Top 5 “Best Bang For The Buck” Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permit

Top 5

Top 5 "Best Bang For The Buck" Non-Resident Concealed Carry PermitThere’s a lot of states that enjoy great concealed carry reciprocity across the nation and then there are states that just can’t seem to catch a break. If you’re a resident of a state that doesn’t enjoy such a great selection of travel destinations, you can always pursue a non-resident permit from a state that does.

This process usually entails completing that state’s non-resident permit requirements which usually include:

  • Proof of completion of a state-recognized concealed carry pistol course
  • Background paperwork
  • Sometimes fingerprints
  • Fees and assessments for the investigation and permitting

Wait times can vary dramatically and don’t expect to get an immediate response back within 7-10 business days. Don’t assume the course you may have took for your resident concealed carry permit will be acknowledged as suitable for a non-resident permit. Go to their issuing authority’s website and find out specifically what paperwork they need from you prior to signing up for any courses.

In this article, we wanted to give a shout out to five states in particular that seem to have very popular non-resident concealed carry permits.

Arizona — Arizona is widely considered to be a constitutional carry state. It still offers a fantastic non-resident concealed carry permit that is reciprocated in 30 states. This is a great non-resident permit to have if you enjoy traveling throughout the Southwestern states.

Idaho — Even though Idaho is now considered a constitutional carry state for residents, it still enjoys a fantastic amount of reciprocity with other states through its Enhanced Non-Resident License. At present 32 states acknowledge that permit as valid and it spans states touching both coastlines and throughout the Mid-West.

North Dakota — It’s a popular travel destination during the summer months and who would guess that North Dakota has one of the widest degrees of reciprocity for their non-resident concealed carry permits? At present, 34 states acknowledge North Dakota’s non-resident permit including states like Pennsylvania and Delaware that can be especially finicky about who they let carry from out-of-state.

Tennessee — Tennessee offers a FANTASTIC non-resident concealed carry permit that enjoys a very wide reciprocity with other states. At present, 34 states acknowledge Tennessee’s process for determining who should carry a concealed firearm. With a Tennessee non-resident concealed carry permit, you can travel from the coast of North Carolina all the way to Seattle and only need to possibly disarm if you’re passing through Illinois, Colorado, and Oregon. This is a really great “frequent cross-country road trip” style of non-resident permit.

Utah — A lot of firearms instructors offer courses marketed towards Utah’s non-resident concealed carry permit. It’s honored in 30 states but it requires a decent bit of training and background stuff. Still, because it’s offered so frequently, it’s a great deal for those interested in getting around the continental United States.

Honorable Mention: Virginia

Virginia — A Virginia non-resident concealed carry permit is probably one of the most easiest to obtain and has reciprocity with about 29 other states. Despite the debacle earlier in the year with the Virginia Attorney General threatening to shred its reciprocity agreements with other states, they have managed to stay true to offering a very competitive non-resident permit at a price point and commitment level many people find enjoyable.

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Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
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You mentioned North Dakota non-resident permit being accepted by PA. As far as I know PA does not recognize ANY non-resident permit. Can you cite the exception?


Thanks for the good information.


Hold on! Pennsylvania honors nonresident permits from easily obtainable New Hampshire, as well as nonresident permits from several other states not so easily obtainable for nonresidents (including Georgia, Texas, Montana, Iowa). For five states (MS, AZ, UT, FL, VA), the leftist Pennsylvania AG decided to honor only resident permits. I live in Alabama, and since my mail order PA permit expired, I have to get by on my NH permit until I can make a trip to Centre County.


No, they don’t and that’s straight from Kim Stolfer of the PA grassroots org.


See the following exchange on February 25, 2015, between the PA Attorney General’s office and a citizen asking about NH reciprocity:

====== Question: At the present time, is a New Hampshire non-resident CCW license holder granted CCW reciprocity in Pennsylvania?

