It’s true that you can get your training for your concealed carry permit online under very limited circumstances. And while those who are trying to sell you on this will tell you that it’s the only way to get your permit to carry, this is not true.
Furthermore, regardless of what they may say, this won’t be beneficial for everyone.
There are certain pitfalls you need to be aware of, as well as scammers who are out to do nothing but take your money and run after selling you a service you don’t need.
I have seen this firsthand after people contacted a company I work with who sells a legit online concealed carry permit course telling us all about how they were ripped off, expecting a permit from the company (which is actually issued from a STATE), and just overall having a bad experience.
Let’s go over the online concealed carry permit and answer some questions that you may have, to see if getting your permit this way is right for you —
Can I legally get a concealed carry permit online?
Yes you can get a concealed carry permit online that will allow you to carry a concealed firearm in up to 28 states at the time of this writing. This is perfect for those people who travel a lot and are unable to get a permit in their home state, or their home state would allow them to get a permit but they don’t have the time to go to an actual class for traditional training.
Which states allow me to get a concealed carry permit on the internet?
There are actually a couple of states that enable people to get a permit by online means. Tennessee is a recent newcomer to this type of permit and just added a provision that allows you to get a permit online. Here is a link to the TN gov website giving more info.
But, if you live in a place like Maryland (or any other state) you cannot get your TN concealed carry permit. As far as the above linked website is concerned (and they’d know) you must be a TN resident.
So what are you to do if you want to get a permit online without leaving the comforts of your home?
You can get what is called a non-resident concealed carry permit from a state that offers this specific option.
What is a non resident concealed carry permit?
A non resident concealed carry permit is one for a state that you don’t live in. Some states allow people who are not residents of that state to get the concealed carry permit from that state. While many states do not allow this, some do.
An even fewer number of states allow a resident of another state to get a concealed carry permit by taking a class online, paying the fee to obtain the permit, and sending credentials in to that state proving that the requirements for obtaining that permit have been satisfied.
One of the most famous examples of this is Virginia. But hold on for a moment, because …
You may not need to pay for extra training for a Virginia non-resident permit if you meet other qualifications —
This is what almost nobody else tells you because they just want your money.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has opened up their permit process for non resident, United States citizens, as well as regular VA citizens and all the training can be done online–but doesn’t have to be.
One of the ways those scammers present info is by telling you the only way to get your VA permit is by online means.
The following was pulled from the Virginia State Police website listing all of the ways you can get your non-resident VA permit:
Documentation of Proof of Handgun Competency – Section 18.2-308.02
The court shall require proof that the applicant has demonstrated competence with a handgun and the applicant may demonstrate such competence by one of the following, but no applicant shall be required to submit to any additional demonstration of competence:
- Completing any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or a similar agency of another state;
- Completing any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;
- Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services;
- Completing any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;
- Presenting evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or current military service or proof of an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed services;
- Obtaining or previously having held a license to carry a firearm in this Commonwealth or a locality thereof, unless such license has been revoked for cause;
- Completing any firearms training or safety course or class, including an electronic, video, or on-line course, conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor;
- Completing any governmental police agency firearms training course and qualifying to carry a firearm in the course of normal police duties; or
- Completing any other firearms training which the court deems adequate.
In case you skimmed the list above, number 7 is the one that mentions the online stuff, but even having served honorably in the military or taking a hunter safety course qualifies you.
If you meet any of the above requirements, you don’t need to take any other classes. You can stop reading this article, and go visit Virginia’s government website for the info you need.
However, if you don’t meet the above requirements, keep reading on how to obtain the legit training from the decent people I know personally who walk you through the process.
Also, there can be huge benefit to taking an online concealed carry class from a reputable teacher (like the guys I show you at the bottom), who are actually into guns and teach real classes in person.
In fact, I recommend that if you were going to qualify with only a hunter ed class you took that you do take another class either online, or in person.
Why? Because it can only help.
Is an online concealed carry permit valid in my state?
This is a tricky question to answer correctly because the Virginia non resident permit will allow you to carry in 28 or so states. Why it’s tricky, is because even if your state honors a non resident VA permit, they may still require you to get a concealed carry permit from your own state.
Another way of putting it just so I’m making myself clear, is they may honor people who don’t live in your state to have a VA non resident permit, but anyone who lives in your state, including you, may not have it honored.
I may put a resource together at some point in the future highlighting which states honor it, which ones don’t, etc., but for now, I highly recommend you research your state’s gun laws to find out what they honor and don’t.
Is an online concealed carry permit a loophole?
No, it’s not a loophole.
Anyone trying to sell you on a Virginia non resident permit will have you believe that everyone needs this in order to carry, or that there is some sort of massive loophole allowing you to carry a gun in all 50 states.
That second thought is extremely dangerous and has potential to land some people in deep crap. The truth of the matter is that these permits aren’t valid in all 50 states and may not even be valid in your home state.
As stated a moment ago, research is your best tool here, and the only real way to know anything with any certainty. Where do you start?
Much with the above linked state websites for Tennessee and Virginia, all states in the country have similar. Check out your state, and any state you plan to visit with your non resident permit to find out if they will honor that permit, or not.
Should I still take an in person class?
Without a doubt, yes you should take an in person class the first second you can. It doesn’t have to be a concealed carry class unless you plan to get another permit in your state. However, any kind of more advanced training you can get will only help you.
Furthermore, you should be training for EDC whenever you possibly can.
I’ve had a lot of training in my life from what I learned in the Marines, law enforcement academy, concealed carry permit training, etc. And, I still opt to refresh my skills from time to time.
In fact, I think anyone who is serious about defending him or herself should consider taking at least one class a year for more advanced tactics. Sadly, I’m due but this pajama party known as coronavirus has really put a damper on my ability get out of the house as of late.
A word of caution regarding some companies selling you these services:
I want to warn you that some of the companies out there selling these services are crap. Some of these people are better marketers than they are gun folk, and their main goal in life is just to make money.
I’ve seen some horrible ads out there, some of them telling you that you’re going through a loophole which is untrue.
They say that you can carry in all 50 states without restriction, which you can’t.
Others say that if you complete their class that THAT is your concealed carry permit which is utter BS.
They fail to mention that the class is nothing more than to show you’re qualified to safely handle a firearm. They never say, or say in very fine print, that you still need to go through the state of VA to get the actual permit.
No private entity can issue a concealed carry permit, and the state or local jurisdictions can.
They also rarely walk their customers through the actual steps to get the permit, and support afterward is so bad their customers end up reaching out to my below linked friends for help.
Anyone who tells you otherwise for any of the above is full of baloney and not to be trusted. In fact, there is only one company I do trust, and it’s because I work with them very closely and consider them to be my friends.
They walk you through the process and I’ve viewed the content. It’s good stuff.
Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.