A concealed weapon is a weapon carried on or close to the person in a location where it cannot be immediately seen. The weapon may be concealed inside clothing, inside bags, or inside a vehicle. Laws regarding carrying weapons vary from country to country; in the United States, for example, in every state a person must have a special license or permit in order to be legally permitted to carry a concealed weapon.
The precise definition of what constitutes a weapon varies by location. In most jurisdictions, handguns, switchblades, metal knuckles, razors, blackjacks, and other related items are considered to be weapons. Generally, if an item can be used to injure someone, it can be considered a weapon for purposes of concealed carry laws.
Carrying a concealed weapon is usually illegal unless the carrier has required permits under law. In most jurisdictions, the right to carry a concealed or hidden weapon is vested in those with a "concealed carry" license. The requirements for obtaining such a license vary by location.
In some situations, merely having a permit for the weapon and being a citizen or resident is sufficient to permit an individual to carry a weapon on his person, even if the weapon is concealed. In Vermont, for example, no additional permit is required at all, but in other jurisdictions, the rules are more stringent. In jurisdictions that issue additional permits or licenses, the names and requirements of the license differ. For example, in some places, a concealed weapon permit is required, while in others, a "license to carry" is needed.
To obtain a license, certain requirements must be met. Standard rules for a concealed carry permit include being over the age of 18 or 21, depending upon the location. Generally, most places will not allow convicted felons to carry a weapon on their person. Some jurisdictions will also run more extensive background checks before issuing a permit, while the strictest locations require anyone seeking a license to carry and conceal a weapon on his or her person to demonstrate a specific need to do so.
The right to carry and conceal a weapon on the person is limited by other public safety laws. For example, brandishing the weapon in a public location remains illegal. The weapon must also be declared to police or other security officials, and the permit, if required, must be shown upon request.