Selected SLC Research


Policy Analysis | July 1, 2010

What are the firearms laws in the SLC states?

On June 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court held that handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. While federal legislation receives much more media attention, state legislatures make many more decisions regarding their constituents rights to own and carry firearms. The following chart compiled by the National Rifle Association lists the main provisions of state firearms laws.

Firearms Laws in the SLC states

State Gun Ban Exemptions to the National Instant Check System (NICS) State Waiting Period for Handguns License, Permit or Other Prerequisite for Handgun Purchase
Alabama -- -- -- --
Arkansas -- Right-to-carry permit holders exempt from NICS; permits issued on and after 4/1/99 qualify -- --
Florida -- -- 3 days; does not apply to a person holding a valid permit or license to carry a firearm --
Georgia -- Right-to-carry permit holders exempt from NICS -- --
Kentucky -- -- -- --
Louisiana -- -- -- --
Mississippi -- Right-to-carry permit holders exempt from NICS; permits issued to security guards do not qualify -- --
Missouri -- -- -- A purchase permit is required for a handgun, must be issued to qualified applicants within 7 days, and is valid for 30 days
North Carolina -- Holders of state firearms licenses, ID cards and Right-to-carry permits exempt from NICS -- To purchase a handgun, a license or permit is required, which must be issued to qualified applicants within 30 days; persons with a Right-to-carry license are exempt
Oklahoma -- -- -- --
South Carolina -- Right-to-carry permit holders exempt from NICS -- --
Tennessee -- -- -- --
Texas -- Right-to-carry permit holders exempt from NICS -- --
Virginia "Street sweeper" shotguns -- -- A permit is required to acquire another handgun before 30 days have elapsed following the acquisition of a handgun; those with a permit to carry a concealed weapon are exempt from the requirement
West Virginia -- -- -- --

State Record of Sale Reported to State or Local Government State Provision for Right-to-carry Concealed Carrying Openly Prohibited
Alabama -- Reasonable may issue; the state has a permissive "may issue" law, but the authorities recognize the right to keep and bear arms X; carrying a handgun openly in a motor vehicle requires a license
Arkansas -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system X; carrying a firearm "with a purpose to employ it as a weapon against a person" prohibited
Florida -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system X
Georgia -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system X
Kentucky -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system --
Louisiana -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system --
Mississippi -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system --
Missouri X Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system --
North Carolina X Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system --
Oklahoma -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system X; applies only to loaded weapons
South Carolina X Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system X; carrying "with the intent to go armed" prohibited
Tennessee -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system X
Texas -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system X
Virginia -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system --
West Virginia -- Right-to-carry "shall issue" or less restrictive discretionary permit system --

Source: "Compendium of State Firearms Laws" (National Rifle Association - Institute for Legislative Action), http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/Federal/Read.aspx?id=74, accessed June 29, 2010.