Reciprocity With Other States
Reciprocity With Other States
This section applies to reciprocity of you have a Tennessee Carry Permit. For permitless or Constitutional carry, refer to the page HERE.
Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Regardless of what you read or hear, state laws with regards to handgun carry are constantly changing. You should always call a state or municipality before you travel there to be updated on the latest laws.
In Tennessee, you can call the Handgun Call Center to get any questions answered about Tennessee’s laws.
When making the life-changing choice to carry a firearm for self-defense, one of the most important aspects is knowing what other states will recognize your concealed carry permit. This term is called reciprocity. The legal definition is the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another. In the concealed carry world, you have to be a student of all the laws regarding carrying a firearm. Not only in your own state but in any state you may travel to.
Gun owners should really consider their CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) reciprocity when leaving their home state and entering a state where they plan on leaving their vehicle and carry their concealed weapon out in public. Many concealed weapon carriers will tell you to get ahold of the authorities and learn the laws before any traveling to another state and taking your concealed weapon. Traveling through a state with a firearm is usually not an issue when it is kept in a locked case and stored somewhere like the trunk where there is no easy access to it. Of course, there are many variations from state to state, and you should always check the laws of any state that you plan on traveling through as well.
When you are traveling through heavily restricted states, something known as the McClure-Volkmer Act of 1986 gives travelers a “free pass” through these restrictive states, granted that the guns are unloaded, locked in the case, and kept from being easily accessible. Unfortunately, this law does not always protect people, however, and there are several cases of travelers who have their guns properly cased and stored but are still arrested. The McClure-Volmer Act also only protects you if you are passing through a state with very minimal or no stops. Things like fueling up, getting food, or taking a bathroom break are considered fine, while other things like staying the night at a motel, visiting friends or family, or stopping at a tourist attraction are not.
In January of 2020, Tennessee implemented a new law allowing for an alternate carry permit called Concealed Carry with the existing permit being now labeled Enhanced Carry. This permit allows for less stringent requirements during the training portion of the course and the certificate of completion can even be obtained online. With this new permit came new questions. Would other states recognize the Tennessee Concealed Carry permit? For the most part, they have with the exception of North Dakota and Nebraska. Those states only recognize the existing Enhanced Carry permit.
Currently, 36 states will recognize the Tennessee Enhanced Carry permit and 35 recognize the Concealed Carry permit. There are some other restrictions in some states and as I mentioned above, you must have extensive knowledge of those state’s laws if you choose to carry a firearm there.
The list of states that recognize Tennessee’s Carry permits are as follows, and some of the traveling restrictions that they may have on firearms:
● Alabama - recognizes all other state’s carry permits and allows you to carry a loaded handgun if you have your permit from another state. If not, you can keep your gun unloaded and cased in an area inaccessible to the driver.
● Alaska* - recognizes all other state’s carry permits and has a constitutional carry. You may carry a loaded handgun concealed or in an open vehicle.
● Arizona* - recognizes all other state’s carry permits and has a constitutional carry. You may carry a loaded handgun concealed or in an open vehicle.
● Arkansas* - recognizes all other states’ concealed carry permits. Has no restrictions on traveling with firearms.
● Colorado - Does not honor 18-20-year-old permits or non-resident permits. Rifles, shotguns, and handguns can be stored anywhere in the vehicle. Magazines that hold more than 15 rounds are illegal in Colorado. You may open carry in Colorado without a permit—restrictions apply. Do not open carry in Denver without a permit.
● Delaware - You may keep a loaded handgun in the open, in the vehicle, or inaccessible location. You may open carry in Delaware without a permit, however, it is highly recommended to exercise caution if you do so.
● Florida* - Does not honor 18-20-year-old permits or non-resident permits. Firearms can be loaded and concealed as long as they are cased and inaccessible. Or, they can be in plain view as long as they’re in a snapped holster.
● Georgia* - Handguns may be unloaded, in a case and separate from ammunition inside the vehicle, or loaded and fully visible. Or, they can be loaded and stored in the glove compartment, console, or any other compartment.
● Idaho - If you do not have a permit to carry, loaded guns in the vehicle must be in plain view. If concealed in the glove box, your firearm must be unloaded. You may open carry without a permit in Idaho. Outside city limits, you may conceal carry without a permit if you are engaging in a firearm-related activity.
● Indiana - Handguns must be unloaded in a case stored in the trunk unless you have a permit to carry in your state. If you hold a permit to conceal carry in Tennessee, you may carry a concealed handgun in the vehicle.
● Iowa - Handguns must be unloaded, cased, and inaccessible while traveling.
● Kansas - Kansas is a Constitutional Carry state. Your gun may be loaded or unloaded, concealed or in plain view while driving through Kansas.
● Kentucky* - Loaded handguns may be concealed in your vehicle if they are kept in the glove box, center console, or another compartment that was “originally installed in the motor vehicle by its manufacturer. ” You may open carry in Kentucky without a permit, although there are some restrictions.
