When Does a Firearm Become a Concealed Weapon?

When Does a Firearm Become a Concealed Weapon

You can face hefty fines and even jail time if you conceal carry without a permit. So it’s important to know what is considered a concealed weapon.

While the difference may seem obvious to some, it can be a costly mistake if you aren’t sure.

We’ve laid out the difference between a concealed and carried weapon as well as the general requirements to obtain your permit below. Continue reading to find out how to stay safe while staying legal.

What is Considered a Concealed Weapon?

In many states, you can face harsh fines and jail times if you are concealing a weapon without a permit. In order to avoid this, you need to know what constitutes a concealed weapon.

Having a weapon on your person or in your possession is a carried weapon. This includes a weapon in your pocket, purse, belt, etc.

This means a weapon is not easily visible to someone approaching you. However, this does not mean hidden from view at a particular angle.

Consider ordinary interactions, like someone approaching you on the street. If they are able to see the weapon, it is not concealed.

It’s also important to understand your state laws. Some states consider a partially concealed weapon the same as a fully concealed weapon. Partially concealed is just as it sounds, any part of the weapon is hidden from view.

Concealed Weapons Law

While laws pertaining to concealed weapons varies by state, most states allow concealed carry. Many have specific age, training, and other requirements.


While most states issue permits for concealed carry, they are not transferable in many states. For example, if you obtained your concealed carry permit in Maine, you would not be able to use it in Montana.

In contrast, Montana accepts Idaho permits. It’s a complicated system, so always be sure of the local laws when traveling.


Most states have an age of eligibility for concealed carry. Individuals must be 18 or 21 years of age to undergo the process of obtaining their permit in most cases.


About half of US states require some form of concealed weapons course prior to pursuing a concealed weapons license. This is typically a short course ranging from one to several days.

In these courses, you will learn your state’s laws, weapon safety, and how to take proper care of your weapon optics.

For those in Texas, our friends at Texas Gun Club offer concealed carry training. Find CHL classes near me.

Background check

Many states perform a background check prior to issuing a permit. These checks can include employment history, credit check, criminal record, and even driving history.

To conceal carry, individuals need to have a clean criminal history and be of sound mind. Several states even require a reference check to determine if you satisfy these requirements.

Permit Process

If you satisfy all of the above requirements, you are able to start the application process.

The application fee varies by state but is usually around $40-60. Expect approximately 30 days to receive your permit.

Illegal Concealed Carry

If you take the risk and carry without a permit, you could face up to two years in jail and/or a $500 fine. The jail time and fines increase for subsequent offenders.

Apply for Your Concealed Carry Permit

Now that you can answer the question “what is considered a concealed carry weapon?” and understand the location, age, training, and application requirements to obtain your license, you are ready to apply. Learn how to get a Texas handgun license online with Concealed Carry.

Be sure to check your local state’s requirements as well as the requirements of any states you may be visiting prior to travel.

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