AG office answer: Pennsylvania currently honors all concealed carry permits issued by the State of New Hampshire based on an agreement between our states. That agreement may be found at the PA AG website. Agreements are subject to change. If the agreement is changed or cancelled, the information on our website will be updated. [Note: No information has been updated since.]

Question – If a New Hampshire non-resident CCW license holder is currently granted CCW reciprocity in Pennsylvania, is there any intention to end this reciprocity? If so, please provide the specific date that this reciprocity will end

AG office answer – At this time, there are no imminent changes to this agreement pending. ======

I don’t think anything has changed since 2/25/2016.


From the Attorney Generals office: “Further, I spoke with George Zaiser of the AG’s office earlier this year and he categorically said that Pennsylvania Law Enforcement is being notified that individuals carrying a firearm on a license issued in a state not of their residence will not be honored in PA.”

I understand that this is confusing but this is dated this year. I DO NOT want to see folks get jammed up on this. Please don’t do it and rely on NH or any other State’s nonresident permit. This is a mess. Best solution? Cam George Zaiser yourself to confirm it.


Who spoke with George Zaiser? You?

PA better rewrite their reciprocity agreements if they intend not to honor non-resident permits of states they honor.

I am going to check personally.


I’m waiting for the text (or link) of an announcement originally from AG Kane on this, from Kim Stolfer. Hopefully I’ll have it in 24 hrs. When I do I’ll post it. I will agree on one point, the entire thing is a convuluted mess created by Kane.


I’ll be interested to see the announcement. I was referred to a supposedly knowledgeable (and friendly) PA sheriff who might know something, too. If he gives me any useful info, I’ll post it.

It is certainly a confusing mess. Regarding firearms, all states should make clear policies/rules/laws available to the public, and officials in the AG’s office should be able to give a definitive answer to simple firearms questions. And we have a very simple question: “Does Pennsylvania honor a CCW permit issued by the State of New Hampshire to a citizen who does not live in New Hampshire—yes or no?”


I did receive an answer from the office of that sheriff, specifically, from the person in charge of issuing CCW permits:

“It looks like as of now your New Hampshire permit is valid in PA as long as you still have a valid permit from your home state. The [PA-NH] reciprocity agreement does not specify that it has to be a residential permit, so therefore your nonresident permit is valid.”

I hope that information is correct. I’m still going to apply for a PA permit next time I’m in the northeast.


Here is the wording straight from the PA website (finally). Note #2. You MUST be a resident of the State that issues the permit for there to be reciprocity.

“1 – possess a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms,
2 – maintain residency in, and possess a valid license/permit to carry a firearm from a state with which Pennsylvania has a current reciprocity agreement or
3 – fall within the applicable exceptions in 18 Pa. C.S. §6106(2)(b) as listed above, including §6106(2)(b)(15) regarding licenses/permits to carry a firearm recognized under Pennsylvania law without a formal reciprocity agreement.


Thanks. From that wording, it appears that PA will not honor nonresident permits from states they honor. However, the State of PA still maintains current published text claiming something quite different, and still maintains a website that specifies residency requirements for some states and not others. And at least one sheriff advises that PA will honor NH nonresident permits. This is a mess, and PA should announce its policy in unequivocal language.


It will NEVER be resolved until Kathleen Kane is out, a Conservative AG is in and they undo what she did ……..don’t hold your breath.


As a PS, if you still maintain that they do please cite the relevant code.


I cited several sources last night, but for some reason my post was held up for “approval” by the mods and still has not appeared. Maybe the site does not allow posting of URLs from other concealed-carry sites. I’ll try again, without URLs:

1. Check the USA Carry maps, “Permits Honored by State” and click on Pennsylvania. Notice that FL, AZ, UT, VA, and MS appear in yellow, which signifies “resident permit only.” Notice that New Hampshire is blue, which indicates resident or nonresident permit.

