Colorado Woman w/ CCW Arrested for Carrying Handgun in New York

Haley Leach has a valid Colorado concealed carry permit.  But that doesn’t matter in the land of Bloomberg.  (Photo: Twitter)

Another day, another reason to pass the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

Local media outlets reported earlier this month that a Colorado woman had been arrested at the Albany International Airport after trying to check in a handgun with airport security.

The woman, Haley Leach, 28, had been vacationing in Hunter, New York, since November and was attempting to fly home. When she tried to declare her handgun to Southwest Airlines representatives, they telephoned the police because she didn’t possess a New York pistol permit.

Despite holding a valid Colorado concealed carry permit, Leach was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and released on bail. She must return to New York in February to appear in court.

The New York legislature has imposed some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. But as anyone from the state will say, big-city politicians don’t speak for every Empire State resident.

“We’re taking so many law abiding citizens and basically making them criminals,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple told News10 ABC.

“These are people that are professionals,” he said. “They are doctors, pilots, lawyers, cops, firemen, whatever the case may be, and then when they go to fly out they get arrested.”

SEE ALSO: Meet the Face of National Concealed Carry Reciprocity: Shaneen Allen

Apple said the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would keep people from ending up like Leach. But until then he’ll be forced to arrest out-of-state residents who have no criminal intent.

“This is sad because it’s happening more and more,” he said.

Apple’s isn’t the only one frustrated with the patchwork of state gun laws.

Leslie McDermott runs an indoor shooting range and gun store in New York. He says that out-of-state customers come in daily who do not realize they might be breaking the law.

“Traveling through, see our sign, and stop in,” McDermott told News10 ABC. “They can’t shoot here because they don’t have a New York State pistol permit.”

“It’s frustrating for people who don’t know the law,” he said.

The National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 would force state officials to treat concealed carry permits much like drivers’ licenses. If the legislation passes, Leach’s Colorado permit will be valid in New York and vice versa.

The House of Representatives passed the bill in December with a bipartisan vote of 231 to 198. The bill now faces a much more difficult fight in the Senate, where Republicans hold a razor-thin 51-49 majority.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Brad June 12, 2020, 8:28 pm

    Moral of the story: pay attention to state laws when you travel with a firearm. She is not a victim, just stupid.

  • Ret February 16, 2018, 11:18 am

    I’ve checked firearms in my luggage in N.Y. before, as well as many other US socialist states, and know others, well versed in the proper procedures, that have with no issues. Also, no agent in N.Y., .CA, IL or even DC has questioned my legal right to process that device. So, I have to wonder what really happened.
    If Southwest (TX based go figure ) airline agents are becoming self appointed gate keepers of the 2nd amendment, we can and should anounce to them that if our firearms are not welcome, we can find another airline that supports the Constitution, our military, and the spirit of the founders of the United States of America, play anthem here.

  • Bruce Lloyd February 16, 2018, 8:50 am

    I have applied for a permit in CT and feel that I will get it. However, I have a .177 air pistol and would like to carry it as better than nothing at this time. I travel in some rather bad areas. Granted, this is not a great solution but it is better than none.
    My question is can I carry this gun concealed in CT or in the car without locking it in a safe. Thanks Bruce Lloyd MD

  • Stefan Smythe February 16, 2018, 3:33 am

    I was arrested for hitchhiking in Leadville Colorado some years ago. I spent the night in jail and a girlfriend bailed me out in the morning. I had a loaded 22 caliber two shot derringer in my boot the entire time. I didn’t dare mention it. I believe I am the only person ever arrested and sent to the clink with a loaded concealed gun.

  • MJ February 3, 2018, 4:49 pm

    Unfortunately for law abiding citizens, liberals have no regard for the 2nd Amendment. They treat our rights like a government granted privelege and only if they deem it so.
    Our elected representatives no longer represent, but rule. We have no mechanism to remove oath breakers and they know it.

