"MAY ISSUE" states...

This is a discussion on "MAY ISSUE" states... within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was sitting in a restaurant with 2 other CHL Instructors and we were discussing some of the recent revisions of the Arkansas CHL Laws. ...

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Thread: "MAY ISSUE" states...

  1. #1
    Lead Moderator Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Dec 2004

    "MAY ISSUE" states...

    I was sitting in a restaurant with 2 other CHL Instructors and we were discussing some of the recent revisions of the Arkansas CHL Laws.

    Being in close proximity to I-4O and located right off of a major exit, this restaurant gets more than its fair share of "foreigners" from different states all over the country.

    A man and his wife apparently overheard our discussion and politely asked us if we could answer some questions about the local CHL laws. So we struck up an interesting conversation with him. He was from a state up in the Northeast that was considered a " may issue" state and wanted to know what it took to get a gun permit.

    He had been trying to get one for years and was unsuccessful, mostly due to an anti-gun Police Chief that didn't believe anyone but the Police or Military should have one. He had heard that the laws in the South were less restrictive and wanted to know exactly how they compared, so we informed him.

    Both he and he wife were very surprised that anyone that was willing to attend the class and jump though the hoops could get one, without being a major campaign donor, a relative of the local Police Chief, a Congressman or Senator or someone that was really well connected. They were under the false assumption that states that are considered "Shall Issue" were very selective and that getting a permit wasn't near as easy as it was made out to be.

    We informed him of the process and he had a very hard time believing that if he wanted one, all he had to do was fulfill the requirements and send the money and it was just a matter of time till he got it.

    They eventually thanked us for our time and left.

    We got to discussing the situation even further. I've seen many references to the various states that have enacted some sort of concealed handgun laws in past and some of the recent maps of states and reciprocal agreements have been posted here. Usually these maps have a different colors that signify a "No Issue" state, a "May Issue "State and a "Shall Issue" state.

    I've also read of many revision to the laws over the years, mostly all of them getting better for the Concealed Handgun owner as time goes by.

    So my questions here are basically geared to the people that live in the "May Issue" states.

    Just how hard is it to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun?

    Is it common for anyone to be able to get one, or is it generally denied unless you are politically connected?

    Does it seem like the possibility of becoming a "Shall Issue" state is in the future, and if not, why not?

    Any comments ?

    Please share them here...
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.

    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Central California
    I live in California which is definitely a "May Issue" state. However, the decision to issue is at the discretion of the local sheriff and in a few cities, the Chief of Police. In my county, the Sheriff is basically shall issue and is very much pro 2A. However, places like Sacramento and San Francisco Counties are practically "No Issue" counties.

    As for California getting any friendlier, DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH!!!

    I will have long since moved out of this state and probably be dead before anyone will see CA get any better.
    Lex et Libertas Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

    "Not only do the people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us deserve better, we all deserve better than to have our own security undermined by those who undermine law enforcement." -Thomas Sowell

  3. #3
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Just an interesting factoid about Pennsylvania.
    PA was "May Issue" before it went "Shall Issue" - The process was always pretty fair here in Allegheny County during the "May Issue" years - but since the ultimate determination was made by the Sheriff it really helped speed the process up if you were personally "known" to the Sheriff - or if one of your references was known by the Sheriff.
    So (back then) you did get your L.T.C. quicker if a "known & trusted" was willing vouch for you.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  4. #4
    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    the raggedy edge
    in NYC, it is impossible to get a permit/license for a firearm. period. only the super rich and/or politically/socially connected have a prayer at getting one. even getting a firearm is next to impossible; i'm willing to bet that most people who own guns in NYC do so illegally.

  5. #5
    Member Array Jeremiah's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Monroe County, NY
    In upstate NY, it depends on the county. From what I've heard, some you have to know someone, others issue restricted permits "hunting/target only," and in my county it took 6 months for a carry permit. I got off easy as far as wait times go. Some counties are quite a bit faster, though. Here we have one deputy for the county who does investigations. City of Rochester does their own, I'm not sure what the differences are.
    4 character references, who will be phone interviewed by a deputy as well as yourself. 4 fingerprint cards, 3 photos. They send out your info to the FBI, state police, state dept. of mental hygiene, and of course local check. Cost about $150 when I did it, but doesn't expire. After all that, it's up to whichever judge gets it to decide to issue or not. I'm told they most always go with the deputy's recommendation, but they're under no obligation to.
    I don't see change on the horizon. In addition to NYC, we have Gov. Spitzer, Sens. Schumer and Clinton, and I even live in Louise Slaughter's district.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    When Oregon was a "May Issue" state, you were at the discretion of the county sheriff. Some were very pro 2A and would issue your permit without a problem. Others were very anti-gun and would even campaign on that grounds, and a few after gettting elected would revoke any permits that were out at the time, unless you were very good friends with them.

    Now beng a "Shall Issue" state, all one must do is spend $40 for a 3 hour class/lecture, make an appointment with the sherrif's dept. to do the application, and then sit back and wait till you get it in the mail provided that you passes a background check.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  7. #7
    Member Array Puppy's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Before Arkansas had a CCWL I lived in Baxter County. The Sheriff was a great 2nd amendment believer. If you went to see him he would issue you an Honorary Deputy card. In some states that means nothing but in Arkansas it gave you carry rights. He even told me which states would honor that card. He told me of two guys who drove into Texas and were stopped for some minor traffic violation. Both guys had guns showing but only one had the Honorary Deputy card. The LEO let him keep his gun but confiscated the others guys gun. (At least he didn't get arrested even though he lost his gun.)

