Traveling With Firearms: Interstate Laws and Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Traveling with firearms requires careful consideration of various state laws, particularly regarding concealed carry permits. For residents of Orlando, Florida, the criminal defense lawyers at HAWM Law understand how Florida’s concealed carry laws apply when traveling to other states.

Understanding Florida’s Concealed Carry Laws

Florida operates as a “shall-issue” state, meaning that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must issue a concealed carry permit if the applicant meets all legal requirements. These requirements include being at least 21 years old, completing a firearms training course, and passing a background check.

Reciprocal Agreements and Recognized States

Florida has reciprocity agreements with several states, meaning those states recognize Florida’s concealed carry permits and vice versa. This reciprocity allows permit holders to carry concealed firearms across state lines legally. As of the latest updates, Florida’s concealed carry permits are recognized in 37 states, including but not limited to:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Texas
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania

A comprehensive list of states with reciprocity agreements can be found on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website.

Traveling to States Without Reciprocity

When traveling to states that do not recognize Florida’s concealed carry permits, it is crucial to comply with those states’ laws regarding firearm possession and transport. States such as California, New York, and Illinois have stringent firearm regulations and do not honor Florida’s concealed carry permits.

For example, in New York, it is illegal to carry a concealed firearm without a New York-specific permit, regardless of any out-of-state permits held. In such states, firearms should be transported, unloaded, locked in a secure container, and stored in the trunk or another part of the vehicle not readily accessible to passengers.

Federal Protections Under the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA)

The Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) provides some protection for travelers passing through states with restrictive firearm laws. Under FOPA, a person legally in possession of a firearm in one state can transport it to another state where possession is legal, provided the firearm is unloaded and both the firearm and ammunition are stored in separate locked containers during transit.

However, FOPA’s protection is limited to passing through states; it does not cover stays in states where the firearm is not legally possessed.

Practical Tips for Traveling with Firearms

Before traveling, research the firearm laws of all states you will pass through or stay in. The NRA-ILA and state government websites are valuable resources for current laws.

Always transport firearms unloaded and in a locked container. Ammunition should be stored separately and also secured.

Be aware of federal prohibitions against carrying firearms in certain locations, such as schools, federal buildings, and military bases, regardless of state laws or reciprocity agreements.

Seek Legal Assistance

Navigating the complexities of traveling with firearms requires a thorough understanding of both Florida’s concealed carry laws and the laws of other states. By staying informed and adhering to legal requirements, firearm owners can ensure they travel safely and lawfully. At HAWM Law our Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to firearm possession and concealed carry. If you have any questions or need legal assistance, please contact us for a consultation.

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