How to Carry Your Concealed Weapon Across State Lines While on a Trip

By Mario Ramos
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Carrying a concealed weapon across state lines can be complicated. Each state has its own laws regarding gun permits, and these permits may not be valid in certain states. Once you're sure that you can legally carry a concealed weapon where you're going, evaluate carefully your chosen mode(s) of transportation because laws vary according to the means of travel.

Contact your local police or sheriff's department and inquire about the gun carry laws governing your state. These laws vary from state to state and fall into four categories: unrestricted, shall-issue, may-issue and no-issue. An unrestricted state allows its citizens to carry concealed weapons without permits. A shall-issue state requires its citizens to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and this permit will be issued to anyone that meets certain requirements (which also vary from state to state). A may-issue state is similar to a shall-issue state, except that the granting of a permit is partially at the discretion of local authorities. This means that even if you meet the state's minimum requirements for a permit, local authorities can still deny your application. A no-issue state does not allow anyone within its borders to carry concealed weapons. Find out which laws apply in your state and act accordingly.

9MM bullets and arms display in gun store

Contact your local police or sheriff's department and inquire about the reciprocity laws governing the state(s) you will be visiting. Reciprocity laws dictate whether a gun permit issued by your state will be recognized as valid in another state. If you are caught with a concealed weapon in a state that does not recognize your permit, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony and face harsh penalties. Observe these laws closely.

Bus parked in dirt lot

Avoid using Greyhound buses. Greyhound specifically prohibits any and all firearms in carry-on or checked luggage. This applies to dismantled and unloaded firearms as well as replicas of firearms. Anyone found in violation of these rules will be denied transportation. Do not travel by Greyhound bus if you intend to carry a weapon.

Gold plated gun from Iraq found by airport screeners in Washington D.C.

Consider traveling by plane or by Amtrak train. Although both prohibit carrying concealed weapons in carry-on luggage, both allow you to stow them in your checked luggage as long as they are declared first. Travel by plane or train if you are comfortable being in transit without ready access to your weapon.

Man taking rifle from trunk of automobile

Consider traveling by car. As long as you are in compliance with the reciprocity laws of the states through which you will be traveling, you should be able to drive through them with ease. Travel by car if you prefer to have ready access to your weapon at all times.

About the Author

Mario has been acting onstage and on camera for over a decade, beginning in 2002 at university and extending presently to Philadelphia, New York City and even Seoul (South Korea) and Buenos Aires. He is easy to direct and pleasant to work with. Onscreen, Mario comes across as natural and affable, professional and articulate. He currently resides in Boston.