Multi-State, Non-Resident CCW Permits
By William Desy,CFE
Have you ever considered what you would do
if you were traveling in a remote, unpopulated area and your vehicle
broke down or your tire went flat? And for some reason that expensive
cellular phone plan has a dead zone exactly where you are now stranded?
What if the wrong person stopped to help you? He or she may look innocent
enough, but could be a serious criminal predator, searching for stranded
motorists. Is this an easy target and willing victim? No! The tide
has turned, and common everyday citizens in 38 States now have "Right
to Carry" laws on their side. That 61 year old grandmother no
longer seems like an easy target, because she might have a Concealed
Firearm in her purse. And she is legally allowed to carry that firearm
for personal protection due to the popularity of "Right to Carry"
Laws across the Country. This type of legislation makes criminals
think before they commit violent criminal acts.
A personal safety strategy and the "Mindset"
to implement it, is still the most critical element to an individual's
safety. Self Defense Courses, Personal Alarms, Pepper Sprays, and
Electronic "Stun Guns" may all be viable options to enhance
your safety strategy. Now you can add firearms to that list of personal
protection devices in many States. What about those of us that do
not live in "Right to Carry" States? There is a simple solution.
Both Utah and Florida will issue a Concealed Firearm Permit to Non-Residents.
These Permits are valid in over half of the United States. This is
a great benefit for all law-abiding citizens including Military Personnel
that are stationed out-of-State or frequently travel across Country.
If you travel to, or through twenty-eight different States, these
"Multi-State" CCW Permits are valid through Reciprocity
Agreements or Recognition via State Laws. Because Utah and Florida
are Shall Issue, "Right to Carry" States, you do not need
to articulate a valid Reason, nor do you have to prove that you are
valuable enough to need protection. Your natural instinct for self-preservation
and the desire for a viable means to defend yourself from a violent
criminal attack are simply understood as the most basic of your human
Any law-abiding citizen with a valid Utah
CCW Permit, even a Non-Resident of Utah, may legally carry a Concealed
Firearm in the following 27 States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,
Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South
Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and
Wyoming. While some States have Reciprocal Agreements, others will
honor out-of-State CCW Permits based on their own Concealed Firearms
The Utah Department of Public Safety - BCI
(Bureau of Criminal Identification) oversees the application and issuance
process for Utah Concealed Firearm Permits. They have done an excellent
job of making the application process very simple and user friendly.
Like most States, Utah requires that you submit an application and
pass a thorough criminal background check.
You must attend an approved training course
offered by a Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Instructor, usually
three or more hours in length. The course covers basic firearm safety,
weapon handling, concealment methods, firearms and use of force laws.
Several Utah Certified Instructors in various States advertise their
Multi-State CCW Courses on the Internet. You can also obtain a listing
of all Certified Instructors in your area from the Utah BCI website
Along with the self-explanatory one-page
application, you submit one recent color passport quality photograph
(2X2 inches), a photocopy of your valid Drivers License, one blue
FBI "Applicant" fingerprint card, and then the application
must be notarized. The State application fee is only $59.00 ($35.00
is for application and permit processing, $24.00 goes to the FBI for
fingerprint processing). The Utah Concealed Firearm Permit is valid
for five years. Renewal every five years is only $10.00. The entire
application process can be handled through the mail. And unlike some
other States, Utah CCW Permit information is not a public record.
The cost of a Utah CCW Training Course can
range anywhere from $100.00 to over $300.00, depending on exactly
what the Instructor is providing. Some Utah Certified Instructors
will provide everything you need from your application, taking your
photograph, photocopying your Drivers License, taking your fingerprints,
and providing a pre-addressed envelope for your application. Several
courses currently offered in Southern California provide a Notary
Public to notarize applications after the course is concluded.
The total cost of obtaining a Utah CCW Permit
is between $179.00 and $359.00 for the initial five-year permit. Thereafter,
renewal is only $10.00 every five-years. The cost of obtaining a "Multi-State"
CCW Permit is not out of reach for the common citizen. When compared
to almost any other State it is understandable why so many people
are interested in obtaining the Utah Concealed Firearm Permit. The
average processing time for Utah CCW applications is approximately
2 to 4 weeks, although Statute does allow up to 60 days, either issuing
you a permit, or denying your application for cause.
The Florida CCW application process is almost
identical to Utah's. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services handle the application and processing of Florida Concealed
Weapon Permits. With Florida you either qualify in an exempt category
[Prior Law Enforcement Training, Military Training, Prior Firearms
Experience, etc.] or you can attend any National Rifle Association
or State Certified Firearms Course that includes weapon manipulation
and live-fire range exercises.
The main differences with Florida's application
process are that your fingerprints must be taken by a Law Enforcement
Agency, and the cost of the permit is $117.00 for five years. Florida
renewals are $107.00 every five-years. Although this is almost twice
the cost of a Utah CCW Permit, how can you put a price on something
that could one day save your life? Florida CCW Permits are also public
To apply for a Florida Non-Resident Concealed
Weapon Permit, complete Florida's one-page application, send in one
color photograph, one Florida fingerprint card [Completed by a Law
Enforcement Agency], and have the application notarized. The processing
time is longer than Utah's, 60 to 90 days is the standard turn-around
time for Florida CCW Permits.
A Florida CCW Permit will allow you to carry
a concealed weapon in most of the same States as Utah, with the addition
of Florida and Pennsylvania that are not covered by a Utah Permit.
With only Two State-issued Permits, you can legally carry a concealed
firearm in 28 different States. This is great news for anyone that
travels cross-country for business or leisure. With the continuing
efforts of a strong Pro-Rights lobby in Utah and Florida, the value
of both permits is likely to increase as additional States agree to
Reciprocity or Recognition.
Although Utah and Florida Permits are recognized
in many other States, California does not recognize either Permit
at this time. Utah and Florida State Laws indicate that it is the
responsibility of the individual Permit-Holder to comply with all
other local, State and federal laws when traveling to those States
granting Reciprocity or Recognition.
A great source of information regarding State
Firearms and CCW Laws is the Travelers Guide to the Firearms Laws
of the Fifty States by J. Scott Kappas, Esq. Available from www.gunlawguide.com.
Another extremely valuable website that provides a great deal of useful
information regarding Concealed Carry Permits in any of the 50 States
is www.packing.org, where you will find a summary of each States statutes,
current and pending Reciprocity Agreements, access to each States
issuing Authority, and links to individual State websites that can
help answer any of your more specific questions.
About the Author:
William Desy, CFE, CFS, is a State Licensed Private Investigator,
Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Fraud Specialist, and State Certified
Firearms Instructor in California and Utah. He has been an NRA Certified
Firearms Instructor since 1992. For more information regarding California,
Utah, or Florida Concealed Weapon Permit Courses in Southern California,
please contact Mr. Desy at www.CCWUSA.com