We have been there before: we’re packing for a trip or a vacation, checking everything off our list- clothing, toiletries, medications, and your handgun. These days it’s like a visa card “don’t leave home without it.”
However, before you slap that smoke wagon on, or check that roscoe at the airport, it’s important that you check the laws where you are going to see where you can and cannot carry, or if the state will even recognize your state’s permit.
The days of just claiming ignorance of the law are well over and can be a big mistake. In today's world, telling the police officer “I didn’t know I couldn’t carry here, and I promise not to do it again,” can get you arrested and put in jail for a very long time. I don’t know about you, but I am not going to take the chance of losing my freedoms and gun rights by playing the ignorance card.
What can you do to know the laws in the other states and municipalities? First, you can pay for it by going to a lawyer and asking them to look into it for you. If you are a frequent traveler, this is well worth the money. It may cost you around $200, but $200 is cheaper than bail, attorney fees, court costs, and the time spent trying to stay out of prison.
Another option is reading books and other publications. If you go this route, make sure the author is a person who has researched the topic, is well respected in the firearms community, and that the information is recent, as laws are constantly changing. I have read many books over the years and have come across some great resources, however, some are inaccurate and full of outright BS. Let me suggest author, Massad Ayoob. Not only is he a legend in the firearm’s world, but he was also a police officer and expert witness in self-defense court cases.
The web has some great resources, but be careful, because not all websites have accurate information and they may end up doing more harm than good. I like http://www.handgunlaw.us/ run by Steve Aikens and Gray Slider. It is the best site that I have ever found on the web.
Ultimately, it is up to you to stay informed and stay up to date on state carrying laws if you plan on taking your weapon out of state.
Photo Credit: Kristin Long