With laws regarding firearms constantly changing, we must stay up to date on federal, state, and local laws. This can be hard enough in the area where we live, but what do we do when traveling to other areas with our firearms? The first thing you must know is the legality of crossing state lines. Contrary to popular belief, per Federal Law 18 USC § 926A if you are lawfully able to possess a firearm you may transport across state lines. There are a few stipulations with this federal law, the firearm shall be unloaded and stored along with the ammunition in an area not easily accessible by the occupants and you must be able to legally possess the firearm in the area of your destination.
Now, surely your first thought is about how this affects concealed carry individuals traveling to a state that has reciprocity with their home state. Well, this federal statute allows for travel and transportation of firearms across state lines and through the state. This does not mean stopping and the best way to determine if your travel plans will end in arrest or seizure is to research your travel route and the laws all the way from point A to B. The United States Concealed Carry Association offers a free online guide to interstate travel for Concealed Carry travel, theUSCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws by State has all the Information pertaining to each state’s firearm laws. Another great way to learn firearms laws is to check out our blogs on80 Percent Lower Laws per each state, we have much more than just 80 percent lowers tackled in these blogs.
First and foremost, ingrainThe 4 Essential Rules of
Firearm Safety in your mind prior to any firearms handling, master and novice alike, there is no such thing as being too safe.
Everything Concealed Carry
This is a big topic and one many people have questions about even if they are not permitted by their state to legally carry a concealed firearm. Let’s first define what it means to “conceal” a firearm. Concealed means hidden out of sight, whether in a vehicle or on a person. Here is where the water gets a little muddy for some people, is it illegal to conceal a firearm in the trunk if I don’t have a concealed carry permit/license? The answer is no, it’s not even considered concealed if it is secured outside of “lungable areas” in a vehicle, which means the firearm is not readily accessible to the occupants. For more information on this topic and firearms safety training, find a State Certified Concealed Carry Instructor in your state.
How to Travel with a Firearm
The first objective to tackle is the safe storage of firearms; in a vehicle, airline travel, and in a hotel. There are as many options for the safe storage of firearms as there are grains of sand on the beach.
Let’s talk about what is available for vehicle first. Vehicles are not theft proof but you may not always be able to carry inside every rest stop on your trip so it is imperative that you secure your firearm in a way that it can not be grabbed quickly and easily. Many safes on the market intended for vehicles simply use a wire cable attached to a seat frame and the safe as a deterrent such as theStalwart Portable Gun Safe Top Opening Personal Steel Travel Combination Lock Box , which is fine considering it eliminates the element of ease of access. If you are looking for something that will withstand a few hard cuts, you might want to check out something along the lines of theBulldog Car Vault Lockbox with Keylock and Mounting Bracket, which bolts to the floorboard.
You may be looking for someway to keep your gun safely close at hand while driving without having it locked under the seat or on your body, something like a car gun holster. Well, you’d be in luck because there are dozens of innovative designs that allow for access and safety such as theVehicle Console Holster from Discrete Defense Solutions. Or maybe you are looking for something a little more versatile that can be used as a truck gun holster or a secure mount for a desk gun, check out theMagnetic Gun Holster from Quick Holster.
How to Travel by Plane with a Gun
Unfortunately, there is no answer that covers ever airline since they all have their own regulations. If you are planning a trip that requires you to fly it is extremely important to do your research well in advance of your trip, even if you have before check again since regulations are subject to change.
One major requirement that is relevant throughout all airlines that allow firearms to travel with you is the type of storage container you use for your firearm. A hard case with more than one point to secure a lock, such as aPelican Vault Case will always be acceptable by the FFA regulations. Additionally, the firearm must be unloaded, and the ammunition must be stored separate and apart from the firearm and magazines in a case designed for ammunition or the original package stored in a locked container.
Can You Bring a Gun into a Hotel?
Here is yet another example of one size does not fit all. Depending on where you are traveling to and planning on staying may determine the legality of firearms on the premises. On one hand you have some state laws stating that a hotel is considered a temporary dwelling space therefor you can possess and carry as you would at home (in your assigned room). On the other hand, the business may not allow firearms on the premises. This is why planning and research is so valuable when taking a trip to an unfamiliar place. If they do allow it, a strong suggestion is to not leave your firearm unattended in your room when you are not there, even if you rented a car, get a vehicle safe.