What is a CCW Permit?

In the minds of most people, a CCW (Carry a Concealed Weapon) means carrying a concealed firearm in public. Since many states don’t have open carry laws, many assume that Minnesota offers a CCW. The truth is that Minnesota is an open carry state, which is why we have a “Permit to Carry” instead of a CCW license. You can think of the Minnesota Permit to Carry license as our equivalent to other state’s CCW license.

The various states use different terms for licenses or permits to carry a concealed firearm. Here’s a quick cheat sheet for the various acrostics:

  • Concealed Handgun License/Permit (CHL/CHP)
  • Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW)
  • Concealed (Defensive/Deadly) Weapon Permit/License (CDWL/CWP/CWL)
  • Concealed Carry Permit/License (CCP/CCL)
  • License To Carry (Firearms) (LTC/LTCF)
  • Carry of Concealed Deadly Weapon license (CCDW)
  • Concealed Pistol License (CPL)

Here is a cool, animated GIF that shows how the carry and concealed handgun and firearm laws have developed since 1986.  This is taken from open source/common areas of Wikipedia.



Just remember, Minnesota is an open carry state, so we have a Permit to Carry license, not a Concealed Handgun License.

Bill English
NRA Instructor

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