2. Delete the spaces, visit handgunlaw. us/ states/ USStates My State Honors. pdf and examine the table, updated April 17, 2016. For Pennsylvania, notice that once again FL, AZ, UT, VA, and MS are footnoted “8,” which means “resident permit only.” Notice that New Hampshire is not footnoted, and neither are some other states that issue nonresident permits.

3. Again delete the spaces, visit www . attorney general . gov and click on “Firearm Reciprocity Agreements.” Now refer to the actual reciprocity agreements that Pennsylvania has with the various states. Notice that the wording of the agreement with New Hampshire is different from that of the agreements with Florida and Utah, which specify “residents.”

4. Again delete the spaces: www. handgunlaw. us / states / pennsylvania.pdf


I believe Tennessee only offers non-resident CC permits to those who live in another state but work in TN.

Bob M.

Pennsylvania recognizes permits from Alaska, Arizona (resident permits only), Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida (resident permits only), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi (resident permits only), Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, TexS, Utah (resident permits only), Virginia (resident permits only),West Virginia (resident permits only), Wisconsin, Wyoming. Pennsylvania will not recognize out-of-state permits held by their residents. Check Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States by J. Scott Kappas, Esq. 2016 edition or numerous online receprocity map/guides.


You post is very misleading, unintentionally I’m sure. PA does NOT recognize ANY states non-resident permit. Understand the wording here. They do recognize many “resident” permits issued to that state’s residents but do not recognize non-resident permits issued to residents who do not reside in those states.

Bob M.

You are correct sir, the wording got me.


It has bit me in the butt many times. I feel the pain 🙂


Not to be argumentative but his post clearly listed all the States that are recognized by Pennsylvania (Resident only) it’s clear they do not accept any (non-resident) permits..


Not so. The comma after TX and then the words “Utah (resident permits)” signifies that Utah is set apart from the other States.

At least two of the other States previous to Utah (TX & TN) offer non-resident permits. By not including them in the “resident permits only” category it could lead someone to believe that PA accepts all permits from those States when, in fact, it does not.


I don’t see it, however, I’m under the impression his intent was to show
all the States mentioned were listed to show Pennsylvania does not except no out of State permits, in a long drawn out list.. Anyway all is good and thank you for responding back..


We’re good, we just don’t want people getting jammed up because of the illegal actions of Democrat (and under indictment) AG Kathleen Kane.


From a reliable source: “Pennsylvania honors non-resident permits/licenses from the states they honor except for Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Utah, and Virginia. They have agreements that specifically state, ‘Legal resident of AZ, FL, MS, UT, and VA.'”

“AZ, FL, MS, UT, and VA permits/licenses issued to non-residents are no longer valid in PA.”

Check the USA Carry reciprocity maps to verify.


You should also mention that Idaho and North Dakota require training and/or application to be done in the state. As mentioned, TN only issues to someone who works in TN for at least six months of the year.

I’ll stick with AZ and UT for now, thanks.

Bob M.

I live in Wisconsin and that permit is pretty well accepted, 28 states. The second I received was Arizona another pretty good one followed by Nevada and Utah. This gives me coverage in 36 states. Other than Florida which I really never get to, too warm for this Wisconite the remaing 14 are those that are pretty much unattainable, at least from my research.


New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, and Florida are all obtainable without too much trouble. The more the better.

Jim Lefavour

I’m getting NH – mainly because NJ and PA cut me off from the rest of the country, and NH gets you into and through PA (as far as I saw).

Tom Schuckman

Hi, Bob M., I live in MI., but plan to come back to my home State of/ in WI. If I have a CCW permit in Michigan, what will I have to do when I come back to WI after 5 years ?? Ha! The women U.P. here are ‘cold as ice.’ My email: –Disabled
Vietnam Veteran: 68-70.


Thanks, that’s good information! I was considering applying for a TN NR permit based on the article. You just saved me a lot of effort for nothing.

Bryan Williams

Also TN requires digital fingerprints. Sou you have to go in person to submit the application then go get the prints done. Which IMO if you already have or had a Cary permit from somewhere your prints are already on file with the FBI.


