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Weapons Transportation to the Class

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of WTL veritas556 4 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #1051
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    All, this is a thread were members who travelled with weapons talk about how they secured them.

    Even though I am not a lawyer I will make a start based on published law.
    real lawyers are encouraged to chime!!!

    Federal law says you can transport legal firearms in your trunk between any 2 locations where they are legal and you have a right to be.

    Here is the statute:

    § 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 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

    Note: If you travel through any state with the firearm unloaded and secured you are covered under Federal law. If
    you stop or interrupt your trip you then come under state law.

    Different jurisdictions may interpret this in different ways.
    To my knowledge Washintgon, DC limits this to fire arms and NOT ammo.
    And will charge you for every single round.

    As for firearms traveling thru DC, I would simply not do it.

    Even though it is legal as they have a history for spending a lot of taxpayer money for prosecuting people who were within both the letter and the spirit of the law.

    Some states such as VA specify that some firearms may not be loaded when in truck.
    In VA it is rifles that may not be loaded, while the regs are otherwise quite reasonable.

    if I was traveling thru MD I would disassemble my firearm and keep the ammo separate from the mags and the ammo separate form the rifle.

    As a rule of thumb if you have your firearms unloaded seperate form Mags

    I am not a lawyer but I will research and post some layer written links up as well.
    Members are encouraged to chime in with their own experiences.

    GUN LAWS of the USA:

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    More reading specific by state for transportation:

    Profile photo of JohnyMac

    Good advise mvf!

    A couple of years ago I contacted the person in charge of the firearm division in MA. as I was traveling from RI to PA. often and didn’t want to get caught with my pants down.

    She wrote back that as long as weapons were unloaded and locked in a hard case with ammo in another, separate locked case, I should have no issues.

    When I quizzed her on “should have no issues” she told me that police do not necessarily know and understand every law. They are trained to arrest first and let the courts determine if you were within the letter of the law or not. She went on to explain to me that I should keep a copy of the emails that went back and forth between the two of us PLUS a copy of the Interstate Transportation of Firearms statute locked in with the weapons I was transporting all should be good.

    Since that exchange I also include my RI resident and PA. Nonresident hunting license along with the statute. My RI resident and my PA. nonresident ccw rides in my wallet 24/7 too.

    With that all said, the only state I am really worried about north of the Mason Dixon line is NY. NY Troopers have a reputation for arresting when firearms are present if you are a nonresident of the state. I heard a rumor that MD. Troopers have a similar arrest first policy.

    Happy travels! :good:

    Freedom Through Self-Reliance

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    The presence of a couple of states who engage in organized criminal activity against firearms owners should not deter us.

    If anything it demonstrates how urgent our training is

    Profile photo of Max Velocity

    In PA., long guns (rifles and shotguns), when carried in a vehicle, must be unloaded (magazines too) with ammo and firearms stored in a manner inaccessible to the occupants of the vehicle. In a vehicle without a separate “trunk”, locked storage boxes are “suggested.” We have two lock boxes, securely cabled to the structure of the car, approx. (36″x24″x8″) in the back hatch area of our stationwagon. Ammo, unloaded magazines and firearms are secured in these Tuffy containers. This size constraint does mean that all our long guns are either folding/collapsible stock or bullpup. All gear is out of “plain sight”, or made to look like backpacker gear. Hell, it’s a soccer mom car! With no container signature like a rifle case, or “Wolf Ammo” boxes, there is no “plain sight” or “probable cause” to suspect us of having weapons while just driving, well….that’s my opinion. Legally, yeah I know. All that is left for a righteous stop is “reasonable suspicion.” Did I say it was a soccer mom car currently inspected, within 5mph of the limit, with NO bumper stickers, basically just a boring, working slave transport?

    The letter of the law is also met; can’t get at anything while transporting and the weapons, mags, and ammo are in different locked containers. We also have two locking systems, the car and the Tuffy box, so we can sleep at the motel without having to schlep everything over an over between the car and the room.

    On handguns; PA has no “open carry” of handguns in automobiles. If you have a handgun in the vehicle(loaded or not), and you are not just coming or going to a LOCAL firing range(no stops for groceries), by letter of the law, you MUST have a CCW. PA is a “shall issue” state, so that is a gimme.

