With the recent changes in laws and states that have moved to permitless carry, it is probably a good time to look at the best states for a non-resident CCL and why. This will be the first in a series of articles about different states that allow you to get a non-resident CCL. Some states allow it, and some don’t.
Today, let’s talk to you about why getting a non-resident concealed carry license could be one of the best decisions you make.
First things first, let’s clarify what a concealed carry license (CCL) is. Essentially, it is a permit that allows you to carry a “concealed” firearm on your person under the laws of the state or states where you are licensed. Now, when it comes to non-resident licenses, the idea is that you can apply for and get a license from a state other than the one in which you live.
You might also see a CCL referred to as:
- CCW – Carrying a Concealed Weapon
- CHP – Concealed Handgun Permit
- CPL – Concealed Pistol License
- LTC – License to Carry (Firearms)
- CWP – Concealed Weapon License
And there are other names, depending on the state and type of license. For this article, I will use CCL.
Why get a non-resident CCL?
Fewer Gun-Free Zones
So, why would you want to go through the trouble of obtaining a non-resident concealed carry license? Well, for starters, it can significantly expand the locations where you can legally carry a concealed firearm. In some states, there are fewer prohibited places if you have a permit from that state as opposed to an out-of-state CCL.
Additionally, a non-resident concealed carry license can offer added flexibility regarding state reciprocity agreements. Many states have agreements that allow CCL holders from other states to carry in their state as well. By obtaining a non-resident license from a state with a wide range of reciprocity agreements, you could carry in even more states than if you only had a license from your home state. For example, I have an Illinois CCL, but Florida does not recognize it. I got my Florida CWP, and now I can legally carry in Florida. I gained additional states that recognize Florida but not Illinois, like Louisiana and New Mexico, which also do not have reciprocity with Illinois.
Editor’s Note: Discover the states that recognize your permit(s) by exploring our interactive Concealed Carry Maps.
Best States for Non-Resident CCL
Some states I am going to go over in this series are Florida, Arizona, Utah, Texas, and Virginia. I will also cover some states where it is difficult to get a non-resident CCL, like Illinois. I am an instructor and go back and forth between the Chicago area and Dallas, so I often get asked about carrying in Illinois. Illinois does not recognize any other state CCL, but as a Texas resident, you can get an Illinois CCL. It is not a simple process, though.
Getting a non-resident concealed carry license is a smart decision for responsible gun owners. It allows for legal carrying across multiple states, serves as a backup plan, demonstrates a commitment to responsible gun ownership, and provides peace of mind. As a firearms instructor, I highly encourage everyone to get a non-resident concealed carry license to exercise their rights while ensuring safety for themselves and those around them.
Of course, it’s important to note that getting a non-resident concealed carry license requires some extra effort. However, for many gun owners, the added peace of mind and expanded legal carrying capabilities make it well worth the effort. Moreover, a non-resident concealed carry license can also serve as a backup plan if you lose your primary CCL. Life is unpredictable, and you never know what might happen in the future. Therefore, it’s always better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Always look at a reciprocity map and the specific state laws in the states where you are going to apply. Many second amendment cases are going through the court systems, and new laws are constantly being passed, so do your homework. Although I will cover the process for many of them in the coming weeks, you’ll still need to research the specific requirements and application process for the state(s) where you want to get a license.