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Thread: Peaceable Journey

  1. #1
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    I used to travel from VA to a firing range in MD. I asked a DC cop once if I could drive through DC with an unloaded gun in my trunk. He said, "No handguns are allowed in D.C. period."

    I thought that the Peaceable Journey Law allows me to travel through D.C. with a gun as long as I don't stop. I called the NRA and they said, "Take the Beltway." This made me mad, because DC is ignoring a Federal Law. The language of the Peaceable Journey Law states:

    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 console.

    What part of this do I not understand? Why is the NRA not taking DC to task on this?

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    novaccw wrote:
    1. Why would you not take the Beltway? What would be the purpose of driving through downtown DC? (NOTE: If you take the Wilson Bridge you will go through DC for about 150 feet).
    2. Why ask a LEO such a question? Many do not know the law and even those that do will tell you want they would like to be the law not what it is.
    3. NRA probably can't understand your actions either.
    I used to travel from VA to a firing range in MD. I asked a DC cop once if I could drive through DC with an unloaded gun in my trunk. He said, "No handguns are allowed in D.C. period."

    I thought that the Peaceable Journey Law allows me to travel through D.C. with a gun as long as I don't stop. I called the NRA and they said, "Take the Beltway." This made me mad, because DC is ignoring a Federal Law. The language of the Peaceable Journey Law states:

    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 console.

    What part of this do I not understand? Why is the NRA not taking DC to task on this?

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    Note the use of the word STATE. DC is not a state.

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    Arlington was once part of DC but it was returned to VA. How aboutgiving the rest of DC back to MD, from which it came. Then DC would be part of a state and peaceable journey would apply.

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    Novaccw- I understood your original post on this.Looks like the response a couple of posts up was modified? Anyway, NRA was using a workaround, plain and simple. Sometimes, in the grand scheme of things you gotta do what you gotta do. Some of my ancestors served time in the Old Capitol Prison, due to the fact that they were on the wrong side of the Conflict known as the War Between the States (that's how it was termed when I was in the 5th grade in Virginia)... And we don't want to come visit you over there :shock:. That said Ilbob probably has a point of the term "State", also. Look at NY and NJ. The Peaceable Journey Law has been so abused in those two states, it's pathetic. I agree with your disgust at the NRA's answer, but I ain't going over/thru there if I don't have to, gas prices be darned.

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    ilbob wrote:
    Note the use of the word STATE. DC is not a state.
    18 USC 921. Definitions

    (a) As used in this chapter—
    (1)...
    (2)..... The term “State” includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the possessions of the United States (not including the Canal Zone).

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    Good show - apjonas

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    apjonas, thank you...I was just about to concede. I have another question, does the first sentence in the Peaceable Journey law mean that if a state or political subdivision thereof makes a law that prohibits firearms, you can't drive through with one? Or does it mean the opposite? That a state or political subdivision thereof's laws cannot trump the Peacable Journey law?

    DoubleR, I agree with you...I avoid DC like the plague (when I am not working).

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    novaccw wrote:
    apjonas, thank you...I was just about to concede. I have another question, does the first sentence in the Peaceable Journey law mean that if a state or political subdivision thereof makes a law that prohibits firearms, you can't drive through with one? Or does it mean the opposite? That a state or political subdivision thereof's laws cannot trump the Peacable Journey law?

    DoubleR, I agree with you...I avoid DC like the plague (when I am not working).
    I can't say for sure what that first sentence means, but I wouldn't completely negate the purpose of the law to allow localities to keep you from legally passing through. Wasn't the point to allow you easy travel without having to worry about a ton of local laws?

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    novaccw wrote:
    apjonas, thank you...I was just about to concede. I have another question, does the first sentence in the Peaceable Journey law mean that if a state or political subdivision thereof makes a law that prohibits firearms, you can't drive through with one? Or does it mean the opposite? That a state or political subdivision thereof's laws cannot trump the Peacable Journey law?

    DoubleR, I agree with you...I avoid DC like the plague (when I am not working).
    I would think that localities would be dealt with by Article VI, Section II of the Constitution. (Supremacy Clause) Case law to accompany could include Gibbons v. Ogden or cases listed here. http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/proj...preemption.htm

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    novaccw wrote:
    apjonas, thank you...I was just about to concede. I have another question, does the first sentence in the Peaceable Journey law mean that if a state or political subdivision thereof makes a law that prohibits firearms, you can't drive through with one? Or does it mean the opposite? That a state or political subdivision thereof's laws cannot trump the Peacable Journey law?
    Caveat: I am not a lawyer and do NOT play one on TV or the Internet.

    The Peacable Journey law would have no meaning if it allowed local override. This law allows your to transport it through such jurisdictions, notwithstanding (i.e., in spite of) any such laws.

    --
    Herb

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    At this Washington Post LTE, the writer notes that a federal court has held that FOPA should be given as a jury instruction. This implies that FOPA does apply to DC, and, that DC is legally on notice about FOPA. I looked up the case, and the LTE writer is correct.

    In fact, the DC Court of Appeals,did not mince words:

    "The exclusion from the trial of any reference to Bieder's rights under the FOPA made it appear that Bieder had acted unlawfully by entering the District of Columbia with a pistol when in fact he had not then violated the law at all." Bieder v. U.S., 662 A.2d 185, 189, (D.C. 1995) (italicized emphasis in original).

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...040100725.html

    Transporting Firearms

    Monday, April 2, 2007; Page A14


    Lt. Jon Shelton, head of the D.C. police department's gun unit, is wrong when he says that Maryland and Virginia gun owners (and U.S. senators) may not transport a firearm through the District ["Congress, District Differ on Gun Possession Laws," Metro, March 29]. They should go around the District, he said.

    Maybe they should, but they are not legally required to. The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA) provides that any person who may lawfully transport or receive a firearm is "entitled to transport a firearm from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such a firearm," provided that the gun is unloaded and not readily accessible from the passenger compartment. The act also provides that when a state or local law prohibits a lawful gun owner from transporting a firearm through a jurisdiction, the federal law takes precedence.

    In 1995, the D.C. Court of Appeals held in Bieder v. United States that the trial court should have instructed the jury that the FOPA provided the defendant, who was traveling from Virginia to New York when he was arrested in the District, with an affirmative defense to the charges of carrying a pistol without a license and possession of unregistered ammunition. "Without instruction on the federal statute," the court said, "the jury was left to believe that appellant engaged in unlawful conduct by entering the District with a gun in his trunk."

    Interestingly, the defendant, Robert L. Bieder, was arrested by a U.S. Capitol Police officer, under similar circumstances as Sen. James Webb's aide Phillip Thompson was.

    G. JACK KING JR.



    Alexandria

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