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When a firearms owner in the United States leaves the country, he loses the protection of the Second Amendment.  This does not mean he loses the right to self defense. It’s a historically recent development to be legally difficult for Americans to travel abroad with weapons. Prior to WWI it was done with frequency and little hassle. Prior to WWII, it was fairly common.

Traveling with rifles and shotguns was no problem in Canada before 2001. Bringing a handgun required that the pistol be sealed when in the country; the seal was removed when re-entering the United States. In Mexico, Americans could legally bring .22 caliber rifles and pistols in and out of the country without a problem until 1972.

This is a real problem for Americans traveling through other countries.  Handguns are quite useful in Alaska, for hunting and self defense, but it is a bureaucratic nightmare to cross the Canadian borders with one.  In Mexico, people can end up in prison for the mere possession of a single cartridge while crossing the border.

Merely traveling to Africa or Australia to hunt has become a bureaucratic nightmare.

It does not have to be that way.

When Donald Trump re-negotiates trade agreements, he should include a provision for international reciprocity.  Both Canada and Mexico have people who may legally be armed inside of their country.  There are people who have permits to be armed, even if they are rare.  The reciprocity would be a simple proposition.  A country supplies us with a list of people who may legally carry in their country; we supply them with a list from ours.  In the days of computers this is simple and easy.

Obtaining legal authority for Americans to be armed abroad could have been cemented in place shortly after WWII. Unfortunately, our leadership was “progressive” and thought the Second Amendment was old fashioned.

We could have included the provision into international arms agreements and or military aid agreements.  At the time it would only have applied to a tiny number of concealed carry permits.  I believe that we can still negotiate such deals.

Permits are available in both Mexico and Canada, but they are issued in very small numbers.  In Mexico, From

The grounds for issuing a carry permit are: a need due to occupation or employment; special circumstances related to one’s place of residence; or other reasonable grounds. A carry permit applicant must also post a bond, and must supply five character references. Farmers and other rural workers are allowed (in theory at least) to carry legal handguns, .22 caliber rifles, and shotguns, as long as they stay outside of urban areas, and obtain a carry license.

But in practice, carry licenses are restricted to the wealthy and the politically connected.11 In a nation of 105 million people, there are only 4,300 carry licenses.

There are a similar number of permits issued in Canada.  From

There are just two categories of individuals who are allowed an authorization to carry: those who require one because of their occupations and those who need one for the “protection of life.” They need to get an authorization from the chief firearms officer for their province or territory.

According to RCMP data the National Firearms Association received in response to a recent access to information request, the average number of authorizations to carry issued was 8,169 per year between 2005-2011. The report does not provide a breakdown on the reasons for authorization. The access request was for information on training in firearms proficiency.

It is reasonable that trade agreements between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico include such a reciprocity agreement.  People with carry permits in the United States have shown that they are far more law abiding than police.

For other countries the provision could be included as part of a defense agreement. In Europe, it could be part of NATO negotiations. In other countries, it could be part of an aid or weapons sales agreement. In many countries, it is only the powerful and wealthy who are legally armed.  Many of them would like to be able to carry in the United States.

If we are going to provide arms and aid, there is no reason that trusted citizens from each country could not be allowed to carry self defense tools in the other country.  It is insane that we provide billions in aid to Egypt, yet Americans who visit are required to be disarmed and helpless in the face of jihadi mobs.

I do not have problems with allowing Saudi princes to carry  defensive or hunting firearms in the United States.  Many may already do so under diplomatic immunity.

The reason we have not done this is clear.  The “progressive” leadership of both parties in the United States want a disarmed population. Negotiating the ability to be armed abroad validates the necessity and practicality of armed self defense.

Because of American movies, many people in other countries already assume that Americans are routinely armed.

A Trump administration should work to make that assumption a reality.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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  1. Nice thought, but a nonstarter. As it is, UK has basically outlawed the carrying of all defensive “weapons” that could be used offensively, and the EU is seeking to ban civilian ownership of arms (as witnessed by it recent demand that the Swiss conform its ownership laws to those restrictive laws of the EU (which too was a nonstarter). Most Europeans think we are crazy cowboys as it is, and most definitely do not want to import that “culture” there.