  • Ray February 3, 2018, 1:17 pm

    I recently tried to apply for a NY Concealed Carry permit. I could not believe the robot reply’s from the permit officer. They completely ignored the bulk of my comments and only picked up on key words. I am posting the complete e-mail conversation below. I tried to be polite through the whole experience but I was spitting fire at my keyboard! I post this so anyone wanting to enter or travel through NY will be aware of the traps in place. I am Mr. Name in the conversation. Please share!
    Hello, I am a New Hampshire resident with a current Concealed Carry Permit. (exp. 2019) Can I apply for a concealed carry permit for NY State? If so, What do I need to do to apply? Thank you, Name Mr. Name, Unfortunately, there are no provisions in NYS Laws that allow for anyone permanently residing outside of NYS to be able to obtain a permit that allows someone to possess a pistol/revolver in New York State. New York State (NYS) does not allow for the possession of pistols/handguns by anyone not licensed by NYS to possess same. In order to be licensed to possess a firearm in NYS, one has to maintain ownership of real property in this State. Currently, your possession of a pistol or revolver in NYS would be unlawful. Please re-contact me if you have any questions. Inv. C.A. Hunt, NYSP-Pistol Permit Bureau
    Hello Again, Thank you. They don’t make this information easy to find… Just so I’m clear on this, I don’t have any opportunity as a non resident to apply for a permit to carry in New York State? Even though I am a law abiding citizen that has carried since 1981 when I got out of the military, I have a valid Pistol/Revolver License from the State of New Hampshire, there isn’t any way I can apply for a permit to travel into or through your state unless I own property in New York State? That violates two of the New York State Civil Rights Laws. Article 4 Section 40-C: Discrimination. 1. All persons within the jurisdiction of this state shall be entitled to the equal protection of the laws of this state or any subdivision thereof. Article 2 Section 4: Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed. Not to mention that NY Penal Law 400 is in direct violation of the United States Constitution. What happened to the Oath of Office to defend the Constitution? What is so hard to understand about “Shall not be infringed?” In your own Civil Rights Laws it states “cannot be infringed.” Violating a law abiding Citizen’s Constitutional and Civil rights at a State border and cutting them off from traveling through your state to get to the rest of the United States is unacceptable! It doesn’t do anything to deter criminals; it just prevents good people from contributing to your state’s economy. Unfortunately there isn’t anything a disabled vet from NH is going to do about it… Just hope for some actual “Common Sense” to come back to America, and stay out of NY! Thank you for your time, Name
    Mr. Name, Before beginning, I would like to thank you for your service to this country. It is a tremendous sacrifice for which I am grateful. In your original e-mail you asked if you could, “apply for a concealed carry permit for NY State.” You didn’t mention traveling thru the State of New York with a pistol/revolver. With that being said, you may pass thru New York State as long as your firearms are unloaded, locked in a non-transparent container and secured outside of the passenger compartment of your vehicle, where possible. Additionally, you must be able to possess your firearms lawfully both where your trip begins and at your final point of destination. Lastly, your trip through New York must be continuous and uninterrupted, meaning no overnight stays. This law pertains to all regulated firearms, such as pistols/handguns, and those firearms defined as an assault weapon by the NYS SAFE Act. As far as long guns that are not regulated and defined as assault weapons, you can bring them into NYS without being required to have a permit for it/them, and would be permitted to stay overnight. To assist you in determining what firearms you have that may qualify as an assault weapon, please refer to the link below: With that being said, this law will not cover you under the portion of the NYS SAFE Act pertaining to high capacity magazines. Per the NYS SAFE Act, you cannot possess a magazine that is capable of holding more than 10 rounds in it. Please re-contact me if you have any further questions. Inv. C.A. Hunt, NYSP-Pistol Permit Bureau
    Reply to: Inv. C.A. Hunt, Thank you for the additional information. The link in the e-mail did not work. (some licensing error) I did find a link where I could read the Safe Act document. Here are some questions and items I would like clarification on. My main carry weapon is an M&P9c with a 12rd capacity magazine so I could not enter NY with that weapon (unless I had a 10rd magazine for it) correct? Does the magazine also have to be unloaded or can it be loaded? If the magazine is allowed to be loaded, can it be in the same container as the unloaded firearm? I understand wanting, in fact, needing, to keep firearms out of the wrong hands. I completely agree with that. While doing that, it is not right to punish the millions of legal gun owners. While looking for the Safe Act I found that the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is fighting to correct that. I wish them luck! My concern is this. The “Safe Act” as it’s written isn’t keeping the average law abiding citizen of NY or any other visiting state citizen any safer! The only people I see that benefit from this are criminals. They don’t follow laws, and this enables them to have less fear of serious retaliation from their victims. I carry for self defense purposes. The restrictions in this law make that impossible! I just don’t understand how if one State Agency has run the Federal background checks and found you to be eligible to legally carry, How can any other state legally deny you that right, Unless you abuse that right in their state. Sincerely, Name
    Mr. Name, I will answer your questions in BOLD below: My main carry weapon is an M&P9c with a 12rd capacity magazine so I could not enter NY with that weapon (unless I had a 10rd magazine for it) correct? * That is correct. Referencing the last paragraph of my response from this morning: “this law will not cover you under the portion of the NYS SAFE Act pertaining to high capacity magazines. Per the NYS SAFE Act, you cannot possess a magazine that is capable of holding more than 10 rounds in it. Does the magazine also have to be unloaded or can it be loaded? * The magazine can contain rounds. However, the magazine (with rounds in it) cannot be loaded into the firearm. If the magazine is allowed to be loaded, can it be in the same container as the unloaded firearm? * The magazine containing rounds must be stored separately from the firearm. Please re-contact me if you have any further questions. Inv. C.A. Hunt, NYSP-Pistol Permit Bureau
    At this point I gave up… Note: I found out later that the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association lost that battle…

