FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Driving by Private Transportation

I. Introduction

The federal provision to transport a handgun, allows You to transport such from any lawful place to any other in a private passenger vehicle. The major division in the law relates to vehicles that have separate compartments for passengers versus gear, like a trunk, and those vehicles that do not have an external trunk or compartment. Federal law guarantees You safe passage with firearms as long as You are transporting them to another state where they are legal, even if You have to pass through states where Your firearms would be illegal. This provision requires that You do not stop for an extended period of time in a state where Your firearms are illegal (such as staying overnight). The law is unclear on how long of a stop is ok (stopping for gas or restrooms is acceptable), but it is best to stop in these states as briefly as possible.

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II. Transportation in Trunk (if available)

For vehicles that have a separate compartment from the passenger area, the firearm must be unloaded, and neither the firearm, nor any ammunition being transported, can be readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment.

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III. Transportation in Certain Locked Container and Unloaded

In cases where there is not a separate space or compartment from the passenger area, the firearm must be unloaded, and the firearm and ammunition must be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. In states where handguns are sold to individuals who do not have a license to carry, there is a similar provision to transport the firearm from the dealer to his or her residence or in moving between residences.

To minimize the risk of unintended violation, there should be as much separation and indication as possible that the firearm (handgun for reciprocal carry) is not available to the occupants of the vehicle. Where it is unclear, as in hundreds of such cases, the occupants may face risk of arrest for carrying a handgun without a license.

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IV. Conclusion

Readers should take care, at least analytically, to make a distinction between the federal right to interstate transportation of a firearm from any lawful place to any other lawful place, and state rights to transport a firearm, a handgun in particular, from a place of purchase or in moving in a “secure wrapper.” While the condition of the firearm (unloaded) and removed from access may be the same, failure to understand all distinctions may cause unexpected failure to comply with the controlling provision. In addition, it is important to be mindful of the culture and attitude towards firearms in the states You pass through. If stopped in anti-gun states like New York with firearms that are illegal there, You may be arrested and have Your guns confiscated despite the federal law. While it is unlikely that You would be convicted of a crime due to the federal safeguard, You may be greatly inconvenienced.

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More