Before jumping into the process of getting a concealed carry license, consider these three steps you might need to take along the way—all of which will determine how long it takes to obtain a concealed carry license. Keep in mind that these considerations vary from state to state; always check guidelines and laws for your specific state.
May-issue states have the ability to deny a permit application regardless of whether you meet all the requirements. May-issue states include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.
Alternatively, shall-issue states provide permits for those who meet all the requirements. Shall-issue states include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Virginia.
In order to submit a CCW permit/licensure application, you will need to send in copies of the following documents:
- Background check
- Fingerprint records
- Training certificate
- Driver’s license
- Processing fee
Regardless of whether your state requires you to take a class to get your license, it’s highly encouraged you attend one anyway. This will ensure you’ve been taught best practices, like how to carry discreetly and responsibly; best practices can be the difference between life and death if a threat arises.
There are many states that require taking a class to receive a license, but the states that don’t require attending a class include Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Indiana, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts.
In addition to concealed carry classes, consider taking a few self-defense classes. This will allow you to develop self-defense skills that can save your life without resorting to a firearm.
Each state requires a specific amount of wait time before issuing your permit. For example, Utah is a shall-issue state; this western state takes approximately 60 days to issue your permit. This permit lasts up to five years and can be renewed for a reasonable cost.
On the other hand, Illinois—a midwestern state—is also a shall-issue state, but it can take around 90 days for applications with fingerprints, and 125 days for applications without fingerprints. Illinois also has a higher fee set for license renewal every five years. Additionally, the state requires taking a three-hour course every five years.
Meanwhile, the eastern state of New York is known for being the most difficult to obtain a permit in—it takes six to nine months to receive a permit in this state.
When trying to get a permit, it’s important to take into consideration the state you live in and how it will affect getting a concealed carry license.