Traveling? Use This Quick Reference for CCW Laws in all 50 States

If you carry a firearm for protection and travel across state lines, you face a difficult problem: how to understand and comply with completely different sets of gun laws.

Let's say you live in Virginia and you are taking a trip to visit family in Florida. If you're traveling by car, you'll need to know the laws in your home state plus North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Some of the most common differences between carry and transportation laws include whether a state honors your carry license, whether you need to inform a law enforcement officer that you're carrying a firearm, places that are off-limits for carry, whether "no gun" signs have the force of law, and whether you can carry in state parks and roadside rest areas.

This can make planning your trip stressful and more time-consuming, but if you're dedicated to protecting yourself and your family, it's something you need to do.

Fortunately, there's a website that does a good job of keeping up-to-date with the firearm and carry laws of each state. Handgunlaw.us gives you a ready reference so that you can look up laws in all 50 states.

To plan a trip, map out your route and note the states you will be in. Then go to Handgunlaw.us and use the map on the home page to look up the laws in each state. Clicking on a state takes you directly to that state's summary of laws.

Along the left side of the home page is a list of resources including a list of states that honor your license, information about car carry, how to transport long guns, and how to acquire a non-resident permit if your license does not cover one of the states you must pass through.

One of the interesting features of this website is that the summary of laws for each state is actually a PDF, a document you can easily print. You may want to print a copy for each state you'll be in, staple them together, and stick it in your glove box for reference during your trip.

Some states, such as New York, New Jersey, and California can make travel difficult for gun owners. However, most states don't present a big challenge if you just familiarize yourself with their laws in advance.