States Where Firearms Safety Classes Are Required

What you’ll need to do to legally own and use a gun, beyond basic state and federal guidelines, varies by state. Some states, such as Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming, allow you to conceal carry without a permit. Conversely, there are states where there’s a need to take a gun safety course, although the specifics of related requirements also vary. Below, we focus on these states and point out why taking a firearms safety course is a good idea regardless of what applies in your state.

States with Safety Course Requirements for Licensing

If you’re going by what you’ll need to do to obtain a license to carry a gun in various states, the ones that require safety training or have related exam requirements are:

• California
• Connecticut
• Maryland
• Massachusetts
• Rhode Island
• Washington

This list includes the District of Columbia as well. Hawaii requires safety courses for handguns but not long guns. Massachusetts also requires safety training to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun. 

Permitless States Requiring Live Training

If you live in a state that doesn’t require a permit, whether or not you opt to take a firearms safety course is usually up to you. But there are two exceptions. Kansas and Alaska are the only two permitless states requiring live firearms training.

Firearms Training Requirements for Residents & Visitors

Six states require live firearms training for both residents and travelers from other states wishing to concealed carry while visiting. These are:

• Connecticut
• Illinois
• Maryland
• New Jersey
• Rhode Island
• Minnesota

Firearms Safety Training Requirements when Traveling between States

Keep in mind that some states have training or safety-related requirements that apply to out-of-state visitors. For instance, to keep your permit from Virginia valid if you travel to North Carolina, you’ll need to pay a fee, answer some questions, and watch an online gun safety video. Utah and Arizona, on the other hand, don’t have live-fire training requirements. In fact, both of these states allow people from across the country to apply for permits.

Importance of Taking a Firearms Safety Course (Regardless of What’s Required)

If your state has no gun safety course requirements, this doesn’t mean it’s not still a good idea to take one. If you’re a first-time gun owner and you have no previous experience with firearms, it can be helpful to learn the basics of firearms safety in a more structured way. Plus, you may find yourself needing to know what’s typically covered in these courses if you move to another state or, as mentioned above, travel to certain other ones. Firearms safety courses are also beneficial, even when participation is entirely voluntary, for the following equally compelling reasons:

• You’ll gain more confidence when handling firearms
• You’ll learn the basics of federal, state, and local regulations you need to be aware of when carrying and/or using firearms
• You’ll learn more about ammunition and general gun maintenance
• You’ll be better prepared if you travel with firearms

This list may not have been updated with passing of new state laws. Please check the laws for the state you are interested in. It is also your responsibility to check what the class requirements are for each state.

If you’re not sure about the applicable gun laws in your state, don’t hesitate to call on the firearms education experts at Gun Safety Training Pros. We offer the highest-quality weapons training online, and we can answer all your questions about carrying your gun legally. If you’re looking for a premier handgun safety class online, reach out to us today at