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Thread: Carry on Greyhound/Public Transportation

  1. #1
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    Early this morning, I traveled by bus for the first time since I was a child. I OC'ed into the Richmond station yesterday, picked up my ticket from Will Call, and exited with no comments, looks, or other reactions that I noticed. The entry doors are not posted, so I didn't give it another thought, until later, that is.

    I normally OC, but I opted for CC (ankle) for comfort so I could sleep. I did not see Greyhound's list of prohibited items (firearms is at the top of the list) until I was in line to board. I decided to continue, as it was too late to make other arrangements and my ride to the bus station had already left. The trip was uneventful, despite the last leg on a Triangle Transit Authority bus with a "no weapons" sign on the door.

    CC or OC is legal on the VA side of the DC-area metro system, but since Greyhound is a private company, can they legally make this prohibition? Virginia businesses may prohibit weapons, and those who violate this may be arrested for a trespassing. Does this extend to the motor coaches operated by companies like Greyhound, or other public transportation?

    As for North Carolina, NC law § 14‑415.11.(c) states:

    A permit does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun ... on any other premises, ... where notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited by the posting of a conspicuous notice or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises.

    This applies to CC. What about OC? I can't find a NC statute that addresses this in the context of general firearm possession, only CC.

    Any thoughts, input or information would be greatly appreciated. Except for airline travel, I seldom use public transportation, but I still hate to be forced to disarm.

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    There a federal statute prohibiting interstate carry and transportation on common carriers without giving the carrier notice. I'm pretty sure comercial airlines qualify and probably buses, trains and ships. So interstate carry on the bus is technically possible but you are unlikely to get permission. Then again a firearm on your person may not qualify as a package or other container and this code is moot for the disscussion.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/ht...2----000-.html
    Section e
    (e) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped; except that any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm or ammunition being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce may deliver said firearm or ammunition into the custody of the pilot, captain, conductor or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip without violating any of the provisions of this chapter. No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.

  3. #3
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    Sounds like I just broke a federal law.:shock: I wasn't considering the fact that since the trip crossed state lines, it would fall under federal jurisdiction. Thanks for the info. I think in the future, I'll stick to driving myself everywhere I need to go.


    What about local carriers, or routes within the same state? Any ideas on that one, since we're on the subject?

  4. #4
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    (e) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped; except that any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm or ammunition being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce may deliver said firearm or ammunition into the custody of the pilot, captain, conductor or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip without violating any of the provisions of this chapter. No common or contract carrier shall require or cause any label, tag, or other written notice to be placed on the outside of any package, luggage, or other container that such package, luggage, or other container contains a firearm.

    Just an FYI: The prohibitions against carrying into secure areas of airports and onto airplanes are not even in Chapter 44(Firearms) in the US Code, they are contained elsewhere.

    Another point of confusion is the italicized part. It only says that if you follow these instructions, you definitely will not violate any provisions of the chapter for sure. It does not require a declaration for a personally hand carried firearm as far as Greyhound and Amtrak are concerned. If you're still not certain, contact the local BATFE office, or call the BATFE in DC, because they'll likely tell you the same thing: This applies to transporting a firearm in a package TO another person who is not licensed, and you certainly can't somehow deliver something to yourself.

    That being said, certain states do make it illegal to carry on a train without a full declaration, such as Montana for trains, and Georgia/Missouri for buses (Bus Hijacking Statute).

    Public transportation is covered by the preemption statutes of the states where the bus companies exist. You can see my thread in the Washington State Forum on transit issues for the lowdown.

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