Lifetime CCW Permit - No More Permit Renewal Reminders
Recently, the Missouri legislature announced it would be hearing a bill that would effectively grant a lifetime concealed carry permit to eligible Missouri residents. The measure was proposed as a way to effectively eliminate the need for permit renewals. But, according to that bill, the lifetime permit would only be good for those staying in state. Due to reciprocity agreements enacted with other states, a separate Missouri permit would need to be used to carry across border lines. If you are interested to see what state your permit is honored in, take a look at our concealed carry map we created.
Right now, the only effective lifetime concealed carry permit in existence is constitutional carry. For states like Alaska, Maine, Arizona, and others, people have the right to carry a concealed handgun on their person so long as they're eligible to own a gun by law. This permit is only good for in-state travel, though, and that's not ever likely to change.
Because as it stands, states have agreements with other states to accept or not accept their concealed carry permitting process. While most of it is deeply mired in political banter, it ultimately comes down to states want to know that the concealed carriers coming in from the outside understand the basic ground rules.
Additionally, there is no current government identification card that doesn't have an expiration date attached to it with exception to a social security card, birth, marriage, and death certificates.
It would be nice if our constitutional rights were considered something inalienable alongside a birth certificate but they aren't – and nobody seems to be barking up that tree. So, in the meantime, there is no such thing as a lifetime concealed carry permit that's recognizable outside the state you're living in. And the states for which that is the case, it's a constitutional privilege that's recognized only by your home state.
Different Concealed Carry Privileges For In-State And Out-Of-State Travel
If you live in a constitutional carry state like Maine, you don't need a permit to carry while traveling throughout Maine. However, if you drive right across the border into New Hampshire, you need a non-resident pistol/revolver license. If you're traveling to a state that recognizes Maine's reciprocity, you would still need to apply for a concealed carry permit like constitutional carry never took place.
States only have jurisdiction over themselves. So, it's completely possible to live in a state where lifetime concealed carry permits or licenses are issued. No other state is bound to accept it. That's because each state has their own guidelines and laws governing how concealed carry permits are issued. Some states like New Jersey are almost impossible and other states like New Hampshire are pretty much guaranteed (so long as you're allowed to own a gun).
And even if in the theoretical case the federal government ever decided to create a national concealed carry permit with reciprocity in all 50 states (which it has no plans to do at present), they probably still wouldn't grant a lifetime expiration for it.
So, in the short term, if you are truly interested in a lifetime concealed carry permit good for the state you're living in, consider moving to one of the many and growing constitutional carry states in the country or consider proposing legislature to change your own state's way of looking at it.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.