CCW RECIPROCITY MAPS
What States Will Honor My Permit?
Want to know which states will honor your concealed carry permit? We have the CCW reciprocity map you need plus all the latest information on reciprocity, concealed carry laws, permits, fees, statistics and much more. Select your state on the CCW map below and find out which states will honor your concealed carry permit.
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CCW Tips: Travelling With A Handgun
Concealed Carry History
1991, 1992, 1993
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Hover over the map to stop the slide show
Right To Carry (1986 - 2018)
Until 1813 open carry and concealed carry of a firearm for self defense was accepted by all states. This changed in 1813 when Louisiana and Kentucky banned concealed carry on the grounds that only a criminal would conceal a firearm. Five more states, Alabama, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia enacted similar concealed carry bans by 1859. This was followed by Florida, Oklahoma and Texas by 1900.
Instead of an outright ban on firearms most states had opted to enact concealed carry laws by 1950. A trend towards more liberal firearms laws started in the late 1990s. A browse through the history map above will show the dramatic progression from “No Issue” or “May Issue” states to “Shall Issue” states and now "Unrestricted states".
A growing number of states are now enacting laws that allow you to conceal carry a firearm without a permit. There are now 14 states that allow permitless carry with North Dakota becoming the latest in 2017. This trend has also included more liberal CCW reciprocity laws between states.
Reciprocity & CCW Permits
Travel Tips: For Concealed Carry
Most of us will need to travel interstate at some stage on business or holiday. If you have become used to carrying a concealed firearm then you will probably want to take it with you. If that is the case then to make your trip go as smoothly as possible without any unforeseen problems you will need to do some research on your destination states reciprocity gun laws.
This is a serious matter as some states can sentence you to a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years for being in possession of an unlicensed handgun. Massachusetts has a mandatory sentence of 18 months imprisonment for unlicensed carrying. And if you were convicted of such an offense and received a sentence of 1 year or more you would then be classified as a felon and banned under Federal law from ever owning a gun again. You can check out this list of penalties by State for illegal possession of firearms. It is essential that you consider the following to avoid violating any other State's gun laws;
If you're not traveling in a private vehicle then things can become a bit more complicated. Most airlines and train services will have a check in service for firearms so make sure your firearm is checked in. There can be additional restrictions if you use a bus or metro line. For example, transportation of firearms on MARTA (Atlanta, Georgia) is only legal if you are legally licensed to carry one. If you are licensed, you must have the license with you at all times while carrying your firearm. Firearms are also not permitted on Greyhound buses and cannot be checked in.
Magazine Size Restrictions
A number of states have enacted laws that are specific only to that state. These laws can restrict the type of gun, class of gun, magazine size etc. The following states ban magazines that can hold more rounds than listed in the table.
|California||10||Blocked by Federal judge June 30, 2017 - still in litigation.|
|Colorado||15||Can only possess larger magazine if purchased before July 1, 2013|
|District of Columbia||10|
|Hawaii||10||Exempted if at target shooting range.|
|Maryland||10||Legal to have larger size magazine if purchased out of state.|
|New Jersey||15||Limited to 15 rounds for semi-automatic firearms and 6 rounds for semi-automatic shotguns.|
|New York||10||Antique magazines are exempt if registered to an antique firearm.|
How To Use The FOPA
Must be in transit
You must be traveling to destination where your permit is legal.
Firearm is unloaded
All ammunition must be removed from the firearm.
Firearm is in locked container
Firearm must be placed in gun safe or locked container.
Firearm is in trunk of vehicle
Locked container must be placed in part of vehicle not readily accessible. Not the console or glove box.
Do not stop
Ideally you should not stop but you are permitted to stop at rest areas and service stations.
- Do not give law enforcement probable cause. Your vehicle cannot be legally searched without a warrant, due probable cause or your consent. So if you are stopped then do not give law enforcement permission to search your vehicle.
- Only stop if it is essential. You are generally permitted to stop at rest areas and service stations and even hotels overnight, but staying any longer will weaken the law and leave you unprotected.
- Leave the firearm locked up. At no point while in transit should you ever remove the firearm from the locked case and handle it. It is essential that the firearm remains locked up until you reach your destination if you want to remain protected by the law.
CCW Permit Issue Policies
A permit/license is not required to carry a concealed handgun.
Shall Issue Policy
The applicant only has to meet certain requirements set by law to obtain a permit.
May Issue Policy
The issue of a permit is left to the discretion of the Sheriff or Police.
No Issue Policy
Does not allow any private citizen to carry a concealed handgun in public.
