States’ concealed carry permit laws are classified as
- UNRESTRICTED– no permit is required to carry a concealed firearm (Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming, but see Wikipedia and the maps at USACarry for more specific information)
- SHALL ISSUE– permit required but the state is obligated to issue a permit if the applicant meets certain criteria (age, no felony record, no drug arrests, etc.); i.e., the state has no discretion.
- MAY ISSUE– permit required but local authorities (e.g. sherrifs’ offices) have discretion in the form of requirements above and beyond what the state requires. This category is further broken down into Permissive (Alabama) and Restrictive (California) May Issue states.
- NO ISSUE– private citizens are prohibited from carrying firearms (see links above)
This graphic plots states’ (categorized by law-type) percentage of the US population (Y-axis) against time, 1986-2011. Bottom line, in the last 25 years, states with more restrictive gun laws have seen a decrease in population whereas those that were, or have become, more permissive have seen an increase in population.
No Lawyers– Only Guns and Money has more analyses.