What is “Constitutional Carry” / Unrestricted / Permitless Carry ?

Although the terms constitutional carry, permitless carry and unrestricted carry are often used interchangeably, definitions of the terms differ. The phrase “constitutional carry” reflects the view that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not abide restrictions on gun rights, including the right to carry or bear arms.

Constitutional carry: Constitutional carry means that the state’s law does not prohibit citizens who can legally possess a firearm from carrying handguns, (openly and/or in a concealed manner) thus no state permit is required. Sometimes, constitutional carry may be conditional such as in those states that have no laws prohibiting the open carry of a handgun but which require a permit to carry the handgun concealed. Thus affirming the Second Amendment of the Constitution and allowing citizens their right to bear arms.

Permitless carry: Permitless carry includes constitutional carry states as well as states where an individual must meet certain qualifications, e.g., no DUIs in the last 10 years, in order to legally carry (Tennessee). Some states are fully unrestricted, meaning no permit is required for open or concealed carry. Others allow the open carry of a firearm/or handgun without a permit but require a permit for concealment.

For more information on state laws regarding open carry, see USCCA’s open carry page.

As of July 2, 2022, AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasGeorgiaIdahoIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyMaineMississippiMissouriMontanaNew HampshireNorth Dakota (residents only; concealed carry only), OhioOklahomaSouth DakotaTennessee (handguns only), TexasUtahVermontWest Virginia, and Wyoming generally allow most law-abiding adults to carry a loaded concealed firearm without a permit.


A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Amendment II

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