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Thread: Interstate transportation of firearms

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    Interstate transportation of firearms

    18USC, Chapter 44 Section 926 states that in the course of interstate transportation of firearms, the firearms must be unloaded and in a locked compartment not accessable to the passenger compartment.
    Full text here

    I can't find any exception to this law.

    Does this mean one should pull over just before the state line, place their pistol in the trunk, pull forward 20 feet, get out and re-arm themselves?
    I am not a lawyer and nothing I say should be accepted as legal advice

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrdware View Post
    18USC, Chapter 44 Section 926 states that in the course of interstate transportation of firearms, the firearms must be unloaded and in a locked compartment not accessable to the passenger compartment.
    Full text here

    I can't find any exception to this law.

    Does this mean one should pull over just before the state line, place their pistol in the trunk, pull forward 20 feet, get out and re-arm themselves?
    Yup. Depending on the states involved of course.

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    I had to consider just such a thing for my labor day travels thsi coming weekend...

    I'll be staying in a friends condo in Florida on perdido key about 1/2 mile east of Alabama. I have no type of conceal carry permit so...

    If I want to carry a firearm in Al and remain armed as much as possible, I can open carry my firearm to my car on private property, but cant exit the car in florida in public with a firearm without concealing it and only with a permit. I must stop just before the Al line and figure out a way to get my firearm into the trunk without exiting my car. Then I can cross into Al, find a place to park my car because I cant have a firearm inside my car without a permit. I get out, retrieve my firearm from my trunk and am free to walk anywhere I want to in Al.

    Simple enough... and just think how much safer the community is by having me do this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    I had to consider just such a thing for my labor day travels thsi coming weekend...

    I'll be staying in a friends condo in Florida on perdido key about 1/2 mile east of Alabama. I have no type of conceal carry permit so...

    If I want to carry a firearm in Al and remain armed as much as possible, I can open carry my firearm to my car on private property, but cant exit the car in florida in public with a firearm without concealing it and only with a permit. I must stop just before the Al line and figure out a way to get my firearm into the trunk without exiting my car. Then I can cross into Al, find a place to park my car because I cant have a firearm inside my car without a permit. I get out, retrieve my firearm from my trunk and am free to walk anywhere I want to in Al.

    Simple enough... and just think how much safer the community is by having me do this.
    Simple: Have approved storage container/safe in passanger compartment - secure gun and then get out and put it in the trunk.

    See no reason that that will not work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Simple: Have approved storage container/safe in passanger compartment - secure gun and then get out and put it in the trunk.

    See no reason that that will not work.
    Of course!!! What does one extra step matter. Safety first!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrdware View Post
    18USC, Chapter 44 Section 926 states that in the course of interstate transportation of firearms, the firearms must be unloaded and in a locked compartment not accessable to the passenger compartment.
    Full text here

    I can't find any exception to this law.

    Does this mean one should pull over just before the state line, place their pistol in the trunk, pull forward 20 feet, get out and re-arm themselves?
    Wait! I finally get what you're asking. Must you disarm before you cross ANY state line because of the fed law, right?

    The answer is probably not... depending on the states involved as was indicated.

    The fed law is a minimum protection. If' you're crossing a state line where both states allow firearms carry in a vehicle then the answer is "NO".

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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    Wait! I finally get what you're asking. Must you disarm before you cross ANY state line because of the fed law, right?

    The answer is probably not... depending on the states involved as was indicated.

    The fed law is a minimum protection. If' you're crossing a state line where both states allow firearms carry in a vehicle then the answer is "NO".
    Please expand on your answer of "NO". Neither state has jurisdiction for interstate transport, only the feds have that. Please defend why it would be OK to presumably violate federal interstate transport law just because two individual states allow some from of carry within their borders. Or at least please provide a cite to authority that defends your position.
    I am not a lawyer and nothing I say should be accepted as legal advice

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrdware View Post
    18USC, Chapter 44 Section 926 states that in the course of interstate transportation of firearms, the firearms must be unloaded and in a locked compartment not accessable to the passenger compartment.
    Full text here

    I can't find any exception to this law.

