When you travel into a state or area without CCW reciprocity, do you try to investigate other forms of self-defense that you would be allowed to use? Or do you just let it go? Cody S. Alderson is a regular contributor to USConcealedCarry.com and actually took the time to look at laws regarding pepper spray when he had a chance to go fishing in New York. Unfortunately, the laws did not spell things out to his satisfaction and so he ended up going on the trip without any weapons of any kind.
This left an unsettled feeling in Alderson for the rest of the trip. When you are used to carrying concealed on a regular basis, to suddenly be left without your gun can be a bit uncomfortable. This brings up the question about the purpose of the laws like this in the first place.
A true criminal would not follow a law that says it is not okay for him to carry a gun into New York. A true criminal would simply not care. The only person that cares is someone like Alderson — a responsible citizen who is thoughtful about the use of his gun no matter what. A trained concealed carry permit holder that has handgun (s) for defense is the kind of person that is most affected by this type of legislation.
Without CCW Reciprocity
“The last time I saw a statistic was a few years ago, and it was over 12 million for concealed carry citizens in the US. I have a whole list of states that welcome me, my money and my defensive handgun. New York is a stunningly beautiful place. I enjoyed my brief visit. However, I never will be able to forget how I was treated as a person who could not be trusted in the same way that Pennsylvania trusts me. Why do invisible lines create the potential for law-abiding citizens to become felons if they choose to be armed for defense?” (Read more)
Alderson makes a good point: states without CCW reciprocity call into question those law-abiding citizens that have taken the time to get a permit, a concealed carry license and most likely some kind of additional training as well. These are highly likely the same people you would have the least reason to be afraid of.
People who are intent on doing harm, who are unconcerned with the lives and safety of others, these are the same people who could care less about state laws that restrict them from bringing a gun across state lines. It will not keep them from doing what they are determined to do.
CCW reciprocityis when a concealed carry weapon (ccw) permit issued by one state is honored by another state. The state of Washington has specific rules that govern which states’ permits they will honor. Other states may also honor Washington’s concealed pistol license.
The office of the Washington Attorney General provides a website with a list of the states that have ccw reciprocity with Washington. The state’s ccw reciprocity law requires that the list is updated annually. However, laws can change at any time throughout the year, so it is essential that the gun owner research concealed carry laws before traveling to other states, or to Washington from another state.
If you reside in the state of Washington and have a concealed pistol license, that permit will currently be honored by twelve other states in the Union. Anyone traveling to these twelve states must be sure to follow the concealed weapons laws for that state, as one of the ccw reciprocity stipulations is that handguns must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are in, as opposed to the licensing state.
Washington’s ccw reciprocity laws were amended in 2004. Since that time, Washington will allow a non-resident to carry a concealed weapon while visiting the state if that person has a permit to conceal and carry guns from another state. That state permit process must meet specific conditions laid out by Washington’s ccw reciprocity law. One of these requirements is that the state must require a background check of criminal and mental health for applicants. This check is conducted based on fingerprinting. Another requirement is that the state does not issue a permit to anyone under 21 years of age. Finally, the other state must also honor the Washington license.
Residents applying for a concealed pistol license will do so through their local sheriff’s department or police department. It is possible for non-residents to get a license to carry a concealed weapon while in Washington. Non-residents wishing to apply for a license may apply to any local law enforcement agency in Washington.
All applicants for the permit to carry concealed will have to provide a government issued photo identification card, be fingerprinted, and pass a thorough background check. The background check for a resident can take up to 30 days to complete, but for non-residents it may take twice as long.
All twelve states that have ccw reciprocity with Washington will honor the Washington permit, however Florida and Michigan will only honor permits that are issued to Washington residents.
The majority of states do not have ccw reciprocity with Washington. The reasons vary, but in most cases it is because the licensing process in the state in question does not meet the minimum standards set forth by Washington’s ccw reciprocity law. For example, eleven states do not require a fingerprint-based criminal background check in order to get a permit. Other states either do not have a mental health background check, or they have one, but it does not meet the Washington standard.
