Multi-State, Non-Resident CCW Permits
By William Desy,CFE

Have you ever considered what you would do if you were traveling in a remote, unpopulated area and your vehicle broke down or your tire went flat? And for some reason that expensive cellular phone plan has a dead zone exactly where you are now stranded? What if the wrong person stopped to help you? He or she may look innocent enough, but could be a serious criminal predator, searching for stranded motorists. Is this an easy target and willing victim? No! The tide has turned, and common everyday citizens in 38 States now have "Right to Carry" laws on their side. That 61 year old grandmother no longer seems like an easy target, because she might have a Concealed Firearm in her purse. And she is legally allowed to carry that firearm for personal protection due to the popularity of "Right to Carry" Laws across the Country. This type of legislation makes criminals think before they commit violent criminal acts.

A personal safety strategy and the "Mindset" to implement it, is still the most critical element to an individual's safety. Self Defense Courses, Personal Alarms, Pepper Sprays, and Electronic "Stun Guns" may all be viable options to enhance your safety strategy. Now you can add firearms to that list of personal protection devices in many States. What about those of us that do not live in "Right to Carry" States? There is a simple solution. Both Utah and Florida will issue a Concealed Firearm Permit to Non-Residents. These Permits are valid in over half of the United States. This is a great benefit for all law-abiding citizens including Military Personnel that are stationed out-of-State or frequently travel across Country. If you travel to, or through twenty-eight different States, these "Multi-State" CCW Permits are valid through Reciprocity Agreements or Recognition via State Laws. Because Utah and Florida are Shall Issue, "Right to Carry" States, you do not need to articulate a valid Reason, nor do you have to prove that you are valuable enough to need protection. Your natural instinct for self-preservation and the desire for a viable means to defend yourself from a violent criminal attack are simply understood as the most basic of your human rights.

Any law-abiding citizen with a valid Utah CCW Permit, even a Non-Resident of Utah, may legally carry a Concealed Firearm in the following 27 States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. While some States have Reciprocal Agreements, others will honor out-of-State CCW Permits based on their own Concealed Firearms Laws.

The Utah Department of Public Safety - BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification) oversees the application and issuance process for Utah Concealed Firearm Permits. They have done an excellent job of making the application process very simple and user friendly. Like most States, Utah requires that you submit an application and pass a thorough criminal background check.

You must attend an approved training course offered by a Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Instructor, usually three or more hours in length. The course covers basic firearm safety, weapon handling, concealment methods, firearms and use of force laws. Several Utah Certified Instructors in various States advertise their Multi-State CCW Courses on the Internet. You can also obtain a listing of all Certified Instructors in your area from the Utah BCI website at http://bci.utah.gov/CFP/insoutstate.pdf

Along with the self-explanatory one-page application, you submit one recent color passport quality photograph (2X2 inches), a photocopy of your valid Drivers License, one blue FBI "Applicant" fingerprint card, and then the application must be notarized. The State application fee is only $59.00 ($35.00 is for application and permit processing, $24.00 goes to the FBI for fingerprint processing). The Utah Concealed Firearm Permit is valid for five years. Renewal every five years is only $10.00. The entire application process can be handled through the mail. And unlike some other States, Utah CCW Permit information is not a public record.

The cost of a Utah CCW Training Course can range anywhere from $100.00 to over $300.00, depending on exactly what the Instructor is providing. Some Utah Certified Instructors will provide everything you need from your application, taking your photograph, photocopying your Drivers License, taking your fingerprints, and providing a pre-addressed envelope for your application. Several courses currently offered in Southern California provide a Notary Public to notarize applications after the course is concluded.

The total cost of obtaining a Utah CCW Permit is between $179.00 and $359.00 for the initial five-year permit. Thereafter, renewal is only $10.00 every five-years. The cost of obtaining a "Multi-State" CCW Permit is not out of reach for the common citizen. When compared to almost any other State it is understandable why so many people are interested in obtaining the Utah Concealed Firearm Permit. The average processing time for Utah CCW applications is approximately 2 to 4 weeks, although Statute does allow up to 60 days, either issuing you a permit, or denying your application for cause.

The Florida CCW application process is almost identical to Utah's. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services handle the application and processing of Florida Concealed Weapon Permits. With Florida you either qualify in an exempt category [Prior Law Enforcement Training, Military Training, Prior Firearms Experience, etc.] or you can attend any National Rifle Association or State Certified Firearms Course that includes weapon manipulation and live-fire range exercises.

The main differences with Florida's application process are that your fingerprints must be taken by a Law Enforcement Agency, and the cost of the permit is $117.00 for five years. Florida renewals are $107.00 every five-years. Although this is almost twice the cost of a Utah CCW Permit, how can you put a price on something that could one day save your life? Florida CCW Permits are also public record.

To apply for a Florida Non-Resident Concealed Weapon Permit, complete Florida's one-page application, send in one color photograph, one Florida fingerprint card [Completed by a Law Enforcement Agency], and have the application notarized. The processing time is longer than Utah's, 60 to 90 days is the standard turn-around time for Florida CCW Permits.

A Florida CCW Permit will allow you to carry a concealed weapon in most of the same States as Utah, with the addition of Florida and Pennsylvania that are not covered by a Utah Permit. With only Two State-issued Permits, you can legally carry a concealed firearm in 28 different States. This is great news for anyone that travels cross-country for business or leisure. With the continuing efforts of a strong Pro-Rights lobby in Utah and Florida, the value of both permits is likely to increase as additional States agree to Reciprocity or Recognition.

Although Utah and Florida Permits are recognized in many other States, California does not recognize either Permit at this time. Utah and Florida State Laws indicate that it is the responsibility of the individual Permit-Holder to comply with all other local, State and federal laws when traveling to those States granting Reciprocity or Recognition.

A great source of information regarding State Firearms and CCW Laws is the Travelers Guide to the Firearms Laws of the Fifty States by J. Scott Kappas, Esq. Available from www.gunlawguide.com. Another extremely valuable website that provides a great deal of useful information regarding Concealed Carry Permits in any of the 50 States is www.packing.org, where you will find a summary of each States statutes, current and pending Reciprocity Agreements, access to each States issuing Authority, and links to individual State websites that can help answer any of your more specific questions.

About the Author:
William Desy, CFE, CFS, is a State Licensed Private Investigator, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Fraud Specialist, and State Certified Firearms Instructor in California and Utah. He has been an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor since 1992. For more information regarding California, Utah, or Florida Concealed Weapon Permit Courses in Southern California, please contact Mr. Desy at www.CCWUSA.com

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