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Transporting Firearms across State Lines to Events


Sam Colt
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It would be helpful if anyone could share their strategies for transporting firearms legally, and experiences with law enforcement.

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Kind of depends on the state.

Where are you coming from?

Where are you going?

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Sam Colt said:

It would be helpful if anyone could share their strategies for transporting firearms legally…

Don’t break any traffic laws.

 

If stopped by law enforcement in a State that does NOT require you notify them of firearms in vehicle don’t.

 

I use the smart phone APP Legal Heat for State by State laws.

Edited by Matthew Duncan
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2 hours ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

See this NRA Guideline.  When flying I avoid changing planes in cities like New York or Washington, DC.

 

All of the airports around Washington, DC aren't actually in DC.  Reagon National is in VA as is Dulles Airport.  BWI is in MD.

 

I would avoid LaGuardia and JFK in New York, although I have flown through JFK many times with the U.S. Shooting Team traveling to Europe.

 

The main lesson on driving is to have the firearms in locked containers not easily accessible (in the trunk or far back in the SUV).  And do your best to not speed too much.  Also helps to have a program or acceptance letter from the shoot.

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I haven't quite gotten this paranoid. but sometimes I find myself thinking it might best to only travel with C&R type guns, and of course have a copy your C&R FFL with you as well as documentation for the guns in question.   (Factory letters, a hard copy of the C&R Book, etc.)

Or maybe even antiques.  

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Most of my traveling is in the Old Confederate States.  No problems with transporting guns in any of them.  Like Waimea said, It depends on where you're going.

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1 hour ago, Dead_Head said:

 

All of the airports around Washington, DC aren't actually in DC.  Reagon National is in VA as is Dulles Airport.  BWI is in MD.

 

I would avoid LaGuardia and JFK in New York, although I have flown through JFK many times with the U.S. Shooting Team traveling to Europe.

 

The main lesson on driving is to have the firearms in locked containers not easily accessible (in the trunk or far back in the SUV).  And do your best to not speed too much.  Also helps to have a program or acceptance letter from the shoot.

I avoid JFK because I had a shotgun vandalized in my checked luggage when traveling through that airport.  I avoid Washington National because a spent cartridge is considered ammo in Washington DC and my carry on luggage just might have a spent cartridge in it.  I can travel avoiding locations hostile to gun owners.  I too travel with firearms secured in a hidden, locked container.

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Amazing the rules and paranoia to exercise our Constitutional right.

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2 hours ago, Badlands Bob #61228 said:

Most of my traveling is in the Old Confederate States.  No problems with transporting guns in any of them.  Like Waimea said, It depends on where you're going.

Coming from Connecticut he doesn't have a whole lot of directions he can drive without potentially having a problem.

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11 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Coming from Connecticut he doesn't have a whole lot of directions he can drive without potentially having a problem.

At the moment there is nowhere I might need or want to go where my carry permit isn't good.  That is gradually becoming a determining factor, particularly since air travel has reportedly become most unpleasant.

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Been traveling  from Connecticut for about 20 years going to out of state matches.   Just avoid NY City, like others said, firearms locked in one case, ammo locked in separate case.  Don't give police a reason to stop you; carrying information about the match may help.  When flying be polite to TSA, when they are checking the firearms, I have a video ready to show on CAS if asked where are you going. 

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3 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

it might best to only travel with C&R type guns, and of course have a copy your C&R FFL with you as well as documentation for the guns in question. 

How does that exempt you from local "gun" laws? If they are cartridge guns C&R doesn't apply does it?

 

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From what I understand, traveling is one thing, stopping for a couple of days for a match is another. Federal law protects you while traveling through a restricted state, but once you stop for more than a gas up, you are then under local, state, law. That’s when things get sticky. I used to live in Upstate NY and had my carry permit for over 20 years. When I moved out of state, they forced me to give it up I still have a lifetime sportsman hunting license for NY. I have Va resident and other state non resident carry licenses. I asked the NYS police if I could bring my handguns into the state and use them to hunt or participate at a range. The Officer just kept saying “Don’t do it!” No way, no how. 
 

Just my experience. 
Sam Sackett 
 

 

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

How does that exempt you from local "gun" laws? If they are cartridge guns C&R doesn't apply does it?

 

 

If you have the C&R FFL, you are authorized to engage in "interstate commerce," of C&R type weapons for personal use.   (You can even cross state lines with a C&R Machine Gun without the ATF's permission.)   It's just an added level of protection of you have a Federal Permit to do so.  Anything over 50 years old is automatically C&R.   So are some things under 50 years of age that the ATF decided were of more collector interest than potential use as a weapon.   Most notably 2nd Generation SAA's, or even a brand new Sheriff's model in .44 or .45 caliber.

