For those traveling outside of our Commonwealth this holiday season and who enjoy the security of carrying their firearm—BEWARE! You just can’t jump in your car with your gun and hit the road, especially if you headed over the bridge into the states of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey or New York! Don’t assume distance matters when it comes to handgun reciprocity and I encourage you to scan my previous blog posts on this important topic.
Ignorance isn’t a defense and neither is the need to protect your family, your property or expensive gifts for family and friends! While most judges and even prosecutors may somewhat empathize with parent or guardian who offers this as an excuse, it may not do much to change a criminal charge. While many states including New Jersey do consider an out of state permit as possible mitigation to a gun crime, a convicted person still faces a possible criminal record and at the very least an arrest record.
Remember Pennsylvania is a “shall issue” state whereas New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut, are “may issue” states that sometimes really just means that you can’t get a permit to carry a handgun in either of them! While Delaware is a “may issue” state, in practice, it operates as a “shall issue” jurisdiction. There are other “may issue” jurisdictions like Delaware such as California and Alabama. In addition, there are “no issue” jurisdictions of Illinois, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia that simply don’t allow citizens to carry concealed handguns.
“Shall issue” states include the following jurisdictions: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Pennsylvania has reciprocity with all of these jurisdictions but traveling into “may issue” or “no issue” states with gun is an extremely serious crime! At the very least, the police officer is obligated to arrest you no matter how cute your family appears and no matter how important the “last trip” see granny is to them. For more information about gun laws in Pennsylvania, visit my free download section and read a copy of my book—What Everyone Needs to Know About Guns, Drugs & Defense Lawyers in Pennsylvania.