Concealed Carry Reciprocity: What You Need to Know

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Concealed Carry Reciprocity: What You Need to Know

Concealed Carry reciprocity, constitutional carry, shall issue, may issue, these terms might sound like a lot of legal mumbo jumbo, but when you start researching the legalities behind concealed carry, they are terms that you need to know. Carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) is a great way to make sure you are ready to defend yourself and others in a worst-case scenario.

Discrepancies between federal, state, and municipal law can make the legalities of concealed carry confusing, and you want to know with confidence that you are on the right side of the law.  We’ve put together a quick guide to brief you on all you need to know before carrying a concealed weapon in public.

What Does Reciprocity Mean For Me?

Understanding CCW reciprocity between states is critical if you plan to travel across state lines while carrying a concealed weapon. Each state and city within have different laws regarding concealed carry and where you are or are not allowed to CCW. This led to a lot of confusion with travelers who were legal permit carriers in their home state but would find themselves in legal trouble for carrying in a different state. Enter the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 amended Title 18 of the United States Code and the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, and changed the game for concealed carry permit holders. The Act changed three main things:

  • All-State Reciprocity. All U.S. States must recognize permits granted in other states, regardless of whether the state allows its citizens to practice concealed carry or not.
  • Handgun transportation: If concealed carry is legal in both state, you can practice concealed transport.
  • CCW in School Zones: A permit holder can carry a concealed weapon in school zones in any state.

When Congress passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, there was a lot of controversy, as citizens and policymakers thought that the Act would make it easier for dangerous people to get their hands on weapons and take them wherever they choose, including school zones. When reading the language of the Act at a high level, it’s easy to see where that idea comes from, but luckily it is not true.

The Act says “if a state chooses to recognize lawful concealed carry for its own residents, it must recognize the right of a person who can lawfully carry concealed in another state to carry concealed in that state.” Basically, non-residents have to adhere to the same laws as the residents, so the state or municipality can still determine where carriers can and can not carry their weapons. This also applies to school zones.

Ultimately, The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 makes sure that state and municipalities get the final say.

Can I Practice Concealed Carry In My State?

Before practicing CCW, you need to be aware of the rules. Do you need a permit? Are there any public or private places where you can not carry a concealed weapon? It all depends on where you live.

  • States with Constitutional Carry

Fourteen states practice constitutional carry: AK, AZ, ID, MT. WY, ND, KS, MO, AR, MS, WV, ME, VT, and NH.

  • States With Unrestricted (limited) Carry

Two states practice unrestricted (limited) carry: OK and NM.

  • States The Require Permits (Shall Issue)

26 states and the District of Columbia require permits on a shall-issue basis: WA, OR, NV, UT, CO, TX, SD, NE, LA, IA, MN, WI, IL, MI, IN, OH, KY, TN, AL, GA, FL, SC, NC, VA, PA, RI, and DC.

  • States That Require Permits (May Issue)

Eight states require permits on a may-issue basis: CA, HI, NY, CT, NJ, MA, DE, and MD.


As a gun owner, you want to know that you have access to your firearm when you need it most.  While at home, concealment furniture is the perfect way to protect your home. Contact Liberty Home Concealment.


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