Top 5 States to Avoid with Firearms

By CTD Blogger published on in Concealed Carry, Safety and Training

Just because it is the holidays, does not mean we can let our guard down. In fact, traveling to areas you are not as familiar with, crowded shopping malls, or on significant holidays all raise the threat from the everyday criminal as well as the lone wolf attacker. As a result, sadly, we need to be more vigilant and ready to take responsibility for our own safety. However, crossing state lines could land you an invite for Christmas dinner in the pokey. Here’s a list of the top five states to avoid while carrying with firearms, along with a handful of (dis)honorable mentions.

Picture shows an open concrete road through a plain, a blue sky with whispy clouds and a sign that reads, "open road."

If you plan to be driving through many different states, know each state’s laws and regulations on traveling with a firearm.

The passage of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act through the U.S. House of Representatives is a step in the right direction, but not a law yet. The U.S. is a patchwork of confusing and cumbersome laws that change the rules of what you can carry, where you can carry, and whether you can possess the firearm, ammunition of magazine at without running afoul of the local laws.  Now, if every state was like Vermont, law abiding gun owners could freely travel with their firearms with no worries. Unfortunately, many states have a history of being hostile to traveling gun owners. The federal “Firearms Owner Protection Act” allows travel through any state as long as the firearm is unloaded, in a locked case, and not easily accessible to the passengers. However, that is not to say that certain states that are less friendly to firearms have not created their own loopholes that would snare unsuspecting otherwise law abiding firearm owners. This led us to the top 5 states to avoid while traveling with a firearm this holiday season.

Top 5 States to Avoid With Firearms

  1. CONNECTICUT — Connecticut does not have any gun reciprocity agreements with other states. This means nonresidents are not allowed to carry handguns in Connecticut under a permit issued by another state.
  2. HAWAII — Every person arriving into the state who brings a firearm of any description, usable or not, shall register the firearm within three days of the arrival of the person or the firearm, whichever arrives later, with the chief of police of the county where the person will reside, where their business is, or the person’s place of sojourn. For more information, visit http://www.hawaiipolice.com/services/firearm-registration
  3. MASSACHUSETTS — Massachusetts imposes harsh penalties on the mere possession and transport of firearms without a license to carry. Prospective travelers are urged to contact the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau at (617)660-4780 or the State Police at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/massachusetts-firearms-laws for further information.
  4. NEW JERSEY — New Jersey some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the country. Your firearm must be unloaded, in a locked container and not accessible in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that anyone traveling within the state is deemed to be aware of these regulations and will be held strictly accountable for violations. Revell v. Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, 10-236
    If you’re traveling through New Jersey here is information from the New Jersey State Police regarding transporting firearms through the state: http://www.state.nj.us/njsp/about/fire_trans.html
  5. NEW YORK — Use extreme caution when traveling through New York with firearms.  New York state’s general approach is to make the possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” illegal. But the state provides exceptions that the accused may raise as “affirmative defenses” to prosecution in some cases.  NY Penal Code s. 265.20(12), (13) & (16).
    A number of localities, including Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Suffolk County, and Yonkers, impose their own requirements on the possession, registration, and transport of firearms. Possession of a handgun within New York City requires a New York City handgun license or a special permit from the city police commissioner. This license validates a state license within the city. Even New York state licenses are generally not valid within New York City unless a specific exemption applies. Such as when the New York City police commissioner has issued a special permit to the licensee. Or “the firearms covered by such license is being transported by the licensee in a locked container and the trip through the city of New York is continuous and uninterrupted.” Possession of a shotgun or rifle within New York City requires a permit, which is available to non-residents, and a certificate of registration.

States to Be Cautious traveling Through or To

  • California
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Rhode Island

Where are your holiday travels going to take you? Will you be transporting a firearm? What precautions will you be taking? Share your answers in the comment section.


For firearms protection, check out U.S. Law Shield.

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Comments (38)

  • Golf Honcho

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    Interesting that all states listed plus D.C. are all D-dominated, Liberal/Progressive/Marxist governments with high across the board taxes. Seems there’s a message there for non-believers: avoid these areas if at all possible.

