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Thread: Travelling by common carrier...

  1. #1
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    I currently live in Northwest Indiana. I am contemplating a move to New Hampshire.

    If I make this move, I would travel by train to Chicago, and then by air to New Hampshire.

    Considering this information, would I be covered under the federal "Peaceful Journey" law?

    I know the law references having your firearm not easily accessible in your vehicle?

    But what if I am not traveling in a personal vehicle, but using common carriers? Would I be legal to take the subway through Chicago, with my sidearm unloaded in a locked hard-case?

    Additionally, what about ammo? Would I be legal to take ammunition with me, if said ammo was in the original boxes?

    Any advice would be appreciated... And please, not just your opinion; please include some law to back it up.

  2. #2
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    You may not lawfully possess and carry your firearm in Chicago.

    18 USC 926A

    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.

    From the Wikipedia article 'Federal Gun Law in the United States' and without citation.
    • Federal law prohibits the carrying of any firearm, concealed or unconcealed, on or about the person or in carry-on baggage while aboard a commercial aircraft. TSA has established certain requirements for transporting firearms and ammunition. Firearms must be carried in a locked hard sided case. Ammunition must be declared and can be transported in checked baggage or in the same container as the firearm as long the firearm is unloaded.
    • Any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce must deliver the unloaded firearm into custody of the pilot, captain, conductor, or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip.

  3. #3
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    Well, I intended to check it, of course. I do realize that I can't carry it onto the aircraft.

    My point is: How do I get it to the aircraft, if my check-in point is in Chicago?


    Of course, I could always just ship it to myself in New Hampshire, but that would be the second choice. I would much rather just get it from the baggage carousel in New Hampshire, load it, and carry.

  4. #4
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    The problem is that unless you can check the bags with the guns from the boarding train station directly through to NH, you will most likely have to take possesion of them at the train disembarking station. That will immediately put you afoul of Chicago "law" and they don't seem to give two figs for the "Peaceable Journey" rules.I would recommend going through the Indianapolisairport, even if it is somewhat less convenient.

    If you are flying into Manchester NH, claim bags, go to bathroom stall, arm up, walk out of bathroom to outdoor pickup or car rental counter. I've never had any problems.

  5. #5
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    The train will be the first problem: all guns are banned on Amtrak, including in checked baggage.

    How many guns are you talking about? If it's not too many, it will be easier, and cheap enough, to ship them to yourself at your destination.



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    Amtrak does not ban all carry of firearms, just firearms in one's baggage. Amtraks rule has no weight of law.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    There is no federal criminal ban on carrying guns on common carriers, at least in any criminal sense.

    You can legally carry your gun on AMTRAK etc. as you travel around out nation provided you do not violate state law - some states apparently ban gun carry on trains and busses.

  8. #8
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    It sucks that you even have to worry about this.

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    First, the train I will be taking is not Amtrak, but rather a local commuter line, called the South Shore Line.

    (I have contacted the Transit Police. They have no problem with me transporting in a locked hard case.)

    It travels from South Bend, Indiana, into Chicago, with multiple stops along the way.

    At the final terminus in Chicago (Millennium Park), I would have to disembark the South Shore Line, and use the Chicago Subway to travel to the airport.


    So, if my sidearm is unloaded, cable lock through the barrel, secured in a padlocked hard case, and zipped up in my luggage...

    Am I covered under the federal FOPA?

    Not easily accessible, unloaded...


    There is the old saying that "concealed means concealed" (the case would be in my bag), meaning that what people don't know, they can't act on, so most likely, I would not have any problems regardless.

    However, I want to confirm that I would be doing this legally.


  10. #10
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    Is 18 USC 926A your "FOPA"? Is Chicago a "place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm"?

  11. #11
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    Yes, I am referencing the "Firearm Owner's Protection Act", codified at 18 USC 926.

    The text is:

    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.

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/1...6---A000-.html


    Secondly, Chicago is not where I will be transporting my firearm to; rather, Chicago is where I will be transporting my firearm through.

    My point of origin is Michigan City, Indiana. I hold a Indiana License To Carry Handgun. My ownership and possession of the firearm is legal.

    My point of destination is Manchester, New Hampshire. No permit is required to openly carry a sidearm in New Hampshire, and my Indiana License To Carry is honored by New Hampshire for the purposes of concealed carry. My ownership and possession of the firearm in New Hampshire is legal.


    My concern is that the text of the FOPA has several requirements to meet, in order for it's protection to apply. The firearm must be unloaded, the firearm nor the ammunition may not be readily accessible, and neither the firearm nor the ammunition can be accessible from the passenger compartment of the transporting vehicle. If the vehicle has no separate compartment, the firearm and ammo must be in a locked container other than the glove box or console.

    So, obviously, the firearm will be unloaded, and locked with a cable lock in the barrel, and entirely padlocked in a hard case. The ammunition will be sealed in a separate cardboard box. Both the hard case and the ammo box with be placed in locked luggage.

    Considering these points, do I meet the requirements? Unloaded, locked, separated, and locked again (at the luggage level). Am I legal, with my luggage beside me, riding on a Chicago subway, traveling to the airport, on my interstate journey?

    There seems to be some "gray" when it comes to public transportation, as most of the "compartment" text seems to reference private vehicles. For example, what if a person was to walk from Indiana to Wisconsin, passing through Chicago? How does the whole "compartment" bit apply to them?



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