Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States


Scott Kappas was born and raised in the great gun-loving commonwealth of Kentucky. From an early age, Scott learned from his parents to appreciate the personal liberties that Americans enjoy more fully than any other people. But on a family vacation to the northeast, he found that not all rights were as well respected as others. The sign at the Massachusetts border stated “minimum 1 year in prison for violating any firearm law of this commonwealth.” Thinking that this applied only to felons possessing firearms, Scott and his family ignored the warning and continued onward. Upon returning home, he found that simply having a gun in the glove compartment without a Massachusett’s carry license would be enough to send him to prison for a year. He decided to research the issue and find out more. This was how the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States was born.
The book is currently in its 28th edition with over 2,000,000 copies sold since the first edition was published in 1996. Owners of recreational vehicles make up one of the book’s largest readerships. But any gun owner who travels with a firearm will find the Traveler’s Guide’s insight extremely helpful. Aside from being favorably reviewed by a host of magazine editors, the book is sold at the NRA’s famous national firearms museum and used by the National Football League and National Basketball Association as reference material for their security directors and players.
Along with being an attorney licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Kentucky, Scott is a Class III firearms dealer. He sells machine guns, suppressors, and short barreled shotguns to qualified persons. He also enjoys shooting such weapons. His favorite is the German HK-33 which can be seen in the pictures to the left. He likes almost any full-auto firearm with a military history and also enjoys shooting semi-automatic replicas.
Scott is active in politics as well as business. He enjoys speaking to gun owner groups about legal issues concerning firearms and also lectures to college students who are not always predisposed to pro-gun positions. Scott is a life member of the National Rifle Association and believes that grass roots involvement in the fight to preserve the citizen’s right to bear arms is essential to maintaining this important freedom. Scott has appeared as a guest on statewide pubic affairs programs such as Kentucky Tonight and has also been interviewed about gun issues by the local Fox and ABC affiliate channels.
Scott recently wrote an article for the Kentucky lawyer’s magazine “Bench & Bar” entitled “Dueling and Kentucky Firearms Jurisprudence. The article provided a detailed examination of the history of firearms carry and its treatment by the courts in Kentucky. Scott has also written several feature articles for Handguns magazine. One, entitled “The Ten Worst Places to Travel with your Handgun,” was quoted by several media personalities as evidence that the states with the strictest handgun carry laws have the highest crime rates. Another, “Firearms Carry in National Parks”, examined the legality of gun carry in our national parks and advocated the implementation of the current National Park Service allowance for concealed carry by recognized permittees. A third article discussed the expiration of the Clinton assault weapon ban of 1994. All three articles were favorably received by the magazine’s readers and helped provide some much-needed answers to relevant legal question.
Scott’s education includes attending Northern Kentucky University and earning a B.A. in History in 1990. While a student at NKU, Scott served as Student Government President and student representative on the university’s board of regents. Upon graduation, Scott received the W. Frank Steely award for outstanding Senior in History and the University’s Distinguished Service award. Scott was also fortunate enough to have a book grant for NKU students named in his honor. The grant’s funding was derived from the proceeds of a campus-wide aluminum recycling program that Scott established.

Scott later attended Salmon P. Chase College of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1993 and also was a winner in a national legal brief writing competition sponsored by the National Rifle Association. The brief, entitled The “Right Most Valued by Freemen”, concerned the origins and historical development of the citizens right to keep and bear arms. It was later published in the NKU academic journal Perspectives in History as well as cited by former NRA legal counsel Robert Dowlut in an article written for the Stanford Law Review.
Scott currently lives in Kentucky with his wife and three children.  They hope to live in the Commonwealth for the rest of their lives and continue to enjoy the firearms tradition which has been a part of Kentucky since the days of Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton.