In 2017, we ran the first version of this map, which purports to show the carry situation in the US a little more accurately than the standard permitless/shall-issue/may-issue trichotomy1. That fails to capture some of the nuance—a may-issue state may nevertheless issue permits to just about anyone, and some shall-issue states may be worse than others2.
Here’s the map. You’ll find notes below, along with exact definitions of the colors.
- Onerous shall-issue means states with a waiting period in excess of two weeks, a training requirement which requires leaving your house, or an application fee of greater than $100.
- Permissive shall-issue states impose lesser requirements.
- De facto shall-issue states are statutorily may-issue, but shall-issue in practice.
- Onerous may-issue states deny carry permits as a matter of course.
MA and NY: rural sheriffs likely to issue permits, but urban-dwellers basically out of luck.
- PA: processing time of up to 45 days allowed, but most counties, including Allegheny (i.e. Pittsburgh), issue permits immediately.
- WI: average processing time of about one week.
- WA: average processing time appears to be under one week, except in the Seattle area.
- SD: temporary permit issued within five days.
2019 update notes
- KY: Constitutional carry legislation passed, effective June 26, 2019.
- OK: Constitutional carry legislation passed, effective November 1, 2019.
SD: Constitutional carry legislation passed, effective July 1, 2019.
OR: Cost and wait time are the disqualifiers; training requirement can be done online.
- VA: Wait time is the disqualifier; training can be done online.
- RI: Local authorities must either issue or deny an application on a shall-issue basis as of 2015, but I can’t verify how open the process actually is.
- WA: Downgraded to onerous shall-issue on the basis of wait time, which is ‘up to 30 days’, and in practice appears to be ‘around 30 days’ even outside of Seattle.
- WI: Downgraded to onerous shall-issue on the basis of training requirements, which do not appear to be online-friendly.
If you see an inaccuracy or a point in need of clarification, leave us a comment!
Having had an OR CCW and now my current FL CCW, I’d say both are relatively painless*.
Heck, both of them were easier than Global Entry for Customs 😉
That’s why I need a middle ground between onerous and permissive, I think. In PA, the process is, “walk into county sheriff’s, get run through background check system, walk out with permit,” which is unusually easy for a non-permitless-carry state.
e.g. FL and OR are distinct from, say, Texas, whose requirements were steep enough that I didn’t bother with a carry permit the year I lived there.