    Does this mean one should pull over just before the state line, place their pistol in the trunk, pull forward 20 feet, get out and re-arm themselves?
    Um, no. I read the link you provided and it says NO SUCH THING.

    It says

    "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"

    It says a person (who is not a prohiited person - convicted felon, etc. would be examples thereof) SHALL BE ENTITLTED to transport a firearm in the manner described.

    If it says you are "limited to " carrying in that manner or "MUST" carry in that manner, you would be correct.

    It does not say he MUST carry in that manner, or something like that. It gives a manner that a person is entitled to carry that is consistent with the law.

    It does not say this is the ONLY method he may carry. It does not say he MUST or SHALL carry in that manner. It says "shall be entitled" which simply means this method is allowed.

    Sorry, but I think you had a reading comprehension fail

    Note that MOST laws prohibit behaviors. They say don't do X and if you do X, this is the penalty.

    This law is unusual in that (and there are other examples of such types of law) it does not PROHIBIT ANYTHING. It ENABLES you to do something (entitles you)... to carry in the above manner and not have to worry about running afoul of other laws. It leaves OPEN other methods of carry. Those would be legal or illegal depending on the state(s) you are in.

    An analogy could be made to my state's laws about carrying a firearm. It says a person is prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm apart from at his home or business UNLESS he has a concealed weapons permit.

    It describes a way to carry - concealed

    and says you may carry that way if you have a CPL

    So, can you carry openly (OC) w/o a permit? Sure. It doesn't mention OC at all, doesn't prohibit it, therefore it's allowed.

    The federal law you cite similarly describes a way you are "entitled" to carry. Iow, you MAY carry that way, to avoid criminal prosecution. It does not say you MUST carry that way. So, you need to look at the whole body of law vis a vis interstate transport and specifically what transport methods are PROHIBITED to get the full picture.

    The law you cite is the FOPA law

    A provision of the federal law known as the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, or FOPA, protects those who are transporting firearms for lawful purposes from local restrictions which would otherwise prohibit passage.

    Iow, GIVEN state(s) that prohibit carry etc. you are protected from STATE prosecution IF you follow the above guideline about carry

    You are NOT restricted to that method, ASSUMING you are using a manner of transport CONSISTENT with state law.

    THe law you cite merely provides an OVERRIDING (Federal law overrides state law) law, a method you can use between ANY two states, that will be legal.

    grok it?
    but be aware (I found this unsettling)

    Travelers should be aware that some state and local governments treat this federal provision as an “affirmative defense” that may only be raised after an arrest. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has also recently held that FOPA’s protections only apply while the firearm is not readily accessible to the traveler, and that a firearm is readily accessible during a hotel stay.

    While this decision is only binding in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all travelers in areas with restrictive laws would be well advised to have copies of any applicable firearm licenses or permits, as well as copies or printouts from the relevant jurisdictions’ official publications or websites documenting pertinent provisions of law (including FOPA itself) or reciprocity information. In the event of an unexpected or extended delay, travelers should make every effort not to handle any luggage containing firearms unnecessarily and to secure it in a location where they do not have ready access to it.
    Last edited by PALO; 08-28-2013 at 09:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    I had to consider just such a thing for my labor day travels thsi coming weekend...

    I'll be staying in a friends condo in Florida on perdido key about 1/2 mile east of Alabama. I have no type of conceal carry permit so...

    If I want to carry a firearm in Al and remain armed as much as possible, I can open carry my firearm to my car on private property, but cant exit the car in florida in public with a firearm without concealing it and only with a permit. I must stop just before the Al line and figure out a way to get my firearm into the trunk without exiting my car. Then I can cross into Al, find a place to park my car because I cant have a firearm inside my car without a permit. I get out, retrieve my firearm from my trunk and am free to walk anywhere I want to in Al.

    Simple enough... and just think how much safer the community is by having me do this.
    Just slip it into the glove-box or console and close it, or put it a shoe-box (put lid on it), or backpack (zip it closed), etc. before you hit the Florida line and don;t have the container on your person and you're golden.

