Man with a Pistol Holstered in His Waistband

What is a Multi-State Concealed Carry Permit?

Pennsylvania’s Largest Gun Show can be a great place to take your multi-state concealed carry class or find a local firearms trainer you can count on. More formally known as a nonresident concealed carry permit, this route has become popular for firearms owners who want to cut down on the time, intrusive paperwork, and expense of obtaining their pistol carry license in states that may not have reciprocity agreements with Pennsylvania. This is a perfectly legal path to carrying a weapon for self-defense when you’re a frequent traveler.

Know the Law

As a gun owner, it’s your responsibility to know the laws for firearms in your jurisdiction and wherever you choose to take your guns with a multi-state concealed carry permit. Each state has the right to enact and modify gun laws governing how, when, and where you can carry firearms, and permit reciprocity isn’t always guaranteed. For example, Pennsylvania usually does not recognize nonresident concealed carry permits from other states, and therefore, some other states will not recognize Pennsylvania’s version. Make sure you understand before signing up for any class that the training you’re receiving is for a state that has reciprocal recognition where you need to travel.

The Multi-State Concealed Carry Permit Training

a Group of Students at an Outdoor Driving Range During a Concealed Carry Permit Training Course

Multi-state concealed carry training courses are designed to fulfill the requirements for a nonresident concealed carry permit in a specific state or set of states. Your course provider holds a training certification to be able to offer these classes under their instruction, and after successful completion, you’ll be given the necessary paperwork and instructions to apply for your permit from that state. This can all be done without leaving the state of Pennsylvania. While course material and criteria will vary based on the instructor and the states they’re licensed by, most multi-state concealed carry training will have two sessions, one in the classroom for instruction and one at a shooting range for practical skills training and evaluation.

The Material Covered Includes:

  • Introduction to Firearms
  • Basic Firearms Skills
  • Firearms and Self-Defense Law 
  • General and Carry-Specific Gun Safety
  • Situational awareness
  • Using Force Appropriately (With Shoot/Don’t Shoot Scenarios)

At the Range, You Can Expect:

  • Instruction in Range Etiquette and Safety
  • Live-Fire Training for Concealed Carry
  • A Qualification Exam as Required by the Issuing State

Work With Your Multi-State Concealed Carry Instructor

If you’re planning on getting your multi-state concealed carry permit, be on the lookout for announcements on our social media pages or from local training providers. While plenty of trainers come to our gun shows, some even holding their initial classroom day on-site, your nonresident concealed permit training is not being provided or offered by Eagle Shows. Your instructor has the final say on who they train, the requirements for both the classroom and range portions of their class, and the administration and certification of course curriculum. That means paying attention and following their instructions before and during your multi-state concealed carry class. This can include:

  • Schedules
  • Fees
  • Locations
  • Student Requirements
  • Firearms Restrictions
  • Necessary Equipment and Ammunition

The Arizona and Utah Multi-State Concealed Carry Course

Most multi-state concealed carry courses now will also work for select other states. At our Oaks Gun Show, for example, Civilian Defense Concepts, LLC., offers a nonresident concealed carry permit course for Arizona, Utah, Maryland, Florida, and New Jersey. Utah and Arizona concealed permits share a large footprint of reciprocity, covering 37 states at the time of this writing (mostly overlapping, however, Arizona covers New Mexico while Utah grants you reciprocity in Washington). They serve as the backbone for most multi-state concealed permit courses.

After Your Course

Once you’ve finished your course, you’ll receive documentation to send in with your application to the state you’re applying for a permit from. Each state may have its own fee structure and requirements for supporting documentation. The Arizona permit, for example, will cost you $60 whether you choose to fill out your paperwork online or send it in via mail, along with proof of your identity and proof that you’ve satisfactorily completed your multi-state concealed carry training. Once it’s approved, you’ll receive your permit from the issuing state.

How Reciprocity Works

Reciprocity agreements between the states are nothing new. They evolved over time to protect the interests of citizens who may need to travel for business and the state’s interest in welcoming out-of-state business, tourism, and tax dollars by creating a welcoming environment. Every state sets its own reciprocity criteria, but most often, it’s like-for-like protection, which is why the multi-state concealed carry permit works in nearly three-quarters of the country. Because Arizona and Utah (and Florida, Maryland, and New Jersey) play nice with other states, they accept the nonresident concealed carry permit as valid.

Follow the Law While You Travel

Wooden Gavel Placed on Top of a Us Law Book

Even with a valid permit, you’re still responsible for following local gun ordinances, so before you hit the road, hit the internet to check out the gun laws of the states you’re visiting or traveling through. If you’re entering a state without reciprocity, pull over before you cross the border and safely store your unloaded weapon for transport in a locked compartment out of reach. In a state that recognizes your multi-state concealed carry permit, follow all rules and posted signage to the letter to avoid running afoul of local gun laws far from home.

Get Your Guns, Accessories, and Training Close to Home

There’s a local gun show coming soon to an event center or exhibition hall near you. Visit our gun show calendar, circle the date, and start your research. It’s a great chance to get a new concealed carry weapon and your multi-state permit class registration. Order your tickets online to an Eagle Shows Gun Show today.
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