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Thread: Introduction and a quick question about transporting from VA to MD?

  1. #1
    Regular Member SirTiger's Avatar
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    Introduction and a quick question about transporting from VA to MD?

    Hey everyone,
    Like a lot of people on this forum i've stalked it for about half a year now and wouldnt mind getting involved. I'm sure some of you have met me before at gun shows, as I am one of the only women who work for Trader Jerry's. Anyway wanted to get in and say Hello! to everyone.

    Now I have a quick question regarding travel. I did a bit of looking around but figured it be quicker to just ask. So my mother lives in the peoples republic of Maryland and I need to assist her in moving tomorrow. I'm obviously aware that carrying is a no go in MD. But I will be carrying on my way up from Hampton roads. So whats the standard for transport? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Regular Member Walt_Kowalski's Avatar
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    Carry is def a No-Go once you enter MD.

    If I ever have to pass thru MD, I don't stop, and transport according to FOPA regulations.

    Which boils down to being transported legally if they are unloaded, cased, and locked in the automobile trunk or otherwise inaccessible to the driver or any passenger.

    sooo.. just before you enter MD.. unload, case and lock up.

    Welcome to the boards
    Last edited by Walt_Kowalski; 11-05-2010 at 05:14 PM.
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    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt_Kowalski View Post
    Carry is def a No-Go once you enter MD.

    If I ever have to pass thru MD, I don't stop, and transport according to FOPA regulations.

    Which boils down to being transported legally if they are unloaded, cased, and locked in the automobile trunk or otherwise inaccessible to the driver or any passenger. ...
    ... and the Firearm Owner Protection Act (amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968) only applies if you're going from one place where it's ok to another, like Virginia to New Hampshire - stopping over to a final destination in Md. with a gun in the car is (with certain exceptions that don't apply to your facts) a crime in Md. - and don't bother to call me if you're arrested there - I'm not an attorney in Maryland. Depending on how you're going to get there, you may be able to find someone en route but close to the border who'll hold it for you until you get back to civilization.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    stopping over to a final destination in Md. with a gun in the car is (with certain exceptions that don't apply to your facts) a crime in Md.
    I was under the impression that transiting/bedding was acceptable as long as the weapon remained stowed.

    Unless that was one of the "facts" or "exceptions" to which you were referring, in which case I humbly retract.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    I was under the impression that transiting/bedding was acceptable as long as the weapon remained stowed.

    Unless that was one of the "facts" or "exceptions" to which you were referring, in which case I humbly retract.
    I agree with user (my opinion really doesnt matter a whip) in that her destination is MD so she is not allowed to transport it there. If her mom was moving to somewhere that you could carry it might work if the truck was loaded and she simply followed it in her car.

    My sister lives in the peoples republic of MD and I try not to visit her, and keep suggesting she come visit free-VA!

    BTW: Welcome to OCDO!
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 11-05-2010 at 08:23 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    I was under the impression that transiting/bedding was acceptable as long as the weapon remained stowed.

    Unless that was one of the "facts" or "exceptions" to which you were referring, in which case I humbly retract.
    You can stop off to use the "welcome center", to grab a meal, or to stay overnight in a motel; as long as your final destination is someplace other than Md. where your possession of the firearm is legal, and your stops in Md. are only incidental to your journey.

    The exceptions have to do with things like being a cop, going to a scheduled shooting event at a range as a member of a recognized group, taking the gun to a gunsmith for repairs, etc.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Maryland really is a great place for criminals to work. Too bad they don't pay taxes on their ill-gotten gain.

    TFred

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    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    I live in MD 3 miles from the Border (proper word) and I drive into VA and back several times a week. I have a Jeep so I keep my 1911 unloaded locked in a small car safe when going or coming to VA to comply with FOPA. The issue with FOPA is the wording where it states you are protected if you are going from a state where you can possess and CARRY to a state where you can possess and CARRY. MD statute 4-203 allows certain exceptions to the carry law. but in general CARRY is prohibited.

    The Exceptions
    1. Going to and from a range, gun shop. an organized shoot or target practice.