VA, as a state, does not require fingerprinting. Some municipalities do, mine not included. Holding or having held a carry permit does not automatically mean your prints are on file.


True. I saw this list and I was pretty pissed off that it didn’t mention I’d actually have to travel to the states to get their permit. I’m going with AZ.


Good non-resident permits that are fairly easy to get are the AZ and VA permits. The only reason I exclude FL (even though it has just as good recognition/reciprocity as AZ & VA) is the expense, and the application can be confusing to first time applicants who are adverse to reading the instructions. (That being said, the FL permit is valid for seven years from date of issue.)


Perfect for us living behind enemy lines


Florida’s non-resident CCW covers 29 states and is a frequent destination for folks on vacation. Just bring a training certificate from any NRA course or a DD214 to a listed government office and you can do the whole process in under an hour.


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Bob M.

If Nevada…… was directed my way, the reason is I consider NV. my second home. I got AZ. right after WI. because it gave me a few more states including NV. Later NV. stopped honoring AZ. permits. I then obtained my NV. permit while there which also included MN. my neighboring state.


Now NV recognizes both AZ resident and non-resident permits. I called them and they have a very different way of looking at permits. To them it doesn’t make any difference if it’s a resident or non-resident permit, they make no distinction and consider them equal.

Bob M.

They also now recognize my WI permit. Things keep a changing. It’s a challenge to keep up. Minnesota recognizes NV. N/R permits so that helps me with my neighbor state.


I have a Virginia resident and a Utah Non-resident, and I still can’t legally carry in neighboring Maryland and DC. Lordy I hate the Northeastern states. I keep looking for that magic job in Wyoming or Arizona . . but no joy yet.


I;m in Wyo permit is easy. two things; 1 No CCW is required ONLY if you are resident. 2. His map is wrong Ohio does not give nonres permits unless you are working there.


Just don’t lump northern New England (VT / NH / ME) in with the rest of the northeastern states. We’re a gun-friendly zone up in the far northeast. Two of the three states have constitutional carry and the third (NH) will get it later this year, now that we’ve got a decent governor.

Also, FWIW, PA & DE aren’t too bad (especially compared to DC / MD / NJ / NY / CT / RI / MA).

All of that said, I’m from Maryland, so I know exactly what you’re talking about.


I applied for my Virginia non-resident back in January 2016. Sent it Express Mail, via USPS. They received it next day. Almost to the the same day in February, I received a letter acknowledging receipt of the application and that it will be processed within the next 90 days… I applied because of the hype of February 1st change of laws concerning reciprocity…then extended to the 1st of April… Now it was not necessary. What happened to the 45 days approval required by the state? Just wondering, am I out the $100.00?


Arizona, Utah, and Virginia are readily obtainable through the mail, but Idaho and North Dakota require that you apply in person. Tennessee, as someone mentioned, can be obtained only if you work in the state. New Hampshire is a good one for me to have, because although NH honors my home state of Alabama, it gives me Pennsylvania, which strangely ceased honoring Florida, Utah, Virginia, and Arizona nonresident permits.


I will repeat, PA does NOT recognize ANY other state’s non-resident permit. If you maintain it does then please cite the applicable part of PA code.


IL forces 16 hours class time, but isn’t recognized in many states? It’s at best tit for tat, cause IL doesn’t recognize other “easy license states.” It’s all BS.


WA state isn’t mentioned as having lenient CCW because you can open carry legally here with no permit at all.


That table is slightly of date. PA no longer honors Maine, and for MS honors only the resident permit. Good resource, though, if they keep it updated.


I am rather disappointed in the state of CO. They will NOT honor my SC permit, for whatever unknown reason. They will not honor a non-resident permit from any state. And they do not issue non-resident permits. CO is supposed to be a shall issue state, but there is currently no way for me to be issued any permit that will allow me to carry in CO.


From my favorite CCW site, as of 08/20/2017. I realize this discussion is a year old now, but in case someone runs across it…
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