Anything made before the 1898 cut off date, even cartridge guns, is an antique and not subject to FEDERAL Firearms laws.   State laws may vary.   That's why I think C&R's might actually be "safer" with the specific permit.
 

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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I put everything in the motorhome and lock it up. Off I go. Pretty dang easy.
Last year we where gone a month with two sets of Cowboy guns, bolt gun for Prairie Dog shooting and the normal motorhome guns. Have traveled through not so gun friendly areas with no issues. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

If you have the C&R FFL, you are authorized to engage in "interstate commerce," of C&R type weapons for personal use.   (You can even cross state lines with a C&R Machine Gun without the ATF's permission.)   It's just an added level of protection of you have a Federal Permit to do so.  Anything over 50 years old is automatically C&R.   So are some things under 50 years of age that the ATF decided were of more collector interest than potential use as a weapon.   Most notably 2nd Generation SAA's, or even a brand new Sheriff's model in .44 or .45 caliber.

Anything made before the 1898 cut off date, even cartridge guns, is an antique and not subject to FEDERAL Firearms laws.   State laws may vary.   That's why I think C&R's might actually be "safer" with the specific permit.
 

I've heard that if you have a Class 3 Weapons permit there are some privacy / rights tradeoffs - entry without warrant to inspect.  (Not sure that is true)  Is C&R similar?  I've thought of looking into one but haven't as yet.

Edited by Rip Snorter
Typo
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One other idea for transporting guns is to use a golf club hard carrier. Very heavy duty and they don't scream "GUN" if you unload them at a motel, going through the lobby. Or use Pelikan type cases and get some radio station bumper stickers and put them on the cases. The stencil "tripods" on the cases.

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Posted (edited)

I guess the rules do vary a bit from state to state, but one thing for sure is to keep the guns and the ammo separately.  Guns need to at least be in a good case and ammo should be in a separate, preferably locked box, and as far away from the guns as possible.  If your carrying a loaded weapon, legally concealed or not, I'm pretty sure you are required in virtually all states to inform the officer if you get stopped.  Otherwise, try to fly under the radar and not get stopped, but if you do, I wouldn't even mention the unloaded guns or ammo unless questioned about them.  Trying to keep them out of plain sight when traveling is a real good idea as well, because of possible legal issues and the temptation for theft.  Good luck and good shooting to all.  

Edited by Bison Bud
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10 minutes ago, Bison Bud said:

... I'm pretty sure you are required in virtually all states to inform the officer if you get stopped.  ....

 

That is an incorrect statement.

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Depends on the state and the LEO.  I have been stopped, once for going over the posted limit in a residential area in NJ.  I was driving a station wagon, with a visible pistol box in the rear.  The LEO just gave me a warning and let me go.  A friend, now retired LEO,  mentioned that some will call in a supervisor and let them make the decision. 

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If I am transporting them across state lines or though an Indian reservation I lock the guns up and lock the ammo up separately.

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Sam Colt said:

It would be helpful if anyone could share their strategies for transporting firearms legally, and experiences with law enforcement.

 

Ignore most of the advice you get here, most of it is worth what you paid for.  (Probably mine too)

 

I know the NY State Championship specifically cites NY Law on transporting guns in NY and how long you can stay before and after a match.   I and a bunch of CT  and other NE shooters have been going to that match for at least 20 years and to my knowledge none have had a problem.  The same for the MA Tri-State

 

MA Tri State: http://www.harvardghostriders.com/sawyerflats.html  (near the bottom)

NY State: http://www.circlekregulators.com/heluvarukus.html

 

The rest is pretty much things you don't do in blue states:

Don't have stickers or anything else on your vehicle that suggests firearms might be in the vehicle

Lock the guns and ammo up in separate containers and, if practical, as far from the passenger compartment as possible

Don't bring non SASS guns or accessories that are illegal in your destination state.  (For example don't bring a 11 round or more magazine for your hotel room gun to NY)

Keep a copy of the FOPA law in your car, that MIGHT help if you're pulled over

Don't drive in a manner that will attract the attention of law enforcement

Most blue states won't recognize your state permit or any of the other "universal permits" that allegedly allow you to carry legally in multiple states

 

Avoid NYC airports (and possibly Newark in NJ as well)  Do NOT start or end your flight in any of those airports, you will be arrested as soon as you claim the guns

Avoid connecting flights in any of the above airports, if your connecting flight gets cancelled or delayed do NOT accept the gun cases, you'll be arrested.  Check the state laws for any states that you are flying to or stopping in for a connecting flight on whether claiming your guns will get you arrested.

