Saddle Bags....


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mcdonl
July 14, 2009, 05:59 AM
Does anyone know if the federal laws specifically call out if motorcycle saddlebags are considered an accessable or innaccessable container on the vehicle?

I am travelling from Maine, through NH, MA and into NY. Maine is the only state I have a CCW in... I spoke with the State Police of each state, and MA follows the BATF federal guidelines and the Sgt I spoke with did not dare make a ruling on it, other then to say he would not cite me if the gun were in one bag, and the ammo in the other.

I know that in reality, tha bags are not accesable without stopping the bike, getting off the bike and oppening the bags... sounds a lot like a trunk to me.

Any thoughts?

Also, the NY State Police website only talks about purchasing and carrying a gun. If I can find a range where I am going, and I legally transport the guns through NH and MA, can I keep and shoot my guns when in NY?

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NavyLCDR
July 14, 2009, 10:30 AM
No, I do not think you can have your handguns in your possession if New York is your destination. Rifles and Shotguns are OK, but the handguns are not.

Here is the NY code:
http://law.justia.com/newyork/codes/penal/pen0265.20_265.20.html

Exceptions which might apply to an unlicesed handgun are below, but notice it has to be a sanctioned competition in which you are competing and it is only good for 48 hours before/after the competition.

13. Possession of pistols and revolvers by a person who is a
nonresident of this state while attending or traveling to or from, an
organized competitive pistol match or league competition under auspices
of, or approved by, the National Rifle Association and in which he is a
competitor, within forty-eight hours of such event or by a person who is
a non-resident of the state while attending or traveling to or from an
organized match sanctioned by the International Handgun Metallic
Silhouette Association and in which he is a competitor, within
forty-eight hours of such event, provided that he has not been
previously convicted of a felony or a crime which, if committed in New
York, would constitute a felony, and further provided that the pistols
or revolvers are transported unloaded in a locked opaque container
together with a copy of the match program, match schedule or match
registration card. Such documentation shall constitute prima facie
evidence of exemption, providing that such person also has in his
possession a pistol license or firearms registration card issued in
accordance with the laws of his place of residence. For purposes of this
subdivision, a person licensed in a jurisdiction which does not
authorize such license by a person who has been previously convicted of
a felony shall be presumed to have no prior conviction. The
superintendent of state police shall annually review the laws of
jurisdictions within the United States and Canada with respect to the
applicable requirements for licensing or registration of firearms and
shall publish a list of those jurisdictions which prohibit possession of
a firearm by a person previously convicted of a felony or crimes which
if committed in New York state would constitute a felony.

NavyLCDR
July 14, 2009, 10:36 AM
Here's the prohibition against handguns:
§ 265.01 Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth
degree when:
(1) He possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun
gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal
knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles,
chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or
slungshot, shirken or "Kung Fu star"; or

and

3. "Firearm" means (a) any pistol or revolver; or (b) a shotgun having
one or more barrels less than eighteen inches in length; or (c) a rifle
having one or more barrels less than sixteen inches in length; or (d)
any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle whether by alteration,
modification, or otherwise if such weapon as altered, modified, or
otherwise has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches; or (e)
an assault weapon. For the purpose of this subdivision the length of the
barrel on a shotgun or rifle shall be determined by measuring the
distance between the muzzle and the face of the bolt, breech, or
breechlock when closed and when the shotgun or rifle is cocked; the
overall length of a weapon made from a shotgun or rifle is the distance
between the extreme ends of the weapon measured along a line parallel to
the center line of the bore. Firearm does not include an antique
firearm.


http://law.justia.com/newyork/codes/penal/pen0265.00_265.00.html
http://law.justia.com/newyork/codes/penal/pen0265.01_265.01.html

Traveling THROUGH New York, without New York being a destination can be accomplished under Federal law, 18 USC 926a:

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sec_18_00000926---A000-.html

NavyLCDR
July 14, 2009, 10:38 AM
Also, be aware, that since New York is your destination, and handguns are illegal for you to possess at your destination, without the New York license, then FOPA (18 USC 926a) posted above does NOT cover you while travelling to New York.

I would think the saddle bags would be enough to transport according to FOPA, but, if you really wanted to be safe, you could put the gun AND the ammo in a case with a lock on it, but I think the saddle bags themselves would be enough. Besides, if you are stopped for just a traffic violation, no reasonable suspicion exists for them to search your saddle bags.

mcdonl
July 14, 2009, 03:55 PM
Ok. Thanks.

GRIZ22
July 14, 2009, 05:35 PM
I know that in reality, tha bags are not accesable without stopping the bike, getting off the bike and oppening the bags... sounds a lot like a trunk to me.


While I agree with you keeping them in a locked container in the bags would be a safer bet.

Zoogster
July 14, 2009, 05:40 PM
The federal law only covers you in states between the states you are going. If NY is your destination, then you are not covered under the protections offered by federal law with any firearms not legal to bring there.

The items must be legal at the starting point and at your destination to be legaly covered under the FOPA.


I see NavyLT already covered this in detail.

mcdonl
July 15, 2009, 03:54 PM
Yeah, and it was enough for me to throw in the towel. Sucks that I cannot carry my little P-3AT with me just because I have family in NY.

Thanks everyone.

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