Understanding Concealed Carry License Abbreviations

Concealed Carry License Abbreviations
Concealed Carry License Abbreviations

Concealed carry license abbreviations are confusing, and unless you are in a “constitutional carry” or permitless carry state, you will need a license or permit to carry your gun when you leave your home. However, the nuances of concealed carry licensing can be confusing, given all the terms used across different states and jurisdictions.

In many states, you will have to go through a process to carry a firearm and then get your license permit, etc., depending on what your state calls it, to legally have a gun on you and exercise your Second Amendment right.

In Arizona, it’s a CWP, in Texas it’s an LTC, and in California, it’s a CCW.

List of Constitutional Carry States

Some states allow constitutional carry, and as long as you can legally own a gun, you can carry. As of 2023, the following states allow constitutional carry: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida (concealed carry only), Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota (concealed carry only), Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee (handguns only), Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

constitutional carry states
Permitless carry states

In a few states, you have to have permission just to have a gun or ammunition at home, like Illinois, with their Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card requirements. After that, you can apply for a concealed carry license. Places like Hawaii, California, and New York make it extremely difficult to get a permit. As you can see, it gets confusing.

What Do Concealed Carry License Abbreviations Stand For

As you can see, the name of the piece of paper permitting you to carry a gun isn’t short, and the concealed carry license terminology is confusing.

  • CCL – Concealed Carry License
  • CCW — Concealed Carry Weapon
  • LTC — License to Carry
  • CHP — Concealed Handgun Permit
  • CCP — Concealed Carry Pistol
  • CCP — Concealed Carry Permit
  • LTCF — License to Carry Firearm
  • CWP — Concealed Weapons Permit
  • CHL — Concealed Handgun License
  • CPL — Concealed Pistol License

You May Need a License to Carry Weapons Besides Guns

Not only does this term include handguns, but it may also include other types of weapons, like knives or non-lethal weapons like pepper spray. Applicants need to know precisely what the term means in their own jurisdiction, and if traveling to different states, make sure you understand how the laws work. When another state recognizes your permit, they call it reciprocity.

Understanding concealed carry license abbreviations like CCL, CHL, CWP, CCW, and LTC is important because whenever you read articles, they refer to them differently and sometimes incorrectly. Knowing what they refer to will help you carry legally and clarify concealed carry laws and the requirements tied to the license.

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Brian Armstrong Journalist
Brian Armstrong grew up in a small farm town in rural Indiana and learned to shoot before he learned to drive. His career began in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where he worked as a firefighter and a medic before moving to Chicago. Throughout the years, he has owned multiple businesses, from construction to technology. He is back to his emergency services roots -teaching emergency first aid and firearms courses, along with writing for numerous publications. He believes the best way to learn "HOW" to do something is first to answer "WHY" you do something. He is your average guy with views like yours. Now, he's sharing the knowledge he's gained from teaching, learning from others, and researching topics you don't have time to explore. His feeling about staying safe is "The best way to win a fight is not to get into a fight!" He is always looking for new ideas. If you have a topic, current news you would like covered, or a publication looking for content, please reach out and let him know. You can follow him @LetsTalkDGU and #LetsTalkDGU


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