Concealed Carry

Red Flag Laws

You dated someone five years ago. The relationship ended on a sour note, and you have not had any contact since then. Then one day, you get a knock on the door. It’s the police. They’ve come to confiscate your guns. How could this be? You are a law-abiding gun owner. You haven’t even gotten so much as a speeding ticket in years. Why are the police at your door to confiscate your guns?

You can thank your state’s “Red Flag Laws“. But what are red flag laws and why are they unconstitutional? Red Flag Laws is the common name for “Extreme Temporary Protective Orders”. These orders are policies being put in place by liberal, gun-fearing politicians in an attempt to quell gun violence.

But why are they unconstitutional? Because they completely violate victims right to Due Process. Your ex, remember the one you dumped five years ago, couldn’t handle the breakup and decided to conjure up a vendetta against you by contacting the authorities and told them you have guns and you made one or more threats to commit mass murder. No justification. Just a report to the authorities without the need to prove the accusations against you.

‘Nuff Said

So the accuser notifies the police. The police then contact the prosecutor, who then reaches out to a judge. If the judge signs off on the “order”. the brown-shirts…er…police then show up at your house demanding you turn over your guns. And…this is all done in secret.

These laws are being written so that the police use what is called a “no knock” warrant to search your home for the guns with you are allegedly going to commit mass murder. In other words, they break down your door. These laws are some of the most dangerous ever put forth by the anti-gun crowd, and must be fought at every level. Whether you intended to go through with the trumped up allegations, you and every other American, has the right to due process. With every other law, burden of proof lies with the prosecution that you committed a crime. But with Red Flag Laws, since no crime has been committed, the burden of proof falls on you that you are not a menace to society.

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Stopped For A Traffic Violation

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice on this matter, retain a licensed, competent attorney in your relevant jurisdiction.

You’re driving along your merry way, fat, dumb and happy. You suddenly see flashing red and blue lights in your rear view mirror. Oh crap! I’m carrying! What do I do?

First of all, don’t panic, that is, assuming you have a concealed carry permit. It is perfectly legal to carry concealed in your vehicle.

Second, the officer(s) will pull up behind you and begin to run your car’s license plate. At this point, the only thing they know is who the car is registered to, be it your vehicle or someone else’s vehicle.

While they are working their computer, do yourself a favor and undertake some preliminary actions so your encounter with law enforcement will go as smoothly as possible.

First, if you are a right-handed shooter with your firearm on your right hip, and your wallet containing your driver’s license is in your back pocket, you will need to unbuckle the seat belt in order to reach your hand around and get out your wallet. If the officer is standing at your driver’s side door, it will be difficult to remove the seatbelt and NOT have the officer see your holster, or that you may possibly be printing. So do yourself a favor, do what you can to get out your wallet while the officer is still in the patrol car. You know you will be asked for your license and registration anyway, so why not pre-empt those questions. But be careful if you need to unbuckle your seat belt to do so. Some officers will cite you for not wearing a seat belt.

Second, give the officer(s) every advantage possible that you are not a threat to them. Turn off the engine. Turn off the radio. Open ALL the windows. If it is dark, turn on the dome light. Place your hands on the steering wheel at the 10:00 and 2:00 positions, and wait. If someone is in the front passenger seat, have them put their hands on the dashboard. Use your kids buckled in their car seat to your advantage. If there are kids in the car with you, the probability of you being a wanted fugitive is probably very low. At this point, you are simply a parent who drove a little too fast or blew a stop sign.

Third, as the officer(s) approach(es) you and ask for your license and registration, it is up to you if you disclose that you have a concealed gun. Again, in Pennsylvania, there is no duty to inform the officer(s). The officer will take your license and run it to see if you have anything which is a red flag to them, such as outstanding warrants. Included in the results will be your concealed carry permit number, because your permit is tied to your driver’s license number. So, at this point, once the officer(s) run your driver’s license they know you have a concealed carry permit. What they don’t know is whether or not you have your gun on you right now.

Now, keep in mind that you do NOT have to inform the officer(s) that you have a permit. They already know that. However, if asked, you must produce it. It will be up to you whether or not to inform the officer(s) that you are actually carrying at that moment. But, keep in mind, if they see your firearm, they have every legal right to ask you for your concealed carry permit, and undoubtedly will. If you do not have your permit on you, your situation just went from perhaps a simple ticket to something more extreme. Remember, if you carry, your permit better be with you. The officer(s) will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, ask you not to touch your firearm.  So…HANDS OFF IT!

