CCW reciprocity is when one state or jurisdiction honors a concealed carry weapon (ccw) permit issued by another state or jurisdiction. Because there is no federally mandated agreement, whether or not your permit will be valid any place other than where it was issued is subject to legislative review and agreements between each independent jurisdiction. This means that changes can, and do, happen frequently. The responsibility to carry legally is completely up to the gun owner, and it can be quite confusing as a former US Marine found out recently.
Ryan Jerome was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm when he attempted to have his .45-caliber Ruger checked by security while he was visiting the Empire State Building with his girlfriend last September. The former Marine has a concealed carry permit from Indiana, the state where he lives, but New York does not have ccw reciprocity with Indiana, or any other state for that matter.
The net effect of this lack of ccw reciprocity is that a young man who has no prior criminal record spent two days in jail before making bail.
His attorney points out that it should be obvious that his client was attempting to do the right thing. Jerome actually approached the security guards to inform him that he was carrying a concealed weapon and wanted to check it.
Jerome is not the first person to run afoul of New York’s ccw reciprocity short-comings. The recent 9/11 memorial event resulted in the arrest of a medical student from Tennessee when she also attempted to check her gun.
Mark Bederow, Ryan Jerome’s attorney claims his client attempted to read about New York’s gun laws on his cell phone and that he “made a mistake” while gathering information regarding ccw reciprocity.
Jerome is facing up to 3-1/2 years in prison if convicted. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is reviewing Jerome’s case. The Marine is due back in court in March at which time it is possible that the district attorney will “exercise discretion” in the case.
In the meantime, Jerome is receiving a lot of online support from other gun owners who would like to see New York enter into ccw reciprocity agreements that would allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons while visiting the Empire State.
Clearly, being a good guy and having the best intentions is not enough to keep you out of jail. Until a ccw reciprocity standard is achieved, it is imperative that gun owners carefully review the laws for any jurisdiction they plan to visit.