What Gun for Leaving America?

SayUncle asks an important question. Given that we’ll have federal reciprocity before too long, and given that states like New York limit magazine size, what gun would you want for carrying in hostile jurisdictions?

Because the proposed law allows someone to carry any “handgun,” you really don’t have to worry about state law to the contrary. While the law does not define “handgun” the term is defined under the Gun Control Act, so it would presumably follow that definition.

However, the proposed law does not include magazines or ammunition, which is a shame, because the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act’s 2010 amendments allow carry of “ammunition not expressly prohibited by Federal law or subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act.” I suspect we can probably get that added at a later date, as it was for the LEOSA of 2004.

So to carry in all 50 states, you have to be cognizant that New Jersey law bans carrying hollow point rounds. It is the only state in this country to do so. You’d have to load your magazine with ball or wadcutter ammo to be legal in New Jersey. I think that rounds like Corbon’s Pow’R Ball would be legal in New Jersey, so that might be a good option.

Obviously, you’d have to comply with magazine restrictions. I don’t believe there is any state that bans less than ten rounds (New York SAFE Acts 7 round rule was tossed by a federal judge). If I were looking for an “all state legal” carry gun post-National Reciprocity, I’d probably choose a Glock 43 or S&W M&P Shield. Bitter’s SIG 239 would also be a good option.

You’d probably want pretty good concealment, especially if you’re going to be a pioneer. The hostile states will no doubt ignore the law at first, and challenge it in court. You don’t want to be the person rotting in New Jersey state prison while your attorney argues the law is constitutional.

41 thoughts on “What Gun for Leaving America?”

  1. My question is whether, if I live in a state that doesn’t* issue carry permits, but have a nonresident permit for a neighboring state, will reciprocity allow me to use my non resident permit to carry in my own state?

    *CA. Sure, it issues permits. To some people. Some small number of people.

    1. I’m also wondering about States that have Constitutional Carry–particularly Vermont, because they don’t offer permits, but also states like Arizona, that do.

      Would it be sufficient to show your Driver’s License, to show that you are a resident of that State? OR would it be sufficient to say “I’m allowed to carry in that State, so by reciprocity, I can carry in my home State of New York?” (evil grin)

      The same could be asked of a State that realizes people shouldn’t have to obtain permission to drive, and does away with drivers licenses altogether. How will other States react to that? (Not that we’re anywhere near doing away with licensing for driving, although I’m convinced that licensing for driving is about as useful for preventing bad driving as licensing for concealed carry is at preventing bad gun handling: it’s pretty much useless…)

      1. I believe that all the Constitutional Carry states, except Vermont, also issue carry permits for just that purpose. A driver’s license probably would not suffice, because a DL is not proof that you are not a prohibited person, the way a carry permit is.

        1. Vermont does not issue permits. It never has. When they tried to restrict people carrying firearms when that was all the rage, their courts tossed it.

          1. That’s what I said. All the Constitutional Carry states, EXCEPT VERMONT, issue carry permits so that their residents can legally carry in states with reciprocity. I guess if you’re a Vermonter, you’re SOL, unless you have another state’s nonresident permit that your state of destination recognizes. (Damn hippies!)

              1. There seems to be a lot of cooperation between NH and VT. I also read somewhere (don’t know if it’s true, since I’ve never been to either state) that VT and NH share the same state prison. I kinda hope it’s true, just for the novelty value.

              2. Yeah, Vermonters can, but you have to get a letter from local leo stating to the best of his knowledge you’re not a felon, drug user, etc, etc. I can’t remember the exact wording without looking it up.

                1. Is it a NH resident or nonresident permit? A lot of states (FL for one) that recognize several states’ resident permits won’t honor the same states’ nonresident permits.
                  Inquiring minds . . .

  2. Ok I will bite. I also hope to live long enough to see your dream come true.
    I would carry the Sig 320. With a ten round mag. I would also keep a 17 round mag loaded near it.
    The idiots making these laws need wake up. When you are forced into warrior mode, there are not enough bullets. There is threat starting and threat ending.

