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Should You Get Multiple Concealed Carry Permits?

Should You Get Multiple Concealed Carry Permits?

Should You Get Multiple Concealed Carry Permits?

The first thing that every American (who is able to) should do is go get their concealed firearms permit. Even if you never plan to carry, or don’t carry often, at least once you get your permit you have the option to protect yourself. And, if you happen to be one of the poor souls who lives in a state that has unfriendly gun laws and you can’t get your CCW, then move. I’m very serious about that.

One of the blessings we have of living in the USA is that we’re free to live wherever we wish. Of course people make excuses like “my job’s here” or “my wife wants to live here” but at least realize you choose to live in that state and if you truly wanted to move, you could. (Those big green signs above the freeway point the way to gun friendly states, I promise you that.)

I bring this up because my wife’s family lives in California. I have let her know without a doubt we will never be living in that state. I can think of few things worse in life than not having a gun on me to defend my family because I chose to live in California or Maryland or New York.

However, once you’ve got your permit for the state you live in, many people often wonder if they should get additional permits. In short, I believe the answer is yes. Right now in my wallet I have my Virginia permit and my Utah permit, which combined allow me to carry concealed in 33 states.

Why do I have multiple permits and why do I think you should too?

Well, the first and most obvious reason is because different permits provide coverage for different states. For instance, Virginia has reciprocity with Florida and Utah does not. (They don’t have reciprocity for non-resident permits.) I used to travel to Florida often, so I definitely needed a permit which would allow me to carry in Florida. Also, Utah has reciprocity with both Alabama and Georgia and Virginia does not.

Another reason I carry multiple permits is because it’s kind of like insurance. You never know what foolish politicians are going to do even in gun friendly states like Virginia and Utah. So, if something happens where one permit loses coverage on a lot of states, or becomes much more difficult to obtain at least I have my “back up” permit.

Plus…

Not only do you have to worry about the state which issues your permit, you have to worry about all the states that grant it reciprocity. Reciprocity coverage is always changing when new politicians get elected or when states get in a “urinating” contest over something and decide to no longer recognize each other’s permits.

A friend of mine probably put it best when he told me that he carries multiple credit cards such as Visa, American Express and Mastercard to have “back up” cards and various options, which is how he feels about carrying multiple permits- he wants several options, and I couldn’t agree with him more.

So if you’ve been sitting on the fence about getting another permit, or you’ve been too cheap to spend $65 on another permit that will last you for 5 years, then as soon as you finish reading this, take action today and sign up for a local concealed carry class in your area.

(By the way, another great reason to get multiple permits is in case you accidentally let one expire, at least you have your back up and can still carry. You can also use the USA Carry Permit Reminder to make sure you don’t let any expire.)

About The Author
Jason R. Hanson is a former CIA officer. He’s also an NRA Certified Instructor, a Utah Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor and an Eagle Scout. Jason believes there are few things in life as important as being able to protect yourself and your loved ones. That’s why he’s giving away a free report titled, “Insider Secrets of Buying Your First Concealed Carry Firearm” at www.ConcealedCarryAcademy.com.

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/XBLZKLLJFVCTAZOZGFUDEG55XI Scott T

    Should You Get Multiple Concealed Carry Permits

    dumb question really.

    dont get any permit.  there already is a permit  teh 2nd amenment   keep and bear  in your wig, your pocket or wherever.

    if yo feel you need to shott the police to get them to understand the shoot them.

    • Jeff Williams

      Translate.

    • Forester76kromer

      WTF?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5J6U2OIXVCRGKMY4DLVE45KPQ AriKona

      Translation: I didn’t really need that last ______ (insert: alcoholic beverage, joint, etc.), but decided to have it before I replied.  My bad.  

  • http://www.InternationalFirearmSafety.com International Firearm Safety

    Another reason is that just three short years ago as many as TEN different states’ permits / licenses were available by mail.  That number now has been reduced to ONLY SIX.
    One hinderance to obtaining multiple licenses is the multiple training courses that must be taken – my company offers a program to qualify for UP TO 12 DIFFERENT STATE FIREARM LICENSES ALL AT ONCE – in just a one-day course.  We are the only ones that can offer this.
    Feel free to contact me with any questions  alecs at inernationalfirearmsafety dot com

  • Rick

    My answer is definitely YES.  I have permits from 6 different states.  It is important to know the laws in as many states as possible until they pass a national reciprocity law similar to our driver license and even then the various states may differ.

