Do you know the gun laws in your home state or the state you're traveling to? If not, you really should. And, while I feel like we talk about this topic all the time, it clearly needs repeating because we keep seeing comments on Facebook gun groups, forums, and even questions on our own website, here, on other articles.
But first, who is this article for? This article is meant for people who actually care what the gun laws are and want to follow the law in the area they're in. This article is not for the folks who say, “the Second Amendment is my permit.”
While I agree that this is how it should be, it's clearly not how it currently is in several states, and, really, the country as a whole. All we can do is work to change things for the better as we continue to follow the laws. Or, break the law and risk going to jail. Up to you, but there are gun laws.
It's up to you to follow them or not, but if you don't plan to follow the gun laws, this article is not meant for you.
We cannot in good conscience tell you to break laws. And in fact, we must urge you to follow the laws or we could be held accountable for it if any of our readers decide to break the law.
Therefore, we always say that you must know the gun laws in the state you're in (whether you live there or are traveling). And, if there is ever any question about the gun laws, the best option is to do as much research as you can from someone who does know them.
State police can be a good place to start, but there are other options that we fill in to help you know the gun laws in the state you're in as much as possible to save you time and heartache.
We'll discuss those in a minute, but before we get there, I wanted to give you some thoughts about what I do with “no gun zone” places.
There are always options for you. I tend to not go in places where I'm not “allowed” with my gun. I rarely go to the post office or to a school. While I don't want to break the law I also don't want to give up the option to defend myself.
So, if I know that a place is anti-gun I don't go there. It's really that simple.
This is true of my travels, as well. If I know that I'll get into trouble if I go into New York City, I don't go there. I mean, I hate that place anyway (as someone who worked in Queens for over a year I get to say it sucks).
Now, there are certain protections under the current law, like 926a, but it can be narrow and not all police have heard of it. (I'm not going to go into what 926a is, but if you've never heard of it before, I urge you to click on that link where Jacob explains it).
Besides not going to places where guns are not allowed, the next best thing is to know the gun laws. By knowing the gun laws, you can know where you can go with your guns, if you're required to tell police if you get pulled over, and other pertinent information.
There are a couple of ways you can know these gun laws:
Concealed Carry App —
The Concealed Carry App is touted as one of the best in the industry because of the sheer amount of info given inside it. It is totally, 100% free to download and use, and signing up for an account unlocks all the benefits. Though, signing up for an account is not necessary to use things like the reciprocity map builder or the gun laws for the 50 states.
This is one of the most valuable tools you can have and if you use a smart phone, it just makes sense to have on your phone. I check my app all the time.
Legal Boundaries By State —
This is the book to own if you travel because it can keep you out of severe trouble. Now, I do want to say that we do our best to keep this book updated as we issue new prints at least twice per year, but gun laws are changed all the time, and, obviously, the book you own won't be changed because we don't know how to do magic.
I will say, however, that the digital version gets updated as the laws do, and getting both ensures you're up to date as much as possible.
Find the book, here. Read the reviews, people love this book.
Law of Self-Defense —
Finally, until now we've discussed the laws as they relate to traveling with your firearm, but nothing really self-defense related. The Law of Self-Defense is the book written by the authority on the subject, Andrew Branca.
I have friends who are self-defense attorneys and they tell me they have read this book and have picked this guy's brain about things. It's that good.
Knowing the laws is of the utmost importance for those of you who take self-defense with any amount of seriousness. From free to paid, all of the above resources are excellent and designed to help keep you out of trouble.
Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.