Can I Carry in a State That Doesn’t Honor My Concealed Permit?


It’s a great question and there’s a simple answer: No. The law is the law, and it’s your duty to know it before crossing state lines.

What this question is really asking is: Can I break the law? As responsible gun owners, we must obey the law, and we do that by first gaining knowledge of it. There is no one permit that holds reciprocity in all 50 states, but some states do have reciprocity. Arizona, for example, has written reciprocity agreements with eight other states, and unwritten recognition in 28 other states. New York, Maryland, California, Hawaii and New Jersey offer no reciprocity. This is very easy to check online, so you can’t use an excuse of being ignorant of the law if you choose to carry anyway and get caught.

So, how do you drive from Point A to Point B crossing state lines with your handgun?

Map your route and research the laws in each district you will travel through. Some states will require that your handgun be stowed and locked. If you don’t already have a small gun safe or lock box, now may be the time for such an investment.

There are other state and regional laws to consider while on the road. Some states, even with reciprocity, have restrictions on how handguns can be stowed in a vehicle. (This article, “Read This If You Carry a Gun While Driving” talks about important stuff.)

States have varying laws on whether you have a duty to inform an officer of the law when you are carrying. As always, be sure to have your permit on your person. There is always the option of applying for a non-resident concealed carry permit. Choose a state that has wide reciprocity to allow far reach for your permit. Some of the greatest states for this are: Arizona, Idaho, North Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Utah. The permit from VirginiaConcealed.com for a Virginia non-resident permit is available to U.S. citizens in all 50 states and allows you to carry concealed in 29 states.

If you travel enough, it may well be worth your time and money to pursue this option.