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Concealed carry or carrying a concealed weapon (CCW), is the practice of carrying a weapon (such as a handgun) in public in a concealed manner, either on one's person or in close proximity. Not all weapons that fall under CCW laws are lethal. For example, in Florida, carrying pepper spray in more than a specified volume (2 oz.) of chemical requires a CCW permit, whereas everyone may legally carry a smaller, “self-defense chemical spray” device hidden on their person without a CCW permit. As of 2018 there have been 17.25 million concealed weapon permits issued in the United States.There is no federal statutory law concerning the issuance of concealed-carry permits. All 50 states have passed laws allowing qualified individuals to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a permit from a designated government authority at the state and/or local level; however, there are still many states that, though they have passed concealed carry permit laws, do not issue permits or make it extremely difficult to obtain one.
A comprehensive 2004 literature review by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that there was no evidence that concealed carry either increases or reduces violent crime. Subsequent research has indicated that right-to-carry laws either have no impact on violent crime or that they increase violent crime.

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