Cross-country Move With Guns


May 12, 2007, 09:11 PM
Hey there, all!

I'm looking for advice on how to move my guns across the country at the end of the month. I have four firearms (2 rifles, 2 shotguns), that currently live with my friend (I live on a campus). I am moving to Oregon at the end of the month. I am shipping all of my non-perishable goods on Amtrak, and loading the rest in the back of my truck and driving with my girlfriend (via Atlanta to see my family).

I obviously am not going to ship my guns on Amtrak.

My preference would be to bring them in the truck with me in hard cases, bringing them in at night wherever I'm staying. However, some of the people we're staying along the way, including my folks, would not be down with guns in their homes. (And I haven't asked my girlfriend, who's fairly gun-inexperienced, about whether or not she'd be comfortable with that plan anyway.) Should I move without them, find a friendly FFL once I get there, and have my friend send them? The downsides to that are A)I don't have any with me, B)cost/hassle of shipping and FFL transfer.

Any suggestions or thoughts would be great.


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May 12, 2007, 09:26 PM
Lock the cases and tell people that they are fishing poles.

Nomad, 2nd
May 12, 2007, 09:35 PM
CHECK FOR YOURSELF: But there is a federal law that covers you.

IIRC unloaded in a locked case you are good to go so long as the guns are legal at your destination.

I imagine will have the details.

Aguila Blanca
May 12, 2007, 09:41 PM
It is also legal for you to ship firearms to yourself without involving an FFL. However, an FFL can ship using the postal service, which is probably cheaper since UPS and FedEx insist on shipping by second-day air -- which would result in your guns getting there before you're there to receive them.

May 12, 2007, 09:45 PM
Unless I'm confused, you don't need an FFL to move your own property. It's not a transfer. I'd just put 'em in a case and go.

May 12, 2007, 10:15 PM
A) Unload them, case them, put them in the trunk, and drive them to Oregon.

B) Ship them to yourself c/o someone in Oregon. Since they are rifles and shotguns, not handguns, you can use the U.S. Postal Service.

May 12, 2007, 10:35 PM
Before I moved to Arizona permanently I used drive back to Maine every summer. My parents live in Maine so I used to go back every summer because I had a great seasonal job there. Anyway I made the round trip from Arizona to Maine six times, and I always brought with me all my handguns and most of my rifles. Loaded them all into cases, locked them up, tossed them in the back of my suv and took off, usually I could make the entire trip in about three and a half days. On my way back to Maine on my last trip I got pulled over twice, once in TX for going 75 in 65 at night and once in VA (I think, maybe it was NC) for having tinted windows, apparently that was against the law, but he let me off the hook because I was traveling through.

I always had my car so loaded with stuff that my gun cases (being at the bottom) were never noticable. I never brought any ammo with me, other than a couple loaded pistol mags for my traveling gun. I don't travel long distances without having some form of protection for me and all my stuff. Especially since there were times when I just slept in my car at truck stops. But before hitting the open road I would place even my traveling gun in a case put a lock on it and put it in the back out of reach with the mags stored seperately.

Was I worried? Yes a bit in certain states like NY and MA, but I did it anyway because I didn't want to go through the hassle of shipping all my guns back and forth. I was probably lucky, but I wouldn't have any issue about doing it again, and if I ever move back to Maine, I probably will.

May 12, 2007, 10:37 PM
If the truck is going to be loaded , bury them at the bottom . No worry about having to take them out .

B) Ship them to yourself c/o someone in Oregon

C/O is not shipping them to yourself out .

May 12, 2007, 10:37 PM
Send them to yourself via UPS or Fed Ex overnight.

May 12, 2007, 10:50 PM
C/O is not shipping them to yourself out .

A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.

Send them to yourself via UPS or Fed Ex overnight.
That is only necessary for handguns. USPS is going to be cheaper than UPS or FedEx overnight service.

May 12, 2007, 11:06 PM
when my family moved from CT or OR my father asked the moving truck driver how to move the guns and we were told. Pack them up label them as fragile and DONT tell me where they are. I guess the truck driver had less liability that way. Also what part of OR are you moving to? If your in the Portland area I can recommend a number of good gun-shops or ranges that could be the C/O for you.