    By the way the Sheriff believed in the right to carry even though his dad, who had been the Sheriff, was shot and killed by a B.G.

  8. #8
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    Fork Union, Virginia
    Prior to 1995 Virginia was 'May Issue'...it was at the judge's discretion & depending on who he was & who you were.............(Oliver North was denied by a judge & that started the ball rolling to go 'Shall Issue'.)

    You also had to have a reason like 'carrying large sums of money or expensive equipment'.......If you just wanted to protect your own life, it was a crap shoot.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

    "An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper

  9. #9
    Member Array LSCurrier's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Long Island, NY
    I live in New York state. This state is a "MAY ISSUE" state. If you live in the right county in the northern part of state you can easily get concealed carry license. If you live in other counties you need to meet near impossible requirements or have "friends" in the right places to get a concealed carry license.

    I live in a county that is a "WON'T ISSUE".

    New York is a lost cause and has been taken over by socialist liberal types that makes this state into communist regime.

    I can't wait to get out!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
    John 3:16

    NRA Life Member

  10. #10
    Lead Moderator Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Another question for yall in the "may issue" states...

    Is it the general opinion of the local population that is keeping you from getting a permit?

    Is it so "anti" gun there that there is little chance of change or are a few anti-gun people in key places keeping it from happening?
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.

    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...

  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    I live in MA, which is "may issue". Chiefs have ultimate say due to MGLs giving them the right to determine "suitability" and assign any restrictions that they feel is proper. We need the permit for mere possession in our homes, so getting one is the difference between owning guns or not . . . not just the right of carry or not.

    Most towns will issue a permit if you jump thru the hoops. Since 1998 law passed, you need a course the first time (avg price $100), pay $100 for a 6 year permit application fee, etc. Chiefs under "suitability" can add doctor's letters, letters of recommendation, gun club membership, proof of making large deposits, make you take a course for each renewal, etc. Chiefs are political appointees and usually do what they are told to do by their appointing authority (usually anti-gun mayors/selectmen), although some are known to be flaming anti-2A types themselves.

    The legal process itself dissuades many from even applying. After 1998 law went into effect we went from ~2 million permits issued to 200,000. Law also ex-post facto goes back to the day you were born and if you ever got into any legal trouble, you (in most cases) are considered by the state to be a lifetime DQ'd individual. Many who got into bar (fist) fights when they were 18-21 found themselves "forbidden persons" some 40 years later.

    The system here will never get any better. There is a very strong anti-gun feeling, fueled by the media and politicians.
    NRA Instructor

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array DirtDawg's Avatar
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    May 2007

    Angry Its up to the CoP

    Our local Chief won't issue a CCW unless he is "told to" by others. The man is lucky that the PD uniforms are supplied as he probably can't decide what to wear each day.

    Unless you're a politico or celeb elite you're SOL
    Why is it that you always find things at the last place you looked?
    Because when you find something-you stop looking-Mooch

  13. #13
    Lead Moderator Array rstickle's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Laurel, MD
    Maryland is a may issue state, and the chances of getting a permit is slim and none unless you are a politician or meet very specific criteria. If you don't you can apply and end up making a non-refundable contribution to the state treasury.

    Needless to say, groups in the state have been trying to get the law changed for years, with no luck.

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array firefighter4884's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Evansville, IN
    I'm not sure who actually got to make the decision, but I do know that in NJ it is extremely hard to get a permit to carry :(

    In fact, after thinking about it, and considering it, I decided against in. And I know one of the questions was "why do you need a weapon?" and the answer "personal protection" was not a valid one :-/
    Firefighter / EMT - Always Ready. Ever Willing.

    ~Never do anything that you don't want to have to explain to the paramedics...~

  15. #15
    Member Array tabsr's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    Minnesota was a shall issue and you needed political connection to ever be approved. The "shall issue" law passed under the past Republican majority and Gov. Pawlenty, then the state went to shall issue carry permit to the despair of the Minneapolis and St. Paul Sheriffs.

    Minneapolis paper forecasted doom and multiple shootings by carry holders. Initially, the St. Paul Sheriff would add an anti issue statement to every permit issued. This was changed when challenged in court by permit holders and no longer appears on Ramsey County permits but today always delayed and highest rejection rate in the State. The law is carry open or concealed. I can carry in most places including bars and resricted to .04 or trouble.

    We now are politically reversed to liberal house and senate. Surprised this basically historical liberal state would pass the law. Passed in 2003 and challenged by state Supreme Court, chief judge, Carl Eller of football fame and liberal legal wizard that was very experienced in law learned during his carrer at the NFL, surprise, the law was struck down by his leadership!! Two women State Senators revised law the carry law and passed again under Republican control in 2005. I worry about the 2nd rights future with Hillary or Obama.

    Only in America can a NFL football hero become a state supreme justice with no judge experience!!
    "Politicians and Bureaucrats, depend very much on the complicity of their victims, and like criminals, are flummoxed when we don't play the victim role."

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