Federal Laws

Federal Off-Limit Areas (Even With a Permit)
  • Federal Courthouses*
  • Federal Buildings*
  • Any Building Owed, Leased or Rented by the Federal Government. This includes buildings in National Forests which are property of the Federal Government. There is no Federal Law that prohibits carry in National Forests. States control the carrying of firearms in National Forests in their state.
  • Federal Prisons*
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers* - The Corps builds and runs flood control and navigation Dams. The Corps has jurisdiction over the Dam Site and usually all waters backed up by the dam. Carry anywhere on Corps property is illegal. Firearms can be unloaded and secured in a vehicle while on Corps Property.
  • National Cemeteries*
  • Military Bases Firearms are forbidden on military bases even unloaded and secured in a vehicle. Carry not allowed. Some have shooting clubs. You can take firearms onto the Base to shoot if allowed by the base. Certain rules/regulations must be met before bringing firearms onto a Military Compound. Check at each Military Post for specific rules on Shooting Clubs.
  • Rented Offices, Any part of any building that the Federal Government has rented for Office space or work force etc. Just their offices or the part of the building they have control over. You can carry in the rest of the building if state or local laws allow.
  • Amtrak will have a system in place to check firearms/Ammo in (Amtrak Firearms Policy)
  • Post Office - Postal regulations prohibit the possession of firearms in their buildings and in their parking lots or any property they own.
  • Bureau of Land Management* - If you can legally carry in the state the BLM land is in you can carry on the BLM land. If it is not legal the area will be posted as no firearms allowed. Any building on the BLM land operated by the federal government is considered federal property and carry in those buildings is not allowed.
  • Indian Reservations - Carry on Indian property is controlled by Tribal Law. You must check with each tribe before carrying on their property. Some Indian Tribes consider federal and state highways through their property as under their control.
* This includes parking lots adjacent to or part of the facility if the Federal Agency/Entity owns or has control of the parking lot and it is posted “No Firearms”. The lot has to be posted under federal law if they do not wish to have firearms present.

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 makes it illegal for a person who fits into any of the following categories to receive or possess a firearm. These laws prevent the State from issuing a Pistol Permit because it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by Federal law, to own or possess a gun.

  • Fugitives from justice
  • Persons who are unlawful users of or are addicted to narcotics or any other controlled substances
  • Persons adjudicated as a mental defective or who have been committed to a mental institution
  • Persons who have been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one (1) year
  • Persons who are under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one (1) year
  • Military veterans discharged under dishonorable conditions
  • Persons who have renounced U.S. citizenship
  • Aliens illegally in the U.S.
  • Persons subject to a court order that restrains them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner
  • And persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence

State Laws


  • Unrestricted jurisdiction: A permit/license is not required to carry a concealed handgun
  • Shall-issue jurisdiction: A permit/license is required to carry a concealed handgun. The applicant only has to meet certain requirements set by law. There is no requirement for the applicant to demonstrate "good cause".
  • May-issue jurisdiction: A permit/license is required to carry a concealed handgun. The applicant has to meet certain requirements set by law. The applicant may also have to demonstrate "good cause" as to why they need a handgun. The issue of a permit is left to the discretion of the Sheriff or Police.
  • No-issue jurisdiction: Does not allow any private citizen to carry a concealed handgun in public.

State gun law reciprocity is when two or more states have an agreement to honor each other’s concealed carry permits.

Reciprocity agreements between states are extremely variable. Some states have strict gun laws and do not recognize concealed carry permits issued by states with more lenient concealed carry laws. There are states that will not honor any permits from other states, California is one example. Then there are states that honor all permits from other states. Some states have entered into mutual agreements to honor each others permits.

Furthermore, state and local gun laws change frequently so it is essential you research another states reciprocity laws if you intend to travel there with a firearm.