Table of Contents:
- How to Get a Gun License in Texas
- How Do I Get a Gun License in Alabama?
- How to Get a Gun License in Ohio
- How to Obtain a Gun License in North Carolina
- Obtaining a Gun License in New Jersey
Gun laws in Texas are less restrictive than in many states. Texas doesn't require you to register your gun or to purchase a permit to buy or possess a gun. If you want to carry your handgun around with you, that's a different story. If you want to have your gun on or about you –but not visible to the public – you need to get a concealed handgun license.
Take a Course
Find a Department of Public Safety-certified instructor. A qualified course will take between 10 and 15 hours and will cover such topics as how to safely use and store your gun. Private courses are also available. Costs vary but are approximately $100. The DPS has a list of certified instructors.
Determine Your Eligibility
You must be 21 or older and a Texas resident, though some exceptions are made for military personnel and part-time residents. You must also meet the federal and state laws for handgun possession. Criminal convictions, restraining orders and psychological diagnoses are among the grounds on which an applicant will be disqualified from getting a license.
Collect the Necessary Paperwork
You will need valid identification, a Social Security number and proof of residency in the form of a driver's license, utility bill, voter registration card or any other official document that has your address on it. If you are moving to Texas and already have a license from another state, bring that as well.
Apply to the Department of Public Safety
Fill out an application either at the DPS or at a place that sells guns, such as a sporting goods store. If you pick up an application somewhere besides the DPS, you can mail in the application and supporting materials to the department.
Pay the Fee
Generally speaking, the permit costs $140 and is nonrefundable, with senior citizens and low-income Texans paying $70 and a few other qualifying residents (elected prosecuting attorneys, for example) paying less or nothing at all. The DPS website explains who qualifies as low-income.
Wait for New License
If your application is accepted, you will receive your license within approximately 60 days. It will be valid for four years, at which point you can renew it. The license allows you to carry an unlimited number of handguns, though this right is restricted in certain places such as schools and court offices. Theoretically, you could carry 10 handguns with you, if you could conceal all of them.
If you are traveling to another state, your Texas license may not be valid there. Be sure to determine the laws of the states where you're traveling to inquire about concealed weapons laws before you travel.
Your license is a part of the public record. Anyone can find out whether or not you have a carrying license.
Are you under 18? Do you look mentally unsound? Could you pass for a drug addict, alcoholic or violent criminal? If you answered no to all these questions, then congratulations—you can buy and keep a rifle, shotgun or handgun in the state of Alabama.
When you buy your gun, you must keep it in its store packaging until you get it home. That's because it is illegal in Alabama to carry a firearm in your car without a concealed weapons permit. This permit will also be needed if you're anywhere off your property and want to carry a handgun, even in plain sight (that's why this permit is also known as the "pistol permit"). Ignoring this law is serious business.The penalty if you get caught carrying a pistol or concealed weapon without a permit could be one year in jail.
Pistols and Concealed Weapons
To apply for a carry and concealed weapons (CCW) permit, you must contact your county sheriff in Alabama. He will issue a permit to carry if you're at least 21 and appear to be "a suitable person." There is a license fee that varies by county (Montgomery and Mobile charge $20 a year as of 2009). Even with the CCW permit, it is always illegal to bring a gun to an airport, courthouse, near public schools or public gatherings. Other local restrictions may apply, and some counties may run a background check.
If You're Visiting From Another State
If you're not a resident of Alabama, but you're licensed to carry a handgun in another state, you may not need to obtain a new concealed weapons permit while you're visiting Alabama. Thanks to a legal maneuver called reciprocity, as of early 2009 Alabama honors concealed weapons permits from the following states: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
Keep in mind, this list is only a guide—so you should always "call before you carry" when visiting Alabama. In addition, if you move to Alabama permanently, you'll need to obtain an Alabama state-issued CCW permit.
It's illegal in Alabama to own or sell any firearm in which the name or identifying mark of the gun is scratched out or changed. Short-barreled rifles and shotguns are also illegal.
Attend an approved gun safety course. The course must have National Rifle Association (NRA) certified instructors, provide 10 hours of classroom instruction about guns, safety, storage and handling and provide two hours of range or live-fire training. You must pass a written and practical test at the end of the class to receive a Certificate of Competence, which you will need to submit for a concealed carry permit.
Obtain an application for a concealed carry permit by downloading it from the Ohio attorney general's website or picking one up from your county sheriff's office. Fill out the application completely.
