Handguns often fall under a different set of laws than other guns, such as rifles or shotguns, because of the inherent danger in the smaller weapons. While they are less powerful than their larger counterparts, handguns are instead easier to conceal, and therefore present more of a danger than guns which can be easily recognized and avoided or dealt with. As a result, many states have specific handgun laws, and even may require handgun purchasers to obtain a handgun permit in order to keep those handguns.
These handgun permits oft times are related to the simple ownership and purchase of the gun, but other times are more oriented on the concealed carry of handguns which makes them so dangerous. Having a handgun permit for one may not be the same as having a permit for the other.
As an example of this, New Jersey requires citizens to first obtain a lifetime Firearm Purchaser permit, before obtaining any weapon. But then it requires citizens to get a special handgun permit, above and beyond the Firearms Purchaser permit, if they intend to get a handgun. Above and beyond this, New Jersey’s handgun laws are such that it is essentially nigh impossible for any given individual to obtain a concealed carry permit.
Such a handgun permit would be granted to those for whom carrying a gun is a necessary function of earning a living, working a job, but for those who do not require a handgun to perform their job, New Jersey’s handgun laws make it practically impossible, or at the very least, highly difficult, to obtain such a permit.
In Alabama, however, handgun laws are very different. In Alabama, while there is no handgun permit required to simply purchase a handgun (or any other gun, for that matter), a handgun permit is required to carry the weapon concealed. This concealed carry handgun permit is much more easily attainable than is New Jersey’s, however, as one simply need submit an application to the county sheriff and have it be approved.
As yet another example of a different variation on state handgun laws, Michigan’s handgun laws allow for handgun owners to obtain a handgun permit for a concealed carry, but only if the individual satisfies a number of other requirements, including that he or she is 21, that he or she has not been found guilty or accused of certain felonies or misdemeanors within a certain time period, and that he or she has fulfilled a firearms training course officially approved by the state.
Even with a concealed carry handgun permit, however, individuals are restricted from carrying a concealed weapon on certain locations, such as schools, and Michigan handgun laws even require those who carry concealed handguns to immediately inform police officers of this fact if they are stopped.
Regardless of what state you live in, it is fairly safe to assume that carrying a concealed handgun will, under your state’s handgun laws, require some form of permit. Even in those states which are deemed “shall issue,” such as Alabama, permits are still required, though they are easy enough to obtain. It is entirely possible that such handgun permits will not be offered in your state, however, so be prepared for this eventuality.