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View Full Version : Cross-country moves with guns, How to do it legally?


Alaric
04-04-2011, 10:56 PM
Let's take the worst case scenario as a hypothetical. Let's say you're moving from California to Maine. On the way you have some anti states like Illinois and Ohio that aren't exactly easily avoidable, but if you take a southern route, can be. Then you have other far more anti-states that are either entirely unavoidable or nearly so, like New York and Massachusetts. For New York you can try to make a mad dash along the eastern side, minimizing your time in the state, but violate state law, but then you inevitably wind up in Mass.

Or maybe you could try to ship your guns there?

Or take them to Virginia and boat them in? Would state law apply to boats found in transport off the coast of, say, NY?

Or take whatever route you as a freedom-loving American so desire and rely entirely on the shoddy protection given by federal law (the FOPA Act) to firearms owners transporting lawfully owned guns that might otherwise be outlawed by state law?

Take as granted that all firearms will be separated from ammo, locked, unloaded, ammo will be locked up and everything otherwise will be in compliance with even the strictest state laws. This case study is focused more on guns that are legally owned in California but otherwise illegal in other states. For example, bullet button AR pattern semi automatic rifles. Fully legal in California, not in NY, IL, etc. Or say, Legally owned standard capacity magazines (10+ rounds) from CA, transported through states with a state equivalent of the former Federal AW ban (like NY and MA).

How would you do it? Would you do it? Would you just do it in compliance with FOPA and to hell with the state laws, and if they arrest you then, well, have the NRA and the CGF on speed dial? Thoughts please, many thanks.

This is all hypothetical and no intent to break any laws is intended or encouraged in any way.

hoffmang
04-04-2011, 11:11 PM
If you turn your unloaded firearms over to a common carrier (UPS, moving company) you don't have to worry about whether they are illegal en-route - only that they are legal where you end up.

If you're driving them yourself (U-Haul, truck) placing them unloaded in locked containers and keeping moving except for the usual stops while driving cross country is protected by Federal Law.

-Gene

Alaric
04-04-2011, 11:20 PM
If you turn your unloaded firearms over to a common carrier (UPS, moving company) you don't have to worry about whether they are illegal en-route - only that they are legal where you end up.

If you're driving them yourself (U-Haul, truck) placing them unloaded in locked containers and keeping moving except for the usual stops while driving cross country is protected by Federal Law.

-Gene

Thanks for the quick reply Gene. A couple more caveats:

- What about ammo? Would travelling with it present any further challenges (besides locking it up)?

- What about cases such as the fellow who was locked up in NJ while otherwise legally transporting his firearm, but missed his flight? I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking that this (interstate transport) is legal technically, if it may in fact be unwise in a practical sense. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/ap_on_re_us/us_supreme_court_gun_arrest. FOPA has not apparently given him the protection one would expect.

What I'm trying to get at here is the most practical and legally defensible means of transport across the most unfree states. Is there a lesson to be taken from cases such as the above?

hoffmang
04-04-2011, 11:35 PM
Ammunition in your own transport is fine. Ammunition sent by common carrier is more difficult.

The airports have been hairy. The guy in New Jersey was not just "moving through" New Jersey.

If you're worried, ship them. You shouldn't worry though - just keep 'em locked up and unloaded and rest easy. If you get the right carry permits you could probably get almost the whole way there loaded though.

-Gene

Alaric
04-04-2011, 11:51 PM
Ammunition in your own transport is fine. Ammunition sent by common carrier is more difficult.

The airports have been hairy. The guy in New Jersey was not just "moving through" New Jersey.

If you're worried, ship them. You shouldn't worry though - just keep 'em locked up and unloaded and rest easy. If you get the right carry permits you could probably get almost the whole way there loaded though.

-Gene

That would be a lot of permits to get. :eek:

Thanks for the feedback though, this is good advice. Especially the part about resting easy. If you happen to act nervous in a traffic stop in NY with a BB AR in your trunk, FOPA might become a moot point then.

RomanDad
04-05-2011, 2:35 AM
That would be a lot of permits to get. :eek:

Thanks for the feedback though, this is good advice. Especially the part about resting easy. If you happen to act nervous in a traffic stop in NY with a BB AR in your trunk, FOPA might become a moot point then.

