From which state should you get your concealed handgun / firearm / weapon permit? This is currently a complex issue because the laws differ in every state and are constantly changing. Some states allow open carry which means that you can carry a handgun in plain view with no threat of prosecution. (Utah, Vermont, parts of Virginia, and Arizona are examples of these kinds of states.) However, most states require some kind of special permit to carry a concealed protection device. In some states that is a handgun (the only thing you can carry in Texas). Some states allow a concealed firearm of any size with the appropriate permit (like Utah). Some states also allow carrying other equipment – such as martial art equipment – in a concealed format (like Florida) with the appropriate permit. Making a decision on which permit to get requires balancing the costs and benefits of each permit and checking the reciprocity agreements that each state has with other states. Then you can make the decision that best fits your needs. Having a permit from more than one state generally increases the places where you can travel legally with a concealed handgun.
Reciprocity is where one state recognizes the validity of another state’s concealed handgun or weapon permit. This is constantly changing as the position of leaders in each state changes with each election. For that reason, there are several websites that allow you to view the current status of reciprocity. The Utah and Florida permits have the most extensive reciprocity as of this writing. But please be aware that you always need to check reciprocity with other states concerning the permit that you hold before traveling there. For example, the state of Nevada as of this writing only recognizes permits from twelve other states making it one of the least friendly states for reciprocity.
Two Swords Protection offers training for both the Utah and Florida concealed firearm permits. Instructor certification for the state of Texas is pending but training for the Texas permit is not available at this time.
So that you can make an educated decision, let us take a look at the Texas, Utah, and Florida permits.
Having a Texas permit gives you only three advantages:
- When purchasing a handgun in the state of Texas, it saves you approximately 5 to 10 min. because no background check is required.
- Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina do not recognize non-resident permits from other states. But they will recognize a Texas resident with a Texas permit.
- It just looks cool to have the Lone Star in your wallet.
- The Texas license is more expensive. The cost of the Texas permit is $140 for a new license and $70 for a renewal. A renewal also requires you to re-take a portion of the training class (for which you pay) and re-qualify for the license. A license is good for 5 years.
- The licenses recognized in fewer states than the Utah or Florida permits.
- Although many will tell you that you would get a Texas permit within 60 days, that is only a goal. At present, it is taking 4 to 5 months to receive a Texas permit after successfully completing the training.
- Texas only has one instructor training each year which limits the availability of classes.
- We are currently working on Texas certification. When that is complete, students who have already completed a CHL class with Two Swords Protection can attend the Texas class for a fee of only $25 to cover the cost of the range training.
- You will automatically be notified when Texas permit training is available.
- Utah is one of the most Second Amendment-friendly states.
- A recent change to Utah law (as of May 1, 2011) only provides non-resident licenses to people who already have a license from their home state. So if you’re in Texas (instead of just wanting to be here), you cannot get a Utah license unless you already hold the Texas license. Prior to this change, the Utah license was one of the most desirable to get.
- If you are visiting the state of Utah, a permit from that state election to conceal a firearm of any size (not just a handgun).
- As of this writing, Utah has reciprocity with 32 states – one of the most widely recognized licenses.
- The Utah Concealed Weapon Permit is the most economical. It is $65.25 (only $35 of which goes to the state of Utah for permit processing while the balance goes to the FBI for fingerprint processing). The state of Utah does not make money on issuing permits. They issue them to reduce crime. The Utah permit is good for five years. It cost only $10 to renew a license and you do not have to take the class again (making renewal much less expensive than the Texas license).
- The training does not require range time. This makes it easier to focus on giving you extra knowledge concerning conceal and carry rather than having to rush through the classroom training in order to get to the range on time. The Texas range requirement means very little since almost everyone who takes the Texas course can qualify with very little instruction even if they have never shot a handgun before.
- The state of Utah is very quick to process applications. Currently, they are returning permits to qualified users in about 42 days.
- Florida, Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina do not recognize non-resident permits from other states. (Florida will, however, will recognize a nonresident permit from Florida.)
- Florida was one of the first states to have a concealed weapon permit and is very Second Amendment friendly.
- If traveling in Florida, the concealed weapon permit allows you to carry concealed weapons other than just handguns (e.g. martial arts equipment). You cannot do this if carrying in other states, however.
- Effective June 11, 2008, Florida weapons permits are for 7 years (2 years longer than other states).
- Licenses are returned to qualified users within 60-70 days.
- The Florida license is less expensive than a Texas license, but more expensive than a Utah license. It costs $117 for a new permit (making it $3/year more expensive than a Utah license), and $107 to renew (making it $13/year more expensive than Utah).
- Florida currently requires that fingerprints for non-resident permit holders be taken at a law enforcement agency.
- Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and South Carolina do not recognize non-resident permits from other states. Minnesota currently does not have reciprocity with Florida.
When you attend training, you will receive the training mandated by the states of Utah and Florida plus several hours of additional training in specific techniques and recommendations concerning firearms, ammunition, and holsters that she would not get another classes. If you desire both states, there is an additional $15 per person charge which covers the additional paperwork and photographs needed for that permit. Additional training in law specific to the state of Texas will be given so that you will know what you can do here in the Lone Star State. The state of Florida recognizes properly licensed instructors for the Utah CHL and NRA instructors as being able to administer an appropriate class and firearm training for the purposes of the Florida permit.
Once you have made your choice, click here to register for our next class. (Jonathan, I will need you to create a link here to the registration page. Also, I dictated this page and my computer has a way of misinterpreting my words occasionally where I do not catch them. So I would appreciate your proofreading this document for spelling and clarity.)