Silly Carry Permit Requirements

By Dean Weingartennew-hampshire-pistol-and-revolver-license

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -( permits do not have to be expensive and complex. The New Hampshire permit has been fairly easy to obtain for many years, if you already had a permit from your state of residence.

During the last few months I have renewed a couple of carry permits.  It is not intensely difficult, but when you have better things to do, it can be irritating.

Some of the requirements make no sense. Others were obviously put in as poison pills during the passage of the original bill. Many seem designed to discourage people from obtaining a permit.

As John Lott has noted, the more expense, in time or money, or both, that it takes to obtain a permit, the smaller the percentage of people who will make the effort to obtain one.  It is not a straight slope.  The smaller the percentage of people become, the willingness to jump through hoops grows exponentially.  At the end of that scale are people who choose their career so that they can carry the means to protect themselves and their family.

Here are some silly requirements I have noted to obtain a carry permit.

Fingerprints. Silly. Not needed. Several states do not require them. An unnecessary expense and expenditure of time. Florida adds another $42 to “process finger prints”. May be it is a cash cow for them. Arizona recommends two fingerprint cards for their permit, doubling the printing expenditure on the applicant’s part.  For Arizona, it is a way to try to assure a good set of prints.  They only submit one copy, and one copy will (if it is legible) be enough for a permit.

Taking of fingerprints by the police. Most people do not have the equipment or training to take their own prints. I do and did.  Florida requires that the prints be done by a police agency.

Pictures. Several states do not require pictures. More time and expense. States that do not require pictures usually say that it is a good idea to have a picture ID with your permit.  An old friend in Wisconsin just tapes a copy of an expired driver’s license to his Wisconsin permit.

Notary signature to show that you signed the application.  I had to do this for the Florida permit.  It is not required in most states.

Payment by a restricted method.  Arizona, when they passed their law,  required that payment be in the form of money orders or certified checks.  I suspect that could be overturned by a court.  No one has bothered to try.  It is another minor inconvenience that has to be overcome.  Several states allow you to pay by credit card online.

Difficult and costly training. When Arizona started its shall issue permit system, it had the longest training requirement of any state. 16 hours of training was required. I enjoyed training those classes.  You could fit them into a weekend.  The instructor did not have much time left over.  But it cut down the number of people willing to obtain a permit substantially.  Taking a whole weekend to attend a class is difficult for people with busy lives.

These requirements are small potatoes compared to some that are in place in the states that still have the archaic “may issue” system of permits. I consider it a “feudal” system, in that it gives significant power to some authority, often a police chief or sheriff, sometimes a committee, to arbitrarily grant or deprive individual  permits.  The “may issue” system is invariable corrupted as officials, being human, are swayed into granting permits to people with political clout and money, and who find mechanisms and reasons to not grant permits to those who they dislike or are simply inclined to ignore.

John Stossel, who has money and clout, was denied a permit in New York City.  He produced a TV segment on it.  The bureaucratic obstacles that he faced were daunting.

I can relate. When I entered Panama, I had a number of firearms with me. Through misinformation I had been given about protocols, I did not have a permit. That is a story for another time.  The Panamanian authorities impounded my firearms. After six months of diligent effort, and the help of a secretary fluent in spoken and written Spanish, I obtained the desired permit.

It involved several solo trips on foot into a disreputable part of Panama City, as parking there was virtually impossible.  On one occasion two Guardia, aghast at the idea that I was entering the area alone, insisted on accompanying me. A confident attitude and looking as if you had every right to be where you are, goes a long way, as my old First Sargent had taught me. Teniente Puga, who was in charge of issuing permits, did not like Americans.  I had to have the permit to recover the firearms; so I had considerable incentive to obtain it. The status of forces agreement helped, as well.  When I retrieved my firearms, they were in excellent condition.

Many people say that “The Second Amendment is my permit!” It is an admirable attitude. Unfortunately, in many parts of America, people who carry without big daddy government’s permission, take a serious risk of being arrested, convicted, fined, jailed,and having many rights taken away, including voting.  I wish it were not so. Second Amendment activists work toward the day when the Second Amendment is fully enforced in all American territories.

The incremental approach with permits is working. In Arizona, we started with no permit. Then we passed shall issue with 16 hours of training. The 16 hours were intensely enjoyable for me as an instructor.  With prep, I could fit it into a weekend of two long days. But many busy people find an entire weekend difficult to make time for.  Exercise of Second Amendment rights was chilled.

