After reading yesterday’s Bad Nick Blog, titled Armed Citizens Fight Back, several readers e-mailed me to ask if I have a concealed weapon carry (CCW) permit, and how fulltime RVers can get a permit to carry a handgun.
I actually have two CCW permits, a non-resident from Arizona, and a permit from South Dakota, our state of domicile. Between the two of them, those permits are honored in a total of 36 states that have reciprocity agreements with the states that issued my permits. On the map below, the states in blue all honor one or both of my permits.
Getting a concealed carry permit depends on your home state. Some states require you to pass a concealed carry course and demonstrate proficiency with your weapon before you can qualify for a permit. Others simply issue a permit to people who meet the necessary requirements.
In South Dakota, it’s as simple as filling out a form and submitting it to the Sheriff in your home county. After a background check, you go to the Sheriff’s office, pay a small fee (under $20 as I recall), and your permit is issued. Check with the Sheriff in your county for specific information.
The other two states most popular with fulltime RVers also issue concealed weapons permits to their residents. For Florida residents, this link to the Florida concealed carry permit requirements will help you determine what is required. Texas residents can click this link to Texas CCW information.
Arizona, Texas, and Utah all issue concealed carry permits to non-residents who meet their requirements to obtain such a permit. Check each individual state’s website for information on non-resident permits.
At our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally in Yuma, Byron Hibshman will be giving a seminar on Transporting Firearms In Your RV. Byron will also be doing an evening class to qualify for a Utah non-resident CCW permit. You can contact Byron at his Traveling CCW website for class information and fees.
A good guide to traveling with firearms is the book The Traveler’s Guide to the Gun Laws of the 50 States, which has detailed info on every state, and what is legal and not legal in that state. Another good reference is the website Handgunlaw.us. But please be aware that things can change on a daily basis, so if you have a question or concern, check with local authorities before you go.
Making the decision to own and carry a firearm is not one to be made lightly. It brings with it a very heavy responsibility to yourself, to your family, and to society. I always tell people that if they are going to have a gun, please, please, please take a firearms safety course, as well as a course on firearms use in a tactical situation. You must not only know how to shoot, you need to know when to shoot, and when not to.
And then practice regularly with your firearm. It’s one thing to punch holes in paper at a range, but in a real life situation, when the adrenalin is pumping and you’re scared to death, even trained police officers and combat veterans miss a lot more than they ever hit their targets.
Face it, most of us will never need a weapon to defend ourselves, especially in the RV lifestyle. However, the flip side of that coin is that any of us can find ourselves in a desperate situation at any minute. After all, we don’t spend all of our lives in safe, secure RV parks. We all drive down the road, eat in restaurants, and shop in stores. And we never know what the guy behind us in traffic or in the checkout line, or at the next table, will do. Having faced off with armed opponents both with and without a gun in my hand in the past, trust me, it’s much better with the gun!
Thought For The Day – Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is thick hair and a thin body. Please don’t mix them up like you did last year.