If you decide to inform the officer(s) that you are carrying, use something along the following phrases:

  • “officer, I have a concealed carry permit and I am carrying, how do you want to handle this?”, or
  • “officer, I have a concealed carry permit and I am carrying, what do you want me to do?”

Either of these statements imply you are being cooperative and are willing to follow the officer(s)’ commands, not giving them any trouble. Put the decision on what to do back at the officer(s).

The officer will instruct you to what they want you to do. Under no circumstances, reach for your firearm. Most conceal carry holders are law-abiding citizens and the police know that. But that doesn’t mean you can take your act of cooperation for granted. Some officers simply don’t like guns in the hands of civilians.

If you are stupid enough to store your firearm in the glove-box where your registration is, you must inform the officer that both your firearm and your registration are in the glove-box and you cannot get the registration without opening the glove-box. If this is the situation, ask the officer how the situation should be handled. If not, and you open the glove-box, exposing your firearm, the officer(s) may draw on you.

Your goal is to get off with either no ticket, or a reduced charge ticket, perhaps something that is not a moving violation, which add points to your driving record. Your goal is not to end up in the back seat of the patrol car. So just be a cooperative, law abiding (except for the speeding thing) concealed carry gun owner.

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Duty To Inform

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice on this matter, retain a licensed, competent attorney in your relevant jurisdiction.

“Duty To Inform” is a law whereby if a concealed carry permit holder is stopped by the police for a traffic violation, the driver must inform the officer(s) if they have a firearm in the vehicle and if so, where it is located within the vehicle.

Pennsylvania is NOT a Duty To Inform state. Therefore, Pennsylvanians do NOT have to inform the officer(s) if they have a firearm in the vehicle.  Repeat, Pennsylvanians do NOT have into inform the officer(s).

The following states DO have Duty to Inform laws on their books. So, if you are traveling through any of these states, know the firearms laws of these states relative to Duty To Inform:

  • Alaska (Alaska Stat. Ann § 11.61.220)
  • Arkansas (Ark. Admin. Code 130.00.8-3-2(b)
  • Louisiana (La Stat. Ann. § 40.1379.3(1)(2))
  • Maine (permit holders must respond only if asked, non-resident permit holders have an affirmative duty to inform)
  • Michigan (MCL 28.425f(3))
  • Nebraska (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2440)
  • North Carolina (N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-415.11)
  • Oklahoma (Okla. Stat. Ann tit 21. § 1290.8)
  • South Carolina (§ 23-31-215)
  • Texas (must provide permit when asked for ID § 411.205)
  • Washington, DC (Title 7)

Before you make any attempt at traveling through these states, know the concealed carry reciprocity laws of your home state and the state you are desiring to travel through.  Here in Pennsylvania, for example, if you are a snowbird traveling to Florida for the winter and you drive down I-95, the states of Delaware, Maryland and South Carolina do not recognize your Pennsylvania carry permit. In such cases, before crossing those state lines, you must remove your firearm from your vehicle’s passenger compartment and lock it in a secure area of your vehicle, such as the trunk, the bed of your truck or in the storage compartment of your SUV. Ammo must be separate from the firearm. After you cross those state lines, you can again put your firearm in the passenger compartment. Yes, a pain in the ass to store your firearm before crossing the Mason-Dixon line or the North Carolina / South Carolina line, but it’s something you just have to deal with if you want to conceal carry.

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Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. Nothing in this content constitutes legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice on this matter, retain a licensed, competent attorney in your relevant jurisdiction.

You have a concealed carry permit of your home state of Pennsylvania. You want to travel to another state AND conceal carry while doing so.

You want to go elk hunting in Idaho or visit the woke mouse in Florida. Can you conceal carry legally in order to do so? In order to safely concealed carry on your trip, you need to know which states honor Pennsylvania’s concealed carry permit. Below is a map identifying which states honor or reciprocate with Pennsylvania and which states do not. This particular map was chosen because it is very simple to understand…green means “go” and red means “stop”.

Not surprisingly, except for very pro-second Amendment South Carolina, those states which do not honor Pennsylvania’s concealed carry permit are those which are politically “blue” states such as Soviet New York, the People’s Republic of New Jersey and Commiefornia. When a state, such as New Jersey does not honor Pennsylvania’s concealed carry laws, it is because that state’s gun laws are stricter compared to Pennsylvania’s more gun-friendly laws. (Delaware would honor Pennsylvania’s concealed carry permits except that Delaware permit holders must attend a certification class. Pennsylvania does not require a permit class, therefore Delaware does not honor Pennsylvania’s permits.)