 

If you plan on using a camper or motorhome do some research, from what little I have heard, there may be some quirks in the law that gives additional protection when transporting guns if they are inside the camper or motorhome.

 

Edited by Chantry
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16 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

If you have the C&R FFL, you are authorized to engage in "interstate commerce," of C&R type weapons for personal use.   (You can even cross state lines with a C&R Machine Gun without the ATF's permission.)   It's just an added level of protection of you have a Federal Permit to do so.  Anything over 50 years old is automatically C&R.   So are some things under 50 years of age that the ATF decided were of more collector interest than potential use as a weapon.   Most notably 2nd Generation SAA's, or even a brand new Sheriff's model in .44 or .45 caliber.

Anything made before the 1898 cut off date, even cartridge guns, is an antique and not subject to FEDERAL Firearms laws.   State laws may vary.   That's why I think C&R's might actually be "safer" with the specific permit.
 

I am fairly certain that NJ doesn't not recognize the C&R license.  As to other blue states, do the research, don't guess or presume.

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One more thing, don't go through New York City or it's suburbs.  NYC has it's own, much more restrictive gun laws.  Besides, traffic wise it's almost always quicker to go around.

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3 hours ago, Chantry said:

... As to other blue states, do the research, don't guess or presume.

 

Or...

1. Don't go to blue states.

2. Leave all guns at home if you do.

;)

 

I travel to one blue state with some regularity. And I take guns. I just entirely avoid the dark blue metropolitan areas and enjoy the backcountry in all the red areas. Otherwise red states only.  B)

 

 

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13 hours ago, DeaconKC said:

One other idea for transporting guns is to use a golf club hard carrier. Very heavy duty and they don't scream "GUN" if you unload them at a motel, going through the lobby. Or use Pelikan type cases and get some radio station bumper stickers and put them on the cases. The stencil "tripods" on the cases.

Hard Golf bag case is excellent, and can be had inexpensively at Goodwill or similar.

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Hotel lobby chit-chat:

”We’re just in town for the concert/play/musical/fair to help the kids get equipment set up.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.5315cd82d89557d94b452a68e6602c0f.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Dantankerous said:

 

Or...

1. Don't go to blue states.

2. Leave all guns at home if you do.

;)

 

I travel to one blue state with some regularity. And I take guns. I just entirely avoid the dark blue metropolitan areas and enjoy the backcountry in all the red areas. Otherwise red states only.  B)

 

 

Not all of us have that option or the option to leave the blue states we reside in

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Free men and women have whatever options they care to take the trouble to exercise. Though our present situation was not even considered then, and I didn't move for political reasons, I thank my lucky stars for my relocation every single day!

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On 5/25/2022 at 10:06 AM, Sam Colt said:

It would be helpful if anyone could share their strategies for transporting firearms legally, and experiences with law enforcement.

 

It's rather easy.

 

Like many people said, guns locked up in trunk, ammo locked up in trunk as well.  Locked up separately.  Some states might require cases to be locked, even if they're in a locked trunk.

 

Bring match confirmation.

 

If traveling through multiple states, consider bring receipts of purchase, or registration receipts (for states that require registration), this way you can show the guns are yours if need be.

 

Only bring match guns, leave business guns at home unless you know for sure your CCW is accepted in all states along your route, and your business gun is legal in those states.

 

Keep the inside of your car clean.

 

No gun publications, no loose shells rolling around, no shooting clothes or gear in the open. 

 

As far as dealing with LEO's, pay attention to what they ask, and only answer said question.  No need for added info they're not asking about.

 

If you are really concerned, you might want to look into 4A rights in each state you travel through, as various state courts have different rulings on probable cause.

 

 

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I think y'all are reading too much into it.

Kelli and I travelled through and shot in 34 states all over the usa, we had our firearms with us all the time in our van.

They were just in a custom wooden box I made, with a door and lock at the back and locked to the floor of the van. Gun cart alongside the box, ammo in the seat wells

when the seats up. (Dodge Minivan brilliant) we covered over 100,000 miles in just over 4.5 years, and never had any trouble ever.

Got caught speeding twice, in our home state of OK, first time a warning as my Australian license confused him, but I was put in the system and next time I got booked.:D

Never got asked about firearms, why would he? It was license and registration please. And of course you tell them nothing and volunteer nothing too.

