Transporting firearm through other States

This is a discussion on Transporting firearm through other States within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If someone that lived in Pennsylvania were to drive down to Georgia, would bringing a pistol be a problem? That person has a Pennsylvania carry ...

Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Transporting firearm through other States

  1. #1
    Member Array joepa150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    473

    Transporting firearm through other States

    If someone that lived in Pennsylvania were to drive down to Georgia, would bringing a pistol be a problem? That person has a Pennsylvania carry permit. They would have to travel through Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and into Georgia.


    They are not going to stop anywhere except to eat and refuel.

    Should they carry concealed or put in the trunk?

    Would they be breaking any laws?

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    JD
    JD is offline
    Administrator
    Array JD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    18,886
    In MD, that's a big yes to breaking the law if the gun is kept on their person. I'm not sure on SC but if I recall correctly, NC and GA recognize the PA permit.

    Check out Handgunlaw.us and check what sates honor the PA permit.

  4. #3
    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    the raggedy edge
    Posts
    1,438
    unload it, store the ammo seperately, lock up your gun, and drive.

  5. #4
    Member Array dlclarkii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lancaster, PA
    Posts
    205
    You'd need to follow the Federal Transportation Laws, esp through MD. Before you enter MD you'll need to unload your gun and seperate the ammo and the gun, preferably the glove box and trunk, respectively. If you get pulled over in MD tell the LEO you're destination is GA, you have a gun and it's secured in accordance with the Federal Transportation Laws. If the LEO gives you any problems ask for his superior. That I can tell you about MD. Even if you're traveling I81 through MD you still have to do this for the 12 miles of interstate going through MD. Others can chime in about NC and SC. I think NC requires the gun not to be concealed in the car and SC requires the gun to be in the glove box.

    Introduction

    Transporting firearms across state lines can prove to be a nightmare for gun owners due to the patchwork of state and local gun laws in this nation even despite federal law providing protections for interstate firearm transportation. The fact is that even though this legal protection exists, due to the lack of guidance from courts and political agendas, gun owners transporting firearms still place themselves at risk of arrest and prosecution, especially when travelling through states or cities that heavily regulate possession and transportation.

    This article is meant to provide an overview of the law concerning interstate transportation of firearms in order to give gun owners a general understanding of their rights in this area. This discussion is not meant to be an exhaustive or academic review of this area of law and should not be regarded as legal advice. As always, you should consult an attorney if you need legal advice.

    The Federal Transportation Law

    Concerning the interstate transportation of firearms, federal law provides at 18 USCS § 926A:

    § 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

    Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter [18 USCS §§ 921 et seq.] from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

    Under this law, to legally transport a firearm interstate all the following need apply:

    (1) You are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm
    (2) It is lawful to possess AND carry the firearm in the place of origin
    (3) It is lawful to possess AND carry the firearm in the place of destination
    (4) The firearm must be unloaded
    (5) The firearm and any ammunition are not readily accessible OR directly accessible from the passenger compartment (if not possible see below)

    Note: In vehicles without a trunk separate from the passenger compartment any firearms AND ammunition must be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

    Before engaging in interstate travel, the gun owner should ensure that all the above criteria apply before transporting firearms. Before travel, the gun owner should verify that it is legal to both carry and possess the firearm in the jurisdiction of origins and destination. Immediately before beginning travel the gun owner should ensure the firearms are all unloaded, unloaded all magazines, and secure them separately. Although not required by law, unless in a vehicle without a compartment separate of the passenger compartment, it is advisable to secure the guns also in a locked case or with individual locks. This may make transport also lawful under state or local law as well as federal law which will provide an extra layer of protection.

    Documentation

    There is nothing explicit in the statute that requires a gun owner to carry any type of documentation, such as gun permits or registrations, but it is advisable to do so because this could prevent unneeded problems and even arrest.

    The case of Torraco v. Port Auth., 539 F. Supp. 2d 632 (E.D.N.Y. 2008) aptly illustrates how carrying documentation can avoid potential legal trouble. In Torraco two gun owners travelling through a New York City airport, attempting to transport their firearms, were subject to detention and arrest despite claiming federal law preempted any local or state gun laws prohibiting possession. The gun owners asserted the protection of federal law, but could not provide any documentation of their claims. Because the local officers were unfamiliar with this federal law and the plaintiffs could not produce any further evidence of their legal claims, they arrested the plaintiffs for illegal possession.

