First a little background:
Some here will be familiar with FOPA: Firearms Owner Protection Act (18 U.S.C. § 926A). This was passed into law in 1986 to correct abuses of gun laws by some states & jurisdictions that prosecuted & in some cases imprisoned gun owners traveling with firearms.
Ever since Heller's victory, I have perused the decision from time to time & tried to come up with different angles. Some of these have been already been posted here by others......FOPA pre-empts state law and provides that if it is lawful for a traveler to possess firearms at both the points of departure and destination, then it is lawful to transport firearms anywhere in between during the course of travel – regardless of what local law says in the intervening states.
In order for FOPA to apply, the firearm must be unloaded and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported can be “readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the transporting vehicle.” In vehicles without a trunk, the firearm and ammunition must be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
It must also be lawful for the traveler to possess firearms in the two jurisdictions where the travel begins and ends. Careful consideration of laws in both jurisdictions is advisable. Since local laws vary widely, there are no universally applicable guidelines.
Some courts have held that the travel must be relatively prompt and direct in order for FOPA to apply, without undue delay in the course of travel other than as reasonably necessary.
FOPA’s existence does not mean that local law enforcement will necessarily disregard local laws prohibiting possession and transportation of firearms. Many local police are not even aware of FOPA’s existence (it’s a good idea to have a copy of the law with you). In states like New Jersey, nonresidents with firearms are regularly arrested and prosecuted for local law violations. When the matter is finally sorted out in court, FOPA (if properly complied with) will be an absolute defense, but that is little consolation when an otherwise law-abiding citizen is arrested and imprisoned pending a hearing.
Now on to my point:
Since the Heller decision came down & part of it includes these words....Could this not also be applied to traveling with a defensive firearm? Just because the traveler is not at home, does he/she abrogate this defensive use right?We must also address the District’s requirement (as applied to respondent’s handgun) that firearms in the home be rendered and kept inoperable at all times. This makes it impossible for citizens to use them for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.pg. 58 Heller Vs. DC
The way I'm seeing this is that I should be able to carry a loaded accessible firearm while I travel the roadways. The court ruling stated:
It says "SUCH AS SELF-DEFENSE WITHIN THE HOME"...It doesn't say "ONLY WITHIN THE HOME".Held: 1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53
The only limits I see from the decision are:
In the above limitations I don't see any reference to the lawful use/ carry while driving.Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56
What do you think? What am I missing?