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Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

When traveling from state to state with firearms in your vehicle, you must know the Interstate Transportation of Firearms laws. Many states and localities have their own laws governing the transportation of firearms. Travelers must be aware of these laws and comply with legal requirements in each jurisdiction. If in doubt, a traveler should follow federal law.


Notwithstanding any state or local law, a person is entitled to transport a firearm from any place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry it, if the firearm is unloaded and locked out of reach. In vehicles without a trunk, the unloaded firearm must be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Ammunition that is either locked out of reach in the trunk or in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console is also covered.

Travelers should be aware that some state and local governments treat this federal provision as an “affirmative defense” that may only be raised after an arrest.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has also recently held that FOPA’s protections only apply while the firearm is not readily accessible to the traveler. You must also make sure that the type of firearm you are traveling with is legal in the state you are in.


When you are transporting a handgun through a state that prohibits your right to carry, you should always store your handgun in a locked hard sided container separate from the the ammunition. If your vehicle has a trunk, both the handgun and the ammunition must be stored in the trunk. If your vehicle does not have a trunk, then your handgun must be in a locked hard sided container and both the handgun and ammunition must be stored as far from you in the drivers seat as possible.


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