    The plaintiffs later sued the officers, making several claims; one among them was unlawful arrest. In dismissing the lawsuit, a federal district court held that even though the plaintiffs claimed protection of the federal law, since they were unable to verify their verbal claims with any documentation and since the officer was unfamiliar with the federal law, probable cause existed to make an arrest.

    The court in Torraco reasoned that since probable cause, “is knowledge or reasonably trustworthy information of facts and circumstances that are sufficient to warrant a person of reasonable caution in the belief that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a crime” the officer was not required to engage in an exhaustive investigation of the purely verbal claims before making an arrest. This means that simply verbally stating federal law makes possession or transportation legal is most likely not enough to avoid arrest.

    Because probable cause to make an arrest is a lower standard of evidence and can be easily reached given the correct factual circumstances, it is advisable for a gun owner to have documentation of lawful possession ready and to fully cooperate in the event of a police encounter.

    Here are some types of documentation that a gun owner might want to obtain before travelling:

    A copy of the federal interstate transportation law
    Resident or non-resident gun permits or copies of reciprocity agreements or laws from the state of origin or destination and states through which travel will take place
    Any required registration paperwork for the state of origin or destination or laws concern a duty or register
    Copies of relevant case law providing a right to carry or possess in state of origin or destination (for instance, states with open or concealed carry as a matter of constitutional right)
    Bills of sale and transfer paperwork for all guns being transported

    In the event of a police encounter, the gun owner should be able to provide ample documentation in order to effectively invoke the protection of federal law. Also, the gun owner should cooperate fully during the investigation because evasive or defiant behavior may contribute to establishing probable cause for an arrest. If the officer appears to be unfamiliar with the federal law after providing documentation, ask to speak with a supervisor. If in an airport, the gun owner may suggest that the local officer consult with a TSA official because they are trained on this federal law and can provide guidance to local law enforcement.

    If after following these guidelines you are still subjected to arrest, contact an attorney immediately. Write down the details of the encounter and note any witnesses and other officials present. Do not consent to any searches or make any statements until you speak with your attorney.

    Stops While Travelling

    Courts have generally held that in order to be able to invoke this law as a defense the only stops allowed must be directly incidental to the trip. For example, in People v. Selyukov, 2008 NY Slip Op 28104, 2 (N.Y. J. Ct. 2008), a trial court held:

    Fundamental to the defense is the firearm owner's actually engaging in travel, or acts incidental to travel, through the state of arrest, such as stopping for food or gasoline or picking up passengers or packages for the trip. Any pause in the journey must be directly incident to it.

    The defense is generally lost if the firearm’s owner stops for any reasons not directly related to the immediate trip. (for example see State v Baker, 639 SW2d 617 [Mo App, SD 1982]) defense not available when stop was for unrelated stay with girlfriend.)

    It is clear that stops for food and gasoline do not constitute a break in travel. But what about stops such as overnight stays or major diversions to collect passengers? Stops such as this are a grey area under this law and it is hard to judge the line when a stop is directly incident to the journey or falls outside of that category. Due to the lack of any settled law, it is best for a gun owner to be cautious when planning any intermediate stops. When planning a trip it would be best for the gun owner to:

    Plan a travel route through states where possession is legal under state or local law
    Plan travel routes that avoid jurisdictions which heavily regulate firearms and minimize travel time and stops in jurisdictions which do so
    Minimize the need for overnight stops
    When making overnight stops, stay close to your travel route. Do not deviate from the route to stay overnight with friends or family.
    Do not make major detours to collect passengers or packages. If possible, make arrangements to collect these close to your main travel route.
    Make stops as brief as possible. Minimize length of stops whenever possible.
    When stopped, even overnight, do not remove firearms from the car as doing so may remove the protection of federal law and may even constitute illegal carry of a firearm in that jurisdiction

    Other Practical Tips

    Before travelling, acquire non-resident permits for the destination state and any intermediate state. This will make transport easier, especially if interstate travel along the same route occurs regularly.

    Most police encounters during travel involve stops for traffic offenses. Following traffic laws, such as speed limits, will greatly reduce the chance of any encounter with law enforcement.

