If you are like most people who are granted a concealed carry license, you do so with the intention of taking your weapon with you when you are out and about. There are numerous places where your weapon are not welcome and some places where carrying one is actually illegal. While some of the laws surrounding where you can and cannot carry are national, others are state specific, which could easily end up being confusing. Unfortunately, failing to be aware of these places can put you at risk of losing your right to carry and may even cause you to face criminal prosecution.
Aircraft - Federal law prohibits the carry on of firearms on a commercial aircraft either on your person or in your carry on luggage. You are permitted to transport your unloaded weapon in locked checked baggage. Be aware that you must declare that you are traveling with a weapon at the baggage check-in station. At most airports and with most airlines, you will not be able to check your weapon in curbside. The airlines will probably make you unlock and present your bag for inspection prior to it being allowed onto the plane. You will also be asked to fill out declaration documents that must then be placed in your gun case ensuring that your weapon is unloaded.
Federal Facilities Within National Parks - Since 2010, it has been legal to carry a loaded firearm within most national parks, but you cannot carry your weapons within any federal facility that is located within those parks. These may include some of or all of the following:
- Visitor Centers
- Cafes and Gift Shops
- Management And Administrative Offices
- Ranger Stations
- Maintenance Complexes
- Fire Watch Towers and more
Each of these locations should be clearly marked with signage informing you that you cannot carry your weapons within, but if you do not see signage and are in doubt, make sure you ask park personnel prior to entering these spaces with your weapon. You are able to secure your weapon within your vehicle on the grounds if you want to enter any of these spaces.
Some National Cemeteries - There is a difference between state cemeteries, where it may or may not be legal to carry your concealed weapon, and one of the 147 national cemeteries that are located throughout the country. Of these, 131 are maintained by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and they fall under 38 U.S. C. 901, subsection 1.218 Security and law enforcement at VA facilities, which state that "no person while on property shall carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed..." Most properties are clearly posted that no firearms are permitted on the premises, which sometimes will include parking lots. If you are in doubt, you may want to call prior to going.
College Campuses - As college students return to school, those attending classes on college campuses may now be allowed to pack their concealed weapons. Texas has passed Senate Bill 11 which was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott last summer and will go into effect in August 1st of this year. This will not apply to all students, since they must be at least 21 years old, active duty military, or police officers. This law will allow them to join the ranks with seven other states that also have provisions allowing students to carry on campus. These states are: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Wisconsin, Utah, Texas, Mississippi, and Oregon. Tennessee and Arkansas allow certain staff to carry but do not allow the general public or students to do so.
Unlike Texas, there are currently 18 states that ban any type of concealed weapons on college campuses. These states include California, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Illinois, North and South Carolina, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Twenty-three other states allow the decision to allow or ban weapons to be made by the specific university systems. Even in states where it is permitted to carry a concealed weapons, any posted signage that prohibits weapons must be honored.
Always remember to ensure that you have your concealed carry license on you anytime that you have your weapon on you. This will allow you to produce it anytime you are asked for it, or if you end up having to use your weapon for any rhyme or reason. For more information, contact a business such as Chauncey's Pawn & Gun.