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Thread: Visiting the USA

  1. #1
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    Firstly let me say “Hello”,
    Secondly let me apologise in advance as this may take some time
    I have been visiting this site on and off for a while now and have kept a very keen eye on assorted topic’s. So let me tell you a little bit about myself before I go too far.
    Well to start I’m from Ireland, Ahhhh poor Ireland where we know so little about, and where we have so few firearms especially handguns. In a population of roughly 4 million we have in the region of 3500 handguns, (well legal ones anyway)
    Right what’s next, yes.. I’m a corrections officer and no we don’t have weapons of any sort and only a small number of our police force are armed, about 10% of them.
    Despite this fact many of my fellow officers inside and outside the wall’s have our own personal sidearm which we carry, concealed I admit as open carry is prohibited, a stupid idea in my opinion but that’s the law. (we don’t want to go scaring the public, or so I’m told)

    Now this site seems to advocate unfettered open carry of handguns, something which I personally approve of, and in May of 2008 I will be visiting the USA again, as I have done before with one small exception, this time I shall be travelling armed, (I’m doing some LEO/Corrections training, but that isn’t important)
    What is important is my carrying of a sidearm,
    Now I have the permission of the B.A.T.F to import my pistol to the USA, so from a legal point of view I am entitled to be in possession of a firearm,
    All the States where I will be training and visiting have their own Open Carry Laws and Policy’s as they do for concealed weapons. As far as I can see as a non US citizen I am not permitted to apply for concealed weapons permit for my visit, not that I mind, open carry is not something I would have a problem with, but I will without doubt be self-conscious of the fact that there’s a pistol there for everyone to see.
    So my question is this, how will I as an Open Carrier of a sidearm be received in the following State’s Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Washington and Idaho.?
    I’m also very keen to see if on encountering the staff members in such places as WalMart and CostCo where civilians are not permitted to go armed, how they will deal with the prospect of an officer from another country.

  2. #2
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    There are 1-2 states with a ban on possession of guns by even legal aliens - Washington state? We need to get those bans fixed - mean time - can somebody fro WA refresh our memory?

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    There's a non-resident alien Canadian in here who said he got a permit from Utah, if I recall correctly (he had the requisite hunting license exemption for aliens). That might be a good place to start, if you're concerned to get a permit.

    -ljp

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    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    As far as Pennsylvania goes...

    Pennsylvania is an “open carry” state for firearms. That means that there is a presumption that carrying a loaded handgun in an exposed holster, for instance, is legal unless specifically prohibited by statute. Open carry of handgun while on foot does not require a license unless such person is in a City of First Class (18 Pa C.S. § 6108) (meaning Philadelphia) or in areas of declared emergency. On the other hand, concealed carry of a handgun out in public, or any carrying of a handgun in any vehicle, is generally illegal without governmental authority (such as a license to carry firearms or a police commission, see RCW 18 Pa C.S. s. 6106(b) and 6109(a) for more information on those exceptions).

    § 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.

    (a) Offense defined.--Any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.
    (b) Exceptions.--The provisions of subsection (a) shall not
    apply to:
    (11) 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.
    (12) A person who has a lawfully issued license to carry
    a firearm pursuant to section 6109 (relating to licenses) and
    that said license expired within six months prior to the date
    of arrest and that the individual is otherwise eligible for
    renewal of the license.
    (13) Any person who is otherwise eligible to possess a
    firearm under this chapter and who is operating a motor
    vehicle which is registered in the person's name or the name
    of a spouse or parent and which contains a firearm for which
    a valid license has been issued pursuant to section 6109 to
    the spouse or parent owning the firearm.
    (14) A person lawfully engaged in the interstate
    transportation of a firearm as defined under 18 U.S.C §
    921(a)(3) (relating to definitions) in compliance with 18
    U.S.C. § 926A (relating to interstate transportation of
    firearms).
    (15) Any person who possesses a valid and lawfully
    issued license or permit to carry a firearm which has been
    issued under the laws of another state, regardless of whether a reciprocity agreement exists between the Commonwealth and the state under section
    6109(k), provided:
    (i) The state or jurisdiction provides a reciprocal
    privilege for individuals licensed to carry firearms
    under section 6109.
    (ii) The Attorney General has determined that the
    firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm
    laws of this Commonwealth.


  5. #5
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    Legba wrote:
    There's a non-resident alien Canadian in here who said he got a permit from Utah, if I recall correctly (he had the requisite hunting license exemption for aliens). That might be a good place to start, if you're concerned to get a permit.

    -ljp
    I previously contacted the Utah State Police, who said NO WAY !

    So they are of no help!

  6. #6
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    My understanding of the PA Laws would indicate that a license is required even to open Carry, or have I misunderstood?

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    Permits are usually issued at the local (county) level. I wonder that the state police actually handle them directly. It might be more productive to call some local municipal or county police department to ask about the possibility of getting one under your circumstance.

    As for PA, I think you misunderstood. Open carry (without a permit) looks to be legal with some limits concerning certain cities (Philadelphia) and transport in a car.

    -ljp

  8. #8
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    There is a patchwork of laws around the country that would apply. It is different in every state, sometimes in every county and municipality within that state.

    Only two states allow CC without a license - VT and AK.

    Some states allow car carry without a license of any kind. In some cases it has to be in a glove box or console, in others it has to be exposed to view. In some states the exposed to view requirement seems oriented toward being required to duct tape it to the dashboard to comply.

    In some states OC is quite legal, but is always restricted in some way.

    I am not all that sure how many states will issue a CC license to someone who is not a citizen or legal resident.

    If you will be going to New York, you cannot have your pistol at all, regardless of the permission granted by the BATF to import it temporarily. You might be legal to pass through a NYC airport,but not to keep it with you while staying in NY. Similar issues exist in NJ, MD, MA, CT, and Chicago to name a few. You can't even have the gun with you at all, loaded, unloaded, or hidden in a bag.

    Sadly, my suggestionis keep it unloaded and encased, and well hidden except when you take it to the range.And don'tgo to any of the listed places at all.Just too many hidden traps. Wouldn't want you going home with a criminal record.




  9. #9
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Perhaps, irish_ironsights, you would have better luck getting some of the specific answers you need by asking your question in each of the 4 state's individual forums. I have found that state specific questions tend to be more quickly answered by doing so. Best of luck on an affirmative reply allowing you to carry your pistol in the supposed land of the free, and God's speed on your journey.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    You should know by now you're OK in Idaho. What city will you be in during your stay? If it's anywhere in the lower half, I'd be glad to meet up with you sometime and see the sites a bit.

    Basically don't go into any jails or schools and you should be fine. Probably not a good idea to drink Irish whiskey with one on your hip either.

  11. #11
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    Mike wrote:
    There are 1-2 states with a ban on possession of guns by even legal aliens - Washington state? We need to get those bans fixed - mean time - can somebody fro WA refresh our memory?
    I think you mean Washington, DC. Washington state is pretty gun friendly.

    You can OC without any kind of license but must have a Concealed Weapons permit to have a loaded firearm in a vehicle.


  12. #12
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    From Washington
    RCW 9.41.170 " It is a class C felony for any person who is not a citizen of the United States to carry or possess any firearm". You can get an 'Alien license' to carry permit, details explained in the aforementioned statute.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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