    Reply

  • Bobo

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    You have to especially cautious traveling through NJ. In many instances even if you comply with the lock container etc. the NJ law enforcement will still seize your firearm and although you will win in court you still have to go through the expense and time of getting it back. Recently an individual was arrested for possession of a handgun which was a pistol dating back to the 1700’s. Many years ago I lived in NY and went to the NJ state troopers to get a firearm ID card. After six months they kept stalling and saying they lost my application, lost my fingerprints, kept me waiting at the trooper barracks for two hours. Eventually I called the head of the state police and I had my ID card 48 hours later.

    Reply

  • Mike

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    There’s a yearly publication worth purchasing.

    Traveler’s Guide to the Firearms Laws of the Fifty States

    Reply

  • Dale Slater

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    My rules for travel are down to one simple rule: If you do not respect my gun(s) and my right to protect my family and myself, then I will never spend $1 of my money in your state for any reason. Each year my family and myself have a wonderful vacation from 1 to 2 weeks in length and never once has anyone whined or complained about not visiting the 10 states mentioned in this article.

    Reply

  • Stu

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    In New Jersey it is unlawful to have any handgun ammunition other than plain old ball ammo. NO hollow points or specialty ammo of any kind.

    Reply

  • John

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    What about the federal law (FOPA) The Firearm Owners Protection Act? It states you can travel though any state as long as you are going to a state that you can legally possess those firearms and they are locked and separated from ammo that is in another locked container.

    Reply

  • Jim

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    What? No mention of California?

    Reply

  • bestimmt

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    Why are our courts so blind to these blatant violations of our most sacred law?

    Reply

  • Adam

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    I’d be interesting in seeing how many of the potential issues with Illinois could be avoided simply by avoiding Chicago.

    (Other than the lack of concealed carry reciprocity, that is)

    Reply

  • Threequarterton

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    Four out of five of the worst violators of the second amendment were part of the original thirteen states !
    What has this country come to?

    Reply

    • Jeff

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      It goes deeper yet. Within some states are counties that are totally anti-2nd amendment. I can prove it. Just go into a sanctuary city and you’ll find out, what I know to be true. Start with a county where a college or university is located. Like every law on the books. Local prosecutor’s do interpret the 2nd amendment according to the influences of local power brokers. That is if they want to be re-elected. And should you find yourself in opposition to there political agenda. You will pay for your defense, while they expend tax payer dollars to press there political agenda. Innocence can be geographically manipulated. Comforting isn’t it!

      Reply

    • Wes

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      We have a law in Nevada prohibiting counties and municipalities from making any law or ordnance more strict on firearms than state law already allows. Really pissed off Vegas strip security when the ordnance prohibiting open carry on the strip was found to be in violation of state law. Choose your state according to your values. That’s why we have state sovereignty.

      Reply

    • Snadzies

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      When I retire (in 30 years) I’m moving to Nevada.
      First thing I do after I move into my house is get 10,000 rounds of .223/5.56 and shoot my AR till the barrel is as smooth as a musket and I’m ankle deep in brass.

      Reply

    • john brown

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      > What has this country come to?

      ALL of the states that approve of homosexual marriage are located to the west of the Rio Grande and left of the Chattahoochee. This includes FL where the latter river ends at the GA line and basically where IRMA died. These states pretty much happen to be the ones with the worse gun laws, excepting IL.

      If you are Christian, read Zech 13 and look up what the word PART means in Hebrew. Then the above thing with the rivers and why they reject Jesus’s own words make sense.

      Luke 22:36
      Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

      Peter carried a sword when with Jesus and knew how to use it, he deftly cut off the ear of someone in Matthew 26.

      In case someone argues that the gun is not today’s sword, read Lincoln’s 1863 speech about the slaves blood being repaid drop by drop with the sword for their 250 years of slavery (5x Jubilee periods). 7 died in office, 1 by poison, four by the sword aka handgun.

      Rejection of the Bible, Jesus who clearly said to arm yourselves, and common sense is what these states have come to.

      Reply

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