“Constitutional carry” is used within the gun community to mean no permit is required to legally carry a concealed firearm inside a given state, because the U.S. Constitution says Americans have the right to keep and bear arms.
Pitfalls of Constitutional Carry
In some states with Constitutional carry, certain municipalities within the state may forbid concealed carry, and the statewide Constitutional carry does not take precedence over that. Because Constitutional carry states do not issue a “permit” stating the individual can carry a concealed firearm, that person cannot take advantage of reciprocity with other states that do have a permit system.
Arizona is one state that has a permit process but also recently added Constitutional carry. Obtaining the permit allows the person to take advantage of reciprocity with other states.
What does constitutional carry mean?
Constitutional carry is not one well-defined set of laws or statute. The definition varies. In some states it means you can only legally carry a gun that you are registered as the owner of. In other states you can also legally carry guns bought through private sale.
Biggest Flaw of the Permit System
The problem with the current permit system is the illusion people who have earned the permit have that they are ready to defend themselves with the firearm. The minimal firearms training that goes with earning a permit does not carry with it enough skill development to make the permit holder ready to deal with a real-life threat.
In an Ideal World…
The person who owns and carries a defensive firearm, either via Constitutional carry or a state-issued permit, will take the obligation to be a responsible firearms owner seriously and obtain firearms training and specifically concealed carry training. Many training resources exist, and PDN is a great place to start, though getting out on the range with a qualified instructor is also essential.