The kids are out of school, the temperature is 90 degrees or more and the itch to get out of the office and go on vacation is too strong to ignore. Summertime brings to mind some of my favorite activities like swimming, boating, camping, tennis, golf, amusement park rides, the beach and picnics. It also brings up the annual question of what do I do with my concealed carry weapon when I am enjoying those activities?
It is pretty hard to carry a weapon in your bathing suit or shorts and a tank top and could be flat out dangerous to your person to carry it on a roller coaster. Do you carry it in an off body bag or leave it locked up in the car? What do you do with your gun while you are on vacation? Every concealed carrier faces these questions at some point. Here are a few tips from a well-seasoned traveler.
Know the Rules. If you plan to vacation in an out of state area, go to that state’s website and check out the regulations for traveling with a firearm and ammunition. Every state has a different set of laws in regard to how you may transport your guns. While traveling through heavily restricted states, the McClure-Volkmer Act of 1986, an amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1986 gives travelers a “safe passage” through restricted states if guns are unloaded and cased, or locked up, and kept inaccessible with the ammunition stored separately. Not every state allows reciprocity. The site “Know the Gun Laws Before You Go” includes clickable maps showing how states stand on different gun-related issues. The maps are “Gun Laws at a Glance,” “U.S. Concealed Carry Reciprocity” and “U.S. Concealed Carry Recognition.” Want to have the info handy at anytime, get the CCW in all 50 states app. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ryan.ccw&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsInJ5YW4uY2N3Il0.
If you will be traveling via plane, bus or train, there are a lot of great provisions allowed for the transportation of firearms across the United States provided they’re checked in as luggage via either the TSA (for airplanes) or Amtrak’s baggage service (if by train).
If you plan to travel out of the country. Know that Every country has their own laws governing handguns. Your license is for the US, under US (or state-specific) laws. Firstly, you’d have trouble at the border, as you generally need permission or a license to carry a gun on-board a plane, boat, train, or bus, or across borders. Secondly, you would need a license under the laws of the country you’re visiting to carry the gun, concealed or otherwise. These laws often differ depending on the size or capability of the weapon as well.
Even if you are staying in your own state, check out each place you intend to visit beforehand to determine their rules and regulations for firearms and ammunition. Some public places may not permit you to carry a firearm. Remember to be informed, patient, and polite.
Always have control of your weapon. If you’re heading to a theme park with all those insane, 60 mph upside down rides and you intend to carry a gun, make sure it’s in a holster that can withstand all that G-force! Think about a smaller weapon for vacation carry. There are so many great options out there now for smaller arms and more concealable carry; do your research!
If you’re heading to beach or the hotel pool or anywhere else that make it awkward to carry a weapon, be sure that you make your weapon safe and that you secure it so it can’t be accessed by thieves or curious kids. I’m not a fan of leaving valuables in the hotel room unless it has an “in-room” hotel safe, which few affordable hotels do. It pays to have a portable gun safe that you can leave in the trunk of your car. The https://www.corporatetravelsafety.com/catalog/vehicle-safe-information.html site has a large variety of portable gun safes and describes the benefits and deterrents to each- a good place to do some research.
Armed with the right information and the right gear, you’ll have a great summer vacation.