How Your Concealed Carry License Fares in Other States

Concealed Carry Reciprocity
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How Your Concealed Carry License Fares in Other States

There’s no U.S. state where it’s illegal to own a gun.

So, you can leave Nebraska and travel to California with no firearms-related complications, right? Not necessarily, especially when it comes to concealed carry. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Whether your concealed carry gun rights apply in other states depends on reciprocity
  • Reciprocity is an agreement between states that their residents may cross-carry
  • Failure to respect reciprocity rules can lead to fines, jail time, or both
  • Political developments may signal the end of reciprocity in the future

While The United States as a whole allows guns, individual states have their own rules when it comes to concealed carry, who can do it, and when and where it’s permitted.

This is the essence of concealed carry “reciprocity”how your home state’s gun rules translate over into other states willing to acknowledge your firearms training and carrying credentials.

Some states recognize concealed carriers from anywhere in the country.

Others are only willing to reciprocate with a few specific states. Some states won’t recognize any permits or licenses from beyond their borders. 

This guide will walk you through concealed carry reciprocity in the United States and highlight states with a lot – and not so much – in common.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity at a Glance

Every firearm owner should familiarize themselves with the concealed carry reciprocity laws of any state(s) they plan to visit.

Sites like Giffords Law Center Laws offer an interactive reciprocity map that provides fast insight into where your home state’s concealed carry permit is and isn’t honored.

You can also research reciprocity based on both resident and non-resident carry status.

For example, Ammunition Depot’s home state of Florida reveals that it honors permits from 34 states (35 counting itself) but doesn’t recognize the rights of concealed carriers from 17 others.

Switch to non-resident status and those numbers drop in both cases.

Click on New York and you’ll discover just how harsh some states can be when it comes to reciprocity: The Empire State won’t honor concealed carry credentials from anyone but themselves.

Select California and you’ll find a similarly restrictive reciprocity situation.

Visiting or even traveling through such strict jurisdictions could land you in a lot of trouble no matter how hard you worked to attain your concealed carry license/permit back home.

Consequences of Ignoring Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Breaking the firearms rules in your own state can result in fines, jail time, or both.

It’s no different if you cross state lines without respecting the reciprocity fine print in those jurisdictions.

Consider the Duty to Inform (DTI) rule that governs whether a concealed carrier has to reveal their status and any firearm they’re carrying to a law enforcement official if stopped.

The DTI rule itself has three divisions: DTI when asked, DTI without being asked, and no DTI.

Matters get more complex when we consider that in some states, like Maine and North Dakota, there’s a DTI only if you’re carrying without a permit; with a permit, they’re no DTI states.

This rule is actually one of the easiest to avoid prosecution is by simply volunteering the information in all instances.

Other rules are not so easily managed. Your home state concealed carry license may allow you to carry in bars, for example.

Your destination state may have zero tolerance for this, which could lead to conflict with the bar owner and local law enforcement.

Charges of criminal trespass, financial penalties, and imprisonment could all result quickly without any conscious intent to cause trouble.

Reciprocity Complaints Among Gun Owners

There’s an understandable air of annoyance, confusion, and apprehension that surrounds concealed carry reciprocity despite the many easily accessible research sources available.

Rules akin to a driver’s license – being a nationally recognized and accepted standard of skill – would certainly simplify things for concealed carriers who could gain credentials in one state that all others would honor.

There would be no arrests for law-abiding carriers, no prosecutions, and a much-reduced chance of misunderstandings.

The accepted limitations of locational restrictions would still be respected, meaning states would retain their power to say where and when gun owners could carry, creating a win-win scenario in many ways.

The NRA is firmly behind it for five good reasons and it’s a situation that many politicians are hoping to make a reality.

The passing of their goals into law would mean that anyone with a valid concealed carry license/permit could confidently carry in any other state that requires its residents to have similarly recognized training.

Will Concealed Carry Reciprocity become a thing of the past?

Concealed carry reciprocity started making headlines as 2021 began.

January 4th saw Republican Richard Hudson introduce H.R. 38, or the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which has 190 cosponsors to date.

Rep. Hudson has attempted to pass the Act into law once in the past and is determined to pursue the matter until it does.

In his words:

“Our Second Amendment rights do not disappear when we cross state lines, and H.R. 38 guarantees that.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is a commonsense solution to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits.”

It’s a sign of America’s divided views on gun rights that H.R. 38 hasn’t moved along politically since its introduction in January.

Legislation watchdog GovTrack reported that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act only has a 2% chance of being enacted.

The issue continues to be debated, but its advocates have vowed to continue fighting for it.

Reciprocity rules can be subject to change like all gun-related matters.

This makes sites like Concealed Coalition a great place to start learning. They offer flexible online training, education, and certification in the use of firearms all designed to help people around the country successfully achieve their concealed carry license.

Contact the Experts with any Questions

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