Even with HR 38 passing the house there are still things that law-abiding gun owners need to know. First it needs to pass the Senate, then be signed into law by the President.  (Remember the “Just a Bill” song from School House Rock?)  Regardless of it becoming law, there are still things you need to know.

The media does a great job of misinforming people. Lots of outlets and Attorneys General are saying that passing national reciprocity means that criminals, domestic violence abusers, or sex offenders will be able to carry a firearm outside of their home state. While we realize that is not anywhere near true, there are still things that law-abiding gun owners need to be aware of. Here are the three main things you need to know about carrying a firearm outside of your home state, regardless of national reciprocity passing.  Your home state can, and may, have reciprocity with others states now.  However you need to know the laws in each state that where your traveling.

Duty to inform the police officerNational Recprocity image

Many students I’ve had say that you should inform the police if you have a concealed carry firearm permit and you are carrying when you are pulled over. However that is not true in all states. In some states you do have to inform the police. In some states you do not have to inform the police unless you are asked.
As an instructor, I do not use the term “weapon” unless we are talking about “assault weapons“. I do believe the mind is the weapon and everything else is a tool. Having said that, if you have to inform the police you are carrying I encourage you to say something similar to this “Officer I have a license to carry, and I’m currently doing so. How would you like me to proceed?“  You are letting the police officer know that you have a concealed carry permit and that you have a gun on you. You do not want them to find out when you lean over to your glove box and somehow they see your firearm. Or if you’re opening your purse and they see your firearm. I  would discourage you from using “weapon”.  You could be talking to the police at the driver’s side window, and the assisting officer walks up to the passenger window just  in time to hear you say “…and I have a weapon on me.”  Then the assisting officer could pull his firearm and point it at you.   That’s a bad scene.
Some people say you should give the officer your drivers license and your firearm license, but again, in some states you do not have to inform the police that you have a firearm on you.
If they ask you to step out of the car I would say something like “Officer, before I step out of the car, I want you to know that I have a license to carry and I’m currently doing so. How would you like me to proceed?” You do not want them to find out you have a gun on you when they’re patting you down. They will make you eat gravel and hogtie you.
If they ask you what and where you are carrying, certainly inform them.  Move slowly.  Sudden moves make it look like you’re drawing. Even if they ask you to take your firearm out of the holster, I would do so VERY SLOWLY!  You could also pull your shirt up and show the officer, asking him to take the firearm out.  You DO NOT want to make it look like you’re pulling your gun on an officer.

Caring in in a restaurant that serves alcohol

This is another area of big concern for law-abiding firearm owners who carry outside of their home state.
The laws for alcohol consumption very from state to state. In some states you cannot carry a firearm into a place that serves alcohol. In some states you can carry into a restaurant that serves alcohol. In some states you cannot carry into a bar. In some states you can carry into a bar if you have a concealed carry permit. For example, you may be able to carry into an Applebee’s in your home state but not a state your visiting.
There are some states that have a legal blood alcohol limit to carry a firearm. Some states do not. I certainly encourage you to be very cautious in the states you are traveling. You do want to take a more conservative view of what the laws are because you do not want your name attached to the drinking and carrying law.

No Guns signs

In some states the signs have the force of law. Some states they do not. Some states if they list a specific statute, then it has the force of law. But if the sign does not have the statute listed on there, then the sign does not have the force of law. (See how it gets confusing.)
If you carry someplace that has a sign but they do not have the force of law and you were discovered to be carrying a concealed firearm, it is best to ask store employee or manager what is the best way for you to leave. If you put up a fight and argument and tell them you have a license and a constitutional right, you can get in trouble for trespassing. I assume the trespassing charge would not go very well when you have to renew your permit.
The resource that I use all the time and I encourage my students to use is handgunlaw.us. I do not have sponsorship from them, but I use them personally and professionally. For me, they have lots of great information on all of the topics above and much more.
I do encourage you to take advantage of national reciprocity should it pass. And if you do, please keep being a law-abiding citizen! Learn the laws in the states you’re going to be transporting and carrying.
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No Fly List Story