  • Barkus Rudis February 3, 2018, 1:10 am

    She needs a GO FUND ME collection for her defense, bux!

  • JoshO February 3, 2018, 12:04 am

    A good rule of thumb is to just not leave the mountains…and if you do only go to the desert.

  • Robert Kulik February 2, 2018, 10:02 pm

    This is retarded. If I were that sheriff (who seems to have a reasonable attitude regarding the ridiculousness of NY state law), I would just refuse to enforce the law—period. After all, what part of 2A is negotiable?! I’m so happy that I live in a Free state, but I sincerely feel for those who don’t.

  • Ted February 2, 2018, 10:01 pm

    I love the “Land of Bloomberg ” comment. News flash, he has not been the Mayor of NY for a few years now !
    Bill ( the Jackass ) Deblasio is the current Mayor FYI .

  • Ted February 2, 2018, 9:46 pm

    If you are going to carry a weapon outside your own state of residence , IT IS ON YOU TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS LEGAL ON EVERY LEG OF THE TRIP ! I have cwp in NY, SC, and Florida. I still can not carry in many places to include NY City, CA, Mass, CT, NJ, Maryland, Illinois, Rhode island, PA, ECT. Do your homework before you go. Best to actually print out the laws from their official state web sites (IE their State Police web site under FAQ) and take the PRINTED laws with you.
    I know it sucks, however, If in doubt, leave it home, cheaper than being arrested !

  • Toby February 2, 2018, 6:28 pm

    Well duh… Anyone should know you don’t go to California or New York especially (of course they’re not the only states and carry a gun) anywhere. At least not legally. While I do have some reservations about a national carry law it would be absolutely funny if we got a national reciprocity law because that would force anti-gun states to allow residents from other states to carry in their state. So pretty much it would be like if you live here you can’t carry but if you’re from somewhere else you can. Of course it really wouldn’t be that way but kind of a thought process. I just choose not to go to any of those right infringing states.
    I have never been to California or New York and I never plan on gracing either state with my presence. I’ll do my travels and spend my money elsewhere.

    • Michael February 16, 2018, 9:04 am

      I am one of the fortune gun owners. I am retired and havew sufficient disposable funds for travel, etc. I plan my trips carefully, never venturing to/through states that do not clearly have pro-2nd Amendment statutes and a pro-gun attitude. I read and understand the gun laws of the states I do visit to be certain I understand their specific requirements in order to avoid any issues. Chambers of Commerce and other economic-oriented organizations should understand that as a group, gun owners today have a lot of purchasing power and should be courted appropriately. We are very aware of what states don’t want us, what movie producers, actors, entertainers, and elected officials don’t care for us, and we vote with our purchasing power! Yes – we deplorables in those “fly over states” understand the situation and are taking appropriate action.

  • BILL February 2, 2018, 1:47 pm


    • Ted February 2, 2018, 10:03 pm

      They DID vote, and the IDIOTS voted people like Cuomo and the other DemocRATS into office !

  • H Gene Lawrence February 2, 2018, 1:32 pm

    As far as I am concerned, the only permit I need is the 2nd Amendment.

    • skipNclair February 2, 2018, 7:59 pm

      Years ago the laws use to read with intent and that was part of charging and prosecution for a crime. When they let intent fly out the window to make more money we all lost. Regardless if your accused of a crime or not, we all lost.

  • MagnumOpUS February 2, 2018, 12:09 pm

    I think she was either ignorant or willingly took a chance for whatever reason.
    It’s almost universal knowledge that NY/NJ/DC and their ilk are more gun-unfriendly than North Korea; among those who advocates for or hates firearms and/or firearm ownership.

