Different states have different rules when it comes to firearms. Some states allow people to have firearms, some view having a gun as criminating. That’s one of the reasons why you need to be careful when carrying your firearm when traveling.
However, if you are carefully adhering to the law, the federal government gives you protection. FOPA protects anyone transporting firearms for lawful motives from limitations that would prohibit someone from traveling with a gun.
The law states that anyone who is in lawful possession of a gun can carry their gun to any place in the country, but as long as the firearm is unloaded and out of reach. However, with these protection laws, people should be on the know-out. Some states treat this law as ‘affirmative defense’.
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Pick a Safe Route
When you decide to travel, ensure that you take the safe route. It’s good to avoid jurisdiction that treats anyone with a gun as a criminal. New York and the District of Columbia are the perfect examples of states that treat gun owners who knowingly or unknowingly brought guns into their state as criminals.
So, before traveling to a shooting competition, or a vacation and you decide to carry your gun for self-defense, do good research on gun rules of the state you are visiting, or the state where you plan to pass-through.
After doing proper research and carefully planning your routes, be extra careful on the road. Ensure to follow all the laws to the latter, including parking, observing your speed limit, and proper signaling when changing lanes when traveling.
Many guns- owners have been arrested for having a firearm. However, this is after being pulled over for an insignificantly small traffic violation or even being in a car accident caused by someone else.
As we have seen, driving has challenges when traveling with a firearm, flying with a firearm is also complicated, especially if the airline officials do not understand the law. The TSA has developed specific requirements for transporting and traveling with firearms in the checking section of commercial airlines.
Before beginning the trip, make sure to carefully unload all the firearms. Place them in the locked cases and store them in a different container. Airlines are also allowed to add their own rules.
For the big guns, it’s a requirement to store them in hard-sided containers specifically made for the big firearms. Always remember to look out for the rules especially if you have to connect flights. You must double-check your firearm to ensure it’s unloaded and in the correct bags otherwise, you can be arrested by law enforcement.
Tips on How to Fly With a Firearm
- Always ensure to read the TSA rules for flying with firearms before planning to travel with a gun.
- Always ensure to check the policy of the airline, call in for more clarifications.
- Not all the TSA agents are up to date with the rules, so print the rules and carry them with you.
- For big guns, buy the proper hard-sided travel case for you will be required to lock it.
- Make sure your weapon is unloaded.
- Weigh your bags. Remember if your baggage weighs more than 50lbs you will be required to pay an extra fee.
- Ensure to read through the policies of the airline, some airlines may restrict any firearm weighing more than 12lbs
- Ensure your weapon case is locked all the time
Traveling with firearms can be difficult both on land, water, or air. All firearms must be checked by the air carrier. The parts of a firearm should not be carried as baggage. This includes magazines, any internal part of a firearm, or frames. All firearms should be cleared in writing according to the carrier’s rules. Ensure you are well versed with firearm laws of all states you visit.