November 29, 2016

Conscientious, law-abiding, licensed concealed carry gun owners have to do a lot of preparation in order to travel from one state to another state these days.

Consider that you need to know your state’s concealed carry laws, determine the concealed carry laws of the states that you will be traveling to and through just to carry your handgun across state lines in the U.S.

Many states honor permits or licenses issued by other jurisdictions as long as they have comparable standards. Unfortunately, not all states have comparable standards.

In fact, every state interprets things differently and there are different requirement, penalties etc. Most states issue concealed carry permits, but a few, like Florida, issue actual licenses to carry a concealed handgun. Then there are states like Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey and certain counties and cities in California and New York that do not allow citizens to carry concealed handguns-Period. On the opposite end of the spectrum, are states that have no requirements to obtain a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm; known as Constitutional Carry States. Those states are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming,

Some states have no reciprocity with any other state, like California, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.  Some have reciprocity with only neighboring states, while many have reciprocity with 15 to 20 other states. No state has reciprocity with all other states.

Sound confusing? You bet it is. Why don’t we have national reciprocity where every state recognizes every other states permits and licenses to carry a concealed handgun?  Gun rights advocates have pushed for it forever. Several representatives have introduced Bills for it in the House for years. The latest was the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, known as H.R. 402.  Under H.R. 402, the federal criminal code would be amended, allowing a person who has a valid government-issued ID and a concealed carry permit from one state would be allowed to possess, transport, ship and receive firearms in every other state.

So what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Issues of what people’s rights are under the law have to be settled by the Supreme Court. And reciprocity has been determined to be an issue of rights. Is a person’s right to carry a firearm considered to be a fundamental right? While the Supreme Court has ruled that a person has a right to own a gun, it has not ruled on whether a person’s right to carry a gun is protected. Until a court case pushing for that right makes it’s way to the Supreme Court, it is not likely we will see a decision on National Reciprocity.