Gun laws in the US tend to vary greatly from one state to another, so make sure you're updated and aware of your rights and limitations.
Know and Understand Your Gun Laws
If you don't know the laws in your home state, you could end up an accidental criminal just because you thought you had a solid understanding of the gun laws. Unfortunately, most gun owners haven't the slightest clue what the gun laws are in their home state. How do I know this? Because, until recently, I worked with a company comprised of lawyers whose main goal in life is to put on low-cost gun law seminars in an effort to teach the public about state gun laws.
Gun Law Seminar
One thing I always asked our attendees is whether or not they learned anything, and I always get one of two responses: They either say, “Yes, I did learn some stuff, and it solidified what I already knew;” or, they inform me that they “thought they knew more than they actually did.” I've never heard anyone say anything different. The point, though, is that they always learn something.
Here is a prime example of what someone learned at a gun law seminar in my home state of Pennsylvania: It is common knowledge that anyone who doesn't have a state or federal disqualifying event, is outside of Philadelphia (and other areas not permitted per state and federal gun laws), can open carry without having a License to Carry a Firearm (LTCF). In order to hide the gun under clothing, you do need an LTCF. But, as a general proposition, open carry is perfectly legal in this state.
Editor's Note: Legal “Loophole” Allows You To Carry Concealed In 28 States
A lot of people from Pennsylvania fail to realize that the second they get into their car with a handgun on their hip, even if it is out in plain view and not under clothing, they are no longer open carrying. The mere fact that it is in a vehicle (loaded or not) requires a License to Carry a Firearm. There are some exceptions, but for a normal person conducting day to day driving, it is a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.
We had a gentleman at one of our seminars who didn't realize this, and was driving around without his LTCF for months – A ticking time bomb! (This does not apply to an unloaded rifle or shotgun which you are allowed to have in your vehicle in PA without an LTCF provided that you aren't disqualified from doing so.)
After attending a US Law Shield seminar, he now knows that he can't do that anymore. There are seminars all around the country that are designed to teach people who want to carry a gun for self-defense, what the laws are in their home state. You'll want to find a class that is taught by someone who is a well-versed gun law attorney.
Watch this video from sootchOO for a traveler's guide to the firearms laws of the 50 states:
Sound off, Gun Carriers! Do you know your home state's gun laws? I bet you could use a refresher, so conduct a search to see if there are any seminars in your area and let us know what you find out in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 17, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.