Oftentimes, when people ask me various concealed carry questions, I get asked about what’s best when it comes to carry permits. With a number of states passing Constitutional Carry, more and more people are starting to wonder if going through the extra steps of carrying with a permit is worth it. Depending on where you live, you may have several states around you that have constitutional carry while others will have only permit carry so it can be tricky to figure out what the best option is for you. Let’s take a closer look at Constitutional Carry vs Permit Carry.
Constitutional Carry (Permitless Carry)
Constitutional Carry has grown in popularity over the last ten years. With 25 states either accepting Constitutional Carry or enacting it this year, there’s a growing trend toward states moving to permitless carry. In the grand scheme of things, being able to carry a firearm without a permit is much easier for any American to carry a concealed firearm. There’s no introductory class, paperwork, or fee required to carry a firearm. Instead of jumping through hoops, it’s legal to just purchase a firearm and carry it without contacting the state at all. It definitely streamlines the entire process and lets you carry just because you are a free American.
There are some definite downsides to permitless carry though and it’s simply because there isn’t a nationwide program to allow permitless carriers to carry across the states. Since there are already 25 states around the country that allow Constitutional Carry, you have a fairly good chance of being able to carry freely among a group of states depending on where you live. You are able to carry in other permitless carry states but if the state you’re traveling through isn’t a permitless carry state, you will have to store the firearm correctly and not have it on your person. It is by far the easiest method if you are allowed to carry without a permit in your state, but there are restrictions to keep in mind.
The roughest part about carrying with a permit is applying and submitting all your paperwork. Those of us who have gone through it know the tedious tasks of going through the training, taking the written portion and then paying your fee for your permit. Here in Michigan, it’s $115 for 5 years in addition to an NRA certified concealed carry class and written test. Once all of those are completed, you can submit your form and the state will approve your application if you don’t have a criminal record. Once you get through all that, having a permit really does open up a number of possibilities.
Michigan, for example, has carry reciprocity with 39 states where permitless only has 25. Michigan is not a permitless state so carrying without a permit isn’t even an option, but if you get a permit, they will most likely acknowledge your state’s carry permit. Personally, I love having a permit because it gives me the freedom to carry almost everywhere I go. A simple search of a concealed carry reciprocity maps will show you which states recognize your carry permits and which ones do not. Although obtaining a permit can be quite the process and somewhat of a pain, its benefits really do show once you start carrying.
What’s Best For You?
So, after going through all this, you’re probably asking yourself which one is best for you? Well, the short answer is it depends honestly. If you live in a permitless carry state, you have a few options. For people who live in states that don’t have permitless carry, you don’t have much of a choice sadly. But if you live in a permitless carry state, you may want to just carry without a permit. The big problem is if you travel. Traveling without a permit can be rather tricky since you have to store it like a regular firearm. Traveling to other permitless carry states may be ok but even some of the permitless carry states only allow residents to carry so you even have to be careful with that.
My advice for you if you’re on the fence is to look at your overall lifestyle and think about what works best for you. If you are the type that takes road trips and enjoys traveling, I would advise applying for a permit so there are no worries and you can travel freely through most states carrying a concealed firearm. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to pay the government to be able to carry with a permit and don’t travel much if ever, Constitutional Carry may be a better option for you.
In the last couple of years, there has been a strong movement for more states to take on permitless carry which gives gun owners more options. Hopefully, this trend will continue but it’s important to check the laws if you plan on traveling. Although the initial process of getting concealed carry permit may be a pain, it’s a huge benefit if you plan on traveling around to different states. If you decide against getting a permit, it’s important to check the laws of the different states to see what’s legal and who can carry.
What do you guys think is a better option for you? Do you prefer Constitutional Carry or is it easier to just get a permit for a concealed firearm? Let me know what you think on the subject down in the comments below. If you have questions about carrying concealed or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you next week!