Is Carrying a Gun in a Backpack Considered Concealed?

So you are worried about carrying your gun in a backpack and whether or not it is considered concealed. Let’s go ahead and take a look at this contentious issue.

The answer to this gun in backpack question depends on the specific firearms laws in your state. For example, if the gun is not in plain sight, it’s considered concealed in Florida. But there’s no significant difference between open and concealed carry in Texas.

This article will provide a general overview of the concealed carry laws in different states.

It is important to remember that these laws are subject to change, so it’s always best to check with your local law enforcement and state laws for the most up-to-date information.

What Is Concealed Carry and the Laws Around It?

Concealed carry, also known as CCW (carrying a concealed weapon), is the practice of carrying a handgun or other weapon in public in a concealed manner.

Not all states allow concealed carry, and those that do often have different laws on what types of firearms can be carried, where they can be carried, and how they must be carried.

There are generally three types of states when it comes to concealed carry laws: 

May Issue 

In a “may issue” state, the issuing authority (usually the police chief or sheriff) has a great deal of discretion in deciding who can be granted a concealed weapon permit. 

Here is a list of the “may issue” states:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York

Shall Issue

In a “shall issue” state, the issuing authority must grant a permit to carry a concealed weapon to any qualified applicant who meets the requirements set forth by law.

Here is a list showing “shall issue” states:

  • California
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas

No Issue

In a “no issue” state, it is generally considered illegal to carry a concealed weapon. 

Here is a list of the “no issue” states:

  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • District of Columbia

Every other state not on this list falls under the “shall issue” category.

However, this does not mean that getting a concealed carry permit in these states is easy.

Ways to Find Out If Carrying a Gun in Your Backpack Is Legal in Your State

  • Contact the local law enforcement agency. The easiest way to find out if carrying a gun in your backpack is legal in your state is to contact your local law enforcement agency. They will be able to tell you the laws in your specific state.
  • Conduct an online search. Another way to find out is to search for “concealed carry laws + your state” on your favorite search engine. This should bring up various websites with relevant information on concealed carry laws
  • Consult an attorney. You can always check with an attorney specializing in gun laws. They will be able to give you the most accurate information on the local firearm laws.

What Happens If You Get Caught Carrying a Gun Illegally?

If you are caught carrying a gun in your backpack in a state where this is illegal, you will likely be charged with a crime.

The penalty for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit varies from state to state, but it can range from a misdemeanor to felony charges.

In some states, you may also have your gun confiscated.

I have heard of people getting in trouble for carrying a gun in their backpack, even if they had a permit to carry the weapon.

The reason being that the gun was loaded and wasn’t placed in a proper holster or container. Some states have really weird laws.

So, if you carry a gun in your backpack, make sure you are compliant with all local, state, and federal laws.

Things to Know Before Carrying a Gun in Your Backpack

Carrying a gun is a right that comes with responsibility. You must ensure you are prepared to properly use the gun if necessary.

That means getting proper training from a vetted instructor on how to properly use the firearm.

You need to also ensure you have a good understanding of the laws in your state regarding the use of deadly force.

Consider whether or not you are comfortable carrying a gun. If you are not, you should not carry one until you have had enough training to do so.

Then there is the issue of loaded guns. Take extra care if you carry a loaded weapon in a backpack.

If you do, and you get into a situation where you need to use the gun, there may be an increased chance of a negligent discharge.

Proper training is critical to deploy a firearm from a backpack in a stressful situation.

Your choice of ammo is also important. If you carry a gun for self-defense, you want to ensure you use the correct ammunition.

Final Thoughts

Carrying a gun in your backpack can be a great way to protect yourself and your family. However, you need to make sure that you are following the law and that you are prepared to use the gun if necessary.

This means getting trained on how to use the gun properly and making sure you have a good understanding of the laws in your state regarding the use of guns.

I also suggest keeping your firearm serviced in case you need to use it.

Cody Martin

With over 18 years of federal law enforcement, training, and physical security experience, Cody focuses his time nowadays on both consulting and training. He regularly advises individuals, groups, multinational corporations, schools, houses of worship, and NGOs on security threats while conducting customized training as needed.

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