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Reciprocity of Training and Permit Requirements for Carrying a Handgun

An excerpt from Gun Safety & Cleaning for Dummies


"As mentioned, many states recognize the carry permits issued by other states. In fact, some states (for example, Indiana) recognize the carry permits of every other state. However, many states have very specific requirements that limit the out-of-state carry permits that they recognize. For example, if a state has a training requirement, it is unlikely that that state will grant reciprocity to any state that doesn’t have a training requirement. In addition, states vary as to the minimum age required to obtain a carry permit within that state. If a state only requires an applicant to be 18 in order to receive a carry permit, it is unlikely that the carry permits of that state will be recognized in a state that requires its carry permit holders to be 21.

Great care must also be taken when traveling out-of-state with a handgun. Even though another state may recognize your carry permit, you must still comply with all the firearm and handgun laws of that state. For example, if your home state doesn’t prohibit handguns in establishments that serve alcohol, but you travel into a state that does, you will be subject to arrest for violating that law. (I talk more about the limitations on your right to carry a handgun in Chapter 5.) Familiarize yourself with any limitations on your right to carry a handgun in any state that you plan to travel to – or risk arrest and prosecution for crimes that may not even exist where you live.

If you travel through a state that doesn’t recognize your carry permit, the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 does provide some safeguards. This statute allows a lawful firearm owner to transport a gun ‘from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any place where he may lawfully carry such firearm’ if certain conditions are met:

  • The firearm must be unloaded.
  • Neither the firearm nor any ammunition for the firearm may be ‘readily accessible’ or ‘directly accessible’ from the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
  • In a vehicle without a separate compartment from the driver’s compartment, the firearm and ammunition must be contained in a locked container other than the vehicle’s glove compartment or console.


In order to determine which states grant reciprocity to your home state and recognize your carry permit, several great resources are available. I often check the ‘reciprocity page’ of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, which is very handy and up-to-date. This page is available at"

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