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National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bills Introduced in House and Senate

Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) has introduced H.R. 923 in the House, and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced S. 498 in the Senate, bills that, if passed, would result in concealed carry reciprocity nationwide, something for which gun rights advocates have been pushing for many years now.


This latest effort on behalf of national reciprocity is being engineered largely by the Gun Owners of America, a gun rights organization that has become known for its stridency in protecting the interests of American gun owners. The GOA sees itself as substantially different from the NRA in that regard, accusing the latter of being too quick to assume positions of compromise in the area of gun control.

We’ve talked in this space before about the nightmares lived by some Americans when they traveled out of state with firearms they were duly licensed…by their states of residence…to carry concealed. One of the most high-profile of those incidents concerned Shaneen Allen, a Pennsylvania resident and mother of two who, although appropriately licensed by PA to carry a firearm, was arrested by New Jersey police in 2015 during a routine traffic stop for having the gun in her possession, because New Jersey does not recognize the PA permit. Facing up to 10 years in a NJ prison because of that state’s draconian gun laws, Allen was eventually pardoned by Governor Chris Christie, but the enormous problem of law-abiding gun owners finding themselves caught up in the web of vast, state-to-state differences in gun possession laws remains.

Despite this latest legislative effort, however, national reciprocity is likely still some time away, which means that every gun owner is subject to the different laws that characterize each state to which he or she might want to travel while in possession of a firearm for self-defense. My suggestion for avoiding any possibility of trouble is to keep handy a convenient reference guide that outlines the relevant laws of all fifty states. To that end, I highly recommend the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States. This is a terrific, 8 ½ x 11 physical book written by J. Scott Kappas, a Kentucky-based attorney who also operates a firearms business. The Traveler’s Guide provides a wealth of information on this subject, information that answers all of the questions you will have as a gun-carrying traveler to other states, including:

  • Which states allow me to carry a “loaded” firearm in the passenger compartment of my vehicle?

  • Which states allow me to carry a concealed firearm with or without a license to carry?

  • Which states honor my permit to carry a concealed firearm?

  • Which states’ laws allow open carry of a firearm while on foot?

  • Which states prohibit the mere possession of a handgun while in a vehicle?

  • Which states allow me to carry a firearm in their state parks?

  • How can I transport firearms on commercial airline, cruise ships & trains?

  • How can I transport firearms through a state that prohibits any gun possession?

The Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm laws of the Fifty States provides the answers to these questions, and so much more. The bottom line is that if you are a gun owner, this book is a “must-have” if you ever expect to travel outside of your home state; I highly recommend it. To order your copy, Click Here.

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large