Traveling with your Concealed Handgun License
We are often asked "how do I travel with my concealed handgun", here is some information that will give you a good start. First let us talk about two different scenarios; one where you have a concealed handgun or conceal carry permit, the other where you don't. If you don't have a CHL or CCW than first find out what that state(s) traveling laws are. Texas allows people to have a handgun in the car without a CHL or CCW as long as the following requirements are met:
1- You are over 18 and not a convicted felon, basically legally able to own firearms. Many people are confused on the age requirement portion. Many people think that you have to be 21 in order to own a handgun, that is simply untrue. Texas law and federal law allow anyone over 18 to own & posses firearms to include handguns and long guns. This is based on the assumption that ones firearms rights have not been taken away as in the event of a convicted felon or domestic violence charge. The 21 year old requirement only comes into factor if purchasing a handgun from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer. The FFL dealer has a higher requirement and is only allowed to sell handguns to someone that is 21 or over.
2- The handgun must be concealed. It can be locked and loaded (round chambered) and be within your immediate reach or even carried on your person in the vehicle but it must be concealed.
3- You must be driving a privately owned vehicle or watercraft. This includes rental vehicles but not your work vehicle. What if you are driving a company vehicle with no markings on it? Than it is still a company vehicle and not privately owned. One more reason to get a CHL or CCW!
4- You must not be in commission of any crime greater than a Class C traffic violation.
5- Not a member or former member of a criminal street gang.
This allows you to travel in Texas without a CHL or CCW other states are different. I would recommend investigating other state's traveling laws for yourself by looking at actual state websites for their regulations. There are many websites that reference state laws but in the end you are responsible for your actions and it is no defense to say that you read on IamALawyerOnTV.com website on what you could or couldn't do.
If you have a Texas CHL or other state CCW that is honored in the state you are traveling in than you still must follow that states laws while carrying. Texas has reciprocity with 31 plus states, but once again ensure that your Texas CHL is honored in that state through the state's official website. Some states will only honor your Texas CHL as long as you are a resident (TX DL/ID or military orders assigning you to Texas) of Texas and not another state.
If the state you are traveling in does not recognize your Texas CHL or CCW and they don't allow for traveling than your only left with traveling under federal law. Federal traveling law allows you to transport firearms over state lines as long as the gun is unloaded and outside of your immediate reach. Basically in the trunk with the magazine separated from the firearm and no round chambered. BE CAREFUL when traveling to the anti-gun states of Illinois, New Jersey, New York & Washington DC to name a few. These states continually fail to recognize federal traveling laws and will hold you on criminal charges for transporting. You can beat the rap but not the ride...