  • bobzilla

    Plus, there’s a little thing called the Gun Free School Zones Act.  If you have the permit from the state you are carrying in, you are exempt from the federal 1000′ rule.  There are 8 non-res permits that you can get without traveling.  FL, CT, UT, VA, NH, ME, AZ, and PA.  With PA you have to have a resident permit from your state first.

    • Bob_Hoban

      Partially incorrect information.  As of this spring (May or June 1st) PA requires you to apply in person, even for a non-resident permit.

  • Mike

    Excellent point.  My permit  (WV) is good for 5 years.  Florida’s is 7.  Handy to know.  Will be applying for a FL permit.

  • Tom1776866

    Great suggestion! If the readership would be so kind as to provide Links for various state agency’s-some are not directly LE, could be Dept of Business and regulation or Dept of Agriculture- they make you work for it! Look at the reciprocity map also- and for those states who are ANTI HANDGUN – email their SDLE and complain Thanx.

    • Danomcconnell

      For the most part, all you have to do is google concealed carry permit and the State. Usually that is all you need to do to get a link to the Authority having jurisdiction.

  • Ron Alley

    I think this is a great question because I think everyone should have as many state CCW licenses as you can get. We need a national license so you would only need to carry one CCW license to cover you no matter where you go in this country.

    carryon1

  • FSU

    Being a Michigan resident, and that they only honor resident permits, it does me little good to have other permits for carrying in Michigan.  MI also has pretty good Reprocity, aside from Cal, Conn, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Mass, NJ, NY, OR, RI.  Of those listed states, I could obtain NR permits for Maine, Oregon, and Rhode Island.  I don’t plan on traveling to those states.  If for some reason MI pulls the permits, I’ll have to move as non-resident permits are useless in MI. 

    • Danomcconnell

      (1) Maine is an EASY permit to obtain – and inexpensive as well.
      (2) Oregon does not offer Non-resident Permits…does not honor any Non-resident Permits…and they only honor Resident Permits from California and Washington.
      (3) Good luck getting a Non-resident Permit from Rhode Island. They do have a Non-resident Permit program…but it is administered by the State Atourney General…and in the most capricious manner.

      • Rich

        I live in Mass about 3 miles from the RI line.

        When I inquired about getting a non-res permit for RI I was told to forget about it.  Technically they issue them, but as a practical matter they don’t (unless you’re connected).

        The thing to consider about applying to a state that is likely to reject you is that most carry permit applications that I have seen ask if you have ever been denied a permit anywhere.  You then have to spend the rest of your life explaining it away.

        Fortunately for me, RI has a “peaceable journey” provision in its law.  In essence what it says is that if you can carry in your home state, you can carry in RI so long as you don’t intend on staying.  If you’re just passing through, without stopping, you’re in the clear.

        Just as a precaution, I keep a printed copy of that state law in the glove compartment of my car in case I get stopped and the police find a gun on me.

  • Mathias754

    Does the need for multiple permits exist for Law Enforcement or Certified Agents with Lethal Weapons Certification as well?  Some states will require not only residency, but training – will my certifications in PA be accepted in other states, and if not, will they honor my training credentials and certification granted in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?

    • Bulletdodging

      No. Because of HR218 (law enforcement safety act) signed by Bush Jr.  law enforcement is allowed to cross all state lines if they are certified in their own state.

  • Phil

    As an NRA Instructor and a Certified Utah Instructor , I encourage all of our students to consider obtaining as many CCW permits that they can for all the reasons the author suggested.  We need as many folks that are able to qualify to get their permits and then, for all of our sakes, carry. 

    In our training, we like to show the exercise where two groups of folks in different uniforms pass a basketball.  Count the passes we encourage, but yet the real thing to see is the gorilla walking through the exercise.  We teach our students to look for “gorillas,” to be like the old Scout saying,…”be prepared…”  the permit by itself is unable to return fire…or defend…got to carry folks.

    Get trained, get the permit, carry.  It is comforting to know that so many folks are doing just that, especially if it we that find oursevles confronted by a “gorilla moment” and it is our fellow CCW citizens that come to the aid. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-L-Hardy/599954306 Paul L Hardy

    I knew about reciprocity but I didn’t know you could carry permits from multiple states.  I live in Georgia and rarely stray too far from home but I would like to know how I can get more than the Georgia card I already carry

  • Polvey

    I am a retired and reemployed leo. So I am good as long as my retired or current police qualification is within 365 days.

