Traveling with Firearms- Laws & Restrictions

Posted On January 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm by / No Comments

Traveling with Firearms- Laws & Restrictions

Federal law does not restrict individuals from transporting legal firearms across state lines for lawful purposes. This means that no federal permit is required nor is available for individuals who wish to transport firearms from state to state. There are however, restrictions on select people such as:

  • Convicted felons
  • Persons under indictment for felonies
  • Adjudicated “mental defectives”
  • Illegal drug users
  • Illegal aliens
  • Dishonorably discharged veterans
  • Those who have renounced their U.S. citizenship
  • Persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence
  • Persons subject to domestic violence restraining orders

Local Firearm Transportation Laws

As there is no uniform state transportation procedure for firearms travelers must be aware of the local and state laws that govern the transportation of firearms. If you are in doubt and still wish to travel with firearms, practice the following:

  • Make sure they are unloaded;
  • Locked in a case; and
  • Stored in an area (such as a trunk or attached toolbox) where they are inaccessible from the vehicle’s passenger compartment and not visible from outside the vehicle.
  • Ammo should be stored in a separate locked container.

Federal Law on Transportation of Firearms

The Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA) is a provision of the federal law that protects those who are transporting firearms for lawful purposes from local restrictions which would otherwise prohibit passage. Under the FOPA laws, notwithstanding any local or state laws, a person is permitted to transport a firearm from one place to another where he or she may legally possess and carry such firearm as long as the above points are met. Although this act protects travelers, they are still advised to carry copies of any applicable firearms licenses or permits, as well as printouts from the relevant jurisdictions` official publications or websites documenting pertinent provisions of law (including FOPA itself) or reciprocity information.

Carrying Firearms on or About the Person

State and local laws apply regarding the carrying of firearms as soon as they are carried on or about the person, or placed loaded or readily accessible in a vehicle. If you seek to carry firearms in such an area and are unfamiliar with the local laws, it advised that you contact the Attorney General’s office in each state through which you will be traveling. You will also want to find out whether the state issues any necessary permits to non-residents and how to obtain one if they are available. Some states simply will not issue permits to non-residents.

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