Defending Yourself While Traveling

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

With the holiday season upon us, many people will be traveling. I just came back from a Thanksgiving trip, where we went to another state for a reunion of my wife’s family. While we didn’t have any problems on the trip, other than horrendous traffic, I recognized the potential danger and was watching for it.

Pickpockets, those who break into cars and other members of the criminal element like to take advantage of the holiday season to prey upon travelers. People tend to let down their guard when they’re away from home, not keeping a close eye out for danger. They are also much less likely to travel back to a state where they were robbed, just for a court date. That reduces the risk to the criminal greatly; as even if they are caught, they are unlikely to be convicted without an accuser.

But there’s also the risk of much more serious crimes being committed against you and your family; rape, stealing your money and stealing your car; the types of things that many of us go armed to prevent.

I don’t know whether you have a license to carry concealed or not. I do, even though my state is a “constitutional carry state.” There are two reasons why I chose to keep my license, rather than allowing it to expire. The first is that police recognize it as meaning that I’m likely to be a good guy. That could be crucial if I am ever the victim of a crime or involved in an active shooter incident. The second is that while there are now 20 states that have constitutional carry, some of those states only allow that for residents of the state. Without my license, I can’t carry in those states or in any of the states which have not yet passed constitutional carry.

For the most part, the several states of our union have signed treaties stating that they recognize each other’s concealed carry permits. That means that holding a license for one state means that you can carry in many others. But don’t take that as a given. Before taking any trip, make sure that you check not only the state you’re going to, but any state you’ll pass through; ensuring that you can carry legally. While you’re at it, check for any limitations placed on concealed carry in those states. There are a couple of websites online that provide that service; all you have to do is search for “constitutional carry reciprocity.”

Watch out for anything that causes a chance in your travel plans though. A few years ago there was a well-publicized case where a commercial airline had to set down in New Jersey, due to bad weather. Since they were spending the night, passenger luggage was returned to them. One of those passengers had his gun legally checked in his luggage. But once he got to his hotel room, the police arrived and arrested him for having a pistol without a state of New Jersey pistol permit.

That was a sticky situation and obviously not the man’s fault. Nevertheless, the police were within the law in arresting him. What he should have done is refuse to accept his luggage back from the airline, asking them to hold it for him. That would have protected him from breaking the law.

So what do we do if we travel to a state where we can’t legally bring our guns? As much as I hate to say it, I’d recommend leaving them at home. The legal risk of carrying a gun into an area where you are not legally allowed to carry it is just too great.

In another case, which also happened in New Jersey, a man with a concealed carry permit was pulled over by the New Jersey Highway Patrol because they knew he had a license and suspected that he might have one concealed in his RV. Fortunately for him, he had left it at home, as they searched his entire RV looking for it. Apparently some of these anti-gun states have gained access to databases of who is licensed in other states and are keeping their eyes open for those people entering their states.

There may be some other weapon options that you can use in those states, although I would check very carefully before bringing any sort of weapon with me. When unsure, it’s best to fall on the side of caution, legally speaking. Most of the states which are anti-gun are anti-other weapons as well, even for things like pepper spray.

Of course, there are always things you can carry for use as a weapon, which don’t have the primary purpose of being a weapon. A baseball bat can be a handy thing to have and doesn’t have to be explained to the police. Just be sure you know how to use it as both a weapon and a sports implement, just in case they ask.

Personally, I’d rather stick to traveling in states where I can carry my gun. Then all I have to worry about is keeping my powder dry and my survival gear close at hand (like in the trunk).

Dr. Rich

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.