    790.25(5)
    POSSESSION IN PRIVATE CONVEYANCE.—Notwithstanding subsection (2), it is lawful and is not a violation of s. 790.01 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed firearm or other weapon on the person. This subsection shall be liberally construed in favor of the lawful use, ownership, and possession of firearms and other weapons, including lawful self-defense as provided in s. 776.012.
    790.001
    Definitions.—As used in this chapter, except where the context otherwise requires:
    . . .
    (16) “Readily accessible for immediate use” means that a firearm or other weapon is carried on the person or within such close proximity and in such a manner that it can be retrieved and used as easily and quickly as if carried on the person.
    (17) “Securely encased” means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.
    . . .

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    The point of the law is to protect the carrier from the patchwork of State laws. It provides one single way to carry while in interstate travel so that you do not have to make changes at each State border. However, as long as you stay within the law of the State in which you currently are, you can switch modes of carry.

    So, yes, upon leaving a State where you are permitted to carry in your car to enter a State where you may not, if there is a lawful way to do so, you can switch from one mode of carry to the interstate-protected mode provided by the federal law. Upon leaving an unfriendly State to enter a friendly one, once inside the friendly one, you may switch back.

    The federal law exists solely as an alternative to State law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrdware View Post
    18USC, Chapter 44 Section 926 states that in the course of interstate transportation of firearms, the firearms must be unloaded and in a locked compartment not accessable to the passenger compartment.
    No it does not say that, not at all.

    PALO explained it, but if you re-read it and still think it says you must transport in that way when crossing state lines, I and plenty of others will be happy to explain further.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PALO View Post
    Um, no. I read the link you provided and it says NO SUCH THING.

    It says

    "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"

    It says a person (who is not a prohiited person - convicted felon, etc. would be examples thereof) SHALL BE ENTITLTED to transport a firearm in the manner described.

    If it says you are "limited to " carrying in that manner or "MUST" carry in that manner, you would be correct.

    It does not say he MUST carry in that manner, or something like that. It gives a manner that a person is entitled to carry that is consistent with the law.

    It does not say this is the ONLY method he may carry. It does not say he MUST or SHALL carry in that manner. It says "shall be entitled" which simply means this method is allowed.

    SNIP
    Thanks PALO. I didn't read everything you posted, but the relevant part... +1
    Last edited by georg jetson; 08-28-2013 at 11:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by notalawyer View Post
    Just slip it into the glove-box or console and close it, or put it a shoe-box (put lid on it), or backpack (zip it closed), etc. before you hit the Florida line and don;t have the container on your person and you're golden.

    790.25(5)


    790.001
    Thanks! You a Florida OCer?
    Last edited by georg jetson; 08-28-2013 at 11:58 PM.

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    ...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...
    LACs can transport only if they transport as is described.

    I only cross state lines on county roads and don't use the interstates, thus the law does not apply to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    No it does not say that, not at all.

    PALO explained it, but if you re-read it and still think it says you must transport in that way when crossing state lines, I and plenty of others will be happy to explain further.
    I'm no legal expert, but I can read. PALO is no legal expert either and I think he has it wrong. Somewhere in his bloviation he lead the questioner astray. The word "if" has meaning and the lawful method is given.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    LACs can transport only if they transport as is described.

    I only cross state lines on county roads and don't use the interstates, thus the law does not apply to me.
    If your first statement is correct, then your second statement won't help you if you are caught, IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    I'm no legal expert, but I can read. PALO is no legal expert either and I think he has it wrong. Somewhere in his bloviation he lead the questioner astray. The word "if" has meaning and the lawful method is given.
    Where does it indicate that this law applies only if state lines are crossed?

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    It doesn't. If you never cross a state line then how does the transportation come under federal control? "Any place to any other place" has a meaning. If you accept the premise that the cited law controls all transportation of firearms anywhere and everywhere, then your state laws are unconstitutional based simply on the supremacy clause. This is not hard, the feds attempted to give us lowly serfs that ability to transport and not get dinged by a local cop if the firearm is transported in the manner described. Did you not read eye95's post (9:23 PM, 8/28/2013)? His first statement sums up the entire issue and thus answers the OPs question. I am responding to what PALO claims.