    Whatever law enforcement carries in that state is what I would choose to carry. When a jury hears I use the same ammo as cops in their jurisdiction my attorney would mention that. In a self defense case, I am not sure magazine capacity would truly matter to the jury. Even here in California you can have over 10 round magazines, you just can’t buy any new ones. The Burden of proof would be on the prosecutor to prove I didn’t own them prior to 1990. I don’t keep receipts.

    Truly if National reciprocity happens, I will obey any private property laws such as posted areas. But other than that, I will keep a attorney on retainer. Also, note, I still would never enter Jersey. Ever.

    1. My understanding with California law is that you can’t import magazines either. But apparently there are enough ways around it to make enforcement impossible.

      1. You are correct. There are so many laws here pertaining to guns that when at the range, people basically ignore them. They secure them correctly for travel, but I see 17, 20 round mags here every weekend. (Well, really I hear them) No one says a word.

        Wayne was here in Hollywood last night, spoke to 200 of us. But he didn’t speak to California laws specifically, he stayed on Federal lineup and talking points.

    2. I was in NJ the last couple days for a funeral, my mom’s, or else I probably wouldn’t have gone to NJ either.
      And yes I was armed. Minimally with a 25 ACP pocket gun but better than nothing.
      If reciprocity ever passes I’ll be carrying my regular 1911 carry gun.
      With XTP bullets, which at the time I left jersey back in the 90’s were legal to buy and posess, but not legal to use. Stupid laws…..

    3. You don’t have to prove that you owned them before 1990. You can’t import them after certain dates so if you didn’t live here then, you can’t have them now.

  3. I would think that you would come to the same conclusion about Hornady Critical Duty/Defense as for Pow’R Ball WRT NJ’s hollowpoint ban, And didn’t someone come out with a fully-jacketed, yet expanding, bullet a few years ago? I don’t remember it being very popular though.

    1. Don’t remember the name, but yes there was one that looked like FMJ but the front was filled with rubbery stuff instead of lead, that front would collapse and expand when it hit something solid.

  4. I’d probably stick with my current carry option, a Ruger LCR, simply because it’s my current choice. But, a revolver in general has some advantages here: they obviously aren’t subject to capacity restrictions* and seem to have a less “scary” reaction from the non-gun owning public. Not being able to use proper defensive ammunition in New Jersey would be problematic, but that’s a problem easily solved by never going to New Jersey in the first place.

    * Unless you’re that one guy who owns a 1864 Lefauchex.

  5. Since it’s already 6 months into the year with a Republican, supposedly pro-gun Congress and nothing has happened on national reciprocity, it’s s safe bet nothing at all will happen this year. It has zero chance in ’16 because it’s an election year so the major national groups will be spending their membership dollars to get more folks who do nothing elected to congress, to augment the existing folks that do nothing.

    Post election will be a lame duck president and Congress, and it’s most likely we will be fighting defensive battles to end 2016. Even if ’17 starts off in solid republican hands, they will immediately shift into the “prevent offense” or if you are a Joe Gibbs fan, the old “run, run, pass, punt” strategy.

    National reciprocity for citizens was not introduced in Congress with the intention of passing. it was introduced with the full knowledge and understanding that it would languish in committee so that at least ILA & GOA can say to their memberships – See, we got you a reciprocity bill but because of the democrats we couldn’t . and the cycle repeats.

    These bills have been nothing more than political stunts by NRA-ILA and GOA for years, amounting to nothing more than a cash cow and we have fallen for it year after year.

      1. Attach to must-pass legislation, the same way national park carry went through

    1. Well said! So much of legislative action has been stunts to rally the membership…at the expense of actually passing something useful. Don’t get me started on the wasted opportunities to change DC’s laws.

  6. Would give me an excuse to finally get that CZ97 BD I’ve been drooling over. Designed for 10 rounds during the original AWB, in .45acp…so if I *had* to carry hardball, it would make me feel better.

  7. I will stay out of those slave state shitholes. There is nothing there I want to see. And if this turns out to be “revolution summer”, with a few thousand people trying to make what belongs to others belong to them, no pistol is going to get the job done.

