All 50 states allow carrying a concealed firearm, says the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Arizona, Wyoming, Vermont and Alaska allow carrying concealed weapons without a permit. In 46 states a permit is required, and nine of these have laws that give the state wide discretion to deny permits.
The nine states that have "may issue" laws reserve the right to deny permits for a number of reasons ranging from no justification to carry a concealed weapon to lack of good character, notes the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The 37 states that have "shall issue" laws require a concealed carry permit to be issued to most applicants; in 17 of these states no discretion is allowed in granting a permit, while in 20 states a narrow amount of latitude is given to the issuing authority. Most states that allow concealed carry restrict gun possession in places such as schools, public events, hospitals and bars.
In eight of the states that have a "may issue" restriction, sufficient need or purpose for carrying must be given, explains the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Three states that operate under "shall issue" guidelines also include this requirement. Individuals in 12 states must demonstrate good character to receive a permit. The issuing agencies in 16 states are allowed to deny permits to anyone believed to be dangerous. More than half the states require some form of firearms training to receive a permit.