We reduced the training requirement to 8 hours, then 4, then we added numerous substitutes, such as having served in the Military (a DD214 is sufficient), a hunters safety course, or having had training for another state’s permit.  We reduced training for renewal from 8 hours to 4 hours to no hours.Eventually, we passed “Constitutional” carry, while keeping the much simpler and easier permit system.

Simplifying and making the permit system easier to navigate, moves the system toward “Constitutional” carry. When obtaining a permit is easier, the number of people with permits increases. This increases political clout with the legislature, and reinforces the belief that carry and self defense are widely supported, mainstream activities. It increases the number of Second Amendment activists.

The Arizona permit system can be improved considerably beyond what it is. But once you obtain “Constitutional” carry, the incentive to improve the permit system is diminished.

An intermediate step toward “Constitutional” carry nationwide, would be competition among the states for a cheap, easy, permit that is recognized nationwide.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Ron H

@Dean, Your statement, “In Arizona, we started with no permit” is misleading. Open carry has been authorized in Arizona for as I long as I can remember. I have been using and carrying firearms in Arizona since the early 60’s. I was also with AZDPS when the state legislator passed the CCW law and told DPS licensing to implement it. I was assigned to the AZDPS Firearms Training Unit and we were tasked in creating the lesson plan, and designating who would be authorized to instruct the required 16 hour course. I am very glad that Arizona recognizes Constitutional Carry.… Read more »

Jim Macklin

While Illinois does not have any reciprocity allowing you to carry, Illinois does consider your out of state CCW/CCH as a substitute for the FOID card for possession and transport. Illinois also has what they call Safe Harbor. You can have a loaded handgun in your car for protection. But you can’t take the loaded gun out of the car, even to pump gas. If you use self-serve, have somebody else, son, daughter, spouse pump the gas while you sit on guard duty. Illinois is shall issue but they make the application process as difficult as possible. They have a… Read more »

David Graham

I live in Montana, a generally gun friendly State. In order to obtain a concealed weapons permit, along with the application, and fingerprint requirements, etc., you also have to have three forms filled out by persons who are not related to you, vouching for your ability and worthiness to have a concealed weapon. The forms must be signed and notarized. I for one do not know anyone that I would ask to go through the trouble, and take to time to fill out the form and then find a notary to sign it their presence. I therefore cannot obtain a… Read more »

Gene Ralno

Fingerprinting requirements are ineffective for several reasons but a big one is they change. I’ve heard from many seniors like myself who also have lost their fingerprints. The first time I was printed was when I joined the Marines back in the ’50s in Kansas and again in Okinawa for a clearance. Then, still young, I was printed for a license to sell life insurance. The last time I renewed my real estate broker’s license, in another state and after more than 30 years, the state began to require fingerprints. It also applied to securities licensing and several other fields,… Read more »


no government can rule without the consent of the governed…… in principle, and in details.

Deplorable Ralphwylie

In California, specifically San Diego it is nearly impossible to get a Concealed Carry permit unless you are a politician or a LEO. In the eyes of the lawmakers, the average person has no right or need to carry a firearm, but they do. Go figure! Also, the guns laws in California have recently taken a turn for the worse with the outlawing of “Bullet Button” detachable magazine guns and also background checks to buy ammunition, that’s right to buy ammunition! Mail order ammo sales are outlawed too. That makes a bout as much sense as requiring a background check… Read more »


Los Angeles County is the same which amounts to a no-issue policy.

Old 1811

The requirement for fingerprints may be specious, but if you have it, the requirement that they be done by the police is not. Before the law changed, people applying for lawful immigrant status could get their fingerprints taken by “approved” entities, many of which were staffed by people who weren’t all that law-abiding or rule-obeying. They would take the alien’s prints, then return the print card without any of the blanks filled in. So Mother Teresa could have her prints taken, then give or sell the card to Charles Manson, who would fill in the blanks with his data and… Read more »


I doubt this will be posted…. Is the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Constitutional – Its a Trojan Horse.. The bill is a dastardly trick and a Trojan horse for institutionalizing licenses, permits, national ID cards, etc. And the end game of all those licenses, permits, national ID cards and such is eventual confiscation of all arms. And after that extermination. Here is the 2014 edition: Also, the federal government has no constitutional authority to make ANY laws dictating who may and who may not carry arms; or under what circumstances people may and may not carry arms across… Read more »