    Now you are faced with the decision of whether to go armed to MD. If you feel you must, and it's a gamble IMO if you are stopped before getting to your Mom's you could say you are going to an organized target practice with your Mom but who knows how you could prove this. MD LEO's are very hostile to anyone with a firearm. I know a fellow on Maryland Shooters Forum who was returning from a range and had a fender bender while carrying in total compliance with the law but had his range badge around his neck. The LEO asked to search his car but since he didn't know the law he allowed the search. The LEO (Montgomery County) confiscated his legally carried weapons and he is now in the process of getting them returned.

    Not trying to scare you but the main issue is not going TO MD but stopping IN MD. If you go straight to your Mom's and disarm, you may be ok. Driving around with the weapon is a huge NO NO.

    Good luck. Remember User is not licensed here ! I do have the numbers of a couple of criminal defense attorneys here who specialize in criminal defense and 2A litigation if you want them.

    You must decide if the reward is worth the risk. IMO it's not. You can PM me to discuss. I am willing to hold the weapon while you're here. I am 1 mile inside the Beltway in Bethesda.

    IANAL

    Stu

    In the People's Republik of Marylandistan
    Last edited by swinokur; 11-06-2010 at 02:03 PM.

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    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals denied the appeal of a fellow who got his flight cancelled in NJ and went to a hotel with the firearm in his luggage and was arrested when he checked back in at the airport. His appeal was denied because the court determined his FOPA protection did not extend to him once he had the suitcase because he had "access" to the firearm. So if he had left it at the airport where he had no access, he may have prevailed. My take from this is even if you stop overnight, if you left the firearm stowed and locked you MAY be OK. (note use of may not will)

    Please note MD and VA are in the 4th Circuit and rulings from another circuit are not binding on others. They may be considered but not binding.

    See Revell vs Port Authority of NY and NJ
    Last edited by swinokur; 11-06-2010 at 02:00 PM.

  10. #10
    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Maryland really is a great place for criminals to work. Too bad they don't pay taxes on their ill-gotten gain.

    TFred
    You're right Tfred. The home office is called Baltimore aka Bodymore

  11. #11
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    What the OP is considering will not be covered by FOPA. Best bet is getting a hotel on the VA side(if possible) and keeping it there while in MD.

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    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    I have quoted in this message an UNOFFICIAL opinion from the MD AG on travel in MD and FOPA. Although he says FOPA applies when going THROUGH MD he also further states that MD 4-203 applies when the origin and destination are BOTH in MD. I take this to mean that you WILL have FOPA protection if you start in VA and destination is MD. I have been told I am interpreting only part of this and I may be incorrect but the part I interpret and reference seems to give you FOPA protection. Let me know what you think.

    Dear Mr. _______:

    Maryland law generally prohibits the wearing, carrying or transporting of handgun, loaded or unloaded, concealed or openly: 1) on or about one's person; and, 2) in a vehicle traveling on a road or parking lot generally used by the public, highway, waterway, or airway of the State.
    Individuals who have been issued a permit to carry a handgun by the Maryland Department of State Police (handgun carry permits issued by other states are not effective) are exempted from this law.

    The following activities are also exempted: 1) the carrying of a handgun on the person or in a vehicle while the person is transporting the handgun to or from the place of legal purchase or sale, or to or from a bona fide repair shop, or between bona fide residences of the person, or between the bona fide residence and place of business of the person, if the business is operated and owned substantially by the person if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster; 2) the wearing, carrying, or transporting by a person of a handgun used in connection with an organized military activity, a target shoot, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, hunting, a Department of Natural Resources-sponsored firearms and hunter safety class, trapping, or a dog obedience training class or show, while the person is engaged in, on the way to, or returning from that activity if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster; 3) the moving by a bona fide gun collector of part or all of the collector's gun collection from place to place for public or private exhibition if each handgun is unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or an enclosed holster; 4) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a person on real estate that the person owns or leases or where the person resides or within the confines of a business establishment that the person owns or leases; 5) the wearing, carrying, or transporting of a handgun by a supervisory employee: in the course of employment; within the confines of the business establishment in which the supervisory employee is employed; and (iii) when so authorized by the owner or manager of the business establishment.

    The federal law you cite (18 USC 926A) applies to the interstate transportation of a firearm (handgun or long arm) and supersedes Maryland law. It would have no bearing on the transportation of a firearm where the origin and destination are both within Maryland. It would however allow for the transportation of a firearm through the State of Maryland regardless of the Maryland law cited above.

