Writing this piece has been an interesting intellectual exercise. I want to address the changes that face the shooting community, the changes to laws and ways of doing things that it would seem are on their way to us.
As a British guy in the US, it took me a long time to get my head around how the laws of the US work, the differences between federal and state law, and how they interact, and to be honest, it still confuses me!! Take medical Marijuana for example, legal is a number of states, yet remains federally illegal. I make no claims either way as to whether that is right or wrong, it's just very confusing that someone can do something which on the face of it is legal, but for which you can find yourself in hot water if caught be some agencies, but not others, and although ostensibly legal, means that you become a federally prohibited possessor of firearms.
Now lets move to where this kind of legal dichotomy really starts to effect your life and potentially safety, the concealed carrying of firearms. As we know, in Arizona, we are lucky enough to be able to carry pretty much whatever we choose, concealed or open, under the "constitutional carry" definition of the 2nd amendment. But as we know, various states don;t share that definition, and if you were caught with a concealed firearm, you would find yourself with all sorts of legal difficulties.
As the US's 45th President enacts executive orders with a speed never seen before, what do you think of his pledge to bring conformity to the states as regards gun laws, and concealed carry? As I look West to California, I don't see their politicians simply accepting that conforming to what the President has decreed on this issue without a serious fight.
But turning to the law as it stands today, it is a LOT easier to find yourself in jail, facing a felony charge that you may think, and for simply passing THROUGH an airport! Does it actually make sense that something you can do perfectly legally in one state in the country of the United States can see you facing serious charges in another state in the same country, even if you were simply passing through an airport that happened to be in New York, and you had studiously followed federal law, the airline's rules and all the relevant TSA requirements?
With 50 states, the rules that govern what concealed carry holders can and can't do in various other states they maybe visiting is a minefield that changes daily, and to keep fully informed about, you would have to have a staff lawyer present at all times. There are websites that I have listed below that will assist you to understand which states have reciprocity with your home state, but you still have to abide by their concealed carry laws when you are in another state, meaning many hours of reading state law!
Can that really be right in the 21st century, in a united country like the US? Personally I have the feeling that the 45th President will take the issue of conformity of gun laws forward, and make changes that could potentially improve lives of gun owners. It's now up to gun owners to show responsibility and good judgement in how they go about exercising the rights we in Arizona in particular are able to enjoy.
Training and knowledge are vital to any part of our lives where we have the rights that we have to exercise responsibly. Taking a CCW class in your home state, whether you are required to or not, is a great and VITAL 1st step, but don't stop there, train, take classes, and protect not only yourselves, and your families, but the sport of shooting that you have come to enjoy.
Train for the Arizona CCW permit, and learn about the sport of shooting
Passing through New York with your firearm? Read this.
What is Constitutional Carry?
Which states recognize your home states CCW permit? (reciprocity)
What is the law in Arizona regarding concealed carry of firearms?