by crfcook on June 16, 2016

I want to take a few minutes to share my “no-fly list” story.
In August 2007, I flew from Providence to Chicago to visit one of my childhood friends. It’d been years since we’ve talked. Since we re-connected, I had gotten into shooting and became a firearms instructor. I want to take my new passion and share with my old friend.
I brought my four handguns with me. I checked them in with TSA, as I’m supposed to do. I purchased ammunition in the Chicago area from the range where we were going to shoot.
On the way back after the plane landed, I stopped at the restroom then proceeded to pick up my suitcase.  But I couldn’t, because my suitcase was not there.  I waited and I looked.  I couldn’t find it.
I reported this to the luggage retrieval person. They said it would probably be on the next flight and they can call me and I can come pick it up later.  I didn’t receive a call the next day. Or the next.
I contacted the FBI stolen firearm hotline. I called the police in Chicago and Providence. I called the airlines and airports in Chicago and Providence.  No one could answer any of my questions. I sent in the FA-10 form to tell Massachusetts my firearms were stolen.
Later that week, I called all the news outlets in Boston to tell them that I had a story if they wanted to report it. I did hear from one newscaster, who interviewed me and put my story on television. I also got a call from a news person in Chicago, who is affiliated with the Boston channel. My story was on the tv news in both Boston and Chicago and on their websites.
Two weeks after I got home, I got a phone call from someone in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He called to tell me his roommate stole my suitcase and he was turning everything over to the local police department. I called that local police department to tell them what was going on also. Later that week I picked up three of my four handguns and none of my clothes, which were missing.
The criminal who stole my suitcase ended it up getting caught trying to sell my snubnose revolver in downtown Providence.  I did everything legitimately and by the book, yet I still ended up being the victim of a crime. I legally owned the guns.  I legally transported them.  I reported to TSA and did research on the airline’s policies about transporting firearms.
no fly list 3
The judge wanted to sentence the criminal way for one year. I did some research and found out selling a stolen firearm is punishable by 10 to 20 years in Rhode Island. I wrote the judge a letter telling him anything less than 10 years is unconscionable because that’s what the law states.  The criminal has been in jail since 2007.  If I didn’t write that letter, the judge would have given him one year.
Fast forward to 2009. I had to fly out of Providence again for a weekend. I wasn’t taking any guns with me. I checked in to receive my boarding pass. I gave the person my flight information and my driver’s license. She looked up my name and give me my driver’s license back. As I was putting my license away, she asked if she could see my driver’s license again. I happily obliged.
She checked my name on her computer again. I asked if everything was OK. She said what my name was on the “no-fly list”. Then she slid me my boarding pass and my driver’s license and said “have a nice flight”.
Somehow my name got on the no-fly list and I was still able to fly.
I also got through the metal detector with a small pocket knife that was on my gun key chain.  I had a metal fork for my salad and a kubaton.  This happened just after I found out I was on the no-fly list.  By the way…I had these on the flight home, too.
Two days later on the return flight, I went to check in. The counter worker said I should use the kiosk to self check in. After a few unsuccessful attempts to sign in that way, she came over to see what was going on. I told her that two days before I was on the no-fly list. She asked to see my driver’s license. We went back to her computer, she printed out my boarding pass and again told me “have a nice flight”.
I don’t know how my name got on that list. I can only assume that since I traveled with firearms two years before and my firearms were stolen I ended up on that list. Other than that, there was nothing that I was doing that could have gotten me on the no-fly list.
I have flown since then and I haven’t had any issues.
The thing about the no-fly list is that people can end up on it arbitrarily. They can be taken off of it arbitrarily. No one knows how to get on the list.  No one know how to get off the list. The other thing is I can give them a false name and a false driver’s license.
I don’t see how the no-fly list is going to stop people from purchasing firearms. Or even from getting on airplanes.  Criminals and terrorists don’t buy firearm legally.  They steal them from victims…like me.
~ Charlie
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AR15 vs M16 Pop Quiz

June 15, 2016

I’m a teacher for over 20 years. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with others. So… Let’s have a pop quiz! Which is an assault weapon: the top or the bottom one? We will assume these are both only have two options on the safety: safe and fire. If they have safe, fire and burst, […]

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Stolen Firearms in Worcester, MA with a Side of Media Bias

November 17, 2015

On Sat November 15, 2015, sixteen firearms were stolen from an Army armory in Worcester, MA. The guns that were stolen where six M4 rifles. And ten Sig Sauer P228 pistols. An M4 is a fully automatic version of an AR 15. The safety selector has safe, fire and burst. On “fire”, you squeeze the […]

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Smart Gun Technology is Not a Smart Idea

November 3, 2015

    State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg wants to revamp “smart gun technology”. NJ Senator wants to Revamp Smart Gun Bill  (Read article here) This is completely ridiculous. And I’ll tell you why. 1) Fingerprint readers run on electricity run by batteries. Batteries loose juice. Do you want to trust you life on something that […]

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Guns in Gun Free Zones

October 4, 2015

This will never end. Ever. This past week there was another mass shooting on a community college campus. Nine people were killed. Another 10 were shot and injured. There’s a story of a former military man who stopped the murderer/shooter and he was shot 7 times. There’s a story of another man who was armed […]

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Tragedy into a Teachable Moment

October 4, 2015

  Tragedy into a Teachable Moment Man Kills Himself While Taking a Selfie A 19 year old man shot and killed himself while taking a selfie.  He didn’t mean to shoot himself; he just didn’t know the Gun Safety Rules. We have 3 Gun Safety Rules.  1. Always Keep the Gun Pointed in a Safe […]

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Reholstering and Gun Safety Rule #2

September 11, 2015

Recently a man shot and killed himself while reholstering his gun in an appendix carry holster. The gun discharged. The bullet went into his leg and struck his femoral artery. He died two hours later.The man went to take a selfie while posing with his gun on a Friday night at 11 PM. Bearing Arms […]

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Something for New Gun Owners to Consider

September 2, 2015

A lot of students that I have are new to firearms and new firearm ownership. I have a number of students that take the NRA Home Firearm Safety class with me. I want to share some thoughts with you about what to go next and what your next steps should be. First, before you make […]

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Vince Vaughn, guns in school, and some common sense

June 20, 2015

Hollywood celebrity actor Vince Vaughn has taken some heat for saying that teachers should carry guns in school.  Having been a teacher in public and private schools for over 20 years and having been a firearms instructor for a number of years, I certainly totally agree with him. Let me give you some food for thought… […]

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