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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 his 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; some individual studies suggest that CCW reduces violent crime; others suggest that it increases violent crime.

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