Federal Laws and Legislation on Carrying Concealed Firearms: An Overview [November 22, 2011] [open pdf - 301KB]
"Carrying a concealed firearm is an activity traditionally regulated by the states. Generally, each state has its own concealed carry eligibility laws and requirements, and determines which out-of-state concealed carry permits it will recognize. Although regulating concealed carry has been left to the states, Congress has passed a few laws that authorize certain individuals to carry concealed firearms across state lines, notwithstanding individual state provisions. In addition, it has enacted a measure that permits individuals to carry concealed firearms on federal lands that are units of the National Park System and National Wildlife Refuge System. Yet, in the past few years, Congress has considered measures that would permit nationwide concealed carry and continues to consider legislation that would allow concealed carry on other federal lands. This report first provides an overview of how concealed carry is generally regulated among the states. It then summarizes the federal laws regulating concealed carry. Lastly, it examines the concealed carry legislation pending before 112th Congress. This report does not address carrying firearms on military installations by military personnel."
CRS Report for Congress, R42099