    For purposes of the exceptions to Maryland law, a handgun may be transported within the passenger compartment of the vehicle provided it is unloaded and in an enclosed case or holster. For purposes of the federal law exception, the firearm must be unloaded and not readily accessible from the passenger compartment.

    Mark H. Bowen Assistant Attorney General

    (end of quotation from Mr. Bowen)
    UNOFFICIAL AG opinion attached. Open to interpretattion
    Last edited by swinokur; 11-06-2010 at 09:05 AM.

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    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirTiger View Post
    Hey everyone,
    Like a lot of people on this forum i've stalked it for about half a year now and wouldnt mind getting involved. I'm sure some of you have met me before at gun shows, as I am one of the only women who work for Trader Jerry's. Anyway wanted to get in and say Hello! to everyone.

    Now I have a quick question regarding travel. I did a bit of looking around but figured it be quicker to just ask. So my mother lives in the peoples republic of Maryland and I need to assist her in moving tomorrow. I'm obviously aware that carrying is a no go in MD. But I will be carrying on my way up from Hampton roads. So whats the standard for transport? Thanks!
    Rude of me. Welcome to OCDO. You will not meet a more knowledgable and friendly bunch of folks anywhere

  14. #14
    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    ...Good luck. Remember User is not licensed here ! I do have the numbers of a couple of criminal defense attorneys here who specialize in criminal defense and 2A litigation if you want them.
    ...
    In the People's Republik of Marylandistan
    Marylandistan is the Islamic republic of the future - for now, it's still Vatican-West. You know there's something that Massachussetts, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, New Jersey, and Maryland all have in common. Back when the German (protestant) nobles armed their peasants in order to defeat military overthrow by Rome (the reason Austria is traditionally not considered "Germany", btw), Rome learned its lesson - it does not want the peasants armed. I suspect that, when the little Hispanic immigrant babies born in the U.S. in the past twenty years become the majority of voting citizens, we'll see gun control in a serious way.

    But Swinokur makes a good point - I am not an attorney in Maryland (a "lawyer" is one who has studied law; an "attorney" has a license to practice), and I suggest anyone going there, even incidentally or occasionally, take him up on his offer to provide names and addresses of competent criminal defense attorneys in Maryland. I've read up on that particular statute, since I also live in West-by-Gawd-Virginia, and sometimes drive through bits of Maryland to get there. I stop in Virginia and pack up per the FOPA before entering "The Free State", then stop again once I'm securely in W.Va. and unpack.

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    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    User did you give the AG's opinion on travel a look? What's your take on it? Hope you agree with my interpretation.

    If both origin an destination not both in MD, FOPA applies. Only issue is his use of through Maryland.

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    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    The issue with FOPA is the wording where it states you are protected if you are going from a state where you can possess and CARRY to a state where you can possess and CARRY. MD statute 4-203 allows certain exceptions to the carry law. but in general CARRY is prohibited.
    The 1986 laws made it legal to transport any legally owned gun through a jurisdiction where it would otherwise be illegal, provided the possession and transporting of the weapon are legal at the point of origin and point of destination.

    Transportation is not the same as carrying. If ability to carry was a factor, FOPA wouldn't apply for citizens of at least a few states.
    Citation: http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/17...-ACT-1986.html

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    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    The OP's issue is she wants to end her trip in MD. FOPA looks like it doesn't apply but an unofficial opinion from the MD AG says if either the origin or destination is NOT in MD then MD 4-203 does not apply but FOPA does. What is at issue in my mind and IANAL is whether the AG opinion could be used as an affirmative defense in the case of an arrest.

    I went to Guncite and read the history of FOPA and it claims the use of the word carry in FOPA does not refer to legally carry of a firearm but the ability to carry as per FOPA. Not being a congressman, I don't know what intent Congress had when it wrote all this. I don't know what the correct answer is here. While I live only 3 miles from the Legion Bridge, when I go to VA(which is frequently because VA gets freedom) I carry my firearm in a locked case as per FOPA and pray nothing happensI rearm once in VA. I do keep a copy of the AG opinion in my car safe along with FOPA and the AG opinion on loaded mags. (They are legal in MD if outside the firearm)

  18. #18
    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoom6zoom View Post
    The 1986 laws made it legal to transport any legally owned gun through a jurisdiction where it would otherwise be illegal, provided the possession and transporting of the weapon are legal at the point of origin and point of destination.

