Headed over the bridge this holiday season? The States that won’t honor your Pennsylvania license to carry permit?
For those traveling outside of Pennsylvania 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.
Pennsylvania is a “shall issue” state and New Jersey is a “may issue” state!
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.
New Jersey is not like Pennsylvania when it comes to gun laws
Unlike Pennsylvania, most individuals aren’t able to obtain a license to carry a handgun in New Jersey. New Jersey is known as a “may issue” state similar to New York, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. This means that the Chief of Police for that city or county has the discretion to determine who can receive a permit to carry a gun. Any person who wants to carry in the State must make an application to the New Jersey State Police or local law enforcement. In addition to this application, the person must submit the names of 3 “reputable persons” who have known the applicant for 3 years and who can certify that the person is of “good moral character and behavior.”
In addition to these requirements the applicant needs to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun or a Firearm Purchaser Identification Card. The applicant must also demonstrate “thorough familiarity” with the safe handling and use of a handgun through an approved firearms training course.
Finally, the applicant must show a justifiable need to carry a handgun. The applicant must indicate this need in written certification under oath. The need must show in detail the following:
- An urgent necessity for self protection
- specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that can’t be avoided by other than the issuance of permit to carry
- Possible corroboration of threats/violence – Police Reports of previous incidents
Even if the applicant satisfies all of these requirements, a Superior Court Judge for that county in New Jersey must approve the issuance of the permit. If the permit is issued, its only good for 2 years and renewal applications are subject to the same requirements.
The bottom line is that obtaining a license to carry a handgun in New Jersey is extremely difficult, if not impossible.
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.