How To Complete A Background Check For A Concealed Carry Permit
Regardless of the state or city in which you live be certain that you have all the information that is required gathered in advance and that you provide everything that is asked for, do not lie, and be patient with the process.
Without exception every state and issuing agency does have the right and the authority to deny a concealed weapons permit, in some instances those denials are by state statute, yet in other jurisdictions the denial can be at the sole discretion of the issuing agency.
Do Your Advanced Homework And Be Prepared
It is highly recommended that prior to applying for a concealed weapons permit that you do your research, determine the type of classes and/or training you'll be required to attend, and know everything about the application and background process before you start, and determine all the fees that you'll be charged for the different processes. Be sure to do your research, be prepared and the process will typically go quite smoothly.
On our reciprocity map we have a direct link to the NRA website which will give all of the requirements necessary for obtaining a concealed carry weapons permit for every state in the country.
Background Checks for a Concealed Carry Permit
With almost absolute certainty you should know that additional to a background check being completed at the state level there will also be checks made at the federal level primarily through the FBI and then also through either the NICS or NCIC system.
Each state has its own regulatory agency that oversees the issuing of concealed weapons permits, in some states it might be known as the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the Department of Public Safety, or the State Police, whatever the name or acronym is each state agency is different.
Although there are states that require the permit to be issued by the state itself a vast majority of states allow the local Sheriff and/or Chief of Police to conduct the background investigation and the issuance of the concealed carry weapons permit.
Know If Your State Is A "May Issue" or "Shall Issue" State
In states that are "Shall issue” states the procedure and background checks are usually straightforward and standardized, and typically are somewhat easier in obtaining a concealed weapons permit. In states that are "May issue" states the procedures for obtaining a concealed weapons permit are typically much more stringent and may even require additional documentation explaining a "good cause" reason for why the local authority should issue a permit.
Concealed Carry Weapon Background Checks
With the exception of a very few states which are considered constitutional carry states you will be required to complete a background investigation before you will be issued a concealed carry weapons permit.
Before you start the background check process be sure to have all of your documents ready. In addition to completing the background investigation and depending on your particular states requirements you may have to produce different types of identification which can be in some cases nothing more than a state issued ID, or driver's license, a certified copy of a birth certificate, and or proof of citizenship.
There Is Always Significant Documentation Required For A CCW
Some documents may have to be certified by the issuing agency and/or simply notarized by a clerk. Every state is different and if you plan on obtaining multiple concealed carry permits issued by different states you still must comply with each individual states laws.
Felons, Those With Warrants, Designated Convictions Or Protective Orders Are Prohibited
If you have a conviction of a felony, have any current outstanding wants or warrants, have a standing restraining order or protective order against you chances are almost certain that you will not be issued a concealed carry permit. There are even states that have adopted laws that if you have a history of different types of misdemeanor crimes you can also be excluded from obtaining a concealed carry weapons permit. Typically these misdemeanors violations are ones in which violent behavior was exhibited, crimes involving moral turpitude, Alcohol or Drug abuse, or anything relating to domestic violence. Even with only misdemeanor offenses you could be excluded from obtaining a concealed weapons permit in some cases for up to 10 years.
Every state is different, some are easy and others are very difficult, this video is primariy for California yet it does show some of the obstacles you may also face in your state.
Interaction With Law Enforcement When Carrying A Concealed Weapon
If you are stopped by law-enforcement and you do not immediately notify the officer that you are carrying a concealed firearm you can and quite possibly will be arrested and in some cases on a felony charge.
Remember, it is your responsibility and yours alone to know the laws of every jurisdiction that you may be in while carrying a concealed firearm, and that the law can change at any time without any prior notice.
Making An Officer Nervous Is NEVER A Good Thing
Having been a Deputy Sheriff for many years and making hundreds of contacts with individuals and vehicle stops I was always on guard and always watched the individual’s movements and hands.
As a concealed carry firearms permit holder you're expected to comply with the letter of the law, and you should also be aware that for officer safety reasons you want to make sure you never give an officer any reason to be suspicious or nervous in your presence.
You Must Know The Local Laws When Carrying A Concealed Weapon
Knowing the local and state laws in applies even to the ammunition that you carry in the firearm, the number of rounds that you're allowed to carry in a magazine, and even the magazines total round capacity (In some jurisdictions simply removing rounds from the magazine is not enough to comply with the law as the magazines total capacity may have legally defined limits)
I am hard-pressed to think of any jurisdiction that does not require you to immediately notify a law-enforcement officer that you have a concealed firearm on your person and that you're also in possession of a valid concealed firearms permit card/ID. (Utah excluded)
You Must ALWAYS Notify Law-Enforcement That You're Carrying A Concealed Weapon!
Even in other states and jurisdictions where no concealed firearm permit card/ID is required to legally carry a concealed firearm you are compelled by law to immediately notify any law-enforcement officer that stops you for questioning or any reason, That you're carrying a concealed firearm.
Being Stopped By An Officer When Carrying A Gun
When a law enforcement officer makes contact with you they do not know who you are, your background, your character, or that you may be carrying a concealed firearm. Be civil, make no sudden movements and immediately notify that you are carrying a firearm regardless of Concealed or Open Carry, and ask before reaching for your ID/Permit card, if your armed you NEVER want to make a furtive movement when in contact with Law Enforcement. If you are in complinace of the the law then you have nothing to worry about. Follow the officers directions at all times, it is for both your and the officers safety, it is just plain common sense.
Whenever you are contacted by a law enforcement officer remember that in their mind officer safety is paramount and until they know all the facts they must be suspicious of everyone for their own safety. Keeping this one simple fact in mind will help you to understand an officer’s mindset and make your encounter with law-enforcement one that will be professional with a positive outcome.
Non Compliance With The Law Will End Badly For You
In most states and jurisdictions you are required to have a concealed carry permit card/ID that you must carry on you at all times when carrying a concealed firearm, and there are those states and jurisdictions were as long as you are a resident of the state you can carry a concealed firearm without such a permit Card/ID. What are the CCW laws and what are the legal requirements when stopped by an Officer, YOU MUST KNOW THE LAW!
It is absolutely imperative that you clearly understand and know the laws of not only your particular jurisdiction but those of any that you may be traveling through while carrying a concealed firearm.
If you for any reason have to draw and or fire your weapon and Law-Enforcement is called you had better be prepared for what will happen next. Depending on many factors you may very well be considered a suspect until all the details are sorted out.
Prepare Legally In The Event Of A Self-Defense Incident
At first you could end up at gun-point from the responding officers, be placed in hadcuffs, or you may be simply questioned and sent on your way. It is important that you plan ahead for when the time comes when you are stopped or questioned by an officer.
If you do become involved in a Self-Defense situation there is both Criminal and Civil Law that comes into play, and in these cases make sure you comply with Law Enforcement instructions. Even with compliance you need to retain your legal rights. If you fired your weapon in self-defense and upon the arrival of Law-Enforcement identify yourself as the victim of the attack, Inform responding officers that you have an attorney (make sure you have one in the speed dial of your phone) and that you will be happy to cooperate BUT only in the presence of your attorney.
For more specific information on your legal rights see these related articles HERE.