    I have had a Florida Permit since the early 1990′s way before my resident state of Ohio issued permits.

    As a precaution against any possible problem I have Ohio, Florida and Utah Permits.

    We live in a strange politically changing world, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5J6U2OIXVCRGKMY4DLVE45KPQ AriKona

    Even though my state did away with concealed carry permits, I remind everyone of the advantage of getting one.  No long waits when purchasing your firearm, you won’t get busted when you take your firearm to a state that has reciprocity (since the reciprocity rests on you having a permit, not being a resident of this state) and, finally, your attorney will thank you when, and if, you have to use your firearm in self-defense.  Nothing worse that hearing someone say, “I don’t need a permit to carry concealed.” which translates: “I have no training, don’t know anything about the lethal force mindset and do not understand the laws of this state, but you can defend me, right?”

  • Totiniron

    I live in LA on the AR/LA state line. and my first cc permit was for LA.. Guess what? After having that license for a couple of years I found out that AR decided Not to reciprocate w/ LA. Sooo, next permit I got was a Florida Non-resident, that was honored by both AR and LA and more other states than LA or AR permits. Everything ‘s good for 5 yrs.—- I renew my Florida permit and 3 months later LA says they won’t honor out of state permits as well as several other states. They will only honor the permits in the state in which you reside OR their own out of state permits. Luckily AR now accepts LA permits as they are reciprocating states, so I’ll take another LA CC class, get my LA permit  and have Florida and my home state covered for the next 5 years.I, like most of you, wish that we could buy ONE permit for the whole USA. I really don’t think that will ever happen, but it’s nice to dream about it. The Constitution of the United States of America SHOULD be all a law abidding citizen should need.

  • Radar

    I have eight permits so I’m covered in something like 40 states.  Some have asked about the overlap, but hey, laws could change and I want to be protected from the BS as much as possible.  Since I travel in the Northeast, I picked up some to cover me there specifically.
    Massachusetts wants $100 per year, so for now, I’m avoiding them.ME, NH, CT, NY, PA, FL, UT, NV

    • Rich

      Mass is worse than you think for non-resident permits.

      Non-res is $100 and good for only one year.

      In addition you have to apply in person every year.

      • Radar

        That is why I chose not to give them money and deal with it for now.

  • Dave

    California here. California’s a big state and the permitting process varies throughout. I just got my ccw here and have several friends in my county who also have concealed carry permits. We  just can’t have a magazine with more than 10 rounds…

  • Jcompton7

    How does one acquire permits were he/she doesn’t have a residence?

  • Freedomfirearms2

    The one state where multiple permits are not needed is Michigan.  Michigan has the most recognized Concealed Pistol License in the nation bar none thanks to the efforts of former Attorney General Mike Cox and the continued efforts of Attorney General Bill Schuette.  It has been my pleasure as a private citizen to work with both of these administrations on this pet project issue of mine and I thank them for allowing me to do so. – Joel Fulton

  • Danomcconnell

    Good Article…CUDOS
    I have seven (7) Permits:
    (1) Virginia (Resident Permit)
    (2) Florida: Acquired through the mail
    (3) Pennsylvania: Acquired through the mail
    (4) Connecticut: Acquired through the mail
    (5) New Hampshire: Acquired through the mail
    (6) Maine: Acquired through the mail
    (7) Utah: Acquired through the mail

    Between all these permits I can carry concealed in 37 states. Those States that do not recognize my permits, I avoid going to. If they don’t respect my RIGHT to defend myself and Family, then they must not respect my money either. There are more Non-Resident Permits that I could get, but – for the most part - they would not get me anymore states to carry in; and I would have to apply in person to get those.
    I dream of the day when we can get to the point of having National Reciprocity. Frankly it grates on my last remaining nerve that I have to ask permission to exercise a pre-existing RIGHT which is supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution.

    • Bumnthsun

      Pennsylvania just recently changed, have to apply in person :(

  • Danomcconnell

    Good Article…CUDOS
    I have seven (7) Permits:
    (1) Virginia (Resident Permit)
    (2) Florida: Acquired through the mail
    (3) Pennsylvania: Acquired through the mail
    (4) Connecticut: Acquired through the mail
    (5) New Hampshire: Acquired through the mail
    (6) Maine: Acquired through the mail
    (7) Utah: Acquired through the mail

    Between all these permits I can carry concealed in 37 states. Those States that do not recognize my permits, I avoid going to. If they don’t respect my RIGHT to defend myself and Family, then they must not respect my money either. There are more Non-Resident Permits that I could get, but – for the most part - they would not get me anymore states to carry in; and I would have to apply in person to get those.
    I dream of the day when we can get to the point of having National Reciprocity. Frankly it grates on my last remaining nerve that I have to ask permission to exercise a pre-existing RIGHT which is supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution.

