How to Get a Concealed Weapon Permit

September 10, 2009

CCW Permits, Featured

Step 1
Find out who the issuing authority is. This is the agency to whom you will submit your carry and conceal weapon application. Your state’s government website will have this information.

Step 2
Take a firearms safety course, if needed, and find out the minimum age requirement for your state.

Step 3
Write a letter justifying your need if you are applying in a “may issue” state. Some “may issue” states are nearly “shall issue” and require no more than a generic statement. Others require employment as a security guard or a verifiable threat on your life.

Step 4
Fill out an application and pay the required fees. Many states have an online application and almost every state has an application form you can download and print. Every state requires some sort of criminal background check and most require fingerprints and photos, which usually require additional fees. A photo ID is also usually required.

Step 5
Qualify as a resident, if possible. The requirements and fees are usually lower for residents.

Step 6
Renew your permit before it expires. Most states just require a renewal fee, but some require you to retake a gun safety course. Some states also allow a grace period on the expiration date.


Rob is the Founder, Editor, and writer for You Can Carry. He became interested in concealed carry, self-defense, and emergency/personal preparation as he got married and had his first kid. His new-found desire to protect his family and keep them safe led him to getting a concealed firearm permit from the state of Utah, which began an increasing love for firearms and concealed carry. He is a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and a Utah Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor. Connect with Rob on Google+

14 Responses to “How to Get a Concealed Weapon Permit”

  1. louis Says:

    hello I would like to become an arm guard but its so much you have to go threw here in newjersey I have a gun now I need a security company but a lot of them want you to already have your carring permit how can you help me

  2. Jim Says:

    I live in Illinois, and I am on the Illinois, Indiana stateline. I want to take a Utah class for CCW to carry in Indiana when Im ATV riding or visiting friends.
    I was a reserve police officer and have had firearms training (40 hours) along with qualifying each year. Would a color copy of my 40 firearms training be good enough as a training course?
    And do you have info on anyone teaching classes for the Utah CCW in Indiana. Im near the upper Northwest part of Indiana.

  3. Big John Says:

    Louis, you must be able to read and write the English language, first. You also must be of legal age. I doubt that you are, looking at your post.

  4. Jack Says:

    In answer to Jim in Illinois. If you have a copy of your training certificate you can go to the Florida web site, , and see just what they accept. I believe your training is all you need to get one from Florida, if you look around on the site you will find who to e-mail and ask I am sure they will tell you the same thing..
    Good luck.
    by the way I live in the same area as you and I have my Florida permit..

  5. bigphilly Says:

    I was in the us army and live in sandiego ca. I need 2 knee replacement sometimes I walk with a cane and that makes me look like a victem so i wuold like to carry for protection is there any other requierments

  6. Rob Says:


    This depends on what state you are in. Sounds like you are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the permits are handled by the county sheriff’s office. You can read more about it here:

  7. bigphilly Says:

    Thanks Rob but I plan to go back to sandiego, do a vet need to show a gun safety class or is being a vet ok for the state

  8. Jason Says:

    Bigphilly, good luck getting a permit in California. From what I understand it’s next to impossible. There must be extreme special circumstances. And I believe the SD Sheriff’s don’t have that authority.

  9. Jason Says:

    Wow. I don’t believe the SD Sheriffs have that authority* that sounds better. Check the state website. They can direct you better

  10. Jason Says:

    I took a firearms safety class to allow for Security Officer Carry in the state of IL. Now IL was kinda odd because there is a 24 hour and a 40 hour class; I did the 24 but the instructor said it was basically the same just condensed down to 2 weekends to make it time manageable (I don’ t know how true this all is). To even begin applying for the Permit to state we completed the class, you had to have a Valid FOID card and complete the course both class room and range time with qualifying marks. We were advised that IL will NOT issue you a ‘TAN’ card directly as the only way to a quire this is by being employed by a Security Company whom then will submit the request paperwork through their official channels to get you the card. We received the completion permit which a copy is required to be sent with the Application for TAN cards to the State.

    For those who are looking in other states I honestly suggest doing the same thing I did, which was just doing a Google search for companies that at least handle Law Enforcement Certifications and send them an email or call them. The company I found was extremely curious to me and pointed me in the right direction to an affiliate of theirs that did all the Security Training, and would be able to answer all questions regarding that class. My price was around $400 bucks I believe by the time you took into account, the cost of Ammo for Revolver, Semi-Auto, Rifle, and Shotgun; the cost of the class itself plus Range Fee’s and of course travel expenses (I had to travel about an hour)

  11. joanne Says:

    I will soon have a lunch truck on the road (gourmet style, my son is a le cordon bleu chef graduate) I am not sure where we will be located, could be traveling throughout the day and also serving after hours (2am to 4am for example) here at the NJ shore, and it can get pretty wild after hours here in the summer. I have been thinking about protection, never thought I actually would be writing this, I have never been a gun advocate. I will have 2 to 3 employees on the truck at any given time. I will not be there at all times, from September till June, I will be a part time college student(2 classes per semester)attempting phd status. So, I found your website, and I do know I would have to take a class or perhaps several. I also would like to know if there are ANY classes for less than $200.00 for 4 hours. I can’t imagine learning anything in such a small period of time! Wondering if employees should take the course too. I haven’t any knowledge of guns or carrying one in NJ. Any recommendations and advise on how to start this process would be extremely appreciated. Most employees are either long time friends and relatives. Thank you so much.

  12. Rob Says:

    @Joanne–it can be quite difficult to get a NJ concealed weapons permit. However, you may be in the fortunate position of having “good and substantial reason” because of your employment. Permits are issued by the Chief of Police where you reside or to the Superintendent of State Police in all other cases.

    You can find more about classes in New Jersey here (including length and cost):

    Read more about NJ permit laws here:

  13. jerry bowling Says:

    I am a security guard I need lisse to carry a gun

  14. jerry bowling Says:

    for secuiyt work