    Our biggest concern is MD. PA does not have CCW reciprocity with MD. I store my handguns, mags, and ammo just like my long guns: empty, unloaded and separate. I have been told by a Western MD Sherrif that our means of transport long and handguns(sorta) works for HIM. He went on to say that Eastern MD LEOs probably wouldn’t agree. So there is the rub, no matter where you travel, on the side of the road, YOU ONLY HAVE THE RIGHTS THE LEO SAYS YOU HAVE. Like, you have the right to STFU. Refusing to allow an unwarranted search can also be problematic, see false positive drug sniffing dog alerts.

    Best advice: protecting your property from theft seems to satisfy a lot of the transport requirements and provides some good argument points, should that become necessary. Travel as low profile as your ego allows. Although a heavily loaded vehicle, visibly riding low on the wheels, can be an inducement for an early LEO Easter Egg Hunt. (I need to get some air shocks added.) And drive as though your newborn child was the hood ornament. I can’t imagine the shit storm I would be in, in the event of an accident. Hell, the spare tire is under the lock boxes!


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    On a recent accident i had with the car with of 2 ARs my fully packed chest rig. mags loaded and 1500 rds of ammo in the trunk the LEOs were cool and even gave me a ride home so I wouldnt have to wait on the street corner for a cab with all my gear after i unloaded the non drivable car.

    It just depend son your location.

    Profile photo of Arthur Laurent

    If you are in compliance with traffic and firearm transfer laws and are stopped and the LEO asks to search your vehicle tell them to get a search warrant. Your right to do so and remember this is all being recorded. It has happened to me once. Told the guy to get a search warrant and I was sent on my way a few minutes later. Seems, based on what my attorney told me, that most sheeple, I mean people, give permission to police to search their vehicle. Know the rules, don’t give away your rights

    You are never out of the fight.

    Profile photo of AgingDrifter

    Quick note for flying on commercial carrier. Pelican with multiple strong locks makes sense. Flew to CRCD out of a Texas airport, extremely cordial and fast TSA agent; no unlocking, just an explosives residue check. Be aware that at Dulles the oversize baggage is all the way at the end of baggage claim; best security practice is if you have two in your group, one to hang out at oversize hatch. Flying out of Dulles (United), had to wait an hour for 3 different forms to be completed, supervisor sign off, special handling at TSA baggage screening, including unlocking. Probably fried the TSA guys brains with 2 triangle folder AKs, 10 mags, etc. At least TSA reps were apologetic for the wait. Of course the class was worth any inconvenience.

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    Looking forward to meet you this weekend!
    See you at the koolwink (?)

    If I am already there I always tell the front desk guy to feel free to give out ,my room number so we can coordinate dinner etc :)

    Profile photo of Chris

    Hey there, i just checked into 44 at koolwink, its just now 6pm. Wheres dinner tonight?? :)

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    Sorry missed u for dinner :D

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    Mike H

    My route to WV took me through several states and took some extra days. I have traveled to TX for some rifle events and that is through a more gun friendly area than this trip was. My CCW was good all the way to OK so I carried until the last rest stop in Oklahoma, parked all the way on the end, ate lunch and unloaded and packed away my pistol. This trip although took me thru states where a majority didn’t accept my permit so the CCW stayed home.

    I packed my Battle belt w/ unloaded magazines and additional mags plus my “run thru the woods” clothes in a large Plano trunk. I slapped a lock on this and placed it on my back seat of my truck. On the other side was my ruck with all my camping stuff inside. I locked my hard rifle case with two locks and put in front of the seat in the back. My field pistol was cased and padlocked. stored under the seat. My ammo box was padlocked and put on floor in the back. I put an Army blanket on top of the whole mess and then put my suitcase, a duffel full of other clothes, my heavy coat all on top. Final touch and I always do this when traveling is hang an old suit coat w/ shirt and tie on hook in the back. Looks like I heading to new job, interview, funeral, wedding, etc. I intentionally rolled the back cover of my pickup open. This way there would be no confusion about the rear most locked compartment.

