How to Get a Gun License for Personal Protection

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Laws regulating carrying a handgun in public for personal protection are controlled at the state level. As such, there are 50 different ways to obtain a license. There are federal rules that apply to everyone. For example, a convicted felon cannot legally own or possess a weapon. Neither can a person who has an order of protection against him. A gun owner must be either a citizen or a legal resident.

Alaska, Vermont and Arizona do not require any permission for an otherwise legally capable adult to carry a handgun. Many states like Indiana are permissive about legally carrying handguns with a license, while others such as Illinois and Wisconsin make it legally impossible to obtain a concealed handgun license regardless of the need for personal protection.

Various State Examples

Step 1

Apply at the local police station or county sheriff in Indiana. You must be at least 18 years old with a clean record. No previous classes or testing is required. Fill out the application and have fingerprints taken. You do not have to justify why you would like a license. The fee is $30 for a four-year unlimited license or $75 for a lifetime unlimited license.

Step 2

Complete successfully a handgun proficiency course taught by a certified instructor in Texas. You must be at least 21, or 18 if in the military and with a clean record. You may apply online at www.texasonline.state.tx.us/txapp/txdps/chl/ and the fee is $70. No reason must be given for desiring to carry a handgun.

Step 3

Complete an application and turn it in with fingerprints and $65 at the Georgia county courthouse. You must be a resident of Georgia for at least 90 days. You must be at least 21 and have a clean record. It takes approximately six months to receive the license after application. You do not have to justify why you desire a license or take prior training.

Step 4

Apply at the New York county clerk’s office. Each county in New York has its own rules concerning qualified applicants, length of residency, training and other requirements so check ahead before applying. Some counties make it very difficult for residents to obtain a license to carry a handgun, even with a compelling need for protection, while others make it easier. In general, you must be at least 21 years old, have a clean record, and be of good moral character. In some counties it may take six months or more to obtain a license.


About the Author

Jack Burton started writing professionally in 1980 with articles in "Word from Jerusalem," "ICEJ Daily News" and Tagalong Garden News. He has managed radio stations, TV studios and newspapers, and was the chief fundraiser for Taltree Arboretum. Burton holds a B.S. in broadcasting from John Brown University. He is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Navy/Navy Reserves and the Navy Seabees.

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