[1] (January 30, 2018)

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   '.Research Service
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CRS INSIGHT




Gun Control: Concealed Carry Legislation in the

115th Congress


January 30, 2018 (IN10852)




Related Author

   * Wi~lliam J Kmuse




William J. Krouse, Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy (wkrouse ccrs bc gay, 7-2225)

On December 6, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of
2017 (ILRE.a). The term concealed carry is commonly used to refer to state laws that allow an
individual to carry a weapon-generally a handgun-on one's person in a concealed manner for the
purposes of self-defense in public (outside one's home or fixed place of business). Federal law allows
certain  t       and r rtird law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms interstate,
irrespective of some state laws, but they must first be qualified and credentialed by their agencies of
employment or from which they retired. For the most part, however, firearms carriage is a matter
principally regulated by state law.

Typically, there are o  i     s f                 vnle rry lavs: (1) shall issue, meaning permits are
generally issued to all eligible applicants; and (2) may issue, which are more restrictive, meaning
authorities enjoy a greater degree of discretion whether to issue permits to individuals. In 1987,
concealed carry was generally prohibited in 16 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S.
territories. Twenty-six states and two territories had may issue laws, and seven had shall issue laws.
One state-Vermont-allowed permitless carry, meaning otherwise firearms-eligible individuals
could carry without a permit. Over the past 31 years, state laws have shifted from prohibitive no issue
or restrictive may issue laws to more permissive shall issue, or more recently, permitless laws (see

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