Why Can’t I Just Tote My Gun From State to State?

Posted on: August 22nd, 2014
If there is one question that comes up time and time again it is this one…can I carry my firearm between states? The official, and accurate, answer is…it depends! And what about Concealed Carry laws and carrying a concealed weapon across state lines? Same answer…it depends.

There was a great article in Alabama Today, “Have gun, won’t travel: Which states won’t honor your Alabama pistol permit?” It helps answer the question, “why can’t I carry my gun with me wherever I go?” We all know there are Federal and State Laws governing what can and can’t be done with your firearm. They aren’t the same for every State and this is where it gets confusing for most people.

This is also an important question when it comes to “transferring” a firearm to someone in another state as well…the laws are different and it depends on the firearm and the state in how this can be accomplished. This is just one of the many reasons I prepare so many “Gun Trusts” for clients…to help them work within the laws when it comes to legally transferring firearms. So it’s important to think of both issues when moving firearms between state…carry (including concealed carry) and transfer of ownership.

The article I mentioned also contains a map that shows which states have a “reciprocity” agreement with Alabama to allow you carry your firearm into a particular state. It is worth checking out…especially since it is interactive and lets you click on your own state to see its views on reciprocity.

The bad part of all this movement of firearms between states is that it isn’t like getting a speeding ticket. The penalties can be severe and often times non-negotiable. Most include both a monetary penalty as well as time in jail. That’s right, if you get this wrong and get caught carrying the firearm across state lines of a non-reciprocal state, you could end up with some time in jail. To me, this makes it significant and a good reason why you, as a responsible gun owner, need to understand these laws and abide by them.

Moving around with weapons or transferring them is an important part of being a gun owner. It is worth taking the time to talk to your attorney and/or law enforcement agencies to get their insights. If your attorney doesn’t specialize in “gun law” then give me a call and I would be happy to talk with you about your particular situation and your options. Either way, it is important to get the information ahead of time so you can formulate your own plan. And please, don’t rely on a friend or colleagues advice in this area…just because they did it one way and nothing happened doesn’t mean it is the right way to do it. There are always differences in everyone’s circumstances and these little differences can become the determining factor on what happens to you and your family.
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