  • Danomcconnell

    Response to “Jcompton7″
    How to acquire Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:
    (1) Obtain your permit from your State of residence
    (2) Identify those States which offer Non-Resident Permits
    (3) Contact the issuing authority in those States (State Police, Local Sherrif…ect), and request an application for a Non-resident Permit.
    (4) Fill out the application, obtain the required documentation (Fingerprint cards, Proof of Training…ect).
    (5) Send in the application (with documentation) and a check for the required fee.
    (6) Wait. the Permit will arrive in the mail.

    Not all States that offer a Non-Resident Permit will send it in the mail. Those States require you to apply in person, and pick up the permit in person. No big deal, if you are into traveling – and can afford it.

  • Alan Eggleston

    Since Utah now requires you to have your home state carry permit in order to get their non-resident permit, the ease of getting a Utah permit is now moot.  I went to SLC to get the Utah CFP Instructor license in February, and as of May 11, that is now changed.  The Florida permit is 7 years, and is not a bad way to spend $110, however. 

  • Mike

    Mike,  I live in N.Y. I’ve had a resident CCP since 1961, Just obtained a Utah CCP, as non-resident. I have family living in Texas, Midland area, Can I apply for  non-resident Texas permit?   Or is it not necissary, and am I covered traveling from westeren New York to Texas?

  • Auslandertactical

    I am a CCW instructor in CA, and I also am certified to teach the UT CCW, and encourage my students to get both. You make some good points.

  • BRIAN

    I HAVE OHIO AND PENNSYVANIA – THAT COVERS ALMOST EVERY STATE (THAT HAS CARRY)

  • Rrooks

    Jason… Your statement of carrying in NY is mis-leading… Many Upstaters have the option to apply for CCP… Infact my county only issues CCP’s. And I can do so in every county in the state minus the abyss called NYC. I do very much agree with you on reprocity permits… Currently I have my PA and NH permits in waiting to get back… (Easier to get than in my own state) Great article!

  • Joelombardi

    Or move to North Carolina and your one permit is good in 37 states. No fuss no muss.

  • wild eyed willy

    I live in CT. Travel to Ma, NY, and VT, 4 work, am 10 MIN. away from RI,  I like to go to PA and NC on vacation, but I can’t get out of New England legally without passing through some part of NY…I can’t afford all the permits it would take to carry for work, and I’m traped here in NE because  I can’t carry or transport through NY state….  This SUCKS!!!
    Will be applying for a FL non resident permit, but It wont help me get out of the state.

    • JG

      ✈️

  • Hjc4604

    I have Utah and a South Carolina Non-resident permit.  The ideal permit wouldn’t be a national permit.  It would be that they start treating the 2nd amendment like the 1st.  An inherent right that requires no permit to exercise.  It isn’t given to us by the Constitution, it was enumerated so the politicians wouldn’t forget it or say it didn’t exist.  That’s not working out so well.  I hate that I have to send my daughter off to college without the ability to protect herself because she’s only 18.  Old enough to vote and go off to war, but not old enough to drink or protect herself.  Thanks politicians!  And if you think martial arts training will fill in, Google Meredith Emerson.  By the  way, I live in Maryland, The (LESS) Free State.  At least til I retire and move to SC.

  • Pafindr

    “And, if you happen to be one of the poor souls who lives in a state that
    has unfriendly gun laws and you can’t get your CCW, then move.”
    I somewhat disagree with that statement. Some of those people shouldn’t move to other states because they are the ones that voted in those that do away with gun rights laws. Why would you want them to move into a state where they will just create the same laws.

  • Strodden

    Ok this confuses me. Doesn’t one have to live in the state that grants that person a CCW? For example I live in Indiana and I am disappointed that my permit is not valid in Ohio where my fiance is from. I can’t just go over to Ohio and get a CCW from that state without being a resident there, can I?

  • Cobranut

    I have a resident VA permit, and I travel a lot for work.
    What state’s non-resident permits should I get that would enable me to carry in the maximum number of states?