In recent years, many states have broadened their concealed-carry policies in the U.S., leading to a massive jump in the number of permit holders nationwide.
In fact, recent data show an increase from 2.7 million in 1999 to 14.5 million in 2016, The Washington Post reported.
In December, the U.S. House passed a bill for states to recognize concealed carry permits from other states.
FREE Offer: Tell Flag-Burners and National Anthem Protesters How You Really Feel
While it is legal for most Americans to own a firearm in most states, there is a web of laws varying from state to state that governs what type of firearm you may carry, and whether you can even carry a firearm.
There are a number of important things you need to know about concealed carry in the U.S. Here we look at six factors to keep in mind:
1. Licensing — A state may be open carry but you may not necessarily be allowed to conceal a firearm, according to Urban Carry, a Florida-based firearm retailer. Even if you have a CCW (concealed or open carry permit), the reciprocity laws vary between states, which means you may be breaking a law you are unaware of. Which leads us to the next point:
2. Reciprocity — Like a driver’s license that can be used when driving into another state, when it comes to certain types of concealed weapon permits, there are states that have “reciprocity,” which means the state sees your license or gun permit as reciprocal with theirs, according to Firearms Legal Protection. This varies by state, with some states accepting their permit but not yours, and others accepting your license provided you are a resident of the state listed on your license. There are apps that allow you to check this information before traveling.
3. Obtaining a permit — The requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit is different for each state, but the elements are generally the same. An applicant must be at least 18 or 21 years old and must not have been judged "mentally defective" by a court, according to CriminalDefenseLawyer.com. Applicants must reside in the state they apply for the permit and must undergo a firearms safety or firearms training course by a certified instructor.
Prepare for Shooters & Looters, Terrorists & Tornadoes – Get the Emergency Radio Now!
4. Punishments — Breaching state law when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon can come with hefty charges. In certain circumstances, it may be considered a misdemeanor and conviction can lead to a fine. However, in other instances defying the law, even inadvertently, could be considered a felony and could lead to jailtime, CriminalDefenseLawyer.com noted.
5. Transportation — State laws determine how a firearm may be transported. Some require that a firearm be concealed while traveling while others require they be open and easy to spot, according to Firearms Legal Protection. It is important to check the laws regarding transporting a firearm in your vehicle when traveling.
6. Don’t shoot to kill — If the situation arises where you need to draw your firearm, it is instrumental to know when to stop firing, said Louisiana-based firearms training center A.R.C.S. If you shoot someone in self-defense and they are unconscious on the floor, they are no longer a threat and you should stop shooting. If you continue to fire rounds at them you are no longer considered to be the defender but the aggressor.
Special: Celebrate Your Flag and Your Freedom With John Wayne
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.