On the other hand, the license in Washington does not meet the training requirements set forth by Minnesota or South Carolina law, so there is not ccw reciprocity with these states.
Some states do not require a permit to conceal and carry guns. Others do not recognize a permit issued by any other state. In other cases, a state or jurisdiction such as Illinois and the District of Columbia, does not allow for the carrying of concealed weapons at all. CCW reciprocity with Washington is not possible under these circumstances.
- Concealed Carry Laws Result in Surge in Gun-Toting Women (uscca.blog.com)
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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.
In the United States there is no federal law that governs concealed carry permits, so the states have made a patchwork of laws that make carrying a concealed weapon, also referred to as ccw, more complex. At the same time, carrying a concealed weapon has become more common as more states enact laws allowing their citizens to carry and making it easier to get a concealed carry permit. Many states will honor a permit issued by another state in what is known as ccw reciprocity.
Because these laws vary widely across the country, even with ccw reciprocity it is not possible to legally bring your concealed weapon into every state. At this time, Illinois is the only state that does not allow for concealed carry weapons at all and therefore, does not honor any other state’s ccw licenses.
On the other end of the spectrum, Vermont neither issues nor requires permits, allowing her citizens and visitors to carry concealed weapons without restriction.
Most states that do issue permits have as part of their ccw reciprocity agreements that they will honor a permit or license issued by another state as long as the requirements to get that license are substantially the same. That means if you live in Vermont you cannot rely on ccw reciprocity to bring your weapon to any of your neighboring states. In fact, the only other state to honor Vermonters’ concealed carry rights is Alaska, another state that does not require a concealed carry permit.
Some states that do not require concealed carry permits do have a process by which a citizen may still get a permit. Alaska has followed this model and by doing so, their permit holders can take advantage of ccw reciprocity agreements and legally carry in all but thirteen states. Without the permit the only state where Alaskans can legally carry is Vermont.
Several states will issue an out of state concealed carry license. These tend to be recognized by fewer states, but are the only choice for Vermonters since they do not have the option of getting a permit in order to meet ccw reciprocity requirements. Out of state permits are also useful for citizens of a state where the permit is not widely honored, perhaps because their regulations are more lenient than others. By getting non-resident permits, an American can widen their ability to legally carry concealed weapons practically coast to coast.
Wyoming, like Vermont and Alaska, does not require citizens to have a permit to conceal and carry weapons. Again, similar to Alaska, residents may obtain a permit for ccw reciprocity purposes. Non-residents traveling to Wyoming must have a concealed carry permit, either from their home state or from another state in order to carry while in the Cowboy State.
Montana is another state that will issue permits for ccw reciprocity reasons but does not require citizens to have a permit, as long as they are carrying in unincorporated parts of the state. Once you wander into any incorporated city or town in Big Sky Country, then you must have a concealed carry permit.
It is important to note that even with ccw reciprocity agreements, local laws trump your state’s permit. Since the laws vary widely it is critical to know the laws of any jurisdiction you visit. In addition, although there is not a federal concealed carry permit, it is against the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act to carry a firearm within 1000 feet of a K-12 public school.
Here is a summary of some of the important points about ccw reciprocity between Florida and other states. Discussed are special notes about Florida licenses, where that permit will be honored and why it might not be honored even if there is a reciprocity agreement in place, and what states’ permits are
honored while a person is traveling in Florida.
Keep in mind that CCW reciprocity rules can change quickly and should always be verified when you are traveling from your home state to another state.
Florida Concealed Carry Permit
Florida’s permit that allows one to carry a concealed weapon is called a “Concealed Weapon or Firearm License.” This license applies to many different types of concealed weapons, including handguns, pistols, stun guns, knives and billy clubs.
It is possible for a person living in another state to apply for and receive a non-resident license in Florida.
Florida also offers a Class “G” Statewide Firearms License. This license allows people to carry a weapon as part of their job, and is typically issued to private investigators or security officers. Reciprocity agreements do not apply to this license and so it is not recognized by other states.