  8. Sig 938; I stick to autos that operate like 1911’s to keep training simple. 7 + 1 with the extended mag and 6 + 1 with the flush version (2 fingers on the grip).

  9. Recall that the NJ law in question bans “dum-dum” rounds, not specifically hollowpoints (though obviously they’ve been interpreted as being covered). And you never know how an NJ judge will rule.

  10. If I read NJ law correctly, hollow points are not illegal in NJ, but added charges if one is committing a crime with a firearm that contains hollow point ammunition. If you are not committing a crime with a firearm, say travelling to a range with weapons and hollow point ammunition stowed according to state law, then one is not breaking the law. If you are robbing someone at gunpoint and are caught, and the firearm one is caught with contains hollow point ammunition, that means extra charges per cartridge.

    If someone else thinks it is another way, feel free to chime in. I live in NJ and am not a native, but have researched the laws pretty extensively.

    1. The above applies, AND possession of hollowpoints (technically, “dum-dum ammunition) is ALSO as illegal as handgun possession. And as Brian Aitken can tell you, one of the important exemptions to the ban on handgun possession did not apply to possession of hollowpoints. He was convicted on the charge of possession of hollowpoints, while he was moving between residences; IIRC the only charge that stuck. (The possession of handgun charge was tossed because he was moving between residences, the oversize magazine charge was tossed on a technicality having to do with witness qualification.)

      However, I’m not Evan Nappen, nor do I own or have read his book. And it’s been a few years since the Aitken case was resolved, so I may be hazy on details.

    2. You are correct as far as I know. However a NJ judge will go against the law at their whim so be careful.

  11. Same gun I carry everywhere else, including Chicago: Ruger LCR. If a snub nose 38 was good enough for Detective Joe Friday, it’s good enough for me.

  12. In theory I can carry hollow points in NJ under the provisions of my LEOSA card. But, do I want an overzealous NJ prosecutor to put me through the legal and financial wringer?

    My EDC is a Kahr P40 with Federal Premium Guard Dog ammunition. That ammunition stays in the pistol whether or not I am carrying in NJ. And yes I did practice enough with the carry ammunition to make sure it worked well in the pistol.

    One of my pre retirement coworkers, a former NJ lawyer, gave me his opinion that if the Corbon Power Ball could even vaguely be considered hollow point, it will be used against you.


  13. But does the gun have to be legal in the state? If I carry in Mass., does it have to be on their permitted list?

    1. By my reading of it, no. As long as it’s a Title I firearm (not NFA), and a handgun as defined by federal law, you’re good.

    2. I’d be cautious about toting a “banned assault weapon” in states with an AWB, but most places the non-AWB restrictions seem to be on sales, not possession, no?

  14. Federal makes an expanding full metal jacket ammunition. It’s popular with retired cops here in Jersey. They can carry, but are not exempt from the hollow point ban.

    The State Police Firearms unit says Hornaday Critical Defense is not hollow point ammunition, but I know of at least one case where a local PD is charging someone with possession of hollow points, for having them in their gun. Chose your own level of legal risk.

    I’d say a revolver is a safe carry gun anywhere in america, once reciprocity passes.

  15. Slight correction on NY and the 7 round limit:

    The current law is:

    The NY SAFE act limits magazine size to 7 rounds. Period. This is currently not being enforced by Governatorial fiat because Cuomo actually thought manufacturers would start making NY legal magazines, and they did not. The Governor’s decree said 10 round mags are legal, just don’t fill them more than seven.

    A court has found that this decree is bullshit. A criminal won’t fail to load his mag because of the law, by definition. Criminals don’t obey the law. So the current Cuomo decree of “10 round mag is OK, just load it to 7” is now “10 round mag is OK.” But this is purely a Governor facing reality and bending the law, NOT the law. The law, on the books, is you may only possess 7 round mags unless you are a cop or retired cop and it is/was your duty weapon (and they passed that on a friday evening a few months later.) Most NY cops were felons until that update got passed. I mean more so than usual.

    If a future NY governor wants to stir up a shitshorm, he can simply decree that NY will follow the law, and private ownership of >7 round mags will become a felony. Cops upstate won’t enforce it, cops downstate will.

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