As you can see on this map, except for Ohio and a bit of West Virginia, Pennsylvania is surrounded by liberal gun-fearing states. If you want to drive from Pennsylvania to Florida, there are two routes of travel which provide the least hassle if you want to carry along your route. You can either go into Ohio, then south through West Virginia, or travel south on I-81. This route takes you through that tiny section of Maryland near where the eastern end of West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania all converge. This section of I-81 is only about 13 to 17 miles of travel within Maryland. You will have to stop prior to crossing the Mason-Dixon line and store your firearm and ammo in the trunk. Then after you cross into Virginia, you can retrieve you firearm from the trunk. Then further south, instead of continuing on I-95 through South Carolina, deviate further west and travel down I-85 through Chattanooga and Atlanta. Out of the way, yes, but you won’t have to store your firearm in the trunk. Bottom line, is that once you know the reciprocity agreements, you can plan your route accordingly.

My personal advice is to stay the f*ck out of Soviet New York and the People’s Republic of New Jersey with your gun! Period! Let’s say you decide to not heed this warning and carry into New Jersey. You lock your gun in the trunk, and since ammo must be in a separate compartment from the gun, place a box of hollow points under the passenger seat. Then, traffic suddenly stops and you rear-end the car in front of you, forcing the box of hollow points to slide out from under the passenger seat. You are not aware this happened because you are more concerned about contacting your auto insurance agent. A police officer then approaches you to check your condition, and notices that box of hollow points on the floor. Since hollow points are completely illegal in New Jersey outside the home, you will be spending 18 months in the gray bar hotel for EVERY round in the box.  If it is a 25-round box, you will be showering with your new best friend, Bubba, for the next 25 years. So, heed my advice and stay the f*ck out of New Jersey.

Another scenario. Let’s say you are flying direct from Miami to Philadelphia. You call the airline and get their rules on how to transport a firearm. You pack your firearm in accordance with guidelines of both your airline and TSA and everything is good. During the flight, a snowstorm socks in Philadelphia and the plane is rerouted to O’Hare in Chicago, requiring an overnight stay. At the luggage carousel in O’Hare, if you pick up that bag containing your firearm, you are committing a felony in Illinois. Leave the bag on the carousel. When the baggage claim agent wants to know why your bag is the only one still on the carousel, tell them there are firearms in there and you are not touching it. Let O’Hare’s TSA agents deal with it. The airline will deliver your bag to your final destination after the storm clears.

If you want to travel into states which do not honor Pennsylvania’s permit laws, my best advice is to get non-resident conceal carry permits from those states which have reciprocity agreements with the state that bans Pennsylvania’s permit holders. As mentioned above, in order for me to travel into Delaware, I need a non-resident concealed permit from a state which has an agreement with Delaware. Fortunately, a few of them do, and are available to Pennsylvanians. Among them are Utah, Arizona and Florida.

Utah is probably the best. I have a Utah non-resident permit. Now I can safely conceal carry from my home in Pennsylvania into, or through, Delaware. If you want to travel from Pennsylvania to New Mexico, you need an Arizona non-resident permit. But New Mexico is the only state an Arizona permit opens up for Pennsylvanians.

To get a Utah or Arizona non-resident permit, you need to attend a class. This can be accomplished very easily by taking a class offered by a company called Legal Heat. They have the nationwide contract with all Cabela’s stores. Every Cabela’s location has a meeting room where these classes are held. The classes are about 4 hours long. These states require passport photos and fingerprint cards, which the instructor takes care of for every attendee. You walk out of the class with your application filled out, your photos and your fingerprint cards. You do the rest at home. For example, Arizona requires payment to be via money order, cashier’s check or certified check. But before you can apply, you must have a carry permit in your home state.

One thing to keep in mind with regards to Utah. If you commit a crime in your home state, say DUI, Utah will know about it within 24 hours. Every night at midnight, Utah polls the NCIC, the national crime database. If you suddenly appear in that database because you got busted for being drunk…and stupid, you will be receiving a letter from the state of Utah telling you your permit has been suspended pending the outcome of your DUI case.

Below is the same information conveyed on the map, but in tabular form.

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