A utah or florida Non Resident permit would get you from Arizona to Pennsylvania with only New Mexico not covered in between.

http://apps.carryconcealed.net/legal/reciprocity.php

Nodda Duma
04-05-2011, 3:48 AM
That would be a lot of permits to get. :eek:

Thanks for the feedback though, this is good advice. Especially the part about resting easy. If you happen to act nervous in a traffic stop in NY with a BB AR in your trunk, FOPA might become a moot point then.

I actually just did this: moving from CA to New Hampshire at the beginning of the year. Had all firearms and ammo packed away in the truck bed. Built what is essentially a plywood camper shell in a way which couldn't be accessed w/out unlocking tailgate and disassembling w/ a power drill.

New York state's not too bad, but it was driving across MA or even potentially hitting New Jersey (i skirted that state line) that I was most worried about. Even with FOPA I didn't want to push my luck. Of course I completed the drive with no incidents and never even got a second glance from a cop. My driving didn't give them a reason to.

To minimize time in gun-unfriendly states, drive across central PA on the 80 and then up the 84, gas up before you hit the state line, and there'll be no reason to stop as you drive across NY, CT, and MA into New Hampshire. Don't forget toll fee to get across bridge over the Hudson. Once you're in New Hampshire, welcome to Free America.

cmichini
04-07-2011, 3:57 PM
Not to threadjack, but I'm going to be doing this soon, too. Going from CA to NC, and looking for some advice.

Luckily, it looks like most of the states I'll be crossing are pretty reasonable, but the 'locked' container part has me a bit baffled.

I have work on locked containers. Buying cases will be WAY expensive and I won't use them all (I may buy one nice case), but I'll need more than that to tote my wares.

Anyone see issues with maybe using some wooden crates, attaching a hasp (if not already something there), locking and cruising? Does that sound kosher?

If so, anyone got any source for something like that? Likely need a sizable crate for long guns and maybe one for smaller items, or would I have to build (anyone got plans)?
I've got a couple of weeks to prep, so I appreciate any guidance, tips, success/failure stories, etc.

Thanks,

Wherryj
04-07-2011, 4:10 PM
Ammunition in your own transport is fine. Ammunition sent by common carrier is more difficult.

The airports have been hairy. The guy in New Jersey was not just "moving through" New Jersey.

If you're worried, ship them. You shouldn't worry though - just keep 'em locked up and unloaded and rest easy. If you get the right carry permits you could probably get almost the whole way there loaded though.

-Gene

It might also be advisable to observe the speed limit and all traffic laws, keep your vehicle clean and well maintained and otherwise limit the number of reasons for being stopped/detained by an officer.

wash
04-07-2011, 4:18 PM
A locked crate should be fine as long as there are no holes that you could stick a finger through.

If they are all long guns and no RAWs, you might not even have to lock them up but on a trip that long, locking seems like a good idea even if you don't go through a state that requires it.

hoffmang
04-07-2011, 8:09 PM
A utah or florida Non Resident permit would get you from Arizona to Pennsylvania with only New Mexico not covered in between.

http://apps.carryconcealed.net/legal/reciprocity.php

Florida gets you New Mexico. A UT and FL get you almost everything easily gotten (says the guy with those and OR, NV, PA, etc.)

-Gene

dukeryder
04-08-2011, 2:40 PM
If you're driving them yourself (U-Haul, truck) placing them unloaded in locked containers and keeping moving except for the usual stops while driving cross country is protected by Federal Law.

Yes, even in Massachusetts you can transport firearms through the state legally. The law there just doesn't allow you Conceal Carry, or Fire your weapons unless you're hunting or engaging in some form of Competition.

Guys drive through MA all the time between CT and VT with Guns that aren't even "Legal" MA guns, they are just in locked container similar to the laws here in CA.

Alaric
04-08-2011, 3:29 PM
My biggest concern about such a journey is New York (and Illinois, up until today :)).

Thanks for the reminder on UT and FL CCW's. That's good advice for anyone thinking about a long roadtrip.