I am an experienced NJ firearms owner and shooter, but am a concealed carry novice. Recently obtained my NH non-resident permit, and within 6 weeks also expect to receive my Texas non-resident License to Carry(for details on that, see my thread in the Training section.). So am covered as far as permits for PA are concerned.
My goal in the coming months is to conceal carry my handgun in Pennsylvania. This will be my first experience with conceal carry. Hence being very careful about it as I learn and develop experience.
My question here specifically relates to logistics upon crossing the border into Pa and similarly when later crossing back into NJ. I would appreciate hearing others advice based on their experience.
Pardon what might appear to be very basic questions or of undue concern. Afterall, I do in live in “no unreasonable deviation NJ” where I have to worry about bathroom breaks.
So let’s say I drive into PA on, for example, Route 78. Where is the best place (e.g. rest area) to pull into. I am familiar with the rest area/visitors center just over the border. Should I stop there? Is it fine to retrieve my gun bag from the trunk and load the mag & transition it to my holster while inside my vehicle. Or is it preferred to do so in a rest room stall.
The flipside is when returning, where along Rt 78 should I transition the gun back to the trunk before hitting the bridge into NJ? Is there a rest area on the Pa side near the border? Would not want to accidently find myself crossing back into NJ before doing so.
(I am also separately addressing the holster for my Glock 26, gun belt, larger jeans, training, etc. aspects.)
Any and all advice and suggestions welcome. My goal will be to spend an afternoon anywhere in PA doing some photography, shopping, etc. Perhaps do a “Wally Walk”, which I just learned yesterday is a conceal carry right of passage.
Thank you, Art