  2. Better than carry permits across borders. Make all trade, all treaties and all aid dependent on the other country adopting shall issue 2a style laws.

    There is no earthly reason why a law abiding citizen in London should not be able to strap his 9mm on his hip and go to paris or washington without restriction or hassle.

    Human and civil rights are not just for Americans.

      • people around the world are in a daily struggle for human and civil rights. What does it say about you that you refuse to see any that aren’t white?

    • That would mean no goods from China (everything from raw materials to finished products, including steel, Apple products and most personal computers, clothing and other apparel including shoes and purses), Japan (cameras, cars, electronics and god knows what else), South Korea (the world’s largest manufacturer of container ships and supertankers). Our economy would collapse.

      • Or their economies would collapse. We can and have made all those things for ourselves in the past. We could do it again.

        You want to defeat communism in china? Close the American market to them.

        • No we couldn’t, because there are a lot more goods and services produced today and many of them require raw materials not found in America, that have to be imported.

        • You must be one of those people that believe in the myth that factory jobs can and will come back to America. Hate to break it to you but it’s never going to happen. Labor is 10 times cheaper in foreign nations and even if by some unforeseen reason factory jobs do come back to America, they would be killed by automation within 12 months.

          No one is going to buy poorly made expensive American products and killing our trade deals to stroke our egos is possibly the worst thing we as a country could do.

  3. Good points, but seems pretty unlikely.

    I would love to be able to carry a handgun when traveling internationally. We certainly should be able to do so.

  4. “When Donald Trump re-negotiates trade agreements”

    Um, yeah, that’d require that Trump gets elected first. I’ll modify what pwrserge said and say that I think you’ve got a better chance of repealing the NFA and Brady bill, than you do of seeing Trump get elected in 2016.

    Getting international reciprocity seems a million miles away when we can’t even get inter-state reciprocity.

  5. “A Trump administration should work to make that assumption a reality.”

    Turns out Trump threw the election in 2005 with comments he made about women on a hot mic that apparently just came out today. There ain’t gonna be no walking it back.

    • He’s survived a lot, but this one does seem final. I don’t see how the establishment republicans can avoid condemning him for this stuff.

      Will be very, very, very interesting to see how his surrogates Christie and Giuliani and especially Carson handle questions on this topic.

      To be fair to Trump, it’s pretty much exactly the kind of thing you’d expect him to say when he’s such a noted (and bragging about it) philanderer. But to have the evidence… I don’t see how he survives this one.

      • How is hillary not already in prison? We get it. You guys would rather see hillary than Trump in office.

        He’s going to survive this like he has everything else. with the msm picking on him and giving him free help even though that ain’t their intent.

        He will be our next president. Get your crying rags ready.

        • I really DON’T WANT TO SEE ANOTHER CLINTON IN THE WHITE HOUSE!! With that being said, I fear that Mr Trump will never take up residence at 1600 Pensilvania ave. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see it.

      • I had to go look this up. I see nothing really damaging here.

        This is how guy’s talk in a locker room and how they have talked since before locker rooms were invented. Guys talk about previous conquests and even topics like “hogging” (chasing fat girls at a bar for you Quakers out there). I’ve had a guy at work talk, in explicit detail, about fucking his girlfriend in the ass.

        Trump’s comments basically boil down to “She was hot so I tried to woo her and get her in the sack but I failed because she was married”.

        I’m not saying I support such language but Christ on a cracker this is bullshit. The sales guy at my local liquor store is a friend of mine and he comments on hot women all the time. He’s married and I’m married. Call it “guy talk” or whatever you want to call it.

        Anyone who says they’re shocked that a man would talk like this is either a liar or very, very sheltered.

        • So in your mind 99% 100% of the male population is out of bounds for you in terms of “leadership”.

          Sorry, there’s no guy alive over the age of 18 who hasn’t had “locker talk” and you’re saying that disqualifies them. You’ve done a bang up job of fessing up to being an ignorant and unthinking drone.

