In any state where you can concealed-carry, a handgun is always covered. Beyond that, the law will vary from state to state.
So, what firearms will CCW not cover?
Surprisingly, it’s a question that doesn’t come up that often. Given that handguns are the most logical option for CCW permit-holders, the question doesn’t get asked all that much.
This is really about SBR’s. The only legal firearm that logically makes sense to concealed-carry beyond a handgun is an SBR, or short barreled rifle. A sawed off shotgun is also an option, but carrying one of these legally requires a taxed permit. Plus it may not be allowed in your state at all…
It’s hard to get a straight answer on what you can concealed-carry beyond a handgun. Technically, the law in most states is written to allow for CCW of anything you can fit. But, many CCW permits include the word “pistol” in their phrasing, meaning that it’s a decision that’s going to be made by the courts should the case go to trial.
Ultimately the answer comes down to this:
It may or may not be legal in your state to CCW an SBR, but it’s not advisable. The appeal of CCW is discretion, comfortably carrying a weapon for self-defense wherever you go. It’s hard to be discrete when you carry an SBR and it’s hard to find a comfortable place to holster it. Even if it is 100% legal in your state to CCW whatever you like, many people are unaware, including law enforcement officers.
If you do decide to carry, you may be required to carry it unloaded if your state has laws against transporting loaded long guns. An unloaded firearm makes it a less-than-ideal option for self-defense.
Finally, because there’s not much legal precedent in this regard, you’re likely to be at the mercy of the judge if a law enforcement officer decides to charge you.
Here’s our take:
If you want to concealed-carry an SBR, check your CCW permit. If it specifically employs a word like “pistol,” our advice is to not risk it unless you have a really good lawyer. The problem is that there is no legal precedent for this in most states, so while we can tell you what the law is on the books, we can’t tell you how any individual judge is going to interpret it.