Federal ccw does it exist

Federal Concealed Carry Permits? Do They Exist For Citizens?


We get asked this question a lot.  Is there a way, essentially, to get a concealed carry permit that’s valid through all 50 states and the District of Columbia?

Outside of the Second Amendment?

Law enforcement officers are covered under an act known as LEOSA or the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act.  This entitles many sworn officers to travel through all fifty states AND the District of Columbia with their concealed carry handguns.  This is probably part of the reason why two off-duty NYPD cops were able to subdue a man who was stabbing his victim in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard.

LEOSA is awesome.  Unfortunately, for many of us, this just isn’t a possibility.

We also deal with the silly problems of states not acknowledging each other’s right to issue permits in the first place.

So, how would you go about being covered in the vast majority of states?

Turns out, step 1 is to be a resident of the State of Michigan and have a concealed pistol license (CPL).  What makes Michigan so special?  Who knows!  But their permit is acknowledged in 37 out of 50 states.


So, that’s just one more great reason to brave the winters in Michigan.  Unfortunately, Michigan doesn’t issue non-resident CPLs — so if you’re not a resident, you’re out of luck.

Out of the remaining states that don’t acknowledge a Michigan CPL, only two of them will not issue to non-residents.  California and Delaware.

Congratulations, Michigan!  You’re one of the very few states that is acknowledged by Delaware!  So, you don’t have to worry about them.

Best Bang For The Buck For Non-Resident CCW Permits

Going off the Michigan resident scenario, it’s possible to get a non-resident concealed carry permit in most of the remaining states.  New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Hawaii, District of Columbia, Illinois, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Rhode Island all have non-resident concealed carry permitting processes.  Only four of them are “shall issue” — Oregon, Illinois, Nevada, and Washington.


Drum roll, please.

If you are a resident of Michigan, none of them grant any help for the others.   If you got non-resident permits in all the four, you would only be able to travel in 41 out of 50 states with a legal concealed carry pistol.

Okay, so you’re not a resident of Michigan — what then?

I’ll take my home state as an excellent example.

New Hampshire has absolute crap for reciprocity.  Even Maine won’t acknowledge us and they’re arguably constitutional carry.

As a New Hampshire resident, though, I need to obtain a minimum of THREE non-resident concealed carry permits in order to have the same level of reciprocity that a resident of Michigan would enjoy.

Those non-resident permits would be:

  • Virginia
  • South Carolina
  • and Maine because it takes out Delaware.

NH and non res CCW

The maximum number of states I could ever be legally covered to carry concealed is 49/50 alongside the District of Columbia.  While that sounds pretty close, keep in mind I’d need FOURTEEN NON-RESIDENT PERMITS in order to achieve this.  Worth mentioning, many of those states and the District of Columbia may deny me for any number of reasons.

Now, depending upon where you live, it may make sense to pursue a particular state’s non-resident concealed carry permit.  Popular choices include:

  • Virginia
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • South Carolina
  • Florida

These states all enjoy a large number of state-to-state reciprocity.  Each is not needed but the right combination will likely cover almost any of your travel destinations.

And that’s as close as we can get to a Federal concealed carry license for right now.

About James England | View all posts by James England

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry…

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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  • Pod

    The idea of reciprocity is great, what scares me about it is the implementation. Could reciprocity mean the Feds enforce an unduly harsh national standard for concealed carry permitting? For example, could every state be forced into a “may-issue” scheme just to keep the pols in New York & California happy?

  • Charlie Kelley

    Mr England,
    I wanted to personally thank you for this very informative article. I’m Active Duty Army (Signal Corps) as a resident of Texas. I’m planning on getting me TX and AZ, CHL and CCW, respectively when my your in Korea is complete.
    With these two, I’ve been told my repository would be over 37 states.
    Is this correct and do you know if a map/website that shows the reciprocity for each states permit.
    Thanks again for your service and your article.
    Screamin’ Eagle for Life!
    101st Airborne Division, “Air Assault”
    OEF 10-11

    SGT Charlie Pruett
    USAG Humphreys, South Korea

  • Glen

    A correction to the article above. Oregon is not a shall Issue state for a non-residents unless you own or Lease property. Also you have to live in a bordering state. I live in Washington and it took me 6 months to find a Sheriff willing to issue a non-resident Concealed permit. Oregon non-resident is difficult to get.

    • Robert

      I live in Vancouver, WA and went through the Oregon process and received my permit through Multnomah County in less than a month.

  • Nick Prives

    New York does not offer non resident carry

    • interstellar

      It does if you own a business in New York.

  • Kenn Kiser
  • Keith

    Nevada added Michigan back to their approved list on 11-12-15. USA Carry’s maps are out of date and do not show this new information. is up to date.

  • interstellar

    South Carolina does not issue non-resident permits unless you own property there, unless that has recently changed. The most popular non-resident carry options are Utah and Florida which give a lot of coverage. I have FL, UT, PA, TX, ME, CT (just because that’s where I live).

  • Andy Wolf

    Tennessee actually has the best Reciprocity.

  • PARAMEDIC70002

    Rut-roh Shaggy, Virginia’s AG just voided reciprocity with 25 of their 30 partner states. Back to the drawing board. Decades ago there was a different method of getting a permit. You buddied up to the Sheriff or Chief and got handed a badge.

    • Johnboy2978

      Thankfully Terry McAuliffe came to his senses today and reversed the decision to cease reciprocity with the 25 states he was going to drop. It’s time for a national concealed carry permit.

  • Droopy McDonuts

    After the Bloomberg-backed maneuver the Virginia AG, “Red” Herring, just pulled, you’d better revise your story. As of 1 FEB 16 — and possibly before then — 25 of the 30 existing reciprocity agreements for Virginia are either in jeopardy or already slated for termination.

    Herring won by only 165 votes even with all the Bloomberg money pumped into the campaign, on a record low turnout. Elections have consequences, and the actions of petty despots are one of those.

  • Tony Barnes

    Glad I have a CPL from Michigan.

  • BryanS

    So what would be the price and time involvement in that 14 permit fiasco?

    I dont have much hope it will change soon either. Unless we get rid of LEOSA, and make all US citizens equal before the law.

  • Reptiles Rule The World

    My Ca and Az permit covers me in 35 states. The ones it doesn’t I have nor have I ever had plans to go with the exception of Co.

  • Same_old

    Save me a headache …. I live in PA, what combo of non-resident concealed permits do I need to cover me in the most states? Thank you.

  • john murphy

    WRONG! You can’t carry in MD or NJ no matter what, they do not accept Non Resident permits from anyone!