A Rundown of “Duty To Inform” Laws in All 50 States

A Rundown of "Duty To Inform" Laws in All 50 States

By James England – Republished with Permission from Concealed Nation.

If you followed a previous article where we highlighted the plight of Brian Fletcher, there’s a big question looming as to whether or not you have a duty to inform law enforcement (or anyone) as to whether or not you are carrying without first being asked.

We take a state-by-state look at each state’s gun laws to find out who you have a duty to inform andwhenThis only applies to a person with the state’s designated version of a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm (or weapon, as the term applies) or granted reciprocity therein to do so.

  • We are not covering open carry.
  • We are not covering what happens if you are in violation of a crime.
  • We are covering if you are legally obliged to inform law enforcement as to your legal concealment of a firearmwithout first being asked.
  • If you are in a state where firearms registration is required as a condition to receive a permit, or are required to have a permit to acquire, or any of the other convoluted mechanisms prior to being a legal, concealed carrier in that state – this list assumes you have lawfully completed those conditions.  So if you have not completed those processes, this list isn’t for you.
  • This article is written (and researched) from the perspective that if you are:
    1. Legally allowed to conceal a firearm AND
    2. …You are stopped by law enforcement THEN
    3. Are you required to inform them you have a concealed firearm on your person?
  • Duty To Inform is taken to mean, in the context of this article, a specific lawful duty to inform a member of law enforcement without being asked first.
  • This does not include the provision “if asked”.
  • If you are asked, you are legally required to produce your valid concealed carry permit.

This is a longer article – so for ease, we’ve included a hyperlinked list of all 50 states and the District of Columbia so you can zoom to your state of interest.

Read Also: How To Have Good CCW Interactions With Law Enforcement

Disclaimer:  WE ARE NOT ATTORNEYS.  We don’t pretend to be attorneys.  We’re just citing laws as they’re written.  This guide is current as of July 26, 2015 and links cited all direct to the specific portions of each state’s law as it pertains to their firearms laws.  This guide is meant as light reference AND SHOULD NEVER BE CONSTRUED AS BONA FIDE LEGAL ADVICE.  You, personally, should review each state’s laws thoroughly to ensure you have the right understanding for the various classifications.  Many laws change annually or sooner depending upon legislative sessions and the results of judicial courts.

Duty to Inform

AlabamaIf Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
AlaskaYes (Always)
Arizona – If Asked (If Asked – Yes)
ArkansasYes – When Asked For Identification
CaliforniaYes For Some CountiesIf Asked Otherwise (No known duty)
Colorado – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Connecticut – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Delaware – If Asked (See *NOTES)
District of Columbia – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement; in flux!)
Florida – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
GeorgiaNo (Police Cannot Detain You To Verify)
HawaiiUnknown At This Time (Essentially No-Permit State)
Idaho – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
IllinoisIf Asked (See Notes* — Thank you, Illinois concealed carriers!)
IndianaIf Asked
Iowa – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Kansas – If Asked (Non-Resident, Residents have constitutional carry)
Kentucky – If Asked (LEOs Really Appreciate It If You DO)
LouisianaIf Under The Influence (See Notes)
MaineNo (Permitless Carriers – Yes; See Notes…)
Maryland – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Massachusetts – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
MichiganYes (Always)
Minnesota – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Mississippi – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Missouri – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Montana – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
NebraskaYes
Nevada – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
New Hampshire – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
New Jersey – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
New Mexico – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
New York – If Asked (see *Notes)
North CarolinaYes (see *Notes)
North Dakota – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
OhioYes (Always)
OklahomaYes (Must also inform private property owner)
Oregon – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Pennsylvania – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Rhode IslandPlease Do!  If Asked…
South CarolinaYes
South Dakota – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Tennessee – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
TexasYes – When Asked For Identification
Utah – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
VermontConstitutional Carry
Virginia – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
Washington – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
West Virginia – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)
WisconsinIf Asked
Wyoming – If Asked (No known duty to inform law enforcement)

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  • Charles Humphrey

    In regards to Nebraska, “The permitholder shall display both the permit to carry a concealed handgun and his or her Nebraska motor vehicle operator’s license, Nebraska-issued state identification card, or military identification card when asked to do so by a peace officer or by emergency services personnel.”