May 13, 2007, 01:31 AM
Ok, so the new question is this:

If I do decide to take them in hard, locked cases, with me, where is the best place to put them? I have a Chevy S-10, with an extended cab and a lockable camper top. Should I A)put them in to the bed first, closest to the cab, and then bury them in other stuff, or B)put them in the cab, directly behind the seats, and then bury them? Should I leave them in the truck at night when I'm sleeping inside somewhere, or bring them in?

Thanks for the suggestions,

May 13, 2007, 01:32 AM
Oh! Another twist: I am beginning my trip by spending a few days in NYC, packing and picking up my gal. Special thoughts related to that experience?


May 13, 2007, 08:39 AM
I don't think you want to bring any guns in NYC.

I would not leave any valuables in a vehicle parked overnight in a motel parking lot.

A locking camper top is fine if you do not leave your vehicle, if you have to make a pit stop or need something to eat, do not let your vehicle out of your sight.

May 13, 2007, 09:29 AM
NYC plus firearms + getting pulled over by NYC's Finest = you're gonna be someones bitch for a while.

Avoid NYC, DC, Taxechussetts, Illinois (not just Chicago), New Jersey and ********** if at all possible.

I'm sure there are more that folks can add

Oregon is not exactly Gun should check the laws before you head out and make sure you are good to go before you get there and find any suprises.

May 13, 2007, 09:37 AM
NYC... Ick. That puts a whole new level of paranoia into this trip.

Packing them up and shipping them to yourself (pref USPS registered) is going to be your best option. Does someone else already live at your destination? Do you trust them to hold your packages until you get there? If so, ship them ahead of time. If not, maybe you can leave the packages with someone who can drop them at the post office when you're a day or two out from your destination? That way they will not be left unattended on your doorstep.

May 13, 2007, 09:59 AM
Packing them up and shipping them to yourself (pref USPS registered) is going to be your best option. Does someone else already live at your destination?

Hey Josh-

I'd be willing to give a hand on that if you want.

May 13, 2007, 10:42 AM
jpk1md: Oregon is not exactly Gun should check the laws before you head out and make sure you are good to go before you get there and find any suprises.It isn't? :confused:

If not, that's the first I've heard of it - and I've been here for over 25 years.

Could you expand on that a bit please?

May 13, 2007, 10:48 AM
Not to defend my state in anyway--but you can drive through Illinois and even Chicago proper (on interstate) if the weapons are unloaded and cased (preferably broken down, but unloaded and cased is the law.

You will have no probs with the Illinois State Police if your gear is stowed properly.

NEVER leave weapons in the vehicle. If they are broken down and cased being that they are not handguns--you can have them in that condition virtually everywhere in the United States if you are traveling. You didn't wake up in China this morning. Don't worry so much.

Ever read the John Steinbeck novel 'Travels with Charlie'--where the aging author describes his cross-country journey in a truck with a camper shell? He brings extra guns and fishing gear so that people will think he is 'normal'. Traveling with weapons is routine and needs to remain so.

May 13, 2007, 10:53 AM
My question to you is, "Why would anyone "not be comfortable" with unloaded, cased guns in their homes and why would you stay with them if you're not welcome if you have guns with you during a move?"

May 13, 2007, 11:45 AM
Well, my momma (Happy Mothers' Day!), for starters, wouldn't be pleased at all. It's largely because of her religious beliefs (Quaker), and that's fine with me and I don't want to knock that. The basic answer is that there are people who I love enough to want to stop and see without getting into any sort of political debate over guns. I'd just rather not even go there than run the risk of alienating myself from them.

Any suggestions for safe shipping measures? Are locked, hard-cover, padded cases enough?

I think what I'll do is box them up myself and have the friend who they currently live with send them to me USPS Registered once I get there, have figured out how I want to store them in my new place, etc.

Thanks so much!

May 13, 2007, 12:15 PM
Put the guns cased and unloaded in the trunk of your car. You are protected by federal law. The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 to be specific.
So long as you are passing through a state and the firearms are legal at your destination, local and state laws do not apply.

Google this and read up on it.

I always transport my guns personally whenever I move to another state. I just put them in the back of my truck, pile several hundred pounds of other stuf on top of them and lock the camper shell.

Also, if the trunk of your car is really weighed down a lot and the hood is pointing skyward, try this old bootlegger's trick so you do not draw attention to yourself when traveling.

Go to the RV place or to the local NAPA and look into getting a pair of air shocks to support the extra load. I do not know if this works with a modern front wheel drive car, but it worked on the old RWD landyachts that I used to drive. For pickup trucks, get a set of Firestone air springs.

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