What states can you carry a gun without a permit?
Despite all the arguments for and against gun reform, a growing number of states are allowing residents to carry a gun without a permit. And, residents are not hesitating to take advantage of this opportunity. With the rise in the number of high-profile shootings in recent years, some owners feel the need to carry a gun for protection. Let’s face it, people no longer feel safe going to a concert—or even to church on Sunday morning—without protection.
No matter what the reason for wanting a weapon, residents living in the following states do not need a permit to carry a gun:
- New Hampshire
- Oklahoma (effective November 1, 2019)
- North Dakota (no permit needed for concealed handguns, permit needed to open carry)
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
While states may not require a permit to carry, gun owners can still apply for permits if they want to travel to other states that require a permit to carry a gun.
Permitless States Have Restrictions
- Gun owners should be aware that permitless states have some restrictions in place when it comes to carrying a weapon. For instance:
- Alaska, one of the most liberal states for gun owners, prohibits carrying a weapon in certain places like a courthouse, a child care facility or in someone’s home without that person’s knowledge or permission.
- Arizona bans firearms, with a few exceptions, on property of K-12 schools.
- A number of states require gun owners to immediately notify a police officer at a traffic stop (or other official reason for contact with an officer) that they are carrying a concealed gun without a permit. However, in other states like South Dakota, you do not have to immediately give this information to an officer.
So, a gun owner’s knowledge of the rules goes a long way in helping them handle their weapon in a permitless carry state. But, this begs the question: If you do not need to have a gun permit, does that also mean that you do not need to have training on how to use a gun?
Why Training (and Practice) is Important
Whether or not you live in a state with liberal gun laws, it’s worth your while to get properly trained on how to use your gun. Why? Because training not only teaches you about shooting techniques but how to safely handle and care for your weapon. With training, you can learn lessons on:
- Basic gun safety
- How to load and reload a gun
- Where to point and not to point a gun
- How to conceal a weapon
- How to draw a concealed weapon in a holster or purse
- Self-defense techniques
- How to shoot at moving targets
- How to clean a weapon
- How to avoid conflict
While there may be general safety rules for handling guns, training will show that all guns do not operate the same. For instance, using a long-range rifle is different from handling a semi-automatic pistol. With training, you will understand the differences and learn how to properly use each one of them.
Along with training, comes practice. Although you may consider yourself a “good shot,” practice can make you even better. Instead of shooting all over the place and missing the target, practice helps you develop the skill you need to hit the target.
The truth is that owning a gun gives you a sense of freedom and safety. So, why not boost your confidence even further by getting training, even in a state that doesn’t require a permit?
The bottom line is gun owners have a right to enjoy their freedom no matter where they live. But, they also owe it to themselves and to those around them to enjoy their freedom responsibly.