The CCW Safe Constitutional Carry Plan was designed to cover a single member who resides in a state designated as a “Constitutional Carry” state (not required by law to possess a valid permit/license to carry concealed and open). These Constitutional Carry states include the following and coverage will extend to all future states that adopt the legislation that allows carry (concealed or open) within their state without a carry permit/license: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.
On June 11, 2003, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski signed House Bill 102 into law, making Alaska the first state to rescind its requirement for a concealed carry permit. The bill eliminated the crime of simply carrying a concealed weapon by changing the definition of the crime. The section of law that describes the first instance of "misconduct involving weapons in the 5th degree" now requires that a person must either fail to inform a law enforcement officer of the weapon upon contact, fail to allow the law enforcement officer to secure the weapon (or to properly secure the weapon him/herself) upon contact, or if at another person's home, fail to obtain permission from a resident to have a concealed weapon on the premises. The law took effect on September 9, 2003.
On April 16, 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1108 into law. The law eliminated the requirement to obtain a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon in Arizona for U.S. citizens 21 and older. The process to obtain a permit was left in place so that Arizona residents could still obtain permits in order to carry concealed in other states or to carry in a restaurant or bar that serves alcohol. The law took effect on July 29, 2010.
Prior to August 16, 2013, Arkansas law (§ 5-73-120) prohibited "...carrying a weapon...with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person." Among other exceptions, Arkansas law allowed a defense to the charge of carrying of a weapon if "[t]he person is on a journey..." but did not define what constituted a "journey". Another defense permitted an individual to carry a concealed weapon if the person had a valid concealed weapons license. This provision was generally interpreted to prohibit open carry. On August 16, 2013, Arkansas enacted Act 746. This act made two major changes. First, it statutorily defined a "journey" as "...travel beyond the county in which a person lives..." Because traveling on a journey is one of the defenses to § 5-73-120, a plain reading of the statute would indicate that the prohibition against carrying a weapon would now apply only to a person traveling within their home county. Second, it modified § 5-73-120 to prohibit "...carrying a weapon...with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person." Various firearms groups have interpreted this provision to require that the state must now prove that a person actually intends to use a weapon to commit a crime; and without proving this intent, possession of weapons, whether openly or concealed, is now legal.
Idaho (residents only)
Governor Butch Otter signed SB 1389 on March 25, 2016. The bill went into effect on July 1, 2016. SB 1389 does not apply to residents of other states. Non-residents must openly carry or have a permit from another state. SB 1389 also created an avenue for individuals 18–20 years old to obtain concealed carry permits.
SB45 was introduced in the Kansas Senate in early 2015. The bill initially passed the Senate 31-7 on February 26. The bill was sent to the House, amended, and passed 85-39 on March 25. The Senate then concurred, passing the amended bill 31-8 (also on March 25). On April 2, the bill was signed by Governor Sam Brownback and the law became effective on July 1, 2015, establishing constitutional carry in Kansas. Kansas issues licenses to carry concealed handguns on a shall-issue basis. As of April 2015, over 87,000 current permits are issued. No permit is required to openly carry a firearm. Kansas will continue to issue permits so that Kansas residents may carry in other states that accept Kansas concealed carry permits.
In 2015, LD 652 was a constitutional carry bill that was under consideration by the Maine Legislature. It had 17 co-sponsors in the Senate and 79 co-sponsors in the House. LD 652 was signed into law by Governor Paul LePage on July 8, 2015. It came into effect on October 15, 2015.
As of July 1, 2015, the concealed carry law was amended to say "no license shall be required under this section for a loaded or unloaded pistol or revolver carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, other similar bag or briefcase or fully enclosed case". On April 15, 2016, the law was further expanded to include belt and shoulder holsters and sheaths. This effectively allows for constitutional carry in Mississippi. However, some forms of concealed carrying would still require a permit (e.g. Mexican carry or concealed in an ankle holster).
SB 656 allows for permitless concealed carry for anyone 18 years or older who may lawfully own a gun. The bill was passed by the legislature in 2016 but Governor Nixon vetoed it on June 27, 2016. The legislature reconvened for the veto-override session on September 14, 2016. The Senate voted to override the veto with a 24 – 6 vote (23 required) and the House followed through shortly thereafter with a 112 – 41 vote (109 required). The law went into effect on January 1, 2017.
In early 2017, several senators and representatives introduced New Hampshire Senate Bill 12, which proposed removing the requirement for a license to carry a loaded concealed handgun. The bill also proposed extending the minimum license period from four years to five years, removing the discretionary "suitable person" language from the Pistol/Revolver License law, and directing the state police to pursue reciprocity agreements. On January 19, it was passed by the New Hampshire Senate by a vote of 13 – 10. Governor Chris Sununu, who took office in January 2017, expressed support for this bill after the Senate vote, stating, "I am pleased that the State Senate today voted to advance common sense legislation in support of a citizen’s fundamental right to carry a firearm, joining neighboring states throughout the region and across the country." On February 9, it was passed by the New Hampshire House by a vote of 200 – 97. Governor Sununu signed the bill into law on February 22, 2017. It took effect immediately. New Hampshire had made several previous attempts to pass constitutional carry legislation. Bills were introduced in 2011 and 2012, but failed to pass the legislature. Other bills were introduced in 2015 and 2016, and both passed the legislature, but they were later vetoed by Governor Maggie Hassan. Previously, carrying a concealed handgun unloaded was legal without a license. A New Hampshire Supreme Court decision in 2013 clarified that the law did not prohibit carrying a concealed handgun if it is unloaded and no round is chambered, even if a loaded magazine is nearby.
North Dakota (residents only; concealed carry only)
On March 23, 2017, Governor Doug Burgum signed House Bill 1169. Under its provisions, people carrying concealed without a concealed weapons license will need to carry a form of state-issued photo ID, must be a North Dakota resident for at least 1 year, must inform police about their handgun upon contact, and must not otherwise be prohibited from possessing a firearm by law. Open carry of a loaded handgun and carrying in a vehicle will still require a permit. Non-residents will continue to be required to have a permit recognized by North Dakota to carry openly or concealed. The law went into effect on August 1, 2017.
For many decades, the only state to allow "constitutional carry" of a handgun (i.e. without any government permit) was Vermont. From the formation of the 13 original states, "constitutional carry" was the law in all states until the 19th century. By the 20th century, all states except Vermont had enacted concealed carry bans, with the exemption in most states for those citizens with a permit. Due to wording in its state constitution and decisions made by the state courts, Vermont has never been able to have a restriction on the method of how one could carry a firearm, and thus, in this regard, Vermont stood entirely separate from the rest of the United States for quite some time. Because of this, constitutional carry is still sometimes referred to as "Vermont carry".
HB 4145 was passed by the House on February 8, 2016 and Senate on February 22, 2016, but vetoed by Governor Tomblin on March 3, 2016. The House then voted to override the veto on March 4, 2016 and the Senate voted to override on March 5, 2016. The law took effect on May 24, 2016.
Wyoming (residents only)
On March 2, 2011 Wyoming Governor Matt Mead signed legislation to allow constitutional carry. The law officially went into effect on July 1, 2011. Under the law, residents age 21 and older may carry concealed or openly without a permit. Visitors to the state and persons age 18-20 must either have a valid concealed carry permit from a jurisdiction that Wyoming recognizes or carry the weapon openly. While Wyoming does have the resident limitation it is similar to Vermont in that the police may not disarm a citizen just because they "feel" it's necessary.