Shall Issue vs. May Issue

September 17, 2008

CCW Permits

A lot of people ask us about the different types of permits. There are two main types–Shall Issue and May Issue. As a pro 2nd ammendment organization we push for Shall Issue in every state. Shall issue basically says that the state will issue you a permit if you meet a set of standards. The state can choose their own standards, and there are several differences in the degree of the standards between states–but if you meet their criteria you can get a permit.

May Issue gives the choice of whether or not a permit is issued to some part of the local government. This may be the Sheriff or some other agency within the state, county, or city government. So this person or group basically listens to why you THINK you need a permit and then they can say yes or no. You can never be sure that you’ll be able to get a permit in one of these states. It largely depends on your personal cirumstances and the mood or judgement of the government.

May Issue leads to a lot of circumstantial decisions and uneven choices about who gets a permit. And “In order to protect myself and my family” is not a valid reason to need a permit usually unless it is accompanied with documented death threats, attacks, or another situation that I would rather not have to have in my life.  Often times, you have to escape a would-be killer BEFORE you can have the means to protect yourself. That doesn’t make much sense to me.


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+

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One Response to “Shall Issue vs. May Issue”

  1. Mike Says:

    I live in the state of Chicago…I mean Illinois. I can’t understand why we are the only state in the U.S. that does not allow some form of concealed carry. I get that Chicago is our largest city, and they dictate the outcome of most voting, but I wonder if our politicians simply don’t trust their constituents. Growing up, I thought that not many people around here own any guns. But when I got a little older, I was AMAZED by the number of people consistently at the gun counter of the nearby gun store. I now know that many people around me own guns and I live 20 miles from Chicago. So guns are not just an interest of the rural “downstate” area. I hope that Illinois voters and politicians realize the need to level the playing field against criminals. It is time that the bad guys pause and wonder, “What if He has a gun?”