Jim Macklin

The reciprocity bills in Congress do not set any standard or rules about carry licenses, only that a state recognize other state issued licenses as is required by the Constitution.


only that a state recognize other state issued licenses as is required by the Constitution. Still rotten to the core. There is no need for a new Fed law mandating any such thing. What IS needed is for the COngress to pass a new law defining a few terms, and making so clear even a politican can’t wirggle round it with any amount of sleight of hand, and that “so clear’ needs to make certain ALL states recognise that the Second Ammendment means exactly what it says it does…. and that ANY infringement (to include but not be limited to)… Read more »

Ricardo Riostirado

Great article, but if you think those requirements are cumbersome take a look at New York requirements. In New York each county have their own requirements and fees. It can get superbly expensive.


New York doing that New York do has NO bearing on what any other state should do. New York need to get their keister kicked, hard. They canot be held up as a model of what to do elsewhere.


Just like California, each county has their own and different policy.


Personally I am a fan of a training requirement – I could care less about shooting skills, your not going to develop that in 16 hours while that is important, I think the mechanics of carry need to be taught. How to handle yourself in situations – the legal aspect and such as that. A while back we had a police shooting here in the US where a guys girl friend went spastic after the guy with the carry permit said simply he had a gun, I have had many classes on legal and situational carry. and see that scenario… Read more »


I, too, am a strong fan of training, since training/knowledge beats the daylights out of ignorance! Any day of the week. I’m reasonably certain that most people who spend (usually a significant amount of) money for the guns and the carry license already know that they need additional training. And they are generally responsible enough to be willing to obtain that training/experience on their own volition. But I’m dubious about a “requirement” for training… because any additional requirement for exercising a basic right is always subject to abuse by the bureaucrats/officials/politicians who administer the system. That bothers me… I’m cynical… Read more »



“…any additional requirement for exercising a basic right is always subject to abuse..”

Absolutely. Look at the “may issue” states, especially states like MA where each CLEO can make their own rules and create hoops to be jumped through and can STILL deny your application.

Still, I _encourage_ that people who own should get good training to better utilize this piece of emergency equipment if an actual emergency happens.

Chuck M

@Kelly, I agree with you 100% everything you said.


You seem to think we need a Nanny even for this. We don’t. Yes, some need some help “learning the ropes”. But there are many reliable ways of “getting there”. To mandate a one size fits all training standard is wrong. Unless the state government will PAY for it. THEY”RE the ones wanting it, so why not have THEM pay? Take a hard look at the (lack of) driving skills amongst the students of state mandated and directed driving schools, particularly for high school students. THEY ARE CLUELESS. And some state mandate such wretched “training” at great cost in time… Read more »


You should check out Hawaii’s permit to aquifer your own weapons…!


The notary requirement in Florida nearly sunk me when I first applied for a non-resident permit. I had it notarized at my bank and sent it in. Some weeks later I received a letter saying that my app wasn’t notarized. Huh? I called the FL Dept to inquire and told them to look at the app. I wad told that the original documents are scanned and shredded. The notary at the used the older style seal that merely crimped the paper and the scanner couldn’t “see” it! So I had to redo my app and shade the seal with a… Read more »


Have it appear on your DL in RED no big deal just like a motorcycle. in my case it would be Class EM. so now it would read EMCARRY.

Jim Macklin

When Kansas first issued a CCH in 2007 you had the option of an endorsement on the DL or a separate card.. Now only a second card is issued because showing ID to cash a check, rent a car or check into a hotel often requires showing a DL. And an airline flight requires a DL [real ID] to satisfy TSA. Do you really want to tell Everybody that you are license to carry? Kansas now has Constitutional carry and the number of CCHL issued has dropped about 10,000. The CCHL is available and the price isn’t too high, renewal… Read more »

Calvin Blumhorst

Simple solution, until we achieve real constitutional carry, is to require that voting IDs and carry permits have the same bureaucratic procedure. After all, they are both constitutional rights…for citizens. At the very least, it would be great fun to see the leftys contort themselves to fight the concept!


Now is the time to push your Congressional representives for national wide reciprocity. If we can’t do it under the upcoming administration, I fear it will never happen. Make a call to their office and make your desire known. It only takes a few minutes and even a few calls can make a great difference!