    Transportation is not the same as carrying. If ability to carry was a factor, FOPA wouldn't apply for citizens of at least a few states.
    Citation: http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/17...-ACT-1986.html
    The word carry is in the FOPA law,not the word transport. See my previous post on what carry means.

    FOPA says you can transport the weapon if the state of origin and destination allow POSSESSION and CARRY in that state. The question is the power of FOPA when MD is the destination. What does carry actually mean legally mean in FOPA?
    ransportation is not the same as carrying. If ability to carry was a factor, FOPA wouldn't apply for citizens of at least a few states.
    Citation: http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/17...-ACT-1986.htm
    The word carry applies to destination and origin, not the state being carried through. I understand that. Can carry apply in MD if that is the destination? I don't know.

    IANAL.
    Last edited by swinokur; 11-06-2010 at 02:26 PM.

  19. #19
    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swinokur View Post
    User did you give the AG's opinion on travel a look? What's your take on it? Hope you agree with my interpretation.

    If both origin an destination not both in MD, FOPA applies. Only issue is his use of through Maryland.
    Well, no, I don't agree. Here's the paragraph in question:
    The federal law you cite (18 USC 926A) applies to the interstate transportation of a
    firearm (handgun or long arm) and supersedes Maryland law. It would have no bearing
    on the transportation of a firearm where the origin and destination are both within
    Maryland. It would however allow for the transportation of a firearm through the State of
    Maryland regardless of the Maryland law cited above.
    He didn't actually express any opinion about the situation where either the origin or destination is within Md., only the two in which both are in Md. or neither is in Md. I'm pretty clear, myself (and as an attorney admitted to practice before the U.S. Sup. Ct., the 4th Circuit, and the USDC/EDVa), my opinion of the federal law is that the Firearms Owners' Protection Act applies only when both the origin and the destination are in places where one is lawfully in possesion.
    Last edited by user; 11-06-2010 at 06:33 PM.

  20. #20
    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    well you can lawfully possess in MD and FOPA also says where you can carry. You can carry in compliance with FOPA.

    So where does that leave us? The stumbling block is the definition of carry. Carry on your person or carry in your vehicle in compliance with FOPA?

    If I read it your way she's legal. She can possess in MD and carry in her vehicle legally.

    What a mess.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Also, you need to remember that loaded mags (when stowed in a SEPARATE container from the firearm) are 100% legal to transport in MD, per the MD AG and DO NOT (contrary to urban legend) equate to a "firearm" under MD law.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/31712287/M...on-Loaded-Mags


    And while you're downloading documents, you might download and print a copy of the FOPA wording that I made, just for keeping in my gun safe when I travel through MD...

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/31711873/FOPA-Transport

    Good luck... Transport in, through, and around MD is a legal nightmare, an if you are an out-of-state traveller, and have plates from certain states, they actually have legal precedent to profile you JUST BECAUSE OF YOUR PLATES....

    But I own property in MD with my wife, so I can transport to and from that property from here in NC, and there is not one thing they can legally do about it, as long as I'm following FOPA transport rules.

    Oh, and one more thing--if you REALLY want to piss them off, tape a copy of the Fourth Amendment to the outside of your locked gun case and ammo box.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/31905829/Fourth-Amendment


    That's how I roll in MD...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 11-06-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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  22. #22
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    With no more knowledge than anyone else, and a lot less than some, on the issue of possession in Maryland ...

    Is the mother's property a place where one is authorized to possess (and carry?) without a permit? That is, could the OP be protected by FOPA if she remains parked on her mother's property while in MD, provided the weapon were properly locked for transport throughout the rest of Maryland?

    Just a thought.

  23. #23
    Activist Member swinokur's Avatar
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    Tess, that's my read on this. She is going from a state where she can posses and carry to a state where she can possess and carry (on her property). According to User who is an attorney in VA, this would satisfy the FOPA requirements.

    Just make sure you comply to the letter of the law.

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