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Friday night, former-Pittsburgh Steeler and current New York Giant Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh while in a New York club. Although the obvious lesson to be learned from Burress’ predicament is the importance of carefully handling a firearm, this incident has raised the issue of having a valid license to carry a firearm.

Burress’ attorney, Benjamin Brafman, announced Sunday afternoon that he expected Burress to be charged with criminal possession of a firearm. Although Burress has a license to carry a firearm in Florida (the license is currently expired, however, Burress may be within the six-month period after expiration where he is permitted to renew), he does not have a valid permit in New York. In New York, a Florida permit to carry a firearm is not valid. Therefore, the second lesson firearm owners should take from Burress’ situation is that you should always verify that your out-of-state license to carry is valid in the state you are in.

In Pennsylvania, an out-of-state license to carry is valid if the other state has a “reciprocal privilege” for Pennsylvania firearm licenses and if the Pennsylvania Attorney General “has determined that the firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws of this Commonwealth.”

Ultimately, if you plan on taking a gun out of your state, your best bet will be to call the local police department in the city you plan on taking your weapon to and asking them what their laws are for carrying a firearm with an out-of-state license.

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