Does an International Concealed Carry Permit Exist?

Does an International Concealed Carry Permit Exist?

Does an International Concealed Carry Permit Exist?

Concealed carry is legal in one form or another in all 50 states (albeit much easier to do in some states than others) and many state-issued permits are valid in other states thanks to the policy of reciprocity. Unfortunately, no single state permit is valid in all of the other 49 states and there is no concealed carry permit available on a federal level that allows concealed carry in all 50 states either.

No other country has the right to keep and bear arms enshrined in their national constitution as we do here, but that doesn’t mean that concealed carry is strictly forbidden in those countries. While firearms ownership is certainly legal in plenty of other countries around the world, the United States is unique when it comes to the concept of concealed carry.

Let’s take a look at concealed carry as it exists in other places around the world.

What Countries Can You Travel to With a Gun?

You can actually travel to quite a lot of countries with a gun. We see this done regularly by hunters and competitive shooters who are traveling to exotic lands and host countries for the safari of a lifetime or to represent the United States in a competition.

However, there’s a big difference between traveling to a country with a gun for the above purposes and carrying a gun for personal protection while in those countries.

Can You Carry Concealed in Other Countries (Outside the US)?

The simple answer is no. As a visitor, you cannot carry concealed in other countries even if you were able to legally travel with your firearms and bring them into the country for other legal purposes.

This does not mean that concealed carry is outright prohibited in places other than the United States. Some countries allow the practice, but it varies widely and is certainly not as accepted as it is in the United States.


Can I Carry Concealed in…

OK, so we’ve established that a citizen of the United States cannot carry concealed in another country that they are visiting temporarily, but concealed carry is still possible in certain places. Let’s take a look at some of these instances.

Can I Carry Concealed in Europe?

Being able to carry concealed in Europe is a lot like being able to carry concealed in the United States. Sort of. What is meant by this is that it is possible to get a concealed carry permit in Europe, but it differs from country to country, and the qualifications for getting a permit vary widely. Some countries grant permits fairly easily while others forbid them, and just like the United States, there’s no universal permit that allows you to travel the entire continent with one permit.

Even if you were in one of the countries where it’s possible to get a permit, there’s still one hurdle that international travelers simply cannot conquer: residency. You have to live there for any of the permit rules to apply. Tourists don’t count. Period.

Can I Carry Concealed in Canada?

Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of gun owners in Canada. The people who own these guns are hunters and sporting shooters. They are not carrying their guns for self-defense purposes. Under Canadian law, the act of carrying a concealed weapon is prohibited “unless authorized for a lawful occupational purpose,” such as an armored car driver or someone working in wildlife protection.

Concealed carry permits are sometimes issued to Canadians, but only if an individual is in imminent danger and police protection is insufficient. Unfortunately, the police are the ones who decide if their protection is sufficient or not, and in the vast majority of the cases, they deem it to be sufficient and a concealed carry permit is denied.

It’s also important to note that this only applies to Canadian residents. Visiting foreigners cannot carry concealed at all.

Can I Carry Concealed in Africa?

Many people travel to African countries every year for hunting trips, so it’s obviously legal to travel there with a firearm. In fact, you can bring up to three firearms (rifles, shotguns, handguns, or a combination) and 1,000 rounds of ammunition for said firearms with you on any given African trip, provided that all of the firearms and the remainder of any unused ammunition come back to the United States with you.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that you can carry concealed in Africa. While you may carry and hunt with a handgun in Africa, you cannot use that hunting handgun for personal protection while you’re there.

Can I Carry Concealed in Mexico?

Mexico has some of the most strict gun control in the world. Despite having 128 million residents, there’s just one gun store in the entire country!

Mexican law forbids possession of any firearms or ammunition without authorization by the authorities. Possession of a single weapon, or even just a single piece of ammunition, carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. Any visitor who does not disclose their possession of a firearm or ammunition will be treated as an arms smuggler and is ineligible for bail.

So to put it very simply, you cannot carry concealed in Mexico. Unless, of course, you’re looking for an all-expenses-paid five-year stay at one of Mexico’s lowest-rated gated resort communities.

Get All of Your Concealed Carry Facts Before a Trip!

Even though it is not possible to carry concealed as an international visitor, you can definitely still take your guns with you to foreign countries so long as you have a legitimate purpose for doing so and follow all of the laws set forth by the United States and the country you’ll be visiting.

Before heading to the airport with your guns, it’s a good idea to check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the embassy in the United States of the country you’ll be visiting to make sure that you’ve got all of the facts and information you’ll need to travel legally with your firearm to an international destination.