● Louisiana* - Loaded handguns may be transported anywhere in your vehicle. You may open carry without a permit from Tennessee in Louisiana.
● Maine - You may carry in Maine openly without a permit if the carrier is over 21 and meets requirements determined by Maine law. This includes inside your vehicle.
● Michigan* - You may only transport loaded handguns through Michigan if you hold a license to carry from Tenessee. If you do not have a permit, keep the gun unloaded, locked in a case, and inaccessible. You may carry openly in Michigan without a permit.
● Mississippi* - A loaded and concealed handgun may be carried anywhere in the vehicle. Open carry of a handgun without a permit is legal in Mississippi. Mississippi has a limited permitless carry law. Off-body carry without a permit is legal. Disabled vets, active duty military and retired law enforcement may carry concealed without a permit.
● Missouri - A loaded and concealed handgun may be carried anywhere in the vehicle—even on your body. Open carry is legal in Missouri without a permit.
● Montana - All guns may be loaded and transported anywhere in the vehicle, even on your body. You may conceal carry in Montana without a permit if you are outside city boundaries, hiking, or camping. You may open carry in Montana without a permit.
● Nebraska - Only honors 8-year Enhanced permit. Does not honor 18-20-year-old permits. A loaded handgun may be in open view if you do not hold a license to conceal carry. However, it is best to keep all guns unloaded and stored in the trunk while driving through Nebraska.
● Nevada – Does not honor 18-20-year-old permits or Retired Law Enforcement Lifetime. Loaded handguns must be in plain sight or in the glove box, but not concealed on your body. You may carry in Nevada openly without a permit.
● New Hampshire* - Loaded handguns are allowed to be carried in a vehicle without a permit, though loaded rifles and shotguns are not. You may open carry a loaded handgun in New Hampshire without a permit.
● New Mexico* - Transportation of firearms in the vehicle is unrestricted. You may conceal or have in plain view a loaded or unloaded handgun. You may carry openly in New Mexico without a permit. Do not carry in an establishment that sells or serves alcohol, however.
● North Carolina* - As long as it is in plain sight, you can keep a loaded handgun inside the vehicle. Otherwise, a loaded handgun cannot be concealed or readily accessible inside your vehicle. You can open carry in North Carolina without your permit, but some restricted areas apply.
● North Dakota - Only honors 8-year Enhanced permit. Does not honor 18-20-year-old permits. North Dakota is a constitutional concealed carry state, though only for residents.
Handguns inside the vehicle must be unloaded and in plain sight or properly cased and secured. You may only openly carry a loaded handgun without a permit if you are engaged in target shooting, hunting, or camping.
● Oklahoma - All guns inside the vehicle must be unloaded in plain view or cased unless you have a concealed carry permit. If you choose to case your firearm, the case must be visible.
● Ohio* - Handguns must be unloaded and in plain sight inside the vehicle or locked in a case. Unless you have a permit to conceal, you may not have a loaded firearm in your car. You may open carry in Ohio without a permit.
● Pennsylvania* - Does not honor 18-20-year-old permits or non-resident permits. All firearms must be unloaded, cased, and stored in an inaccessible location when traveling. Pennsylvania is also one of those states that you must be just “passing through” while transporting your firearms. In most places, open carry is legal without a permit but don’t open carry in Philadelphia.
● South Carolina* - It is legal to keep a loaded handgun in the glove box, console or trunk of the vehicle.
● South Dakota* - As long as they are in plain sight, you can have loaded handgun inside the vehicle. Concealed, unloaded handguns are legal if enclosed in a space such as a glove box, center console, or trunk. You may open carry in South Dakota without a permit.
● Texas* - A loaded handgun may be concealed anywhere in the vehicle.
● Utah - A loaded handgun can be transported either concealed or in plain view in the vehicle.
● Virginia - Loaded handguns in the vehicle must be in plain sight or in a closed container such as the glove box. Open carry without a permit is legal in Virginia. However, in urban areas, you cannot carry a center fire handgun that holds more than 20 rounds.
● West Virginia* - Does not honor 18-20-year-old permits or non-resident permits. West Virginia has Constitutional Carry. A loaded handgun must be in plain view. You may open carry without a permit in West Virginia.
● Wisconsin - Does not honor 18-20-year-old permits. No concealed firearms are allowed inside the vehicle. Wisconsin has strict regulations as to what is considered concealed. It is best to keep handguns loaded or unloaded in an inaccessible place. You may open carry in Wisconsin without a permit.
● Wyoming* - Loaded handguns can be carried in your car as long as they are visible and not on your body. You may open carry a handgun in Wyoming without a permit.
*Indicates the state has a formal reciprocity agreement with Tennessee.
What about states that do NOT recognize Tennessee concealed carry permits?
· New Jersey
· New York
· Rhode Island
Traveling laws may differ from actual handgun carry laws, so it is always important to know the rules beforehand before traveling anywhere with your firearm.