What’s An Average Wait Time On A Concealed Carry Permit?

What’s An Average Wait Time On A Concealed Carry Permit?

Bureaucracy. The pillar of western civilization. Despite each state having its own process for a concealed carry permit or license, there is no uniform waiting time between all fifty.

Each state has a different process, different policies, requirements, and processing times. There are peak periods where, for whatever reason, a lot of people are either renewing, updating, or applying for the first time and that causes a backlog. For states that allow residents to carry concealed without a permit, this at least gives the resident the opportunity to keep a gun on himself while he waits for his permit to process.

In the state of New Hampshire, prior to constitutional carry, the issuing authority (usually the police chief) had up to 14 days to issue a permit unless he had reasonable cause to not issue one.

In North Carolina, friends of mine report waiting up to 5 months to receive theirs.

Unless there are specific laws on the books dictating how long the state’s issuing authority has to issue a concealed carry permit, waiting times will vary significantly from place to place.

A lot of reported wait times for concealed carry permits are from word of mouth. Rarely, if ever, do issuing authorities publish a firm set time.

First time applicants for concealed carry permits can generally expect to run into the longer wait times. This is because the issuing authority generally needs to run a background check and confirm references, training requirements, etc.

If you are renewing your concealed carry permit — versus first-time application — your turnaround time will likely be far less. One of my colleagues in Washington state got his renewal permit in eleven business days. This is in comparison to another colleague who lives in Seattle and had to wait over a month and a half to get his permit in the mail.

Just like driver’s licenses, concealed carry permits are prone to the same sort of bureaucratic backlog that happens when any government issues a permit for something. It’s dependent upon the clarity of the investigation, the completeness of the application, all supporting paperwork in its place, and the number of applications processing at a single time.

In general, if you’re a first time concealed carry applicant, make sure you have all the following in perfect order:

  • Training certificate issued by a state-recognized instructor or course of instruction
  • Complete application with all fields filled out appropriately
  • Make sure you have recorded the correct phone numbers and e-mail addresses for any personal references
  • Where applicable, if there is a legal issue that needs to be addressed prior to the application, make sure you have documentation supporting you have settled it

The basic rule for paperwork processing is, “don’t be the one.”

Don’t be the one guy who can’t remember his own address or the guy who skips a bunch of fields because he thinks they’re not important or relevant. Don’t be the guy who lists a bunch of references that either don’t know they’re supposed to give you a good reference (it happens) or don’t have the correct method of contact available.

You can’t control how fast your local issuing authority processes your paperwork. You can control how neat and orderly that paperwork is. In general, wait times are usually ranged between 7-10 business days to 3-4 months depending upon where you live, the temperament of your local issuing authority, and the number of hoops you need to jump through to get your paperwork through the door.

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dilbert bob

It is impossible to get a concealed carry permit in my state. However, I have several non- resident permits and the processing times that each took is varied. Maine took only 10 days but Virginia took 5 1/2 months. I’ve also noticed that some permits are processed by civilians, others are done by officers from a state’s law enforcement community.


What state are you in?

I’ll venture five guesses,
1- New Jersey, A state where if you even own a gun you need to have Attorney Evan Nappen’s phone number handy.
2- New York, or worse yet NYC
3- Maryland, the state where Chrissy Lee Polis was beaten in a McDonald’s, while the staff videoed, for being a member of the LGBT community
4- California, a state whose permitting system is at best a system of political favouritism and at worst, institutionalized racism

Or Last and Worst,
5- Hawaii, where there is one, only one, concealed permit issued.

dilbert bob

New Jersey, the “justifiable need” state.


Here in Upstate NY, it varies from county to county. Some will only issue for hunting and sport shooting, others will issue a permit with a carry restriction for the first year. In our county, because there were over a thousand applications starting in July ’16, it has been taking 16 months or so, but there are no restrictions. A permit requires a safety course, filling out the app, having four references followed by a background check, then fingerprints, an interview, then the blessing from a judge. However, we have one or two detectives allocated in the Sheriff’s department only able to do it 19 hours per week. Our wait times are ridiculous.

Jim L

I used to live on Long Island and it took 2 months back in 1981. I had to take a course at the county pistol and rifle range and pass the written and practical tests. I was only 19 at the time. It was restricted though for hunting and range and was that way when I left LI in 2002. I live in AZ now and it still took me 2 months to get a license here, but I don’t have many restrictions and I can carry in a lot of states. The other thing with NY is that one has to buy a purchase document for the pistol and it has to be inspected by the PD and put on the license. I don’t have to do that here or when I lived in Iowa. NY’s stupid gun laws are one reason I’d never move back. That and property taxes. And cost of living.


The PD doesn’t have anything to do with the gun here. No inspection, etc. Probably because it was LI. This is Upstate and Northern. The lack of reciprocity with othger states sucks, tho’.

Steven RJ Smith

I applied on May 11th of 2017 for the non-resident CHP for Virginia. I had a error on my application which required having to resend them a corrected app. but all in all finally received the Permit today. So 180 days or 5 months, 27 days.

Dr. Frankenstein

In parts of PA it takes 5-10 minutes including background check and photo. Last time it took wifey and me about 15 minutes and we were 2nd in line.


Just finished last stage of completing California CCW permit to carry after summiting application and
completing background check ,training its taken a total of 6 months and to receive permit

Kate B

Miami, Florida (5 days):

1. I took my CWP class on Monday (2 hours) (with 3 friends),
2. Went to Dept. of Agriculture on Tuesday for application process (30min)
3. Got my license mailed out on Thursday
4. In my hand on Friday.

My buddies got theirs the following days. The FL Dept. of Ag. says max 55 days. This was Oct 2017


In 2021 with the number of people migrating to Florida has increased incredibily. The application response time is now almost 90 days.


This is so unconstitutional it is unreal. The 2nd Amendment is the right to carry in anyway, buy, sell, trade own a firearm. Why do have to ask permission from a government for ANYTHING our founders were trying to protect us from? Makes no sense.


I applied for non resident in Arizona and was given a permit in 6 days.