Three of these states will only allow their residents to carry without a permit with non-residents still needing a permit issued by their home state. These states are Idaho, North Dakota and Wyoming. The state of Mississippi only allows permit-less carry if the handgun is in a sheath, holster, purse, handbag, satchel or briefcase.
Open carry without a permit is also allowed in these states except North Dakota and Missouri which has a ban on certain locations.
The state of Vermont has always had permit-less carry and has never issued permits. If residents of Vermont wish to travel out-of-state with their firearm then their only choice is to obtain a permit in a state that has reciprocity agreements with their destination state. Florida concealed carry permits are popular as they can be used in 28 other states. All these constitutional carry states still issue permits on a “Shall Issue” policy to allow their residents to travel interstate.
The partially unrestricted states are Montana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Montana will allow permit-less concealed carry outside certain locations, such as towns, cities and logging camps. New Mexico allows the concealed carry of a handgun without a permit if the firearm is unloaded. You can also carry a loaded handgun in an open or concealed manner if traveling in a vehicle, again without a permit. But as soon as you step outside the vehicle you will need a permit. The definition of a vehicle includes motorcycles, RVs, bicycles, or while riding a horse. Oklahoma will not allow its own residents to carry without a permit. However, if you are a resident of a permit-less carry state then you are legally entitled to open or conceal carry without a permit provided you have a valid state ID on you from your home state.
There are some states whose law is “May Issue” but operate like “Shall Issue” states. These include Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and some cities and counties in California. The issuing authorities in these states have been instructed to issue permits to nearly everyone who meets the requirements.
In Connecticut, the law states permits must be issued on a “May Issue” basis. However, various court rulings have forced the issuing authorities to issue permits on a “Shall Issue” basis to any person that meets the requirements. A 60 -day temporary permit is issued first and then a regular 5 year permit.
Rhode Island has also been forced by the courts to issue permits on a “Shall Issue” basis. The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled on October 25, 2016, that the issuance of permits is not discretionary and they must be issued to any person who meets the requirements.
There are some states that require a refresher firearms course for renewing a permit while others allow for automatic renewal if the permit holder has filed the required documents before the permit expires.
In most "May Issue" states you will also need to show “good cause” as to why you need a handgun. Good cause can be highly subjective and this allows issuing authorities wide discretion in deciding who they will grant a permit to. Self defense is not usually accepted as good cause. Some jurisdictions will also require you to show “good cause” when a renewal application is made and why you should continue to have a firearm.
A permit can even be revoked in certain states if it is determined “good cause” no longer exists for the permit holder to have a handgun. You can also find that some “May Issue” states require a person to be of good character. This involves the applicant submitting evidence in the form of references, resumes, credit history etc.
"May Issue" states can range from permissive to restrictive which is largely based on each authorities willingness to issue permits.
Concealed carry permits are nearly impossible to obtain in urban areas such as Long Island, Boston, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Furthermore, in California, Massachusetts and New York the requirements for “good cause” can vary between counties. The application process in New York City is tedious and time consuming. Waiting up to 8 months for a permit is not uncommon in NYC.
Illinois was the last of the "No Issue" states but was forced to a “Shall Issue” jurisdiction in July 2013 after the states ban on concealed carry was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Seventh Court of Appeals in 2012.
In practice, there are still “No Issue” states and districts. Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey are legally “May Issue” states but act like "No Issue". Some counties and cities in New York, California and Massachusetts all operate like “No Issue” states. Issuing authorities have been directed to rarely or in some cases never issue permits.
Federal Law & CCW Reciprocity
The Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) was enacted on May 19, 1986, by President Ronald Reagan. It was designed to reform the Gun Control Act of 1968 due to reported abuse by the ATF and other issues. The Act also introduced new provisions such as a ban on machine guns, safe passage for travelers, registry prohibition, and clarification of who was a prohibited person. A detailed description of the Firearm Owners Protection Act can be viewed at Wikipedia.
We will focus on the Safe Passage Provision as it is the provision most related to reciprocity and out-of-state travel. The Safe Passage provision was introduced to protect persons traveling from state to state with a firearm. Before the FOPA a person traveling through a state with strict firearms laws could be incarcerated for a firearms offense such as unlawful possession of a weapon.
Now a gun owner can safely travel through a state where it would be illegal for him to possess a firearm if the possession of the firearm is legal in the state of origin and final destination. Certain conditions must be met to ensure the law will protect a person. These are that the person is just traveling through the state and only makes short stops for food and gas. The firearm is not accessible and is unloaded and in a locked container if the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the driver's compartment. The firearm may not be used for self-defense during the trip.
18 U.S. Code § 926A - Interstate transportation of firearms
Not withstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.