Pennsylvania & Utah Reciprocity Update

Posted: July 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

Over the last few months Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane has been altering and amending Pennsylvania reciprocity agreements like a child who can’t decide on which candy to select from the candy aisle. It appears her intent is to require Pennsylvania residents to obtain a Pennsylvania permit prior to obtaining an out of state permit (such as a Utah, Florida or Arizona permit). Apparently some PA residents were only obtaining a Florida permit and never obtaining a PA permit and she wanted to put an end to that. If that’s the case, it would make sense for her to do that as it is already required by Pennsylvania law that residents obtain their home state permit in order to carry in their home state. However, whether intentionally or unintentionally, AG Kane has also been restricting the rights of non-Pennsylvania residents (such as Maryland, New York and New Jersey) to carry in Pennsylvania by declaring all non-resident permits held by those individuals invalid in PA.

AG Katherine Kane presumably discussing the best methods of restricting fundamental rights with former President Bill Clinton

Back in February AG Kane invalidated all non-resident Florida permits in Pennsylvania by issuing a “notice”. She then turned her attention to Arizona permit holders in May, and finally did the same with the Utah permit a few weeks ago. The way it currently sits, Utah, Arizona and Florida permits held by non-residents of those states are no longer valid in Pennsylvania. Residents of Utah, Arizona or Florida would still be able to carry in PA with those permits as this change does not affect them. Also, this change does not affect PA residents so long as they have their PA permit.

There is, however, some pieces of good news for those affected by this decision who are looking to continue carrying in PA. First, AG Kane has irritated a lot of people (including members of the legislature) by unilaterally amending the reciprocity agreements. It is rumored that several members of the legislature are drafting law changes which would reinstate the reciprocity and prohibit AG Kane from further restricting the right to carry for hundreds of thousands of people. We’ll keep you updated on that progress.

In the mean time, there are 3 ways in which non-residents can still carry in Pennsylvania.

Option 1: Obtain a Pennsylvania non-resident permit:

  • The process for obtaining a PA non-resident permit is very simple IF you already have your home state concealed carry permit. If you already have your home state permit you simply take in a photocopy of your permit and photo ID to any PA sheriff and pay the $20 application fee. They will then mail you your permit when it is ready. The problem, obviously, is Maryland, New York and New Jersey residents have an extremely difficult time obtaining their home state permit and thus the majority aren’t eligible to apply for a PA non-resident permit. For those people, options 2 and 3 will work best.
  • Update: A reader in the comments below has informed us that some PA sheriff’s are giving non-residents a hard time when they apply for permits. We recommend calling the sheriff before you make the drive to verify there won’t be any problems.

Option 2: Open Carry

  • In PA anyone who is of legal age and otherwise not prohibited from possessing a firearm may open carry their loaded handgun without any kind of permit statewide except for in the city of Philadelphia. That means a NJ, MD or NY resident could simply open carry their gun and not worry about what AG Kane does with the reciprocity agreements. Open carry is a constitutional right in PA (everywhere except in Philly, go figure) and you don’t need any kind of permit to do it. For reasons we’ve mentioned in the past, we’re big open carry advocates and encourage non-residents to do it until this mess gets sorted out. If AG Kane doesn’t like a bunch of non-residents open carrying in her state then she can change the reciprocity agreements back to the way they worked before. If you plan on open carrying in PA (or carrying anywhere, ever) you should already have the Legal Heat app or book. For those of you without the Legal Heat app or book, there are a few things about open carrying in PA that you need to know about. First, as has already been mentioned, you can’t open carry in Philadelphia without a permit that is valid in PA. Second, you can’t open carry in a state park without a permit. And third, you can’t open carry in a vehicle without a permit that is valid in PA. The vehicle problem, however, is solved by option 3 below.

Option 3: If you have a permit from ANYWHERE you can carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle in PA:

  • Even though a NY, MD or NJ resident may not be able to carry a concealed firearm in PA for a while, they can still have a loaded handgun in a vehicle while driving in PA so long as they have any other state permit (Utah, Arizona, Florida, etc). 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106(b)(11), provides that any person may carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle so long as they have “a valid and lawfully issued license for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the United States or any other state.” Those of you who are looking to have a loaded handgun in your vehicle while in PA will still be able to do so so long as you have any state permit.

In summary, this change does not affect PA residents at all and those of you in MD, NY or NJ (or any other state) who have taken our class will still be able to carry in over 30 states with your Utah or Arizona permits. You can also still have a loaded handgun in your vehicle in PA (so long as you have any permit) and if you wish to carry outside of your vehicle and can’t obtain a PA permit, you can still open carry everywhere except for Philadelphia.

