If you are traveling from state to state and carrying, you need to know the situation in each state you are entering or you could get into trouble. For certain states or if you have any doubt at all, keeping moving through the state (reference the McClure-Volkmer Act to only stop for gas and emergencies) towards your final destination state. Your destination state must have acceptable laws for your stay. We make some generalities with our color map here for ease of use so you should always look up the current details of the laws. Handgun laws are where it usually varies the most. This is a controversial issue but which ever side you are on, it is better to have informed people out there. The green shaded states are mostly friendly to firearms, while the red shaded states are either not-friendly or have some serious restrictions you need to know about before crossing the state line. You can also download an easy to print new 2013 version with all states and details.
More tips related to RV travel with guns
Is your RV a vehicle or a residence?
What to know about traffic stops while carrying
Places to avoid in your RV while carrying
Carrying through restricted states in your RV
Here are our individual state breakdowns. We will update these pages once in a while but please check the laws at the time of your trip to be safe.
Alabama Gun Laws Travel Guide
Alaska Gun Laws Travel Guide
Arizona Gun Laws Travel Guide
Arkansas Gun Laws Travel Guide
California Gun Laws Travel Guide
Colorado Gun Laws Travel Guide
Connecticut Gun Laws Travel Guide
Delaware Gun Laws Travel Guide
Florida Gun Laws Travel Guide
Georgia Gun Laws Travel Guide
Hawaii Gun Laws Travel Guide
Idaho Gun Laws Travel Guide
Illinois Gun Laws Travel Guide
Indiana Gun Laws Travel Guide
Iowa Gun Laws Travel Guide
Kansas Gun Laws Travel Guide
Kentucky Gun Laws Travel Guide
Louisiana Gun Laws Travel Guide
Maine Gun Laws Travel Guide
Maryland Gun Laws Travel Guide
Massachusetts Gun Laws Travel Guide
Michigan Gun Laws Travel Guide
Minnesota Gun Laws Travel Guide
Mississippi Gun Laws Travel Guide
Missouri Gun Laws Travel Guide
Montana Gun Laws Travel Guide
Nebraska Gun Laws Travel Guide
Nevada Gun Laws Travel Guide
New Hampshire Gun Laws Travel Guide
New Jersey Gun Laws Travel Guide
New Mexico Gun Laws Travel Guide
New York Gun Laws Travel Guide
North Carolina Gun Laws Travel Guide
North Dakota Gun Laws Travel Guide
Ohio Gun Laws Travel Guide
Oklahoma Gun Laws Travel Guide
Oregon Gun Laws Travel Guide
Pennsylvania Gun Laws Travel Guide
Rhode Island Gun Laws Travel Guide
South Carolina Gun Laws Travel Guide
South Dakota Gun Laws Travel Guide
Tennessee Gun Laws Travel Guide
Texas Gun Laws Travel Guide
Utah Gun Laws Travel Guide
Vermont Gun Laws Travel Guide
Virginia Gun Laws Travel Guide
Washington Gun Laws Travel Guide
West Virginia Gun Laws Travel Guide
Wisconsin Gun Laws Travel Guide
Wyoming Gun Laws Travel Guide
Founder, US Concealed Carry, Inc.
Publisher, Concealed Carry Magazine
Traveling With Guns By: Tim Schmidt
To help lawful gun owners avoid having to deal with many different laws when they travel with guns, Congress passed the Firearms Owner Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA). Under that law, you cannot be convicted of a firearms offense in a state that has strict gun control laws if you are just passing through on your way to and from places where your firearms are legal.
This law protects you only if:
You are just passing through the jurisdiction, making only brief stops such as for fuel
You are legally allowed to own firearms
Your gun is legal at both ends of your journey
Your gun is unloaded
Your gun is not accessible to you or to anyone else
in the vehicle
Your ammunition is not accessible to you or to anyone else in the vehicle.
This means you should unload the gun, place it inside a locked container, and put the container in the trunk of your car. Your ammunition should be treated the same way, but in a separate container. If your vehicle does not have a trunk, you should put the locked container out of sight and as far away from the passenger areas as you can. It is not legal to store the gun in the console or glove box.
Unfortunately, some states require more caution than others. New York and New Jersey are infamous among gun people for their regular and long-standing practice of making felony arrests of gun owners whom police find transporting guns in good faith and in accordance with FOPA. Rather than honor FOPA, they knowingly and deliberately arrest the gun owners on felony and force them to go to trial to claim FOPA as an affirmative defense after the fact. Some New York and New Jersey judges and prosecutors follow the federal law, but many do not, and many otherwise honest and law-abiding gun owners permanently lose their gun rights following the felony conviction. The best course of action for gun owners is to entirely avoid New York (city and state) and New Jersey when traveling with guns.
Concealed carry permits are not recognized everywhere. The federal government and all states have places where they do not allow any firearms, much less concealed ones, regardless of the permits you have. The places off-limits usually include, but are not limited to, the sterile area of airports, courtrooms, jails, police stations, and school zones. Every jurisdiction has its own rules.
Unlike a driver’s license, states are not required to honor concealed carry permits issued by other states (although some states do have reciprocal agreements with some states that have similar laws). Because of this, and because the off-limits areas differ from one place to another, you will need to be prudent when traveling outside your home territory. The July 2011 issue of Concealed Carry Magazine ran an article that went into the subject of traveling armed in some depth. An internet resource that includes thorough coverage of state laws governing concealed carry for all 50 states and the District of Columbia is handgunlaw.us, at the website of the same name.
Thanks to the dramatic increase in the number of concealed carry permits over the past 25 years and rising public demand, as mentioned above, many states have established reciprocity procedures allowing carry permits issued by one state to be honored in some other states. For example, 20 other states will honor a concealed firearm permit issued in Nevada. Nevada itself will honor both resident and non-resident carry permits issued by 12 other states.
