Want to know which states will honor your concealed carry permit?
Τhere are many US states that will honor a concealed carry permit from another US state. Some states have entered into agreements to recognize concealed carry permits from states they have formally signed a reciprocity agreement with. There are also states (California, New York, Maryland…) that will not honor any concealed carry permit from another state and in effect ban the carry of handguns by non-residents visiting their state. Across the United States reciprocity laws vary widely from state to state requiring close attention if a person wants to travel interstate. Federal law does protect individuals traveling across a state with a firearm if they do not have a permit to carry in the state, but only if strict guidelines are followed.
The following states and districts will not honor concealed carry permits from any other US states;
California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York
Districts & Territories
District of Columbia, New York City
These states will honor all US issued concealed carry permits;
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia
Michigan – will only honor resident permits.
The following states honor a select group of permits;
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
The use of a concealed carry reciprocity list or map will give you a much clearer view of which states will accept your permit. You can also quickly see if it applies to resident or non-resident permits and any if there are any special conditions. These maps are essential due to the varying laws from state to state and allow you to obtain faster results compared to doing your own research on state reciprocity laws. There are several states that will honor all out-of-state concealed carry permits, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio are some. And then there are states that will not recognize any out-of-state permits, California, Illinois, Maryland are a few examples. Currently, the state concealed carry permit that has the highest recognition is from Ohio being honored in 38 states.
If you wish to increase the number of states you can carry concealed in then the best option is to obtain multiple state permits. Although keep in mind that there are a few states that do not honor out-of-state concealed carry permits or issue permits to a person that is a non-resident. These states have basically banned non-residents from concealed carry when visiting their state. You will also find some states that have special criteria for a permit. These often include firearm safety exams or training courses. If your home state does not require these for a permit then the state you are visiting will often not honor your home states permit. There are often exemptions if a person is in the military or law enforcement. These exemptions are usually made if a person is under the minimum age of 21 and is still in the military or has been honorably discharged. If a person is in law enforcement then they are generally covered by federal law. Even if CCW reciprocity laws allow you to carry in a state you are still subject to federal law which bans any out-of-state permit holder from carrying a handgun within 1000 feet of a school. This is a federal felony but usually not enforced by local law enforcement.
If you carry a firearm then you have far more freedom today than at any other time in the history of the United States.
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.
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.
You must be traveling to a destination where your permit is legal.
All ammunition must be removed from the firearm.
Firearm must be placed in a gun safe or locked container.
Locked container must be placed in part of vehicle not readily accessible. Not the console or glove box.
Ideally you should not stop but you are permitted to stop at rest areas and service stations.
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming
Arkansas – disputed
Idaho – residents only
North Dakota – residents only, concealed carry only
Wyoming – residents only
States that have a limited form of permitless carry
Montana – outside city limits
New Mexico – unloaded firearm & loaded magazine, vehicle carry
Oklahoma – residents of constitutional states
Most “Unrestricted” states still maintain a “Shall Issue” policy to allow for reciprocity with other states.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
These unrestricted states still have a shall issue policy for reciprocity purposes.
Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Wyoming
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island
Districts & Territories
District of Columbia
There are currently no states that refuse to issue a permit. The only areas that refuse to issue permits are two US territories, American Samoa and the North Mariana Islands
A permit/license is not required to carry a concealed handgun.
The applicant only has to meet certain requirements set by law to obtain a permit.
The issue of a permit is left to the discretion of the Sheriff or Police.
Does not allow any private citizen to carry a concealed handgun in public.
Unrestricted jurisdictions do not require a permit to conceal carry a handgun. States that allow concealed carry without a permit are often referred to as constitutional carry states. The “Unrestricted” states can vary from full unrestricted carry to partly unrestricted with limits. These states allow any person who is legally allowed to possess a handgun to carry a concealed handgun in any place that has not been designated as off-limits.
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.
Shall Issue jurisdictions require a permit to conceal carry a handgun. Applicants do not need to show “good cause” as to why they need a handgun and the issuing authority cannot deny them a permit if they meet all the requirements. To obtain a permit a person must meet certain criteria before a permit is issued. These requirements usually include a minimum age, residency, firearms training course, background checks, submitting fingerprints and more. The requirement varies from state to state with some states being more permissive than others.
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.
May Issue jurisdictions require a permit to carry a concealed handgun. However, the permit is harder to obtain than permits issued in a “Shall Issue” jurisdiction. This is mainly because the issuance of a permit is left to the discretion of the issuing authorities.
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.
No Issue states will not issue a permit and do not allow private citizens to carry a handgun, hence the term “No Issue”.
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.
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.
This will depend on what state your permit was issued in. If for example your permit was issued in Pennsylvania then you would go to the map at the top of this page and click on PA, this will bring up all the details on Pennsylvania gun laws as well as what states will honor that permit.
There are no states that have a “No Issue” policy, Illinois was the last state to strike out their “No Issue” policy in 2012. In theory, you should now be able to carry a gun in every state. However, the reality is that some states have only given up their no issue policies in name and found other ways to make it so difficult to obtain a permit that they basically still operate on a “No Issue” policy. You can read more here.
Reciprocity is simply whether or not another state will honor your permit. A state may honor all other states permits or only those states that meet certain conditions.
Yes, but it also depends on where you are traveling too. New York and Chicago are not places you would want to arrive at with a handgun or ammunition in your luggage, you would probably be arrested. All firearms can only be carried in check in luggage and within a locked case. The best place to get information on what you are required to do is the Transportation Security Administration website.
The following data was correct in July 2017 and is updated once per year.
The number of permits has risen from 16.3 million to 17 million for this year (2018).
Percentage of US territory no permit required for concealed carry.
Is 40% if Alaska is included. Drops to 23% if you do not include Alaska.