Let’s say I have a Conceal Carry Permit issued by state X.
I put my weapon under my seat out of habit.
I got a service call in a neighboring state and drove there not thinking about the firearm under my seat.
My state does not have reciprocity with my neighboring state.
Upon realizing what I had done, I stopped the truck, removed the magazine (and round in the chamber) and put them in the glove box. (I got my registration card and insurance card out and put them on the dash) then locked the glove box. I wrapped up the empty firearm in a sweater and put it in the back of my truck 6 or 7 feet out of arm’s reach.

What would have been the likely outcome had I been stopped by a police officer who asked if I had any weapons in the car? (BTW, I would have been honest).

Was there a better action for me to take at that moment?


States seem to vary. The one’s neighboring mine want ammo out of the mag, and seems like they want separate secure storage for gun, ammo, mag…and glovebox doesn’t count. Ironically, once I run the gauntlet, I can carry out to the west coast, north to Maine and south to FL…skip, Illinois, SC, CO, CA and OR…


Welcome. You may be able find laws online. Here’s a link below, to a USCCA list - state by state.

I might suggest, apply for reciprocity if those other states allow. Arizona, Utah, Florida CCL/CCW permits cover more states.

Some states have laws around informing an officer; I think it’s good idea to inform, even if not asked. Never point to it nor reach for it in that situation. You can “say” where it is.

Some states where you don’t have reciprocity may have specific laws of car storage, read those very carefully. It might need to be locked in some cases and not sure a glove box qualifies in all states – look that up.

USCCA has a phone ap which can “alert” you when you cross state lines.

Safe travels friend.


1 Like

@Michael1589 Welcome to the community. Well, there you have it. Very good responses already, but as Burdo posted, check the reciprocity map website. Every one of us who legally carry ARE RESPOSIBLE TO KNOW the Gun Laws of States that we plan on traveling to and from to be in compliance. Invest on a gun safe for your vehicle. A glovebox or middle compartment are a no- no for storing a firearm in most States.

1 Like

Actually, I don’t think you need to answer at all. And as I understand it, asserting your 5th Amendment rights doesn’t constitute valid cause to search your car either.


I recommend not putting your gun under the seat out of habit. It’s not readily accessible, doesn’t go with you when you get out, and is easily stolen if left there.

In some states that may have been legal as it was unloaded and in the back.

In some other states, you’d be facing a felony and a full court press prosecution with prejudice.


It’s that “reasonable belief” that’s the difficult part of this, right? That’s a very subjective argument, but the LEO will have far more experience in how to justify that suspicion than the driver has countering it. Plus, even if the driver wins in court, i.e. it wasn’t a legal search, it’s an expensive win.

Obviously, the best thing is to not put oneself into this position in the first place as you point out above.


It’s not up to the driver to counter the reasonable belief, it’s probably up to a judge with attorneys for both sides present, at a later date.

But yes, it might be an expensive win.

Just sayin, it’s not as simple as exercising your 5th and not having your car searched


You’re correct, of course. I should clarify that I didn’t mean countering that argument with the LEO, but through an attorney in court.


I think once you separated handgun from ammo and magazine (I’m suggesting to keep ammo in the trunk and boxed firearm inside the car. If you don’t have box, keep both in the diagonal corners of the trunk) you can use federal law applied to transporting unloaded firearm.

Always be honest with LEOs.



The federal protection for transporting applies to when you are legally able to possess the firearm at your origin and your destination, and some language about not dwelling in the off limits jurisdiction in between. In the OP example, the destination was a state where possession of that firearm may have been illegal. If that state with the service call was a state where it was illegal to possess that firearm, federal transportation protection won’t help

Some states are also known to ignore that federal law, essentially, and prosecute anyway, treating it as an affirmative defense


Agreed with you regrading federal protection for firearm transportation… but I still think I was right about it.
OP never stated that the neighbor State prohibited possession of that firearm. I’m hoping that being responsible gun owner he knows that there is no excuse for bringing the firearm to the State that prohibits possession of it and the only option in such case would be fully disassembly of that firearm and hide the pieces very very deep and get rid of ammunition.

Anyway, definitely he has to know the local laws for both States before he starts travelling between them.

1 Like

If the state allows possession, federal transportation laws would never apply, because possession is all those laws are about, not carry/loaded

1 Like

OP asked about travelling to State that does not have reciprocity with his State.

And the federal protection for transportation would not apply to that.



So actually what are the options in the case described by OP?
I’m asking because I’m lost with this.
@Nathan57 clarified the federal law a little, but it made less understandable for me as well. :grimacing:

1 Like

Turn around and drive back?

That’s one of those keep you up at night things that you have to worry about if you own, let alone ever carry or have in your vehicle, firearms.

Constitutional Carry would fix that, but, some states are not ever going to do that…and not many permit-required states recognize all permits from other states (some really cool states do, like IN has for a long time recognized ALL permits flat out)


My first thought is, Always be Thinking about where YOUR firearm is.


Depends if the state has a “duty to inform” clause. If there is duty to inform, I suppose you do, if not, fifth amendment.

1 Like