The list of which states honor permits from other states (and which state’s permits they will honor) is constantly changing. Before you travel outside your own state, you should always check to see if your carry permit is valid where you are going. You should also brush up on the rules of carry in that jurisdiction. Once again, there is a great reciprocity tool inside the USCCA member’s area. It is a powerful tool for you to use, and is always available to reference prior to traveling across any state lines.
As always, take care and stay safe,
Tim Schmidt is the founder and CEO of the United States Concealed Carry Association and its sister organization the Home Defense Association of America (HDAA). The USCCA is “The Ultimate Resource for the Armed Citizen” and has over 65,000 active members. He is also the founder and publisher of Concealed Carry Magazine, a national magazine dedicated to the responsibly armed citizen. Tim is an avid shooter, loves to ride big, black motorcycles and holds a black belt in Tae Kwon do. He lives in South-Eastern Wisconsin with his wife of 18 years and three young children.
A LITTLE GUN HISTORY
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control:
From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control:
From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated.
Germany established gun control in 1938:
From 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable
to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
China established gun control in 1935:
From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated.
Guatemala established gun control in 1964:
From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated.
Uganda established gun control in 1970:
From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves,were rounded up and exterminated.
Cambodia established gun control in 1956:
From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
56 million defenseless people were rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control.
You won't see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.
Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and,
yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.
With guns, we are 'citizens'; without them, we are 'subjects'.
During WW II, the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED
Gun owners in the USA are the largest armed forces in the world!
If you value your freedom, please spread this anti gun-control message to all of your friends.
The purpose of fighting is to win.
There is no possible victory in defense.
The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either.
SWITZERLAND ISSUES A GUN TO EVERY HOUSEHOLD!
SWITZERLAND'S GOVERNMENT ISSUES AND TRAINS EVERY ADULT
IN THE USE OF A RIFLE.
SWITZERLAND HAS THE LOWEST GUN RELATED CRIME RATE OF
ANY CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!!
IT'S A NO BRAINER! DON'T LET OUR GOVERNMENT WASTE MILLIONS OF OUR
TAX DOLLARS IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE ALL LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS AN EASY TARGET.
I'm a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment!
If you are too, please forward this.
If you're not a believer, please reconsider the true facts.
This is history; not the BS that's being shown on TV, sanctioned by our illustrious delusional leaders in Washington.
HB 4005 - Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms Appear at Meeting
General Bill by Steube (CO-SPONSORS) Baxley; Combee; Diaz, M.; Eagle; Hutson
Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms: Deletes provision prohibiting concealed carry licensees from openly carrying handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into college or university facility.
Effective Date: July 1, 2015
Last Event: New analysis document on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 4:25 PM
Referred Committees and Committee ActionsHouse Referrals -
Criminal Justice Subcommittee On agenda for: 01/20/15 4:00 PM Notice -
Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee - Judiciary Committee
Related BillsBill #SubjectRelationshipSB 176 Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or FirearmsIdentical Bill Text Original Filed Version
Staff Analysis Chamber Committee House Criminal Justice Subcommittee 1/13/2015 4:25:12 PM
Vote History(no votes recorded)
Bill History Event Time d Member Committee New analysis document Tuesday, January 13, 2015 4:25 PM Criminal Justice Subcommittee Added to Criminal Justice Subcommittee agenda Tuesday, January 13, 2015 4:13 PM Criminal Justice Subcommittee Now in Criminal Justice Subcommittee Friday, December 19, 2014 2:57 PM
Criminal Justice SubcommitteeReferred to Judiciary Committee Friday, December 19, 2014 2:57 PM Judiciary Committee Referred to Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee Friday, December 19, 2014 2:57 PM Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee Referred to Criminal Justice SubcommitteeFriday, December 19, 2014 2:57 PMCriminal Justice Subcommittee Filed Monday, December 08, 2014 3:54 PM Steube
Statutes Referenced by this Bill 790.06
Marion Hammer: What Docs vs. Glocks is really about
Marion P. Hammer My View6:13 p.m. EDT July 31, 2014
(Photo: My View )
Physicians interrogating and lecturing parents and children about guns is not about gun safety.
It is a political agenda to ban guns.
Despite the current smokescreen deployed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Medical Association, one need only remember the policy statements and instructions posted on the AAP’s website years before passage of Florida’s “Docs vs. Glocks” law — which was upheld recently by a federal appeals court — and still found there today:
“The most effective way to prevent firearm-related injury to children is to keep guns out of homes and communities. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports gun-control legislation. We believe that handguns, deadly air guns and assault weapons should be banned.
“Until handguns are banned, we recommend that handguns and handgun ammunition be regulated, that restrictions be placed on handgun ownership, and that the number of privately owned handguns be reduced. Firearms should be removed from the environments where children live and play ...”
And on their page with instructions for advice to parents they wrote:
“Never have a gun in the home. Do not purchase a gun, especially a handgun. Remove all guns present in the home.”
Those are their words. It is a telling expression of their real agenda. Their phrases and use of words such as “gun safety” and “keeping children safe” are designed to feign a lofty message — but the fact remains that those words are merely political eye wash in an attempt to justify their agenda.
Physicians who genuinely wish to offer safety information can simply hand out firearms safety and safe-storage brochures to all patients. Interrogating parents and children about what they own or have in the home is not only an intrusion but is a violation of privacy rights.
Parents do not take their children to physicians for a political lecture against the ownership of firearms; they go there for medical care.
Physicians should “first do no harm” and keep their political opinions out of examining rooms and on the golf course where it belongs.
Marion P. Hammer is past president of the National Rifle Association and is executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida. Contact her at MPHammer1@aol.com.