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View Full Version : Can someone transport a Colt AR-15 through CA?


wilit
01-21-2008, 6:47 PM
Okay, so this is really a two part question. I already know the answer the the first one (I think).

So say John Q. Public decides he's had enough of the hot summer heat in Arizona decides to move to Oregon. He packs up his stuff and drives through California with a CA listed Colt AR-15. Mr. Public has no intentions of staying in CA other than the amount of time it takes to drive through. Mr. Public is guilty of importing an Assault Weapon into CA correct?

So here's part two of my question. Say John's sister Joan Q. Public already residing in Oregon orders a Colt AR-15 from a dealer in Arizona and that dealer ships the rifle via FedEx Overnight. According to a friend of mine who works at FedEx, all west coast shipments go through the Oakland sorting hub and then shipped on to their destination, so that Colt AR-15 is technically imported to CA (only temporarily) and then is put onto a plane bound for the Portland hub.

Isn't FedEx breaking CA law?

cartman
01-21-2008, 7:10 PM
I'm not an expert on the subject but from what I remember reading on this site was you are allowed safe passage. I want to say thats because the interstates are federal. But I'm sure someone like Bill or Hoff will know the actual laws and cases.

Sgt Raven
01-21-2008, 7:24 PM
1986 FOPA safe passage should apply because the rifle is legal at the beginning and end of ther trip. ;)

bulgron
01-21-2008, 7:26 PM
I don't know the answer to the questions in the OP, but I note that someone driving from Arizona to Oregon would see a lot of interesting country if they went out of their way to avoid CA. Sounds like a cool road trip to me. Make sure to write the CA governor to let him know why you stayed out of California and so did not spend any money on hotels, food or gas in the state of CA on your trip north.

bulgron
01-21-2008, 7:29 PM
1986 FOPA safe passage should apply because the rifle is legal at the beginning and end of ther trip. ;)

And yet people passing through New York City's airports are routinely busted for bringing firearms into the city. This seems to happen even if your original destination was someplace other than New York but bad weather had you routed into that city quite against your will.

It seems that the 1986 FOPA is not enough to guarantee you a trip free of expensive legal fees.

wilit
01-21-2008, 7:33 PM
Here's what the CA law says

(a)(1) Any person who, within this state, manufactures or causes to be manufactured, distributes, transports, or imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives or lends any assault weapon or any .50 BMG rifle, except as provided by this chapter, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for four, six, or eight years.

Like Bugron mentioned, I have read stories of people getting busted flying through NYC. You would think the '86 FOPA would've protected those people.

pnkssbtz
01-21-2008, 7:35 PM
And yet people passing through New York City's airports are routinely busted for bringing firearms into the city. This seems to happen even if your original destination was someplace other than New York but bad weather had you routed into that city quite against your will.

It seems that the 1986 FOPA is not enough to guarantee you a trip free of expensive legal fees.

You can be arrested for anything, any time, at the drop of a hat.

Only in court can you exonerate yourself. But you and your attorney have to know about the 1986 FOPA, because the prosecution certainly isn't going to bring it up.

CCWFacts
01-21-2008, 8:56 PM
1986 FOPA safe passage should apply because the rifle is legal at the beginning and end of ther trip. ;)

That's true, it's on the books. It's also a very problematic law which I personally would not rely on. Is the person in "passage" if he stops for gas? For a bite to eat? Or what if his car breaks down and he spends a few nights in a hotel waiting for a part? If the rifle is found, the officer can go ahead and make the arrest and let the prosecutor and courts sort it out. It's not a wrongful arrest and the guy with the rifle will wish he had driven through Nevada, as he spends the down payment for his house on legal bills. So many what-ifs, so not fun to be a test case.

As someone else said, the best thing to do is to drive through Nevada and send a letter to Governor Arnie telling him how much money you didn't spend in California, and why.

I assume carriers must have some special protection by being common carriers (FedEx is a common carrier). Otherwise they would run into a bazillion legal problems every day, with guns, illegal items, and legally restricted items. What if someone ships an ounce of cannabis through FedEx (I'm sure this happens). FedEx doesn't have any criminal liability for that because they are a common carrier. What if I ship a handgun and the driver who delivers it is under 21? Again, not a problem. Maybe a legal-type person can explain this better.

hoffmang
01-21-2008, 9:39 PM
Here's the law.

1. Transport through. As long as its bonafide transport through, Federal Law protects you through FOPA.

2. Fedex is completely and totally immune from state laws on issues like this. the FAAA preempts all state regulations of what is inside the box of a fedex package as to fedex's liability.

-Gene

artherd
01-21-2008, 9:43 PM
Similar protections also extend to at least the sterile area of airports.

bwiese
01-22-2008, 9:20 AM
1. I would not rely on FOPA (or the 'competition exemption' in CA AW laws) for protection for transport of an unreg'd AW by nonresident in CA. At this point these really are defenses. I'd expect $lawyers$ to have to get involved as opposed to a cop acquiescing because you say "I have Fed preemption".

2. Common carriers have lotsa exemptions for items in transit.

formerTexan
01-22-2008, 7:49 PM
The best thing to do in this situation is to either avoid driving through CA, or ship the lower through USPS, as they'll accept "long guns", and take the upper with you. You're allowed to ship guns to yourself without involving any FFLs.