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Crossing America

It is no small thing to cross a continent. Certainly, crossing America is easier than ever before. But who knows? That may not be a good thing.

Once upon a time, crossing this continent was a momentous task. Read the Little House series or study the journals from Lewis and Clark’s expedition for something of the raw grit — dirt, disease and sacrifice — required. Or read about U.S. Grant’s crossing of the Isthmus of Panama — less than 100 miles but little short of epic.

Today’s cross-continent travel by automobile or airplane is easy, comfortable even … unless you are carrying a firearm. Crockett and Boone, Pike and Fremont, they all carried firearms. As did all the other explorers, pathfinders, scouts and settlers. They didn’t require a license or permit (or ask permission) either.

Traveling With Guns

Thus, our trip from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to our new home in Spring Hill, Florida — though relatively easy on U.S. and Interstate highways — was tiring and frustrating at times. I pulled our 27-foot Winnebago, with my wife following in the Jeep. We briefly debated overnighting in motels, but the difficulty of hauling baggage and finding pet-friendly and concealed-carry-friendly shelter made the RV a no-brainer. Besides, campgrounds were plentiful.

Brass casino sign stating "NO FIREARMS OR CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMITTED" NRS 202.265

This note appears on the door of a casino in Las Vegas. It was not seen once, however, during my family’s 1,700-mile relocation through seven firearms-friendly Southern states. (Photo by Rick Sapp)

I was astonished at the number of men who wore their shirts untucked — assumedly to cover their holsters, as one covered mine. I carried into and through those states with confidence because I was certain of their legal structures’ friendliness to concealed carry. And because I am currently licensed to carry in New Mexico, Utah and Georgia.

Reciprocity covered our route, even with deviations for bad weather, as planned. (I’m suspicious of Tennessee, which has recently shown ultra-liberal inclinations, and so stayed well south of its border.)

Not Worth The Hassle

If we had moved to Connecticut or California, or had to drive through Illinois or New Jersey, our trip might have been more troublesome. The people of those states — and often of smaller jurisdictions within — routinely elect legislatures antipathetic to ALL firearms ownership — not just concealed carry. I generally believe in keeping a low profile and avoiding trouble when carrying. Plus, having to unpack the car, the truck and the 27-foot pull-behind camper while being watched by some state trooper who noticed my New Mexico permit or the USCCA’s “Post-Incident Instructions” in my wallet was not my idea of fun.

We made the trip to our new home in just short of five days, made easier by firearms-friendly people along the way and by a surprisingly friendly reception for my MAGA hat at every encounter. The move was so terrific, I think we’ll move again (to Massachusetts or Minnesota or Oregon … if my wife doesn’t keep her promise to hold me down until I come to my senses the next time I mention moving). Seriously, moving, even through gun-friendly states, is that much fun…

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