    I’m not so confident that qualifies as a duty to inform…

  • Concerned Vegas Citizen

    Luke McCoy, you stated “Not explicitly defined in § 13A-11-50,
    however should you carry a concealed firearm into any of the places
    Alabama law has stipulated you may not carry, your license is subject to
    revocation and you are subject to possible criminal charges.” Where in Alabama law is your permit (it is not a license) subject to revocation for carrying concealed in violation of any state law. Also, what Alabama law voids the 4th amendment and allows warrantless searches?

  • ArgieCathy Butler

    First I have heard about informing property owners in Oklahoma.

  • Peter Hilton

    With regard to Maine’s being a “permitless carry state,” the same concealed carry permit as before can be obtained by the existing processes. We advice our students that they consider applying for a permit even though within the State it’s not required. There are 23 states that recognize Maine’s concealed carry permit and one might wish to carry concealed there, and some of those states do not permit open carry. Further, having such a permit, the carrier is not under any duty to inform until specifically asked.

  • Barry Fitzgerald

    Since you have a 5th Amendment Right to “remain silent” and it is generally not a crime to lie to state authorities unless you are under oath, the last thing I would do is volunteer to some of these rural cops that I had a gun. Alabama is marked “if asked”” but there is no law to that effect. I supposed that is to keep you straight with the officer. I saw guns stolen by police in New Orleans right after drivers answered that question.

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    • Gradivus

      When you get your CCW permit you take on an affirmative legal obligation, under penalty of law, to follow the law associated with it, so while you may have a Fifth Amendment right not to talk if you DON’T have a CCW, if you do have one you’re probably breaking the law by not volunteering that info if you’re in a state that requires you to do so if you have a CCW and a firearm in the car. By signing up for the CCW you’ve waived your 5th Amendment right for that particular circumstance.

      • OBeerWANKenobi

        Or rather, you still have a 5th Amendment right, but exercising it in this case has other consequences.

    • Citizen x

      This is possibly some of the worst advice I have ever read on this topic. It most certainly IS a crime to lie to police, federal or state and in NOWAY ever a freedom of speech issue. When any law enforcement officer questions you and you provide deliberately false information for yourself or others you are impeding an investigation and EVERY federal/state//agency/bureau has laws and regulations manifold they will persecute you under for it.(yes they will prosecute and I did mean persecute) Keep in mind that integrity is legislated one-way, They, law enforcement, has supreme court precedent permitting them to lie and thus cannot ever be trusted.
      Your state may or may not have laws requiring disclosure of firearms to police when detained. The important things to consider are these.
      1) By ignoring or remaining ignorant of the local laws/ordinances you are abandoning the expected protections these conventions provide as common or expected behavior, By this you are increasing the likelihood of a negative outcome by adding uncertainty to your interaction with the LEO and, legitimately from his prospective, by doing so you are deliberately and or recklessly engaging in dangerous behavior he may need to be concerned about or obligated to take action on.
      2) You MAY indeed have no obligation under the constitution to disclose your firearm as this is both an infringement and a type of obligated search. It is also true constitutionally you cannot be required to surrender any right to exercise any other right so, provisions for disclosure in registration permits(also unconstitutional) are also unbinding according to precedent. HOWEVER, we wouldn’t be having this discussion if government, legislatures, and government agency’s were bastions of integrity or honestly. The fact there may be a law or ordinance that is not legal, constitutional or moral will not stop you from being arrested with your cooperation or buried without it. The question is: Which side of the bars do you wish to argue that from?
      In this instance it seems unnecessary, rather reckless and dangerous to buck such a state or local ordinance. In the end if you are not willing to follow a law or ordinance the question you must ask yourself before you break any laws like this: Is this really an instance that requires putting my freedom, life, the LEO’s life, and both of our family’s lives on the line for, OR, would we all be better served perusing this at a more appropriate time in a more appropriate venue, with a more appropriate and civil method?