Been stopped in AZ down at Tombstone when you get on the highway, checked us out, asked where ya been and where ya going, we said this time we been down to Bordertown the big shoot, ah great he said,  then ya free to go. Other LEOs were going through this van full of Mexicans and they were pulling it apart.!!

So just be incognito, we had a big black blanket covering everything and tinted windows you couldn't see anything.

Most of the time we stayed at Mom & Pop motels where you park outside the door, and we never brought of guns inside the motel, never had an issue.

I know some cowboys had leather stolen from their vehicles at a few banquets when parked outside, but if you leave it in full view you're asking for it.

We got more of a problem down here in this penal colony, as our firearm license is linked to our driving license, so getting pulled over here can be a issue, cause they

can ask if you're carrying any firearms, then it can be stressful, as any excuse to take them off you.

Don't let them go with any Aussie gun laws over there as I see they're thinking we're so good.

It's draconeon here.

Have fun safe travels.

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Here's the deal as it relates to California: 

• Pistols, rifles, and shotguns should be transported in your trunk. They actually don’t have to be in cases because the trunk is considered a "locked compartment", but it is best if they are cased or in rugs.  (Having guns found out of cases just begs for an argument). Basically, guns cannot be “easily accessible.” 

 

• If ammo is in the trunk with the pistols or rifles then the guns DO have to be in a locked case or locked rug. If the ammo is not in the trunk then the locked trunk itself acts as a locked case.

 

• Ammo and/or loaded magazines must be separate and cannot be in the same rug or gun case with a gun.

 

• If you don’t have a trunk (i.e., you have a pickup) then pistols can be in the back seat or back floor of your vehicle but they must be in locked cases (again, not "easily accessible") and the ammunition must be separate. Rifles are not considered “concealed weapons” and do not have to be in a loose or locked case, but to be on the safe side - because every officer has their own interpetation of the law, it is a good idea to keep them cased and locked.

  

• Probably obvious, but guns that are on the assault and illegal weapons list - which our cowboy guns are not - may not be brought into California.

 

• Guns cannot be larger then .50 cal, cannot be .50 BMG, and they cannot be fully automatic (without having proper approvals and licenses). Obviously, our cowboy guns do not fall in this category.

 

• Out-of-state folks may bring guns into California for your own use, but you may not sell them or leave them here. You must take out what you brought in.

 

If you are stopped:

If you are stopped by law enforcement for any reason you are not required to disclose that you have guns in the vehicle. However, many officers that we have spoken to consider that it is a good idea to tell the officer that you are “…going to a match and have guns properly locked, in the vehicle.” This is totally your call and totally dependent on the reason you have been stopped. Note that you must be going to a match, a range, a gunsmith, or to someone’s house where you will be leaving the gun, or similar, and not just driving around town with guns in your car. Having a destination and the ancillary gear that goes with your guns (spotting scopes, targets, gun carts, etc.) to prove your intentions, helps.

 

Going in and out of California with guns:

A bunch of us California shooters are regularly going to out-of-State matches, going across the state borders with ammo, pistols, rifles, and shotguns. When we return to California the folks at the California Border Protection Stations (CBPS) check for things like the entry of invasive or infested species and typically ask “Do you have any fruits and vegetables?”  “Do you have any firewood?” and so on. While they have the right to inspect for anything, checking for guns and ammo is not their top-of-mind issue UNLESS you make them think you have something to hide. If you have empty cases rolling around on your dashboard, your car stinks from weed, or you have white powder on your nose, they’ll most likely pull you over and search your car. Even if they do, if your guns and ammo are legally transported, and if you are bringing in reloaded bullets that are in plastic cartridge boxes with your name scribbled on its (for example), and if you have cowboy guns instead of UZIs, and if you explain that you are going to a match, then they’ll probably ask you where you are going, wish you good luck, and send you on your way.

 

As an aside, bringing ammo into California is okay as long as you plan to use it here and take unused ammo back out of the State. New ammo rules (2019) prevent you from selling ammo in California, or from Californians purchasing ammo out of State and bringing it back into California. For Californians going out of State with ammo and bringing unused ammo back into California is okay AS LONG AS it is looks like YOUR ammo - i.e., in plastic reloading boxes, and you can show that you are returning with unused ammo you brought out. Californians coming back into California with a brand new box of bullets with a Cabela's sticker on it, for example, is not a good idea.

 

RR

 

 

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