Monday, October 24, 2005

No Change in State Laws Needed to Make Concealed Handgun Permit Reciprocity Agreements with Most States

Earlier today, I discussed West Virginia's poor efforts to reach reciprocity agreements with other states to honor West Virginia concealed handgun permits and vice versa. One would think a pro-gun state like West Virginia would be leading the pack in allowing residents who have concealed carry permits to carry here and allow West Virginians to carry in other states.

West Virginia has concealed handgun permit reciprocity agreements with just two states--Kentucky and Virginia--and both were made more than five years ago. My own examination of the reciprocity laws of most other states shows that--although I think some changes should be made to West Virginia's laws to make a concealed handgun permit a better value--no changes in our laws are required to enter into reciprocity agreements with most states.

The states with which West Virginia could negotiate reciprocity agreements if our governor so desired include:

  1. Alabama
  2. *Alaska
  3. *Arizona
  4. Colorado
  5. Delaware
  6. Florida
  7. Georgia
  8. *Idaho
  9. *Indiana
  10. Louisiana (which reports WV as being nonresponsive to its invitation to discuss reciprocity)
  11. *Michigan
  12. Mississippi
  13. *Missouri
  14. *Montana
  15. New Hampshire
  16. North Carolina
  17. North Dakota
  18. Ohio
  19. *Oklahoma
  20. Pennsylvania
  21. *South Dakota
  22. *Tennessee
  23. Texas
  24. *Utah
  25. Wyoming

States denoted with * unilaterally recognize West Virginia concealed handgun permits but would need a reciprocity agreement with West Virginia for their permits to be honored in West Virginia. Arkansas is still unknown; I will revise this post later once I determine whether Arkansas law would allow a reciprocity agreement with West Virginia.

The only states whose laws permit reciprocity agreements but would not permit such an agreement with West Virginia are South Carolina and Washington. Twenty-five states, listed above, could enter into reciprocity agreements with West Virginia but have not been approached--indeed, the Louisiana State Police claim West Virginia has been totally nonresponsive to its attempts to seek an agreement.

  • South Carolina law limits reciprocity agreements to states whose permitting requirements are at least as stringent as theirs and which require an equally intensive handgun proficiency course. Most states do not qualify for reciprocity with South Carolina and will have to wait for South Carolina to change its law. The only states that have full reciprocity with South Carolina are Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.
  • Washington's law denies recognition to all other states' permits unless "the licensing state requires mandatory fingerprint-based background checks of criminal and mental health history for all persons who apply for a concealed pistol license." The only states that have full reciprocity with Washington are Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Utah.

Note: As with my earlier post today, the information here has not been conclusively verified. Local law enforcement authorities should be consulted on current legal requirements.