    In the event of a police encounter, do not offer any additional information then what is demanded. Produce only information required by the officer. Admitting unnecessarily that you are transporting firearms when not required to do so will only ensure a longer detention and possible custodial arrest. Although note that some state laws require a driver to immediately disclose to police if transporting firearms. These "duty to inform" state laws may be preempted by the federal interstate transportation law, but there is no known case law on the subject. As such, gun owners should use caution and research applicable state laws before travelling.

    Furthermore, do not consent to any searches of your vehicle. Consenting only ensures that the officer will search your vehicle and this will also greatly limit the ability of your attorney to suppress the fruits of the search in court. Generally an officer only needs probable cause to search the passenger compartment of your vehicle. But, in order to search any other area of you car, including an enclosed trunk, the officer will generally need both probable cause and a warrant (see generally New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454, 101 S.Ct. 2860, 69 L.Ed.2d 768 (1981).) If firearms were secured in a locked trunk, this makes it highly unlikely the officer will find them during a search. Although the officer may still seek a warrant, it is unlikely he will do so. (NOTE: if you are subject to custodial arrest or if your car is seized these general rules will most likely not apply.)

    Conclusion

    Federal law does provide some protection for gun owners who seek to transport their firearms over state lines. But, even with these protections a gun owner may still be presented with legal trouble when doing so. Because of this, gun owners should do proper research before travelling, secure guns as required by law, and use common sense. By following these simple guidelines, most gun owners will avoid any potential problems during their travels.

  6. #5
    Member Array joepa150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    473
    Quote Originally Posted by jahwarrior72 View Post
    unload it, store the ammo seperately, lock up your gun, and drive.
    So is it safe to assume that as long as the gun/s are unloaded, ammo seperate, and gun is locked in a case in the trunk he wouldn't have any problems.

    Also he should tell the LEO that he has a unloaded weapon in the trunk.

  7. #6
    New Member Array DennisPA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    12
    This question brings up an interesting point. Say you were traveling and completely complying with law, and were assaulted by a BG. If by some luck you were able to get to and load your firearm and defend yourself. Would you be looking at a long discussion with LEO or a long time in jail?

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    919
    Quote Originally Posted by joepa150 View Post
    So is it safe to assume that as long as the gun/s are unloaded, ammo seperate, and gun is locked in a case in the trunk he wouldn't have any problems.

    Also he should tell the LEO that he has a unloaded weapon in the trunk.
    I wouldn't and I would also refuse an officer's request to look in the trunk. He needs a warrant to do that. Informing an officer of the presence of a weapon usually has to do with CCW, not simply transportation. If he asks, you should tell him you do but politely refuse to open your trunk.

    IANAL but that's my .02

  9. #8
    Member Array dlclarkii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Lancaster, PA
    Posts
    205
    Quote Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
    This question brings up an interesting point. Say you were traveling and completely complying with law, and were assaulted by a BG. If by some luck you were able to get to and load your firearm and defend yourself. Would you be looking at a long discussion with LEO or a long time in jail?
    In this case, just hope there are no witnesses and make a run for the state line. You got your 5A, so use it if you can

  10. #9
    Ex Member Array NavyLT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    471
    Quote Originally Posted by dlclarkii View Post
    You'd need to follow the Federal Transportation Laws, esp through MD. Before you enter MD you'll need to unload your gun and seperate the ammo and the gun, preferably the glove box and trunk, respectively. If you get pulled over in MD tell the LEO you're destination is GA, you have a gun and it's secured in accordance with the Federal Transportation Laws. If the LEO gives you any problems ask for his superior.
    If the ammo was carried in the glove box, then the "Federal Transportation Laws" would no longer be applicable, and, therefore, not cover your weapons possession either.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Gulf Coast of Florida
    Posts
    9,109
    I'm confused. I have a CC permit in Virginia, which reciprocates with North Carolina. I can legally carry a loaded weapon concealed in Virginia and due to reciprocation I can also legally carry a loaded weapon concealed in North Carolina. Is it then illegal for me to transport a loaded weapon from Virginia to North Carolina? Lets say I stop at the rest area at the NC border and unload, lock, separate ammo, etc. How far or long do I have to be inside of NC to be able to legally carry in loaded and concealed? Do I have to wait until I reach my determined destination and not be in route? I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, but I'm just trying to get an education. Thanks.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

