The term Shall Issue is used in the industry to refer to states that have policies in place that require that law enforcement or the designated governing body, issue permits to applicants who meet the requirements set by the law regardless of any arbitrary bias or discretion the issuing authority may have. While some states give the issuing authority some discretion based on their intimate knowledge of the applicants danger to society; most of these states are still considered Shall Issue states as they are not able to employ any arbitrary discretion.
May Issue states then are those that leave the discretion to the local authority to decide if they will issue the permit to the applicant or not regardless if the applicant has met the legal requirements to apply. The likelihood of obtaining a permit in May Issue states, counties, or local municipalities varies from one to the next and is often influenced by social status or demonstrated “need.” A recent federal court decision in reference to the laws in Washington D.C. may have some bearing on reducing the power of May Issue policies everywhere in the U.S.A.
Constitutional Carry is the term most often used to refer to the right to carry concealed without a issued permit or license. Read more about it here: Constitutional Carry Deep Overview
- Green = No permit required to carry concealed. (Constitutional Carry)
- Blue = Shall Issue. States that issue a permit to the applicant if they meet the constitutional requirements and pass the required background check
- Red = May Issue. States that exercise discretion by requiring the applicant show need or cause, or by out right not issuing permits to anyone