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How Long Does It Take to Take to Get a Concealed Carry Permit?

Depending on the state that you reside, the requirements for applying for a concealed carry permit, and the time it takes to process your application will vary.

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The primary factor in determining how long it takes to get a concealed carry permit is where you live. Each state has different processing times and some have specific timelines that they must adhere to for granting or denying a permit. Additionally, seasonal variation in demand may create backlogs. However, you can expect an approximate wait time of about 11 weeks nationally.

This article will provide you with state-specific information related to the issuance of concealed carry or license to carry permits. This information will gauge what sort of waiting time you have in store to receive your license.

States With Issuance/Denial Timelines

States with specific timelines for processing concealed carry permits provide you with the most accuracy in determining the maximum wait time for learning whether your permit has been approved or denied.

Alabama

In Alabama, county sheriffs are charged with processing and issuing concealed carry permits. Since August of 2013, they must approve or deny the license within 30 days.

Michigan

Concealed carry permit applications are filed at the county clerk’s office where the applicant lives. As of December 2015, the county clerk must issue the permit or notify the applicant of disqualification within 45 days that the applicant submitted fingerprints in addition to the application.

Montana

County sheriffs issue concealed carry permits in Montana. They must issue a permit or provide a denial notice within 60 days of the completed application and supporting documentation has been submitted for processing.

Arkansas

Arkansas is a permitless carry state. If you request a concealed carry permit for reciprocity purposes in another state, Arkansas must issue you a permit or deny it within 120 days of the application.

Idaho

Being a shall-issue state, unless the applicant is banned from possessing firearms under state or federal statute, the county sheriff must issue or deny a concealed carry application within 90 days.

Illinois

The Illinois State Police is charged with processing concealed weapon permits in Illinois. Once an application is submitted, the state police have 180 days to process it.

Kentucky

In Kentucky, the Department of State Police issues concealed carry permits. If you apply online, it must be resolved within 15 days. If you apply in-person, it must be settled within 60 days.

Minnesota

The county sheriff or municipal police chief is charged with the issuance of concealed carry permits in Minnesota. These permits must be issued or denied within 30 days of the original application being submitted.

Nebraska

In Nebraska, the timeline allotted to the Nebraska State Police for issuing a concealed carry permit runs from the moment that a successful background check has been completed on the applicant. The permit must be issued within five days of this.

Nevada

Concealed carry permits are issued at the county level through the county’s sheriff office where the applicant resides. These permits must be issued or denied within 120 days of the application.

New Mexico

The New Mexico Concealed Handgun Carry Act states that the New Mexico Department of Public safety must issue or deny a concealed carry permit to an applicant within 30 days of receiving the findings of a national criminal background check.

North Dakota

Applications for a concealed carry permit in North Dakota are processed by local sheriffs departments or local police departments. In the case of sheriff’s departments, they have 30 days to process the application—police departments have ten days to do so.

The application then moves to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Once there, the state must issue or deny the application within 30 days of receiving it from the forwarding agency.

Ohio

Ohio is a shall-issue state that must issue a concealed carry permit to any applicant who meets the requisites within 45 days of receiving an application, as dictated by Ohio state statute.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, concealed carry permits are issued by the state’s Attorney General office and local officials, such as sheriffs and local police departments.

The waiting time for having a concealed carry permit application issued or denied when an applicant goes through the Attorney general’s office is within 90 days. This waiting time is reduced to within 30 days if the applicant goes through a local sheriff or police department. 

South Carolina

In South Carolina, an applicant must submit a concealed carry application to their local sheriff’s office. From that moment, the sheriff’s office must issue or deny the permit within 90 days.

South Dakota

Concealed carry permit applications are received at the county level through the sheriff’s office. Within five days of receiving the application, the sheriff’s office must either deny the application or issue a temporary permit.

Within seven days of issuing the temporary permit, the sheriff’s office must remit the application to the Secretary of State’s office. This office is charged with issuing the permanent permit. There is no timeline for this.

Tennessee

The Tennessee Highway Patrol processes applications and issues concealed carry permits in the state of Tennessee. They must issue or deny a permit to an applicant within 90 days of receiving the application.

California

Per the laws governing concealed carry permits in California, the state has 90 days to process an application to issue or deny the permit. However, this period can be extended if there is a delay in receiving the background check results from the Department of Justice. The state has to decide within 30 days of the background check.

Connecticut

The Connecticut State Police must inform an applicant for a concealed carry permit if it will be issued or denied within eight weeks of receiving the original application.

West Virginia

Concealed carry permits are issued at the county level. The procedure is handled by the sheriff’s department in each county. A decision to approve or deny the application must be completed within 45 days.

Arizona

Since Arizona requires the application and all supporting documents for a concealed carry permit to be mailed to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, waiting times are segmented into two parts. First, the state will perform all required checks of the applicant within 60 days of receiving the application. After all the reviews are completed, the Department of Public Safety has 15 days to notify the applicant if the permit will be issued or denied.

Kansas

The Attorney General’s Office of Kansas handles the issuance of concealed carry permits in the state. By law, applicants must be issued or denied a permit within 90 days.

Maine

In Maine, a concealed carry permit must be issued or denied within 30 days to applicants who have been residents of the state for five or more years. For applicants who have resided in Maine for less than five years, the processing time is extended to 60 days.

New Hampshire

The Department of Safety of the state of New Hampshire processes concealed carry permit applications. Per New Hampshire law, the permit must be issued or denied within 14 days of the application being submitted.

States Without Issuance/Denial Timelines

The following states do not have specific timelines written into the laws and statutes that govern concealed carry permit issuance.

Consequently, the time it takes to get a concealed carry permit in these states will vary. Factors that could delay a decision on your permit include:

  • Not completing the application properly.
  • Failure to provide the required supporting documents.
  • A backlog of applications.
  • Whether you are a new applicant or renewing an expired permit.
  • Applying to a county other than the one where you reside.

These are the states without official issuance timelines: 

  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Alaska

These are states that provide approximate non-binding timelines:

  • Wyoming (90 days)
  • Florida (90 days)
  • Indiana (60 days)
  • Iowa (30 days)
  • Oklahoma (90 days)
  • Oregon (Usually within 45 days, but each sheriff has discretion, and actual time can vary.)
  • Texas (60 to 180 days)
  • Massachusetts (60 days)

For reference, Vermont is a constitutional carry state and does not issue permits, not even for reciprocity in other states.

Conclusion

How long it takes to get a concealed carry permit will depend on the state that is issuing the permit. For the most part, this waiting period will range from 14 to 180 days. Some states have timelines for issuance or denial of permits formally inserted into their statutes.

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