If you’re a prepper, you probably already have at least a few guns stowed away in case SHTF. But do you carry your gun with you when you’re out running routine errands? In light of the recent surge in mass shootings and terrorist attacks, it’s more important than ever to keep a gun nearby and know how to use it. The first step is getting your concealed carry permit. If you’ve hesitated to get a permit in the past, it’s time to take action. Here is an overview of the process you should follow so that you can legally carry a concealed weapon.
Get to Know Your Local Gun Laws
You don’t want to inadvertently do something that could add fuel to the fire of the anti-gun supporters. Do your research and learn all of your local gun laws and do your best to obey them. Since the laws regarding carrying concealed handguns constantly change, you should check the laws every few months.
In most cases, you have to be issued a concealed weapon permit by your circuit court. If you don’t apply and aren’t approved for a concealed weapon permit, getting caught carrying a weapon in a concealed manner can have serious legal repercussions. There are some states that don’t require a concealed weapon permit, but they do have laws about where, when, and the type of weapon that can be carried concealed.
Who Can Carry a Concealed Weapon?
Each state has its own laws regarding who is allowed to carry a concealed handgun and the steps needed to obtain a permit. While there might be some slight variations from state to state, the general requirements are as follows:
- Minimum of 21 years old
- Certification from Concealed Weapon Class
- Proof of residency in your county or city
- Completed application submitted to the local court
Many states require that the applicants prove that they’re proficient with a handgun before the application will be approved. Don’t let this stipulation stop you from carrying concealed. Sign up for a class in your area. Most of the time, it’s a one-day training event and they are usually available on the weekends. Ask at your local gun store and they can point you in the right direction to sign up for a class.
How Much Does a Concealed Weapons Permit Cost?
If you want to carry a concealed weapon, you should be prepared to pay for the privilege. Most states charge a fee before they will even considering filing the concealed weapons application. Even though it might seem like the application fee is just another way for the government to make money, there are a great deal of expenses connected to processing the application.
After the application has been turned in, it’s sent to the sheriff’s department where a background and finger print check is launched. In most cases, the state police department also gets a percentage of the application fee.
After the sheriff’s department does their part, the application goes to the circuit court judge who makes a final decision about whether or not the application will be approved. While the time frame varies from state to state, most report that it takes anywhere from 30-45 days for a final decision to made regarding the application. The odd of it being approved also depends on the state you live in. Some states seem to issue everyone a concealed permit, while others are much more selective in the applications they will approve.
Once you’re approved to carry a concealed handgun, you need to be diligent about keeping your ID and permit with you at all times. If you are ever stopped by a police officer and you have a gun without your permit, you could be in hot water.
Don’t Forget to Renew Your Permit
Getting your permit is just the first step in carrying concealed. In order to keep carrying it, you’ll need to be diligent about making sure you renew it on time. In most states, the renewal process is quite similar to the application process. Once you submit the renewal, an investigation will be launched that determines whether or not you’ve done anything that would give the state a reason to revoke the renewal application. Since the process can take more than a month, don’t put submitting your renewal application off until the last minute. Go ahead and do it in advance so there is no lapse in your permit.
What if Your Application is Rejected?
If you receive the shocking news that your application has been denied, you can appeal. Enlist the service of a good lawyer and they will use the Rules of Evidence to petition the courts to reconsider your permit request. If the lower courts overturn your case, you’re free to take it to your state’s Court of Appeals.
Where Can You Carry Concealed?
Once you have been granted permission to carry a concealed weapon, pay careful attention to where you’re allowed to bring your weapon. Many counties and states have rules prohibiting bringing weapons into places like schools and hospitals. Never take a firearm into a government building.
Have you applied for a concealed carry permit? How long did the process take for you to be approved?