      • Barry Fitzgerald

        It is not a crime to lie (unless you are under oath) to State and Local Police. There is a Federal Statute that makes it a crime to lie to the FBI and other Federal police agencies

        Your argumentum ad ignorantiam doesn’t make it true either, proof does.

        I have a summer house in north Alabama, there is no crime of “impeding an investigation” in this state. If I am stopped for a Driver’s License Checkpoint, the Police have the right to ask and receive my license, insurance, and registration. The question “Where are you going” or “Where have you been” has been held to be impermissible by the U. S. Supreme Court. From that standpoint, why shouldn’t I tell them whatever story fits the facts? They are not conducting an investigation.

        How about at that same checkpoint “You don’t have anything illegal in your car, do you?” Say I have a bottle of my wife’s Percocets in a container not labeled as such–illegal. Should I say “I guess I do, here are 10 Percocets in this pill container and they are not prescribed to me, take me in.”

        Police are legally permitted to lie and unless an act is made unlawful by statute, the action is lawful.

        Now you have put forth this proposition I am wrong, thus it is up to you to PROVE IT , not by argument but by case law. Case law because 20% of the statutes in various codes have been declared unconstitutional but have not been removed. If I am so wrong it should be no problem finding plenty of convictions for this very thing which defendants have appealed.

        I assume you will produce your evidence, say within a fortnight.

        • Common_Sense_Adjustment

          Martha Stewart might disagree with you. She did all that time in the lockup for lying on the phone to the FBI when they asked her about the guy calling her with inside info.

          • JSH

            Did you both to read Barry’s last comment? He said it’s illegal to lie to the FBI; but not state and local police. So, Martha Stewart’s lying to the FBI is irrelevant.

            Now, I don’t know if it’s legal to lie to a police officer or not. I’ve always heard that it is and I’ll stick with that until someone can prove to me that it’s not true. But that’s beside the point. Martha Stewart lied to the feds; which Barry admitted is illegal.

  • Pat Fox

    stupid commifornia, always something different and stupid !!!!

  • Allen Spivy

    Your interpretation of Louisiana CCW law may be om error. All LE officers that I have asked, say that para(2) is about anyone carrying a weapon and not just someone under the influence. We are required to inform any LE that approaches in an official manner if we are armed, submit to a pat down and allow him to disarm, show our permit, etc. If you are lucky enough that he does not “find” cause to arrest you or confiscate your gun, you may be left with your slide open empty gun, empty magazine, and a handful of rounds – plus a lot of angry or scared citizens watching the spectacle3.

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  • Marc Shelton

    Cops have absolutely no business asking citizens anything about having a gun. #1 Its none of their damn business….#2 Their overexagerated claims of how “dangerous” their job is is sickening…..#3 If you’re that “fearful for your life” get a different job: that has no bearing whatsoever on 99.999 % of american citizens……#4 Cops are public servants……we are not required to “comply” just because you’re a fuckin cop…….the biggest problem is cops with punk ass mouths and attitudes…… Prima donnas and ego maniacs……straighten your shit out first, quit killing people and don’t ask me shit. You’re not my lord and master and you’re damn sure not heroes.

    • OBeerWANKenobi

      FTW!

      • Dan O

        He’ll certainly never have ANY problems when he gets pulled over, right? Wow.

