. Regular is recognized in several other states, Gold allows purchase of handguns without a NICS background check, and Enhanced (requires training) has all the above plus is recognized in additional states.

Tennessee: Constitutional Carry in Tennessee (TN) became effective in 2021. Anyone Age 21 (18 for Active Members of the Military) or older can legally Open Carry or concealed Carry in Tennessee.

Texas: Constitutional Carry in Texas (TX) became effective July, 1 2021. Minimum Age 21. When Open Carrying, the gun MUST BE IN A HOLSTER. This is specifically mentioned in the Texas Law.

Utah: Constitutional Carry in Utah (UT) became effective 5/5/2021. Persons 21 years of age or older can legally Open or Concealed Carry in UT.

  • Utah Concealed Firearm Permits (CFP) will be issued to Utah resident that want to carry in other states that honor this permit.
  • A firearms course is required to get the permit, and the course must be approved by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).
  • See Utah Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
  • See Utah Constitutional Carry

Vermont: Constitutional Carry in Vermont (VT) became effective in 1793 (not a typo), Minimum Age 18. In Vermont, any person 18 years of age or older, resident or non-resident can legally Open Carry or concealed Carry without a license.

  • Vermont does NOT issue a permit since one is not needed by anyone who is legally allowed to possess and carry a handgun.
  • Vermont does, however, have a magazine capacity limit of 15 rounds for handguns.

West Virginia: Constitutional Carry in West Virginia (WV) became effective in 2016. Anyone 18 years of age or older, can legally Open Carry without a permit in West Virginia. Concealed Carry without a permit is legal for those 21 or older.

  • West Virginia honors all out of state permits

Wyoming: Constitutional Carry in Wyoming (WY) became effective in 2010. Open Carry without a permit is legal for those that are18 years old or older. Concealed Carry without a permit is legal for those 21 years of age or older.

There is the current list of US States that have Constitutional or Permitless Carry Laws. Please leave a comment below if you have new information or questions and I will answer them as best I can.

Further details for the laws of each state can be found at the link below.

Sources: U.S. Concealed Carry Gun Laws

Firearms Legal Protection for Constitutional Carriers

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