Read the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission's pamphlet on firearms, safety and the use of deadly force. You can pick up a copy of the pamphlet at the sheriff's office or download a copy online from the Ohio attorney general's website. You will have to sign a form attesting that you read and understood the pamphlet.
Take your completed application, certificate of competence, recent picture, identification and any proof of military or law enforcement service to your county sheriff's office. The sheriff will accept your application materials, take fingerprints and assess the proper fee amount.
Wait 45 days for your permit to be issued. If you pass the criminal background checks and all of your paperwork is in order, you will receive your permit by mail.
Gun Purchases Require a Permit
Before you can purchase a handgun in North Carolina, you must first obtain a permit. To apply for a purchase permit, you must be at least age 21 and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You must also be a resident of your North Carolina county for at least 30 days and apply for the permit at the sheriff's office in the county where you live.
Application, Fee and Background Check
You can apply for your permit in person or online. If you apply online, you will be asked to show identification when your permit is approved and ready for pick up at the sheriff's office. Otherwise, you must present your ID at the same time you submit your application in person at your county sheriff's office. If you're a military veteran, you can provide a copy of your DD-214 discharge papers. You must pay an application fee, which can vary by county, and undergo a criminal background check to confirm you are eligible to purchase and possess a gun. Persons who cannot obtain permits include those convicted of a felony or domestic violence, those dishonorably discharged from the military, those with a history of substance abuse and those ruled incompetent due to mental illness. If approved, you will be issued a purchase permit valid for five years. If denied a permit, you will be informed of the reason and have the right to appeal.
Permit to Conceal a Gun
If you want to conceal your handgun after purchase, you must apply for a separate concealed carry permit. The requirements are generally the same as those for a purchase permit, including being at least age 21, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, a county resident for at least 30 days, and not the member of an excluded group as confirmed by a background check. If you're currently enlisted in the military, you are not required to meet the residency requirements. You must also complete an approved firearms training course. The concealed permit fee is valid for five years. If denied, you can appeal the decision.
Out-of-State Concealed Carry Permits Honored
If you were granted a concealed carry permit in another state, North Carolina will honor that permit under its reciprocity program. However, you still must comply with state laws governing concealed handguns. For example, state law prohibits you from carrying a concealed gun in correctional facilities, in or around schools, where alcohol is sold and consumed, and inside any business that displays signs banning concealed weapons on the property.
Many people own guns for a variety of reasons ranging from hunting and self-protection to collecting. In the state of New Jersey, you must obtain an "Application for Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or Handgun Purchase Permit" from the New Jersey State Police in order to buy a gun or an "Application for Permit to Carry a Handgun" to carry one.
Preparing to Buy a Gun
The forms needed to buy a gun are available on the New Jersey State Police website under the "Forms" section. Download the "Application for Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or Handgun Purchase Permit" form and complete it. The application requires you to specify a permit type, your name and address, the name and address of your employer and any criminal history. It also requires personal information about any alcohol and substance abuse problems, mental and physical disabilities and the names and contact information of two character references who are not related to you.
Submit the application to a New Jersey police department or state police with the application fee. The application fee is $5 for the first "Firearms Purchaser Identification Permit" and $2 for each "Permit to Purchase a Handgun." These fees must be paid with a money order or a certified check payable to the "Superintendent of State Police" or the police chief of the local police department.
Obtaining a Carry Permit
Download the "Application for Permit to Carry a Handgun" form from the state police forms site. Complete three copies of the application form. You must list the type of permit for which you are applying, your name and address, the name and address of your employer and your criminal history information. You must also submit personal information about any alcohol and substance abuse problems, mental and physical disabilities and the names and contact information of three character references who are not related to you and have known you for three years. Unlike the "Application for Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or Handgun Purchase Permit," these references must also sign the form.
Submit three copies of the application to the police department or state police with the application fee. The application fee is $20. These fees must be paid with a money order or a certified check payable to the "State of New Jersey."
Fingerprints and Photographs
For both permits, you must visit your local police department or state police barracks to have your finger prints taken. The state police charge a fee of $57.50 as of April 2017 for fingerprinting. To carry a handgun, you must also have four 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch photographs taken of your face and shoulders. You cannot wear a hart or sunglasses in the photograph, and it cannot be against a dark background. All four photographs are submitted with the carry permit application. If you cannot take the photographs yourself, visit a local shop that takes passport photographs.