          The man you’re thinking of literally doesn’t exist and never has unless they were made a eunuch before puberty for the specific purpose of preventing this behavior.

    • We need to push Clinton with her infamous defense of a child rapist, and her call to crucify Gennifer flowers. There is also Slick Willy forcing himself on Juanita Broderick, who was targeted by the IRS when she came forward.

      I don’t like Trump, but Hillary is a corrupt and dangerous bitch that I don’t want in the white house.

      • Dave, 30 days out you not winning anybody over digging the gutter. May feel nice, but does little to swing a Florida or Pennsylvania voter. Frankly, both suck. At this point, time is better spent on turning out of the base. A base he dissed for a year.

  6. Ya’ know we have many posts on TTAG about not doing business or frequenting Anti-2A establishments. I would extend that to shite countries…none of these reciprocal agreements will ever pass. And Trump will get through this. Hell the hildebeast sold our country for gain. A traitor deserving worse than Hillary for prison2016…

  7. and when Somalia or Iran becomes a “shall issue country?”

    We’ll let their emigrants unopposed into the US armed, to run around armed?

    Be careful what you wish for.

  8. You have a better chance of Jennifer Lopez comming for trick or treat….. This is total nonstarter. Even merchant ships can not have guns to ward off Pirates. While nice to have, the rest of the world does actually live without packing piece 24-7. Hell, I can not even goto the states nearby me like Nj or Ny with a gun. So how do you expect international travel?

    • “While nice to have, the rest of the world does actually live without packing piece 24-7.”

      You’ve never been to the Middle East or Africa, have you?

      • Nope. Never made it that far. While very armed places, that is not avg.for most of the populus. You would think that in places where a AK is more available than toilet paper that would be the case. Even on a good day, the avg. Person in say Cairo is not packing a .38.

        • You’re right. They don’t pack wheel guns they pack autoloaders.

          You think all that celebratory gunfire in Egyptian cities during weddings comes from air-guns? You think most people in Mogadishu don’t have a gun? Most of Africa and the ME are flooded with guns and most people have them legally or not. Any idea what percentage of households in a country like Iraq or Yemen have an AK in the house?

          If you want to talk about what “most of the population” of the world does, well, most of them eat with chopsticks. Most of the world also lives in 3rd world shitholes too. What does that have to do with anything?

          A lot of the world is awash in weapons that are privately held. You haven’t really lived until you’ve been to Marula, Zimbabwe and paid $10 to a local villager to shoot his RPG which is one of a dozen that he has. Got a 50lb bag of rice? He’ll swap you a whole case of RPGs for it. Did you travel there for that? No, but he approached you and through a translator asked if you’d pay $5 for five mags through a full auto AK or $10 to shoot an RPG. These people have guns coming out their ass and no food.

          You’re talking about the “Westernized” world (Europe, South Africa, Canada and Australia/NZ). Not the world in general. Trust me, there’s more guns in a smallish Costa Rican town than you can shake a stick at and full auto is legal there OTC. All you need is a Costa Rican Driver’s License and the world is your oyster as long as you can pay for the gun. A friend of mine is now retired in his early 30’s because he ran guns in CR to the cops on the West Coast. He ran them to civvies too. Full auto AK’s on a payment plan, couldn’t keep inventory and had to make promises to return with cases more AK’s (which he did). Now he travels up and down the coast of paradise collecting money.

          Don’t bullshit yourself. “American gun culture” is nothing special. The world is really well armed in terms of guns held in private hands. The difference is that we make a big deal of talking about the 2A which the rest of the world doesn’t have.

