This newsletter is not intended as legal advice. Gun laws will vary at state, county, and city levels, and we encourage you to learn more about your local laws. If you need legal advice for a particular situation, we recommend contacting a local, competent attorney.
Besides regular questions about reciprocity, we often receive calls and emails from folks wanting to know how they should physically transport their firearm when traveling by car. Below are some quick tips on how to transport your firearm and how to find information on laws when traveling.
If you are not going to look up any state laws prior heading out on a cross country drive and you insist on bringing you firearm, an easy way to stay out of trouble with the law is to keep your firearm unloaded inside a locked container.
States will vary in what qualifies as a locked container. Some states consider your glove box or center console a locked container as long as there is a physical, lockable key cylinder. The trunk of your vehicle may also qualify as a locked container as long as there is no access to the trunk from the passenger area.
Again, if you are not going to look up any laws prior to traveling, we recommend placing your unloaded firearm in a small, lockable container that is out of reach of the driver and any passengers.
A few states we recommend not taking firearms into at all are California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, and the District of Columbia, due to their very strict gun laws.
If you are planning to carry concealed while traveling through different states, first you will need to make sure your permit is honored by the states you are passing through. A quick, and unofficial way to check your permit’s reciprocity is available at USACarry.com.
Next, you will need to determine if the states you are passing through allow concealed carry in a vehicle. Many states will allow you to carry concealed in your vehicle. One tricky aspect occurs when you park in a location where it is not legal to carry concealed, such as school property in many states. In Arizona, for example, you must unload and secure your firearm prior to exiting your vehicle when on school property.
Usually states will have their concealed carry laws posted on the Department of Public Safety, State Trooper, or Attorney General’s website, so be sure to check each before your trip. If you need help locating information, don’t hesitate to email or call.