  • Justin Paige

    When i received my CCW 2010 we were told that, by law, you had to tell the trooper at first contact. Unless this has changed since then in the state of KY you must tell the cop

  • Patrick Lange

    Going from Michigan to Oregon any states i cant carry cpl

  • Ed Yost

    In state of KY if you have KY ccw permit, they know you are CCW and will usually ask if you have your pistol on you, if yes “If you don’t draw I won’t draw” is the words I have heard from State Police in Lexington

  • Ed Yost

    please give us an update on referenced article about NC Tower Climber

  • Powersv2

    What is the relevance to a bagged/cased firearm in the trunk of a vehicle during a traffic stop. This is not a CCW context.

  • OpinionatedOne

    In Ohio, you must notify the officer within an insanely short period of time upon contact with a LEO has been initiated. It’s like “within the first 30 seconds” or maybe a minute. Please their CCW is tied to your car plates, so they probably know before getting out of the car.

  • Reloader54

    This article says that In Arizona that if asked you have to tell law enforcement that you have a gun. And the map is saying that you do have to tell law enforcement that you have a gun. I have an app on my phone called “Concealed Carry Law” and it is a free app. And it shows for Arizona that you do not have to inform law enforcement that you have a gun on you. So what you really need to do is for a responsible armed gun owner to make sure that you really know what the laws are for not only where you live but also to any place that you might travel to. And I do live in Arizona. And I’ve talk to law enforcement officers and have asked this very question. And they’ve told me that by law you don’t have to tell them that you’re carrying. But that they’d like to know if you are. And that’s just for they say everyone’s safety. but by law you don’t.

  • Stormbow

    Why does the color of Arizona answer the question posed with “Yes” if the list below the picture answers with “If Asked (If Asked – Yes)”?

    • Ryukashin

      So I think its because most of the other yellow states there is no specific law about informing police. However, for Arizona, you are not required to say anything initially, but once the officer asks you are then required by law to answer.

      Arizona should probably just be an orange color instead of red.

      • Stormbow

        Exacty. Someone failed “Color by Numbers” in kindergarten. LOL

  • Sheena Harvy

    ROFL… Hawaii is ‘Special’.
    Another way to say, NO ONE gets a CCW in the state of Hawaii unless you can show proof you NEED… and in over 10 years no one has managed to satisfy the requirements!

    • CMac

      Yeah they just throw coconuts at each other. Oh wait there’s only less than 300 Hawaiians left and that was years ago, maybe less now. The Japanese just throw Sushi at you for self defense. What a messed up state.

      • Sheena Harvy

        Pretty much.

    • JSH

      No permits in 10 years? How do they continue to get away with that? Washington D.C. tried to pull that shit and it was struck down as unconstitutional. If it doesn’t fly in D.C., it shouldn’t fly in Hawaii.

  • OBeerWANKenobi

    Why is Wisconsin considered a duty to inform state on the map and not in the link? The link is as it should be but I can see how it could be a bit confusing. Technically yes, you are required to show an officer who asks “with lawful authority” for your permit and a photo ID; however, there is no legal way (besides actually seeing the weapon or based on a tip having reasonable suspicion.) that the officer could even know you have it. It isn’t legal for them to check the database during a traffic stop either.

    175.60(12)(b)
    (b)

    1. A law enforcement officer may not request or be provided information under par. (a) concerning a specific individual except for one of the following purposes:

    a. To confirm that a license or certification card
    produced by an individual at the request of a law enforcement officer is
    valid.

    b. If an individual is carrying a concealed weapon and
    claims to hold a valid license issued under this section or a valid
    certification card issued under s. 175.49 (3)
    but does not have his or her license document or certification card, to
    confirm that the individual holds a valid license or certification
    card.

    c. To investigate whether an individual submitted an intentionally false statement under sub. (7) (b) or (15) (b) 2.

    d. To investigate whether an individual complied with sub. (14) (b) 3.

    So, although you are technically supposed to show an officer your license and photo ID upon a “lawful request” by such officer; effectively, that officer will almost never have “lawful authority” to even request it.

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