Carry Conceal: Reciprocity vs. Regocnition

I am often asked what the reciprocity is for Virginia conceal carry permit holders regarding other states. It’s a good question and a relatively easy one to answer.

Reciprocity means that there is a mutual relationship between two states, such as Virginia and Alaska. This means that with your conceal carry permit, you can carry concealed in Virginia as well as Alaska. There is no need to have a conceal carry permit from both states. Reciprocity also implies that there is a written formal agreement between the two states.

The entire list of states that Virginia has reciprocity with include: Alaska, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

Reciprocity is not the only term to consider, however, if you plan to conceal carry in another state. There are also a number of states that recognize the Virginia conceal carry permit, but it is an informal agreement. Recognition implies that your conceal carry permit is recognized, or considered valid, by the other state, but that the two states do not have a formal written agreement.

The entire list of states that recognize Virginia conceal carry permits (but do not have a reciprocity with Virginia) include: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Idaho (Enhanced License only), Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

The last category for a Virginia conceal carry permit holder to consider is the list of states that Virginia recognizes but that the same state may not reciprocate. This list includes Delaware, Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin. This means that Virginia recognizes the listed four states, but the same four states do not recognize Virginia’s carry conceal permit.

Virginia non-resident conceal carry permit holders - people who live in Va., but who are not residents of Va., - should call each reciprocating state to learn if their permit is recognized in that state prior to carrying. For instance, Pennsylvania no longer recognizes Virginia non-resident permits. Neither does Florida law grant reciprocity to Virginia non-resident permits.

If you plan to travel, travel smart and do the necessary research to ensure you are within the legal limits to conceal carry in a particular state. Some states are very gun friendly, while others are not. Ensure you know the state laws in the states in which you intend to travel and obey those laws.

All conceal carry permit information shared in this post came from the Virginia State Police website.

Stay safe. Shoot well.

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