    Getting caught is a lot less likely on a county road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    It doesn't. If you never cross a state line then how does the transportation come under federal control? "Any place to any other place" has a meaning. If you accept the premise that the cited law controls all transportation of firearms anywhere and everywhere, then your state laws are unconstitutional based simply on the supremacy clause. This is not hard, the feds attempted to give us lowly serfs that ability to transport and not get dinged by a local cop if the firearm is transported in the manner described. Did you not read eye95's post (9:23 PM, 8/28/2013)? His first statement sums up the entire issue and thus answers the OPs question. I am responding to what PALO claims.

    Getting caught is a lot less likely on a county road.
    Eye's post agrees with Palo's. You seem to be disagreeing with them both.

    The fed law only applies when one is moving from one state to another AND where the method of carry he is employing is legal in the origination state becomes illegal in the destination state.

    Example: Both Louisiana and Mississippi protect the right to OC in a car. I can cross from La to Ms with a loaded pistol in its holster on my side and will be in compliance of all laws.

    Whereas if I were to continue to drive to Alabama where the above mentioned method of carry is illegal without a permit, I would have to stop prior to the AL state line and carry according to fed law to be protected from any Al state law.

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    Interstate transportation of firearms

    I can't speak to whether it has the force of law, but the title of the section establishes that the context of the law as being interstate transportation.

    We had this discussion many times in the AL forum because AL did not provide a way to routinely carry a firearm in your car without a CHL. I always chose to assume that the law only protected you in interstate travel. However, if anyone wanted to volunteer to be a test case, I would urge them to have at it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I can't speak to whether it has the force of law, but the title of the section establishes that the context of the law as being interstate transportation.

    --snip--
    To my understanding/kowledge, the title of a law or section has no bearing/meaning as to the content. Such is purely for identification/location purposes.
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    Interstate transportation of firearms

    I would say that it depends on the intent of the legislators. If they included the title in the legislation, and it was not some arbitrary decision by some administrator, then I think it would be found as establishing the context of the law, i.e. the law would only be in force during the interstate transportation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by PALO View Post
    Um, no. I read the link you provided and it says NO SUCH THING.

    It says

    "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"
    -snip-
    I had to read this twice and think about for a good 12 hours to finally understand what you were saying.....but I finally got it. Thanks for explaining your interpretation of this.
    I am not a lawyer and nothing I say should be accepted as legal advice

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    OCforMe - a smiley would have helped indicate that you are being playfully facetious as opposed to purposely trying to get someone arrested.

    Grapeshot - FOPA requires the locked container yo be placed in the trink unless there is not one - in which case the locked container needs to be placed in a location farthest from the reach of all passengers. THat would put it behind the seat in your truck, or in the back with the ATV (wheelchair) in my Gimpmobile minivan.

    All - FOPA allows you to pass through otherwise prohibited territory if you start from a place where possession is permitted and are going as directly as possible to an ending place where possession is permitted. Brief stops for refueling, bathroom breaks, meals and the like are allowed, as are overnight stays (even in prohibited places) if you then immediately resume your trave to the permitted destination. Scheduling a stop to have dinner with Aunt Edna who lives in a prohibited place probably will not pass muster as it was your destination (even if an intermediate destination). OTOH, reserving a room at a motel/hotel in a prohibited place as part of your journey to a permitted place probably is OK - even if you call Aunt Edna and invite her to meet you there.

    Remember that NY (state as well as City) and NJ treat FOPA as an authorized defense and will allow you to bring that up at your trial. If you are flying/taking the train through those places and are forced to delay your journey, DO NOT claim your baggage and take it with you to wherever you are put up overnight. DO NOT claim your baggage when you transfer from one flight/train to another - have them checked through at the start of the trip and let the airline/AMTRAK schlep them from one terminal/track to the other.

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    --snipped--
    Grapeshot - FOPA requires the locked container yo be placed in the trink unless there is not one - in which case the locked container needs to be placed in a location farthest from the reach of all passengers. THat would put it behind the seat in your truck, or in the back with the ATV (wheelchair) in my Gimpmobile minivan.
    Have never said/claimed otherwise.
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