Exercising your right to carry a concealed firearm is a massive responsibility. We owe it to ourselves, our family members, and our communities to ensure that we are properly trained in the legal handling of our guns.
Online concealed carry classes are a growing trend among many who are eager to engage in their constitutional rights but don’t have enough time in their busy schedules to attend an all-day—or even multi-day—in-person course.
If your state only requires you to take a certified course, then online classes are more than enough to obtain the information you need. On the other hand, some states will require that you take a live-fire training course in addition to your online training.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the basic requirements that states require to obtain concealed carry permits. We’ll also go over some basic information on state reciprocity agreements and the number of states that honor various permits.
Idaho is part of a growing group of states that don’t require a permit to carry a concealed weapon. That being said, the state offers two different concealed weapons licenses (CWL). Each with their own requirements.
The standard license requires that you take an approved firearms training or safety course. These can be either in-person or online.
To get the enhanced CWL, applicants must take an approved 8-hour course that includes firing a minimum of 98 rounds.
By obtaining the standard license, you’ll be able to carry in 30 other U.S. states. With the enhanced license, the number of states increases to 37.
Iowa became a constitutional carry state back in July of 2021. Like almost every other state that has adopted permitless carry laws, the permitting system has remained in place but is optional. Given the permit only costs $50 for the first issuance and $25 to renew every 5 years, we highly recommend that Iowans obtain it.
You can even fulfill the Iowa permit to carry weapons (PCW) requirements by completing an online concealed carry class. The biggest benefit of obtaining your Iowa PCW is the wide-ranging reciprocity you gain. With an Iowa PCW, you can carry concealed in 35 other states.
Maine is another permitless carry state that has benefits for residents and non-residents who choose to obtain their permits.
While an individual can conceal carry in Maine without a permit, there are a larger number of areas that are restricted. Individuals with permits can carry in some of these areas, like state parks and even Acadia National Park.
Maine is one of the few states that will only honor permits from other states if that state recognized theirs. Currently, there are 23 states that accept Maine permits—seven of which stipulate that you must be 21 or older to carry.
Minnesota is the first state on this list that requires individuals to have a license in order to carry a firearm. Under Minnesota law, an individual must obtain a permit to carry (PTC) to lawfully carry a pistol. However, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the law does not explicitly state that the weapon must be concealed. Meaning that you can choose to carry either open or concealed after obtaining your PTC.
Minnesota does stipulate that you need to have a combination of range time and firearms training. So you can take an online concealed carry class and then sign up for an approved live-fire shooting exercise. Once you obtain your PTC you can enjoy reciprocity in 27 other states.
Oregon is another state that requires individuals to obtain a license to concealed carry. Luckily for Oregon residents, the process for applying to obtain a license to carry (LTC) is very straightforward and simple. Once you complete a training course, like our popular 100% online Oregon LTC course, you print off your certificate and go apply at your local Sheriff’s office.
In terms of reciprocity, Oregon is one of the few states that refuses to honor licenses from any other state. Not even a concealed carry permit from states with strict gun laws like California will be accepted once you cross into Oregon.
Oregon is also one of the few states that only allow non-residents from bordering states to obtain their LTC. So unless you’re from Washington, Idaho, California, or Nevada you’re completely out of luck.
However, once you obtain your Oregon LTC you’ll be allowed to carry in approximately 23 states. There are no required live-fire exercises and online courses are very affordable. So if you’re an Oregon resident or live in a bordering state, you can quickly complete all requirements for obtaining an Oregon LTC with our affordable online concealed carry class.
Tennessee recently adopted permitless carry laws. While these changes have been touted as “constitutional carry” laws, the rules regarding eligibility and restrictions on where you can legally go make the state’s permitless carry more of a liability than an asset.
These new laws didn’t make any changes to Tennessee’s two-tier permit system, so you can easily obtain a standard permit after taking our 90-minute online concealed carry class, printing your certificate, and applying at your local Driver Services Center. To get the enhanced license you need to take an 8-hour in-person course.
