Carrying A Handgun Outside New York
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What other states honor a New York State Pistol License?
In short, not many. Since New York does not honor any other state’s pistol license, no states have formal reciprocity agreements with New York.
A handful of states have laws that honor a permit issued by any other state, so these states will honor the New York permit. These states are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa1, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin2 and Vermont
How can I legally carry a handgun in states that do not honor a New York Pistol License?
Simply obtain non-resident pistol licenses from other states. That doesn’t mean that you need to apply for 35 other permits. Most states with reciprocity agreements honor each other’s non-resident permits, as well as their resident permits. That means that if you get a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms as a non-resident, you may legally carry in the states that honor Pennsylvania’s non-resident permit, even if they don’t honor New York’s resident permit.
Ok, so which states should I get a non-resident permit from?
This, of course, depends completely upon what states you intend to visit. Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina do not honor other state’s non-resident permits, so if you want to carry in these states, you need to get their non-resident permit. (Except Michigan, which actually honors your New York State resident permit.)
Below are some suggestions for non-resident permits with wide-scale acceptance. To determine which permits you need for your particular travels, use this excellent interactive tool provided by USACarry.com. At the minimum, you should consider Utah.
If you get any other state’s permit, it should be Utah’s.
The Utah Concealed Firearm Permit (CFP) is one of the most widely honored in the United States, and it is also one of the least expensive and easiest to get. The non-resident fee is only $65 for five years, and five year renewals are only $15! For the coverage it provides, it is easily the best deal going.
Utah is a Shall-Issue state for both residents and non-residents.
Utah requires applicants to attend their own training class, but you don’t have to travel there to take it. Our instructors are certified by Utah to give their class, so you only need to register for one of our Utah CFP Classes. Best of all, when you take the course with us, fingerprinting and photography are included!
To apply for a Utah Concealed Firearms Permit, you must first register for our Utah CFP Class (click for details). We will provide you with a Utah CFP application, affixed with a valid instructor’s seal to certify you have taken the course, a completed fingerprint card, and one passport-quality photo, as well as a stamped envelope pre-addressed to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification. All you need to include is a copy of your driver’s license and the $65 permit fee.
The following states will currently honor a NYS resident permit and/or a Utah non-resident permit: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa¹, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin2 and Wyoming.
Florida’s Concealed Weapon or Firearm License is also widely honored in the United States. Also, since Florida does not honor any non-resident pistol licenses, you must obtain a Florida non-resident license to legally carry there. Florida is a Shall-Issue state for both residents and non-residents. The downside is that it’s significantly more expensive than Utah or Pennsylvania. ($117 permit fee, $107 renewals)
Florida also requires a fingerprint card completed by a law enforcement agency.
To apply for a Florida Concealed Weapon for Firearm License, visit the website of the Florida Department of Agriculture.
The following states will currently honor a NYS resident license and/or a Florida non-resident license: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa¹, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Other Northeastern States
As a resident of New York, you will naturally be interested in traveling in other states in the Northeastern United States. Unfortunately, nearly all of these neighboring states do not honor any out-of-state pistol license, and non-resident licenses must be obtained for each one. These states are New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, and Maryland.
While Connecticut is technically a May-Issue state, the Department of Public Safety is very amenable to issuing non-resident permits, so long as you posses a valid unrestricted New York State pistol license. All Connecticut permits are ‘unrestricted’, so if you are asked for a reason for your application, you may answer ‘target shooting and hunting’ without worrying about receiving a restricted permit as you would in New York State.
Applications for a Connecticut Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers are made to the Connecticut Department of Public Safety.
New Hampshire & Maine
New Hampshire and Maine are both Shall-Issue states for both residents and non-residents. Holders of an unrestricted New York State pistol license need only submit the required application and fee to obtain a non-resident permit in these states.
New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maryland
Put simply, forget it. These are very restrictive May-Issue states for both residents and non-residents, and require a “good and substantial reason” for obtaining a pistol license. However, with very few exceptions, these states don’t consider anyone to have a “good and substantial reason” to carry firearms.
New Jersey actually goes so far as to restrict permits to “persons specifically employed in security work...and to others who can establish an urgent necessity for carrying guns for self-protection.” The Rhode Island application even goes so far as to state that “no one in the State has a right to obtain a pistol permit.” USACarry.com even describes Rhode Island as “Capricious-Issue”
What about Nevada?
You’ve probably noticed that Nevada doesn’t seem to honor any of the permits discussed so far. The fact is, Nevada recently terminated its reciprocity agreements with Utah and Florida, and currently only has reciprocity with states that do not issue non-resident permits.
If you need coverage in Nevada, there’s good news and bad news.
- The good news is that Nevada is a Shall-Issue state for both residents and non-residents.
- The bad news is that the required training must take place in Nevada, and the application must be submitted to a Nevada County Sheriff in person.
If you’re a frequent enough visitor to Nevada, this may not be an issue for you. However, for most residents of the East Coast, this is a prohibitive road block.
For more information on obtaining a Nevada permit, as well as open carry rules in Nevada, I recommend this page from Gun Owners of Nevada.
I just want the maximum coverage I can get.
The absolute best that a New York resident can do, without justifying “need”, is to get the following permits: Utah, Florida, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, and Nevada.
Utah and Florida cover most of the country.
Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, and Nevada are in the list only to provide coverage in those individual states, so you should only get these if you plan to carry in those states.
Pennsylvania is not on this list, because it is not strictly necessary.
This combination provides coverage in 40 of the 50 states.
I personally have Utah, Florida, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine, in addition to my New York State Pistol License.
What about those other states?
Obviously, there are still 11 states that we can’t get to turn blue on the coverage map.
The 11 states where a New York resident cannot get coverage are:
- The heavily restrictive Northeastern states discussed previously: New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maryland.
- California - does not issue non-resident permits, and does not honor any out-of-state permits.
- Colorado - does not issue non-resident permits, does not honor out-of-state non-resident permits, and does not honor New York State resident permit.
- Hawaii - May-Issue to residents only. Does not honor any out-of-state permits.
- Oregon - does not honor any out-of-state permit, and issues non-resident permits only to residents of bordering states.
- South Carolina - does not honor New York State permit, nor any out-of-state non-resident permit. Only issues non-resident permit if applicant owns property in South Carolina, or to military personnel on permanent change of station orders.
- Illinois & the District of Columbia - The right to carry is completely denied in these states to both residents and non-residents.
This information on this page was compiled from USACarry.com and the NRA-ILA, and, to the best of our knowledge, was accurate at the time this page was published. Be sure to verify all information with the appropriate law enforcement agencies prior to carrying a handgun in other states.
Remember that even if you are permitted to carry in other states, you are bound by that state’s laws regarding handguns and the use of deadly force.
Keep in mind also that for the purposes of reciprocity and/or applying for out-of-state non-resident permits, other states consider only unrestricted New York State pistol licenses. If you do not have an unrestricted New York State pistol license, you must get your license upgraded before it will be honored by any other state.
- On April 29, 2010, new gun laws were signed in Iowa making it a Shall-Issue state, and granting recognition to all valid out-of-state permits. The new laws went into effect on January 1, 2011.
- On November 1, 2011, a new law went into effect in Wisconsin making it a Shall-Issue state, and granting recognition to specific out-of-state permits, including New York and Utah (but not Florida).