Have you ever stopped to realize that your drivers license, regardless of what state issued it to you, is valid anywhere in this country? This is something we understand without even thinking of it. You would never expect to drive into a bordering state and be arrested because they don’t honor your drivers license right? The federal government regulates that. The federal government requires that every state in the union honor or recognize a drivers license from any other state in the union. Some states may not like that. If your state requires that youth be 16 or older to get a drivers license and the state next door issues licenses to 15 year old kids, your state would probably rather not honor that… but they have to.
This is not the case with Concealed Weapon Permits. Each state gets to decide if they are going to issue Concealed Weapon Permits to their citizens. Then of course they get to decide what they are going to require people to do in order to apply for and obtain that permit. This varies so much from state to state, different from drivers licenses which are more or less the same process to obtain anywhere in the country. It is because of these differences, and the lack of federal regulation, that each state gets to decide if they are going to honor/recognize permits from other states and if so… which states.
Only two states in the country, Utah and Texas, will honor anyone holding a concealed weapon permit from any other state. Every other state either won’t recognize any other than their own or they decide on a state by state basis. Some states have written agreements to honor each others CCW permits. These agreements are called reciprocity agreements. Often however there are informal, non-written agreements to honor another state’s permit.
There are a large number of websites and smartphone applications that you can access to help you reference the reciprocity list for your state. Check our CCW resource section to find some of the more common websites.
Also, be on the watch for potential legislation at the national level that could formalize and regulate the reciprocity from state to state.