*Multistate Concealed Carry*
Lawful carry of a concealed firearm can be quite tricky for the traveler. Some states issue CWP (Concealed Weapon Permits, also referred to as CCW) to anyone without a criminal record or other "red flags"; this is known as "shall-issue CWP"....other states have "Discretionary issue", which in some cases means "forget it!". Some states issue non-Resident permits, many states recognize permits from other states...but some don't.
This article will attempt to appraise the reader of some pertinent facts regarding multistate carry, and provide information on Nonresident permits which are recognized by an unusually large number of other states. The author has attempted to ensure the accuracy of this data, HOWEVER it is entirely the responsibility of the individual to verify pertinent information, and ensure his own compliance with the law. The author disclaims any responsibility for the reader's compliance with the law in any jurisdiction! Now, having got *that* out of the way....
Typically, before one can obtain a Nonresident permit from another state, you have to have a permit issued from your home state. Texas Nonresident CWP is an exception; if your homestate does NOT issue permits at all, Texas will issue you nonres CWP *if* you show proof of training and a clean record.
In most cases, your home-state CWP will be recognized by a number of other states. To find out this information, I suggest you visit www.packing.org. This site is an excellent source of information on CWP in all states, as well as reciprocity, recognition, carry laws by state, and more.
It will probably turn out that there are some states that do not recognize your home-state permit, but to which you may wish to travel and, naturally, to carry. Three states which issue Nonresident CWP, which is widely recognized by a large number of other states, are New Hampshire, Florida, and Texas.
New Hampshire: the easiest Nonres permits to get are New Hampshire's. The cost is a mere $20, it is good for 4 years, and all you have to send is a photocopy of your homestate permit and a filled out application. The application may be downloaded in pdf (adobe acrobat) format from Packing.org, in the New Hampshire section (right-hand sidebar). New Hampshire Nonresident permits are recognized by Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota and Utah. Florida and Michigan only recognize Resident NH permits.
Florida Nonres permits are more costly and require more documentation, but are more widely accepted. Cost is $117 for a 5
year nonres permit. Requirements are:
Application form (2 pages)which requires notarized signature
$117 cashier's check/money order/certified check
Training documentation; eight different records can be accepted such as DD214, NRA/State training course, hunter safety,etc.
One passport sized photo
Florida Nonres CWP's are recognized by Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississipi, Montana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennesee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
Texas Nonres permits: information and forms are available from Texas Dept of Public Safety at www.txdps.state.tx.us. The cost is $140 and requires proof-of-training approved by Texas DPS. Texas Nonresident permits are recognized by Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, Tenessee, Utah, Virginia.
If you are traveling though a state that does not recognize any CWP you possess, or perhaps does not recognize ANY right-to-carry at all, a firearm in the car can be a legally risky situation. State laws about transport of firearms can vary quite a lot. It is almost universal, however, in any state that allows vehicular transport of firearms by non-permitees at all that if the weapon is unloaded and locked away, with the ammunition locked away seperately, that legal problems are unlikely. However, before traveling through a gun-unfriendly state, I would visit their Highway Patrol website and inquire what their exact laws were.
Some of the most gun-unfriendly ( or downright hostile ) states include Massachusetts, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Individual cities that are very hostile to concealed carry include Washington DC and New York City.
No article on CWP would be complete without mention of Vermont: in Vermont, anyone with a clean criminal record can carry concealed or unconcealed. There is a note that some local jurisdictions may have ordinances against open carry, and it is unlawful to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle; but anyone can carry a handgun, without a permit. "Vermont carry" is the goal of many grassroots organizations working to restore our Second Amendment rights.
One final statement: I have been criticized on occasion for being a concealed-carry permit holder, and for advocating that people get permits; the rationale is that getting a permit is compromising a principle that is an absolute, by the Second Amendment. While I certainly wish the Second was properly recognized and no permits required, and I work towards promoting that goal, my argument is:
1. I wish to go armed to defend myself and my loved ones.
2. I do not wish to go to prison, where I will be unable to protect my loved ones, and unlikely to engage in any Pro-Second-Amendment activism.
3. Therefore, I have CWP's.....lots of them:)
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