    So it’s beyond me why someone like her would even want to bring a copy of Guns&Ammo magazine on a plane, let alone baggage check-in a handgun!
    Hell, off-duty cops from out of state driving through NJ with guns have been arrested upon disclosure that they were armed, so does little miss perky pixie from Colorado think that mere cuteness Trumps (MAGA!) draconian gun laws?

    There are two sets of laws that I don’t fool with: gun and tax!

    • Ted February 2, 2018, 9:53 pm

      So, explain how an off duty police officer is being arrested for having a firearm on them in NJ ? HR-218 covers them and their duty ammunition in all 50 states as long as they are active duty and not under any disciplinary orders at work. Also covered are retired LEO as long as they retired in good standing, have their retired ID card and HR-218 card that says that they qualified in the last 12 months on them. If an officer is really doing something wrong, then they are subject to arrest anyway.

  • Todd February 2, 2018, 11:45 am

    I live in upstate ny (leaving someday) & here’s the bottom line on why our p.o.s. gov cuomo passed the safe act when he did-the b.s. law was thrown together after the shooting at Sandy Hook & passed in the middle of the night under everyone’s noses to ensure that ny was the first state to pass such a law. Our p.o.s. gov wanted to make sure that he beat all other states to the punch to make national headlines. He THINKS such things will get him the presidency. I do wish Ms. Leach the best of luck. You’re best bet young lady is to never visit this socialist, ‘progressive’ state ever again.

  • P February 2, 2018, 11:10 am

    BS. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple
    Said until law is change they have to arrest. Nope! They have descrestion. By simply arriving and seeing the person is traveling peacefully and legally for their state
    They could issue a warning about their messed up state and send them on their way.

  • John February 2, 2018, 11:07 am

    Incidents like this are why I avoid travel to certain states. “Haley Leach has a valid Colorado concealed carry permit. But that doesn’t matter in the land of Bloomberg.”
    I have a valid Non Resident Permit from the state of Florida- but that doesn’t matter in the land of Colorado. Concealed Carry Reciprocity’s time has come. It’s a shame that it takes legislation, because common sense no longer works.

    • Ted February 2, 2018, 9:56 pm

      I love the “Land of Bloomberg ” comment. News flash, he has not been the Mayor of NY for a few years now !
      Bill ( the Jackass ) Deblasio is the current Mayor FYI .

      • Ret February 16, 2018, 9:12 am

        Try to keep up, Bloomberg is still using his resources in NY and elsewhere to undermine the rights of ” actual” Americans.

  • Rick February 2, 2018, 10:52 am should this not apply to her except she stayed in NY while in possession. How did she get the gun there? There has been a directive sent to the NY/NJ Port Authority police instructing them not to harass travelers who were using there airports and transporting guns for hunting trips and that they were protected under the above statutes. SMH

  • FusionPilot February 2, 2018, 10:36 am

    Like many state constitutions, the constitution of Connecticut states clearly that every person has the right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state. That’s clear to me.

  • Dennis Wayne February 2, 2018, 8:09 am

    The article does not clearly explain “check in”. Was she trying to declare a firearm in checked baggage as required by law?

    • M February 2, 2018, 11:41 am

      You need to reread the article! It plainly explains what she was doing.

    • Ted February 2, 2018, 10:11 pm

      Her mere POSSESSION of a handgun that is not registered in NY state and Permitted to HER in NY state is a crime !
      In SCREW YORK State, you must have a NY state pistol permit, and the handgun MUST be registered in the state and be actually listed on your permit or you are in criminal possession of a weapon period. It sucks, but it is NY state law !

      • Joe Abbott February 3, 2018, 12:46 pm

        I wonder if the security that all these officials to come up with are carringWeapons I read where a teacher was driving through a state and asked if he had any weapons he replied yes it was under the bed in his motorhome. He was arrested and was taken to jail. I live in Arizona and I think God every day for the whites we enjoy. You can get a concealed weapon permit but in Arizona it’s legal to carry a weapon. Arizona health problems but this is not one of them

    • Ret February 16, 2018, 10:50 am

      M needs to re-read the article, take a chill pill, dial it back and cut out the cyber bullying. The pro gun crowd needs to be more mature than the other side or they win. Also M should not be like the anti gunners and Check their facts before shooting (get the pun) off their keyboards. You at least “seem” more intelligent that way.
      I hope it does not clearly explain what she was doing.
      The article states:
      1. She was trying to check in her firearm with airport security. That would be wrong. Airport security does not check-in crap
      2. She attempted to declare her firearm to southwest airlines. It does not define if she was checking luggage or if the firearm was properly packed and secured in checked luggage. So, no the author did not clearly describe the situation or perhaps the situation was never so clear ergo the problem and subsequent arrest.
      I travel weekly with a firearm in my luggage. I keep current with all airline regs. Unfortunately, most airline agents are generally ignorant of their own companies/ airports policies.
      For example, in Chicago, ORD, agents routinely require that you sign two declarations. One for the firearm case sand inner to present to TSA. I’ve attempted to give these to the TSA unsuccessfully several times. They don’t want them.