Considering there have been ZERO negative incidents involving permitted non-residents carrying in PA, we hope AG Kane comes to her senses and reverts back to the prior reciprocity agreements. Until then, we hope this post provides a resource for those of you looking to carry in PA but are unable to obtain a PA non-resident permit.

For those of you in PA, MD, NJ or NY who are looking to obtain your permits, Legal Heat will be back in the area in the next few weeks teaching several classes. Click here to view our entire schedule.





  1. Jason Haney says:

    This is very good info you shared for those of us living in MD. Listed below, is a piece you wrote on carrying a loaded firearm in your vehicle.

    “You can also still have a loaded handgun in your vehicle in PA (so long as you have any permit) and if you wish to carry outside of your vehicle and can’t obtain a PA permit, you can still open carry everywhere except for Philadelphia.” Does this mean you can have the firearm holstered as long as you have a Utah NR permit or does this mean it can be loaded but in a locked box? Thank you, keep up the good work!

    Jason Sent from my iPhone


  2. randy crawford says:

    The 14th Amendment states in its Section 1:
    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    The 2nd Amendment states in its entirety:
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    In other words, the 14th Amendment insures that no state has the authority to abridge our 2nd Amendment right, plainly stated, to keep and bear arms. The Constitution insures that Congress cannot infringe upon the 2nd Amendment either. That is a right that is a blanket constitutional constitutive right, and it is not diminished in Congress or across state lines or within states, because the 2nd Amendment allows for no such limitation. The 2nd Amendment itself clearly states the right of the people to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” Period. No exceptions, no interpretations, and no qualifiers are allowed for at the federal or state levels. Not by Congress, courts, or presidential decrees.

    Nor are handgun or rifle permits allowed for, because they are an infringement upon the right to keep and bear arms. Thus gun permits are prohibited. The Constitution doesn’t say ‘except the Supreme Court” can interpret special exceptions and quit being subservient to the hard-fought and hard-earned requirements of the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t say ‘except Katherine Kane can warp the Constitution and pervert it to her personal whims.’ The Constitution puts We the People first, and puts the allegedly Supreme Court at the tail end of the caboose. Amendments come from 2/3 of Congress and 3/4 of the states (or else a constitutional convention) per Article V. Amendments do not come from the “Supreme” Court no matter how it maneuvers and manipulates appearances in the interests of cultivating public gullibilty, and trying to pretend courts are magically the source of amendments when they are not.

    All of the federal and state-by-state attempts, via permits and otherwise, to infringe upon citizens keeping and bearing arms are merely unconstitutional scams. Representations to the contrary from politicians and from “Justices” are calculated probings by aspiring dictators– to find out to what extent gullible sheep are willing to be anesthetized and submit to conniving incremental usurpations of our rights.

  3. Dave Markie says:

    I would only point out that in option #1 that there are now many PA Cnty sheriffs who have made the local decision to STOP issuing permits to nonresidents (llike me, NY). Only a couple left so I suggest you call the Cnty sheriff first before making the drive.

  4. Jerry Schurr says:

    Can I, a PA resident with a PA permit and a Utah permit carry concealed in Maryland, or even in a vehicle ? Thank you, Jerry Schurr

    • randy crawford says:

      Neither the Pennsylvania permit nor the Utah permit will allow you to carry concealed in Maryland. You are also out of luck for New Jersey and New York with either one or both. Utah’s permit will let you in for Delaware and Ohio whereas Pennsylvania alone won’t. Pennsylvania alone (and Utah alone) will allow you into West Virginia. That’s today, and the whim of any “authority” can shut you out tomorrow. That’s if you subscribe to the notion that states have the right to trample your federal constitutional rights and enslave you with permit requirements for the right to keep and bear arms, the right to speak, the right to breathe air, or the right to eat food. In reality the Constitution supersedes state law, federal law, and fraudulent hallucinations the “Supreme” Court tries to conjure up from time to time in ongoing attempts to delude suckers. The Constitution is superior to all and plainly states “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That is a right, period, with no restrictions or qualifications allowed. For anyone who believes otherwise there are people in Maryland, New York, the “Supreme” Court, and various other locations who will be happy to sell you a share of the Brooklyn Bridge or the fossilized remains of Piltdown Man.

  5. randy crawford says:

    If you want to carry in a vehicle, you are allegedly free from meddling molestation in all 50 states if the gun is in a locked case and the ammunition and magazine(s) are in a separate locked case and both are not in the passenger compartment, i.e. if both are in the trunk or pick-up truck’s locked toolbox. Some states will allow locked cases in the passenger compartment if they are in the back seat, hard to reach, under impediments, chained in place, etc. etc. For details see however even the electronic version can’t keep up with any new overcontrolling insanities some bureaucrat conjured up two minutes ago. That’s why the Constitutional standard of the Second Amendment is not only the supreme law of the land [over congress, presidents, and ‘supreme’ courts], but also the Second Amendment standard is easier to enforce, standardize, and conform to plain common sense. It beats being legal and murdered while criminals ignore the gun pansy laws so they can have an easy time killing you by knowing the ‘law’ of Maryland and New York will help them commit their crimes– once you are browbeaten, bullied, intimidated, treated like a trembling peasant, and conned into disarming yourself or paying for your own ticket to a concentration camp.

  6. 2brknot2b says:

    Or, you could call NRA, and tell them you want LaPierre to stop sitting on the Shuttlesworth decision, and use it to get full legal carry, without a permit. Shuttlesworth states(ed) that “permits for rights are “an unconstitutional censorship, or prior restraint,” and as such, “anyone faced with such an unconstitutional licensing law may ignore it, and engage with impunity in the right….for which the law purports to require a license.”
    Now, I know those who make the big bucks off teaching classes, and getting people permits will not want this info out there, so I have been trying to get people to understand this for a very long time. It is time NRA stepped up to the plate, and got the SCOTUS to recognize those 4 little words, or at least to have them set parameters based on those 4 words, “shall not be infringed.” In actuality, if the SCOTUS was to rule on the meaning if “infringed,” they would have to negate just about all laws in regards firearms on the books, state, national, and local, including Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love, my ass.

  7. frank says:

    I’M sure this will stir up the pot a bit, Not saying anyone is wrong ! Option 3 is not an option !! Im a NJ resident and hold a CCW in FLA,UTAH there is NO reciprocity for non-residents in PA. with these permits , hopefully that will change when the current AG is gone. Talking to personal LE friends and sheriffs in PA. You CAN NOT have a loaded handgun in your vehicle unless you have a valid LTCF in PA or a valid CCW permit which has reciprocity with PA . If you don’t have a LTCF or a valid CCW permit from another state which has reciprocity with PA. you can get out of your vehicle and strap your firearm on and open carry if you choose to do so if you don’t have a LTCF. You can not have a loaded handgun in your vehicle without a LTCF in PA. or a CCW from another state which has reciprocity Period !

    • John Grady says:

      You can legally carry a firearm in your vehicle as long as all applies .

      So, what does this mean? Unfortunately, this means that Pennsylvania will no longer honor Utah licenses for purposes of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106(b)(15); however, as I previously testified to, this does not invalidate the exception found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106(b)(11), which provides:
      Any person while carrying a firearm in any vehicle, which person possesses a valid and lawfully issued license for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the United States or any other state.

  8. Florida has excellent reciprocity with other states. Florida has reciprocity with 34 states including Utah. I think it would be good public policy for all states to recognize the validity of CCW permits from all other states.

  9. John Grady says:

    You can legally have loaded firearm in your vehicle if all the following applies .. Read expection 11

  10. Misty says:

    Sooo… If I’m Reading This Right, As A NJ Resident Legally Possessing A Hand Gun With An FID Card , When I Enter Pa, I Can Pull Over, Get My Pistol Out Of The Trunk, Load It, And Put It In My Holster, re-enter My Car And Cover It With My Shirt While Carrying My Florida Or Utah Permit. Then As Soon As I Exit My Car, I Tuck My Shirt In So My Firearm Is Clearly Visible And I’m All Legal?

  11. Padraic says:

    I have a PA Non-Resident LTC. The most recent post on this is back in 2014. Can you update us on the current situation with PA permit reciprocity?


  12. Ed says:

    And now she’s going to jail. Good riddance.

  13. capt14k says:

    Can I get a clarification for NJ Resident, with Utah or Florida Non-Resident CCW Permit, carrying in PA? My reading of the law is that anyone who holds any CCW Permit, even a Utah Non-Resident CCW Permit, can carry concealed in a vehicle in PA, then when exiting the vehicle must open carry, and they can do so anywhere in the State of Pennsylvania other than Philadelphia. Is that correct? Or must one also open carry in the vehicle as well?

  14. Ed Havet says:

    I recently found this website while looking for information about Pa honoring Ut and Fla non-resident ccw permits. I have not found any recent updates to the AG Kane problem. Has any progress or changes been made?