It’s also important to note that non-residents are not eligible for either of the Tennessee licenses. Residents on the other hand are eligible to carry in 35 other states once they’ve obtained a Tennessee enhanced handgun carry permit.
Washington is one of the few states where residents are required to get a permit for purchasing semi-automatic rifles. Thankfully the training required under Washington initiative 1639 can be completed in about an hour.
The state also requires residents to obtain a concealed carry permit for handguns. Although state law doesn’t specifically say that training is required to obtain a concealed carry permit, taking a training course is certainly within your best interest.
Back in 2018, Washington added a slew of new firearm laws that made the legal ecosystem very complex. Having a good understanding of these laws will make the difference between maintaining good legal standing and becoming an accidental gun felon.
Legal Heat currently offers a comprehensive training course that meets all the requirements to obtain your Washington 1639 certification, Washington concealed pistol license, and the Oregon license to carry a concealed handgun. You can get all three certifications for one low price.
Alternatively, if you’re only looking to obtain your Washington 1639 certification, you can take a class that focuses on that particular permit.
There are some intangible benefits of obtaining a concealed carry license in Washington. Namely, Washington’s concealed carry reciprocity. There are approximately 31 states that honor Washington’s concealed carry license. Washington on the other hand only accepts licenses from 9 states.
Wyoming is a constitutional carry state. So residents don’t legally have to obtain a permit in order to carry in the state. That being said, the legal language about where an individual is permitted to carry without a license is fairly vague.
Non-residents have a different set of rules to play by. You cannot obtain a Wyoming concealed carry permit unless you live in the state. If you have a permit to carry from your home state then Wyoming will honor your permit so long as your home state honors Wyoming’s permit. There are currently 35 states that honor Wyoming’s concealed carry permit.
Obtaining a permit in Wyoming is hassle-free. A simple 90 minute online concealed carry class will fulfill all the requirements to apply for your permit.
Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, and Texas
You’re probably wondering why these six states have been grouped together instead of receiving their own sections. While we would love to go further in-depth about the specific requirements each of these states have for online classes, we’re still ironing out the details with the State and County Sheriff’s Offices. We are in the process of creating online concealed carried classes for each of these states, and we’ll keep you updated as we get closer to releasing them.
The Other 36 States
Unfortunately, residents of the other 36 states not listed here are unable to obtain their concealed carry permits online. However, you still have several options when it comes to taking an online class for a permit.
For example, if you live in a state bordering Oregon and have already obtained your home state’s concealed carry permit, you can take an online class to obtain the Oregon concealed carry permit. Once your application gets approved, you’ll be able to enjoy reciprocity with 30+ other states.
Constitutional carry is one of the major commonalities between many of the states listed here. While we love to see more states recognize their residents’ right to bear arms, there are some serious legal considerations that individuals must make when determining whether permitless carry is their best option. Not only do some states put restrictions on the locations that a resident may go to when carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Permitless carry also restricts individuals from carrying in other states through permit reciprocity.
If you plan on carrying a concealed weapon, an online concealed carry class is the most convenient and affordable way to get the training you need. While there are only a handful of states that are currently allowing residents to obtain training online, the list is steadily growing.
If you’re interested in becoming certified for your concealed carry application, check out our list of available classes. Once you purchase your online class you gain lifetime access to the course material. Meaning if you need to retake the class to renew your license, you’ll still have access to the course you purchased.
If you have any questions about starting your journey towards obtaining your concealed carry permit, be sure to contact us.
Phil Nelsen is a nationally recognized firearms law attorney, expert witness, college professor, author, and co-founder of Legal Heat, the nation’s largest firearms training firm.
Legal Heat offers CCW classes nationwide, and also publishes the industry-leading Legal Heat 50 State Guide to Firearm Laws and Regulations which can be downloaded on iTunes, GooglePlay, and Kindle App stores. You can purchase the paperback version of the Legal Heat 50 State Guide or sign up for a class at https://legalheat.com.
You can read more about Phil, or contact him, on his website www.philnelsen.com.