Whether you travel frequently or live near a state border, it’s important to understand the rules surrounding whether your concealed carry permit allows you to move freely between states. In the industry, this is known as reciprocity, and is a topic that should be carefully researched by everyone with a permit.
What is Reciprocity?
In the United States, there are no federal laws governing a citizen’s right to have a concealed carry permit. These decisions are up to individual state governments and—as you may guess—they vary depending on location. While the majority of states allow citizens to carry in some form or fashion, it isn’t always possible to legally cross state borders while carrying. This issue, known as reciprocity, is important to understand.
Under the rule of reciprocity, certain state permits come with built in agreements that honor permits or licenses from other states. But not all states have the same rules. For example, if an individual has a CCW permit in Georgia, that person is legally allowed to cross over into Alabama while carrying. However, the same individual would not be allowed to carry in California. In the latter situation, the individual would have to apply for a California concealed carry permit to be legally allowed to carry while in the state.
Regardless of what you believe the concealed carry reciprocity requirements to be, remember that local laws always trump your state’s permit. To ensure that you are always following the rules of the jurisdiction you’re in, it’s best to ask before carrying. Local law enforcement agencies should be able to easily answer any questions you may have.
Staying abreast of reciprocity laws is a must. They are constantly changing and often do so with little notice. Currently, all states issue concealed carry permits, however regulations on where you may carry can vary within those states. If there are states you regularly travel to and from, check their requirements on a continual basis.
For additional information on the details regarding concealed carry permits, check out some of Springfield Armory®'s recent blog posts or contact us today. We would be happy to provide you with additional information and details regarding your questions.