J. Scott Kappas, a private-practice attorney in Kentucky, felt the need to have a concise, accurate summary of firearm transport and carry laws throughout the United States during his travels. This led to the development of the "Traveler's Guide to the Firearms Laws in the Fifty States," an annual reference guide that is in its 21st year of publication for 2017.
The newest edition, published in January 2017, contains more than 100 changes from the 2016 edition, reflecting changes in motor-vehicle carry, concealed carry reciprocity and firearm law preemption, among other topics. The book opens with noted changes enacted by state legislatures in 2016, as well as pending legislation in states at print time.
The introduction also covers usage of the guide, explaining the difference between "shall issue" and "may issue," as well as legal definitions found in concealed-carry statutes, rights to self-defense and vehicle gun possession. The introduction also defines terms found in common use throughout the book, such as the term "standard firearm ownership," "permittee" and "non-permittee."
Each page of the guide is dedicated to a single state and begins with a 0-100 ranking of state firearms laws. Arizona achieves a near-perfect score of 99, while California barely scratches out a 10. The page then continues with a "traveler's checklist," covering issues such as registration, licensing, high-capacity magazine bans, self-defense rights, concealed carry laws, duty to notify LEOs and carry in restaurants that serve alcohol.
The page finishes with more detailed information regarding concealed-carry laws and the restrictions for people who do not have a permit to carry concealed.
The guide has sold more than 1 million copies since 1997. The retail price of the guide is $14.95. Readers can find more information on the publisher's website here.