concealed carry reciprocity

Five Best State Licenses For Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Concealed carry reciprocity varies by state, but certain state licenses get more reciprocity than others. Being licensed by one of these states, even if you aren’t a resident, would mean your license is valid in most American states, so obtaining one would be a smart thing to do.

Shall-Issue Is The Issue

A concealed handgun license in one’s home state covers most people’s needs, except if they want to travel. Should that be the case, what if you live in one of the lesser reciprocity states that doesn’t have a widely-accepted license?

However, you should be aware of a few things. First, every state approaches reciprocity - meaning what licenses they recognize - differently. Some recognize any valid license. Some only recognize those licenses with the same or stricter requirements as their own. Others recognize none, and others only recognize resident concealed carry permits.

It is incumbent on you to know where a license you hold is recognized. Ignorance of the law is not accepted as an excuse, especially when it comes to anything firearms-related.

What a lot of people will do is get a non-resident permit if the non-resident permit gets them more reciprocity than that of their own state's, typically in addition to their home state's license. For instance, more states recognize an Idaho Enhanced license than recognize Washington state's CPL. Some residents of Washington state therefore obtain an Idaho Enhanced license in addition to a Washington CPL, so they can legally carry in more places.

Some states issue handgun licenses to non-citizens, including shall-issue states with very widely-accepted licenses. Getting one from one of those states would allow you to carry many more places. Here are five.

Arizona Reciprocity

Arizona State Reciprocity

Arizona is, for all intents and purposes, the best state for gun owners in the nation. The state has constitutional carry and recognizes all valid licenses. Furthermore, many states recognize an Arizona license, which is attainable by residents and non-residents alike. Residents enjoy reciprocity with 38 states, non-resident permits from Arizona by 31.

A background check and fingerprinting (including electronically) are required, as is a training course of some kind. Arizona accepts a number of courses for the training requirement, including any NRA course. The fee for the license itself is a very reasonable $60 (other processing fees are involved and you must pay for training) and the license is good for five years.

Texas Reciprocity

texas reciprocity

The stars at night are big and bright, and non-residents can get a CPL in Texas, with 31 states honoring a non-resident Texas pistol permit. The fees are a bit steeper than Arizona’s, as the license itself will cost $140, though renewals are half the cost. Applications can be submitted by mail and fingerprinting can be done electronically.

A training course is as well, which includes a shooting proficiency test. Licenses are good for four years, renewal licenses for five.

Utah Reciprocity

utah reciprocity

The Beehive state is known for being a very accommodating state for non-resident permit seekers, and for good reason: 31 states honor Utah non-resident permits. The fee for the license itself, not including any processing fees, is $51 for non-residents and is good for five years.

Utah is one of the most popular states for obtaining a non-resident concealed carry permit, as Utah permit classes are held in almost every state in the nation.

Just as with Arizona and Texas, there is a training requirement required for licensure. Utah is kind enough to maintain lists of both in-state and out-of-state instructors that satisfy the training course requirements.

Idaho Reciprocity

idaho reciprocity

Idaho is famous for its potatoes, but also for being very gun-friendly. Though Idaho’s westerly neighboring states have better beer, they do not have more reciprocal pistol licenses, as 34 states honor Idaho licenses granted to non-residents. Fees are incredibly reasonable, as the license itself is only $20, good for five years and renewals are half of that.

A training course is required, much like the above states, but training requirements are not too cumbersome, being very similar to Arizona and Utah.

However, there is a significant hitch. Idaho permits have to be applied for in person at a county sheriff’s office. If one wanted to, picking up an Idaho permit could be part of a fantastic vacation, as the state is an outdoorsman’s paradise.

Florida Reciprocity

florida reciprocity

The Sunshine state is also a friendly state for law-abiding, permit-carrying gun owners, as nearly 40 states reciprocate with Florida. For non-residents, 30 states honor a Florida concealed license. As with Arizona, Texas and Utah - but not Idaho - a Florida concealed license can be applied for by mail and fingerprinting can be done electronically.

Total fees are $112 for residents and non-residents alike, and the license is valid for seven years. Eligibility is much the same as other states, as fingerprinting and background checks are required, as is training. Simply complete a Florida-compliant training course, submit the requisite materials and voila - license.

So there you have it: states with widely reciprocated concealed carry licenses that non-residents can obtain. Happy carrying.

Sam Hoober  

About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.

purchase gun belt