Concealed Carry Reciprocity 2020 - Traveling with Firearms Nationally

Do you know the legalities of traveling with a firearm? While your driver’s license is uniformly valid across the nation, concealed carry permits vary from state to state. Worse yet, illegally carrying a firearm can put you in serious legal trouble, including confiscation of your weapon or jail time, even if you didn’t know you were doing anything wrong.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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I rely on my LEOSA to cross state lines, but I recognize that not all states care to support it. Even if I’m technically legal, I could end up in a costly legal battle to prove that I’m not guilty.

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You talked about how you handled your gun at the ticket counter, what did you do with ammo you had in the gun or any ammo you were traveling with?

One thing I did not hear in the video was the legality of crossing State lines, like New York, with a firearm unloaded, in a locked container with the ammo separate. I live in CT and frequently travel to PA where I am also permitted but must go through NY to get there. As I understand it, under Title 18 of the US code, I can pass through NY as long as the gun is inaccessible to anyone in the vehicle. But I also heard that some States, like NY, don’t honor that. What are the facts concerning this?

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  • Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage. Small arms ammunitions may be stored in the manufacture’s packaging and must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition (ask the airline about limitations). While federal regulations don’t prevent you from storing a loaded magazine which is not attached to a firearm, many airlines prohibit this practice in their own policies.

I found that on our Traveling by Domestic Commercial Air page, @Linda28:

Hope that helps!


Per federal law 18 USC § 926A, every U.S. citizen may legally transport firearms across state lines as long as he or she is legally allowed to possess the weapons in both the state of origin as well as the destination.

You can legally transport firearms across state lines as long as:

  • You can lawfully possess firearms in your state of origin.
  • You can lawfully possess firearms at your destination.
  • The firearm and ammunition must be stored out of reach (not in the glove compartment or center console).*
  • Although it may not be required, it is a good idea to lock your ammunition and guns in separate lock boxes in the trunk or anywhere out of immediate reach.

@Richard283, you can see the above details and more here:

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We have additional traveling with firearms resources here:

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1 of my major concerns since I got my CCW here in Ohio is ,WHY our Law makers don’t get it together and have ALL 50 states on the same page when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon?? The last time I checked, the Second Amendment means the same in ALL 50 states. They did it back in the 90’s with our Commercial Drivers License…1 license was good in EVERY state… This would put an end to all the misunderstanding of WHICH states you can travel thru legally…

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1st I read this:

“Per federal law 18 USC § 926A, every U.S. citizen may legally transport firearms across state lines as long as he or she is legally allowed to possess the weapons in both the state of origin as well as the destination.”

Then I read this:

“*Check the local concealed carry laws of each state through which you will be traveling to determine how your CCW permit affects this requirement.”

Then this:

“Determine if and how you can lawfully cross state lines with a gun.”

Well this is all VERY vague. Which is it? If I am legal at both ends of the trip, why do I have to check laws & determine anything?

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Great questions @Scott102S

You can transport through other states as long as your allowed to POSSESS at the state of origin and destination.

You might not be able to CARRY through all of the states or even carry in the state of destination.

You’ll have to check each state’s laws about carrying if you want to carry on your entire trip across multiple states on a trip where you can possess in the state of origin and destination.

Does that help sort it out just a bit? (The variety of state laws makes one answer impossible to give without all of the state and permit information.)

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So, just to confirm, I know I can’t legally carry in every state. But you’re saying I can legally possess pistols & long guns when I travel from NH to FL (I am licensed to own & ccw in both locations)? I understand they would have to be locked away in the trunk, with the ammo locked separately. I also understand I would only be passing through NY & NJ.
Thank you for clarifying this, I believe many other readers would find this interesting.

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Check the USCCA state laws pages. Looking at New York, for example, it contains the following:
“No handguns can be taken into the city unless New York City has validated your license.” That sounds like you can’t even have it in your trunk, unloaded or otherwise.

In my CCW class, our instructor related a story about an airline passenger whose jet had to make an unscheduled safety landing in New York or New Jersey. Her concealed carry was in her checked baggage, and the moment she landed, she was in violation of the law.

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Check the laws frequently – especially when you’re getting ready to travel through those two states.

Please check the reciprocity map and this page for the latest information:

(This thread was started on Feb 17, 2021, laws may change before you read this if you’re not seeing it for a few weeks/months/years.)


I agree with you Alex, NYC poses problems that go way beyond reasonable.


I checked the reciprocity map, and NY is very vague. Unfortunately, if you are travelling highways North/South, you are going to have to pass thru NYC.

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I lived in Suffolk County NY this meant you needed to have a NY license issued from one of NYS counties ie: Suffolk ,Nassau etc, You could then apply to NYPD for validation added to your current license ,and they may approve it . NYC can be difficult when it’s not their license and they are not very forgiving if you are traveling thru NYC . Thanks and Best Wishes