  12. #11
    Ex Member Array NavyLT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    471
    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    I'm confused. I have a CC permit in Virginia, which reciprocates with North Carolina. I can legally carry a loaded weapon concealed in Virginia and due to reciprocation I can also legally carry a loaded weapon concealed in North Carolina. Is it then illegal for me to transport a loaded weapon from Virginia to North Carolina? Lets say I stop at the rest area at the NC border and unload, lock, separate ammo, etc. How far or long do I have to be inside of NC to be able to legally carry in loaded and concealed? Do I have to wait until I reach my determined destination and not be in route? I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, but I'm just trying to get an education. Thanks.
    Yes. At least 15 miles from the Virginia/North Carolina border you must stop somewhere and comply with 18 USC 926a to cross the border and then travel at least 15 miles on the other side before stopping again and going back to your normal carry method.

    I AM JUST KIDDING! The Firearms Owners' Protection Act (FOPA) - 18 USC 926a - is an OPTION that a person may use to transport their firearms through a state that is not firearm friendly. In your case, you don't have to do anything other than comply with the carry laws of Virginia when in Virginia and the carry laws of North Carolina when in North Carolina.

    If you were traveling through a state such as New Jersey on your way to somewhere else, like Maine, then you could, if you did not want to bother with New Jersey laws, lock your unloaded firearm and ammo in the trunk and travel through New Jersey with no worries because you would be complying with FOPA.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Gulf Coast of Florida
    Posts
    9,109
    I thought I was OK until I started reading the original post and then thinking typically Federal Law trumps State and local laws. I guess the part at the beginning is the difference:
    "Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or
    regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof..."
    Thanks for your clarification. As usual, I thought myself into confusion.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

  14. #13
    Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    43,802
    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    I wouldn't and I would also refuse an officer's request to look in the trunk. He needs a warrant to do that. Informing an officer of the presence of a weapon usually has to do with CCW, not simply transportation. If he asks, you should tell him you do but politely refuse to open your trunk.

    IANAL but that's my .02
    your answer is..."I have no illegal firearms, officer...am I under arrest, am I free to go?
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

    ***********************************
    Certified Glock Armorer
    NRA Life Member[/B]

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hickory, NC
    Posts
    2,678
    If their state and NC have reciprocity, just carry normally. NC is a must inform state, "Officer I have a CCP and I am armed." If there is no reciprocity they can still OC. The gun must be in plain sight, preferably on the passenger seat or dash. Though not law, it's generally a good idea to inform if OC as well.

    Transportation is covered on page 18.

    http://www.jus.state.nc.us/NCJA/ncfirearmslaws.pdf

    SC you can keep a it in your glove compartment, closed, if there is no reciprocity.

    (9) a person in a vehicle if the handgun is:

    (a) secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle; however, this item is not violated if the glove compartment, console, or trunk is opened in the presence of a law enforcement officer for the sole purpose of retrieving a driver's license, registration, or proof of insurance; or

    S.C. Code of Laws Title 16 Chapter 23 Offenses Involving Weapons - www.scstatehouse.gov-LPITS

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Transporting through NY
    By madplmber in forum Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: May 12th, 2010, 11:07 AM
  2. Importing a firearm from Europe to the United States
    By sss in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: November 30th, 2009, 11:10 AM
  3. Do you think states should honor other states' concealed carry permits?
    By DaveH in forum Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions
    Replies: 83
    Last Post: July 29th, 2009, 04:29 PM
  4. Transporting in an RV across multiple states
    By drkangl6 in forum Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: April 27th, 2009, 10:15 PM
  5. Transporting a firearm on a commuter flight
    By ExactlyMyPoint in forum Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: May 29th, 2008, 10:09 AM

Search tags for this page

gun laws transporting through multiple states

,

transporting a firearm in maryland

,

transporting a gun through pennsylvania

,

transporting a handgun in maryland

,

transporting a pistol from pa to georgia

,

transporting firearms across state lines can prove to be a nightmare for gun owners due to the patchwork of state and lo

,

transporting firearms in maryland

,

transporting firearms through georgia

,

transporting firearms through nc

,

transporting firearms through north carolina

,

transporting guns across state lines

,
transporting handgun from md to nc
Click on a term to search for related topics.