  9. As much as I may support the concept, I can tell you with 100% certainty it will NEVER happen in Canada. NEVER, not in a million years. The current government is our equivalent of the Democrats & when it comes to guns they are Rabid. These are the same people who instituted & spent Billions of dollars on a National long gun registry that never worked & was ultimately torn down & shelved, however not before it pushed tens of thousands of previously law-abiding citizens into the land of criminality through refusal to register their arms, preferring to lose them in “boating accidents”…

    This is the same party who a generation before turned tens of thousands of citizens from THAT generation into criminals for owning pistols with barrels shorter than 4 inches, and magazines holding more than 10 rounds…THAT debacle is still an active & vigorously enforced federal law. My occupation before retirement was such that I was involved in welcoming many VIP’s & Political leaders from all over the world, including the U.S. & I have seen FIRST-HAND your own Secret Service & FBI agents in literal stand-offs with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police over their service weapons, many more times than “a few”. It’s virtually impossible for a serving U.S. LEO on active duty or during an investigation needing to enter Canada and being permitted to carry their service weapon…the average citizen??? Not even Trump could bully that arguement through

    • Further to that the stat thrown out here of around 8000ish authorizations . Those are mainly armoured car drivers. The lay person has little to no chance getting one. Long guns aren’t a huge issue , tons of Americans come up here hunting each year. Also people competing in pistol matches can bring their pistols, as we can to the US. But you better be sure you got the right paperwork for both sides. I’d love to see conceal carry here but our political pendulum needs to swing in the opposite direction it is now.

  10. I knew of plenty of Americans who carried openly and concealed in Europe and Asia while employed by Uncle Sam. Yes it was a different time but an awful lot of people were very happy to see Americans with M-1 Garands and 1911s show up – and lets not forget the Sherman tanks and P-51s. Just saying ….

  11. ‘The reciprocity would be a simple proposition. A country sup plies us with a list of people who may legally carry in their country; we supply them with a list from ours.’

    And why on earth would we want our own federal government to have a list of Americans with weapons permits?

    How about we just abide by our constitution and let anybody carry a weapon as long as they’re not misusing it? And I’ll just stay the hell out of Mexico and Canada.

      • They call the sheriff’s department in Arizona. This is why, at least in my state the permits are issued by the county sheriffs. To keep the list out of the hands of the state bureaucrats.

        • Then they call the state DPS. This isn’t something they do on a routine traffic stop. They’ll run your license and if there’s no outstanding warrants and your not a convicted felon then they have no reason to suspect your carry permit is invalid. If they do for some reason suspect it’s invalid they’ll detain you until they can confirm it’s validity. Probably shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or so for someone back at the station to phone it in.

  12. International reciprocity for concealed carry? Why not demand mandatory international open carry while you’re at it Dean?

    Absolutely unbelievable! Here we are hanging on by our fingernails desperately trying to preserve our 2nd amendment Liberty that will be doomed if HRC wins a month from now, and yet TTAG publishes this rambling idiotic drivel from a pith helmet wearing squirrel who’s constantly and pathetically seeking an excuse to be visibly armed center of attention.

    As if any rational pro-gun advocste needed confirmation that a nut job like Dean Weingarten is exactly who we don’t need included in any intelligent conversation about gun rights, his delusional waste of key strokes to write this article should remove all doubt that poor Dean is touched in the head.

      • If HRC wins she will get to nominate at least 2 and probably 3 Supreme Court Justices which means progressive liberals will have a majority on the court for decades and will waste no time redefining the 2nd amendment to facilitate radical left gun control measures. Wasted breath or key strokes on idiotic topics like jnternational concealed carry reciprocity is nothing more than a moronic distraction. If you can’t see that jwm, you’re as nutty as poor Dean.

        • And yet here you are. Wasting your valuable time and resources scolding us for speaking our opinions. What does that say about you?

        • It’s never a waste of time or resources to call out an idiot so frustrated with his inability to cross the Mexican border carrying his Glock in that green Fobus holster that he feels compelled to pen a ridiculous essay on a topic as asinine as international concealed carry reciprocity. Dean has a screw loose and so do you jwm.

  13. We might get somewhere with the Czech Republic if we tried, but like other said, there are many bigger priorities like the NFA.

  14. My solution is to never travel internationally. America is huge, I could spend my entire life trying to see it all. Hell, even reducing it down to the free states would still take a very long time to completely travel.


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