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Thread: Flying with a handgun - transfer thru JFK Airport

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    This isn't the first time I've wondered about this, but I can't seem to find a clear answer.

    Is it legal? May one take a flight, say, from Virginia to Florida, with a transfer through JFK? Obviously New York is highly restrictive, especially to nonresidents, but would this conduct be protected by Federal laws dealing with traveling with firearms?

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    I can't find any really concrete info on this, but I have lots of wobbly info which leads me to believe that allowing a handgun to exist in NYC in any form is a bad idea.

    http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/Federal/Read.aspx?id=59 says:

    Caution--New York is the only state that prohibits the transportation of handguns without a license. Travelers should therefore be particularly careful since they face severe consequences should they inadvertently violate the state`s highly restrictive statutes.

    There was a thread over in the Washington forum which somebody had briefly touched on the topic:

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/18273.html

    Shad0wfax's story of how a diverted flight to NYC could land the traveler in trouble with the law if he had checked a firearm mirrored what I had previously heard (although I don't know where from).

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    marshaul wrote:
    This isn't the first time I've wondered about this, but I can't seem to find a clear answer.

    Is it legal? May one take a flight, say, from Virginia to Florida, with a transfer through JFK? Obviously New York is highly restrictive, especially to nonresidents, but would this conduct be protected by Federal laws dealing with traveling with firearms?
    The firearm would be in your checked baggage...would you be reclaiming your luggage during this transfer? If not you wouldnt be in possession of it anyway.


    oh and by the way...if you're on a flight from VA to FL and you pass thru JFK, I think you need a better pilot....
    States donít have rights. People do.

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    marshaul wrote:
    This isn't the first time I've wondered about this, but I can't seem to find a clear answer.

    Is it legal? May one take a flight, say, from Virginia to Florida, with a transfer through JFK? Obviously New York is highly restrictive, especially to nonresidents, but would this conduct be protected by Federal laws dealing with traveling with firearms?
    Don't drop the Soap! all kidding aside if I had any thought of having to be stranded between flights in NY I would send my Firearm via FFL to be safe and make sure I made it to my destination

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    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    marshaul wrote:
    This isn't the first time I've wondered about this, but I can't seem to find a clear answer.

    Is it legal? May one take a flight, say, from Virginia to Florida, with a transfer through JFK? Obviously New York is highly restrictive, especially to nonresidents, but would this conduct be protected by Federal laws dealing with traveling with firearms?
    I did it a few months ago and I almost had a problem. Long story short...

    Was traveling from ME back to VA and had a layover in La Guardia. My flight got majorly delayed and they were expecting it to get cancelled. I spoke to the USAIR supervisor (who was a complete moron) and he said it was their policy that if the flight got cancelled, they are REQUIRED to give me my baggage back. (This policy is only if I were to take a flight the next day, they said they WILL NOT keep baggage overnight)

    I told him the situation that I had a checked firearm in my luggage and his response was basically, "not my problem, have a nice day." So I started to freak out, and went to find a TSA supervisor. I also spoke with a policeman at the same time and told them both my situation. I had heard horror stories of people getting stuck in NY and then having to reclaim a firearm and getting tagged with some BS weapons charge.

    The TSA supervisor told me that as long as I have the orange tag in my gun case (the one from the initial airport that states it's unloaded), they don't have a problem with it. That tag says time and date, original airport, etc. so it proves that I originally had it in ME. I asked for his contact info in case something happened, and he gave it to me. Luckily my flight was only delayed for 6 HOURS!!! and i flew home to VA without having to re-check my baggage.

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    http://www.nysrpa.org/airportwarning.htm


    This does not look promising. I will be connecting in La Guard. I am supposed to switch airlines. I guess I would have to declare again.

    wanted to add this recent link.
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/n...TlPuFSemNxAxMN



    "Three out-of-towners found out the hard way not to fly with their firearms, cops said yesterday.
    The men all attempted to declare their weapons during baggage check-in at La Guardia Airport between Feb. 3 and Feb. 7, cops said.
    Ticket agents called police to see if the weapons had been registered in New York state, which they had not been, sources said.
    Arrested were Norman Dott, 67, of Lawton, Okla., Frank Rivera, 27, of Dallas, and Kamal Bradai, 34, of Tampa.
    All were charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a spokeswoman for DA Richard Brown said."



    from that page



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    NavyLT wrote:
    bradco wrote:
    marshaul wrote:
    This isn't the first time I've wondered about this, but I can't seem to find a clear answer.

    Is it legal? May one take a flight, say, from Virginia to Florida, with a transfer through JFK? Obviously New York is highly restrictive, especially to nonresidents, but would this conduct be protected by Federal laws dealing with traveling with firearms?
    Don't drop the Soap! all kidding aside if I had any thought of having to be stranded between flights in NY I would send my Firearm via FFL to be safe and make sure I made it to my destination
    Soooo..... if we are talking about a handgun...... the Virginia resident sends his handgun to an FFL in Florida..... now what? The FFL in Florida cannot transfer the handgun to a person who is nota Florida resident.
    No transfer is taking place since its your gun. You need to contact them first but I believe you need to ship it C/O yourself.

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    I fly often (once a month) and take my carry pistol on every trip unless I know I am visiting NJ for example. I can tell you that I have had flights delayed up to 13 hours and some over night. I never once received my checked baggage back due to policy from what I was told. In fact I have asked for my stuff and was told no way.

    I have been in some airports that have a sign "no weapons allowed" but it was explained to me on several occasions that it was meant for carrying and not for a unloaded weapon in a suitcase. Told to me buy a LEO at the airport. Oklahoma if I recall.

    With that said I was always in a state that was gun friendly and now carry a few necessities in a small backpack as a carry on.

    Call the airlines and see what they say, call a few of them and go with the ones who don't give back your stuff for any delay. I would assume that in one of those states so long as you don't have direct possession of the weapon and it is from one state who allows it, going to another state who does you would be good. Isn't there a law about traveling in there somewhere?

    Good luck next time.



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    Here is a recent discussion of this issue on the Volokh Conspiracy legal blog. The bottom line seems to be that, if your flight gets delayed/cancelled and you get stuck overnight in NY or NJ or some other people's republic, DO NOT take possession of your baggage. If you return the next day and try to check a bag containing a gun, the TSA will rat you out to the port authority cops and you will almost certainly be arrested.

    If it were me, I would probably tell the cops to seize the gun even if that means never getting it back. I would rather lose a gun than face weapons charges in those hell holes.

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    Here is a link from Reason about a horror story in NJ.

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/31/wh...nnection-leads
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    From reading that decision, it's clear that the traveler voluntarily provided the police officers with probable cause to arrest him by consenting to speak and giving his own recitation of the facts amounting to a crime. All the evidence came from his own mouth. Had he not consented to explain, the cause to arrest would not have been made out.

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    I was flying to NYC last Summer and heard about how the local cops were arresting people when they were checking in handguns to TSA on a return trip - so I called a guy I know who is one of the NRA's top lawyers in CA and asked him if I brought a gun to NYC would NRA help - he said, "No, don't do it. We already have several cases there." -

    They are filing appeals with the local sheriffs of Queens County which has LGA and I think Nassau County which has JFK - better to fly through Newark!

    My back up plan was to have the airport deliver my luggage to me at my friend's house, except my friend is a New York State Judge in Nassau County - but then I just decided to travel 'naked' - luckily I was in NYC where the police are there to protect and serve... (saracasm alert!)

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