  • Ron W. February 2, 2018, 7:49 am

    Article’s title is incorrect. All she tried to do was to CHECK-IN her gun at the airline counter. Huge difference than carrying.

    • Maha February 2, 2018, 10:26 am

      NY law is not about just carry, it is plain ownership they require a permit for. Because she owns the weapon, and was in the socialist state of NY, she was in violation of what will be challenged as their unconstitutional law.

  • Jeff February 2, 2018, 6:41 am

    I have a CCW permit in one state, and if I go to another state, I check the laws, even if I have to call the State Police. Every should know about NYC. Heck, I planned to do some small woodcarving in Central Park so I called the Central Park police district. They told me no more than a 4″ blade (which is too big for carving anyway) and please don’t take up a whole bench.
    I have to say that it’s probably your overblown hype about national reciprocity that got the lady confused and she probably thought you were saying it is a done deal. Always check the laws in every state. Until and if it’s ever changed then you can print “VICTORY” headlines. Until then, the constitution and Federal Government gives each state the right to set laws. I wish the lady luck and hope she gets off with probation. Don’t tell me the Constitution already gave everyone the right. Isn’t so. Constitution delegated well-ordered militias to the state, and by gosh, that’s what we have. (Here comes the deluge of rants…)

    • ram6 February 2, 2018, 9:15 am

      You are right here is a rant. You are wrong that the “well regulated militia” negates the individual citizen’s right to posess and carry a firearm. The actual amendment has been adjudicated to the SCOTUS and found that it does allow just that. It was muddied somewhat by allowing states to impose their own “reasonable laws” on the subject. But you need to drop the “well regulated militia” cannard as it’s gone by the wayside.

      District of Columbia v. Heller that “the Second Amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes, most notably for self-defense within the home.”…it was the first time the court had said there was an individual right to gun ownership rather than one related to military service.

    • Chris February 2, 2018, 9:40 am

      A simple reading of the Federalist Papers makes it quite clear what the intent of the second amendment was when it was passed.

      A simple understanding that the Constitution was a limit on government’s power, not a limit on the people’s power, makes reading the Federalist Papers to decipher the Second Amendment a moot point.

      A simple understanding of what the militia was at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and Bill of Rights makes it quite clear that any government entity can not qualify.

      And yet, this argument still persists.

      • Ret February 16, 2018, 10:59 am

        You’re pretty ” simple” with that.
        Pro Gunners, PLEASE expand your vocabulary, utilize spell check, and proof read before posting.
        I’d like to win this fight but, it won’t happen if we continue to portray ourselves as inbred WV mouth breathers.

    • Rex Dickerson February 2, 2018, 10:14 am

      No Jeff. Here comes the deluge of folks who understand the meaning of the Second Amendment. You’re the rat. Scurry away.

    • George Hovey February 2, 2018, 11:45 am

      Jeff, thanks for that splash of cold water.

      I think your claim that the “Constitution delegated well-ordered militias to the state, and by gosh, that’s what we have” is exactly right. And I think SCOTUS is lending support to that idea by refusing to review recent lower court decisions that make the 2nd Amendment crowd froth at the mouth.

      In Maryland (The Free State) we take a dim view of other states imposing their laws on us, especially ones involving lethal weapons.

      Trying to shove that down our throats might result in the formation of The Maryland Citizens Well-Regulated Militia, under the direction of the Maryland State Police. Its mission could be to subject out-of-state gunsels to close attention for the duration of their visit.

  • JS February 2, 2018, 4:16 am

    Count on the Democrats to try to scuttle the Reciprocity Act with all the fervor they have displayed for Illegal Aliens….they now make a communist state look inviting, well almost!!

  • Gunflint01 February 2, 2018, 3:32 am

    NY….Ca…land of the NWO..Globalist controlled.. Constitution mot allowed.
    Use it or lose it…Lock & Load

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