    On the way to Max’s my wife made my reservation near a major university in IN. What I didn’t like is that while it was a nice hotel that she got a great deal on it had long hallways to get outside. That’s what I liked about the Koolwink. Truck is right outside. So on the way back I stopped off the toll highway in IN at an exit that showed lots of hotels…but found one of those old time places with room doors to the outside. Cheap plus easy no hassle access to your vehicle and your stuff. I was able to later that night clean my rifle good and repack all my stuff to get thru the Chicago area.

    My tips to traveling with firearms through multiple states over a period of time:

    Like other say be low profile.

    Stops should be planned…get gas, coffee, food and potty breaks all at the same time.

    Drive the speed limit, read those signs when you cross state lines. I noticed a lot of states won’t allow you to hold a cell phone and drive at the same time. If you are not sure about something like right on red…then wait.

    Don’t get frustrated…my big fault….you get turned around…encounter one way streets or a slow driver…just take a pause. Don’t blast around someone or make a crazy illegal turn. People now a days are empowered by their cell phones and will call in for anything they see. And small town LEOs are bored and will respond to any call. Low profile!

    And as many others have stated have several copies of the “Safe Passage of Firearms” law in your vehicle/packed with your firearms.

    It sucks to drive that far and not be able to visit some interesting/neat places during your travels. But I think that’s the one thing that will get you. If I would have traveled to Notre Dame, Gettsburg, or the 911 memorial in PA I could have got busted big time. You have to eat and rest so you are ok there but no side trips.

    Safe travels….Mike H

    "These are not men, but devils" --Colonel Francisco de Paula-Milan, Mexican Army, Camerone 30 April 1863

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    Love your thinking about your set up!
    I have never been this smart about it though I occasionally put a big jacket over my gun gear (when I drove a hatch to the class) and/or hang a nice suit on the left rear window (the one the LEO has to pass if he is checking out the vehicle)

    Profile photo of Max Velocity

    Really frustrating that you can be in total compliance with the ironically named Firearms Owners Protection Act and STILL have to worry about being hauled off to jail by storm troopers in some anti-gun paradise like Maryland or Illinois. All this low profile stuff just to make sure you don’t have to test Officer Not-So-Friendly’s knowledge of the law. :unsure:

    Profile photo of DiznNC

    Yeah it is indeed fucked up. Especially when you consider the people the laws are supposedly aimed at are criminals who by definition don’t give a shit anyway. So only the law-abiding are inconvenienced.

    Lock it up in hard cases. Pack it out of sight. Drive safely as to attract no attention. Stay in motor hotels with parking right outside your room for easy transfer. Don’t dress like some tacti-cool poser going to the SHOT show.

    CTT 1505, NODF 1505, CP 1503, LN 1, RC II, Rifleman

    Profile photo of Max Velocity

    It’s sad to see the same tactics we used to practice when traveling overseas through foreign, sometimes unfriendly countries, when I was serving now being recommended when driving through the good old USA.

    You all have great tips on how to be the “gray man” to avoid being profiled as you move from state to state. Although it’s inconvenient and actually illegal for LEO to randomly stop, interrogate and search you it happens everyday here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Consider it part of your basic OPSEC training before you arrive for the courses. Sort of a pre-course in traveling through hostile territory enroute to your BOL or op area.

    It sucks that I have to do the same thing but at least Uncle Sugar paid me when he trained me. Good luck and safe travels.

    I’m stockpiling pork rinds and hot sauce…good luck comrade

    Alpha Mike Foxtrot…Gulf War I…21SOS…somewhere in the Magic Kingdom
    NSA approved reply

    Profile photo of WTL

    Coming in from Ohio this weekend, I unexpectedly entered MD for about 15 miles or so. I quickly slowed to 1 mile under the speed limit ;)

    After a bit of research it appears MD has an interesting exclusion for transporting firearms through the state.

    “Rifles and shotguns being transported in motor vehicles must be unloaded….

    • While engaged in, or traveling to and from a target shoot, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, hunting, trapping, or dog obedience training class or show; or”

    On my way back home I sped through MD ;)

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