Florida Permits Honored in Other States
Currently 35 states in the union recognize the Florida Concealed Weapon or Firearm License due to CCW reciprocity agreements. Not all of these states recognize every type of permit that Florida issues, or they may have specific limitations on what they accept in their state. It is critical to check with the state you will be visiting before you presume that your Florida permit will be valid exactly as it would be in the Sunshine State.
Most states with ccw reciprocity agreements with Florida only recognize the license as it applies to handguns and pistols. Several states do not honor Florida licenses issued to non-residents. If you are planning to travel to Alabama then it is especially advisable to check with the local authority if you have a Florida non-resident license: there is debate at this time about whether or not the reciprocity agreement extends to non-resident license holders.
Will My Permit Be Honored While Visiting Florida?
The CCW Reciprocity law in Florida is written so that Florida will honor permits from another state, as long as that state honors her licenses. This came to play when Nevada decided in 2009 to no longer honor Florida’s licenses, at which time Florida law no longer recognizes permits issued by Nevada.
Florida law also stipulates that the license holder must carry their license with them whenever they carry a concealed weapon. The state of Vermont does not issue a permit or license, therefore a Vermonter would not have one to carry with them. This means that no one from Vermont can concealed carry while visiting Florida.
Even if you have a valid permit from a state that has a ccw reciprocity agreement with Florida, it does not mean that your permit is automatically honored there.
For example, several states allow permits to be issued to citizens who are 18 years old. Since Florida law requires a permit holder to be at least 21 years of age, any state permit issued to an individual 20 years old or younger is not valid in Florida.
Similarly, Florida does not recognize non-resident permits issued by other states. The only permit Florida will recognize is one issued by the state where you live.
Visiting Florida without a Permit
If you are planning a trip to Florida and you wish to carry a concealed weapon and you happen to live in one of the 15 states that does not have a CCW reciprocity agreement with Florida then you may wish to apply to get a non-resident permit.
Watching old reruns of Tom Selleck driving that hot, red Ferrari around Hawaii may have you dreaming of becoming the next Magnum, PI to land on the islands, but ccw reciprocitybetween Hawaii and the mainland makes it tough to bring that dream to reality.
Concealed carry permits is complicated in paradise. While Hawaii is a “may issue” state in name (and the fee is quite low if you are issued a permit), in practice, few such permits are granted. Whether or not a permit will be issued is left to the discretion of the police chief of the county where the applicant resides, but the applicant must first demonstrate “…an exceptional case, when an applicant shows reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property.”
If you are fortunate enough to be issued a permit to carry a weapon by your county’s police chief, it is important to recognize that Hawaii’s law states that the permit is only good for one year and only within the issuing county.
Having your permit valid in only one county on the mainland would be tough as many of us drive through several counties on a daily basis, unaware that we have crossed from one county to another. Fortunately it is not as big a challenge in Hawaii simply because there is only one county on any given island, so as long as you haven’t crossed the water, you are okay. As with most rules, there is usually an exception and that’s true even in Paradise. The one notable exception in this case is the island of Maui, which has two counties.
CCW reciprocity is when one state with a concealed carry weapons permit (it may be called that or any number of other names) honors a permit issued by another state. Here’s the bad news for mainlanders: If your dream is to conceal carry in Paradise then plan on moving to Hawaii first, because the Aloha State does not recognize permits from any other state in the union.
Don’t feel too bad, though. It isn’t easy for the few residents of Hawaii who actually do manage to get permits to venture stateside with their weapons either.
If you are a resident of Hawaii and you have a concealed weapon permit, only about a dozen or so of the mainland states will allow you to carry based on CCW reciprocity. If, however, you have a non-resident permit from another state, such as Arizona, your right to carry may be extended to about 30 states. That might make it worth getting a non-resident permit if you plan to be off island frequently.
For those of us who only dream of hula girls and palm trees swaying on the tropical breeze for short visits, plan on leaving your firearms at home during your next visit to Paradise.
Note that CCW reciprocity changes constantly as new laws are enacted and as existing laws are interpreted. It is critical therefore that you always check the laws of that state you want to visit shortly before your trip to be sure that there are no new rules or regulations that you need to be aware of.