Guide to Interstate Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition (From NRA-ILA)
- The right to self-defense neither begins nor ends at a state border.A law-abiding citizen does not suffer a character change by crossing a state line.
- An “unalienable right” is not determined by geographical boundaries.
- A patchwork of state laws regarding the carrying of firearms can make criminals out of honest folks, especially those who frequently must travel the states to earn a living.
- Using data for all 3,054 U.S. counties from 1977 to 1994, University of Chicago Prof. John Lott finds that for each additional year a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3%, robberies by over 2%, and the rape rate by 2%.
In spite of the truth of these statements and the fact that nearly half of all Americans live in states that allow a law-abiding citizen to carry a firearm concealed for personal protection, it has not been commonplace that these same citizens could carry their firearm across states lines. NRA-ILA is working to pass right-to-carry reciprocity laws granting permit holders the ability to carry their firearms legally while visiting or traveling beyond their home state.
In order to assist NRA Members in determining which states recognize their permits, NRA-ILA has created this guide. This guide is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of the law. It is important to remember that state carry laws vary considerably. Be sure to check with state and local authorities outside your home state for a complete listing of restrictions on carrying concealed in that state. Many states restrict carrying in bars, restaurants (where alcohol is served), establishments where packaged alcohol is sold, schools, colleges, universities, churches, parks, sporting events, correctional facilities, courthouses, federal and state government offices/buildings, banks, airport terminals, police stations, polling places, any posted private property restricting the carrying of concealed firearms, etc. In addition to state restrictions, federal law prohibits carrying on military bases, in national parks and the sterile area of airports. National Forests usually follow laws of the state wherein the forest is located.
There are other conditions imposed by some states that one should be aware of before attempting to carry in that state. Please review the state website.
NOTE: Alaska and Vermont allow the concealed carry of firearms without a permit. Vermont residents traveling to other states must first obtain a non-resident permit from that state—if available —prior to carrying concealed. Alaska still issues permits to those who want them, allowing them to benefit by recognition and reciprocity laws.
NOTE TO READERS: Right To Carry reciprocity and recognition between the various states is subject to frequent change through legislative action and regulatory interpretation. This information is the best available at the time of publication. This summary is not intended as legal advice or restatement of law.