Is "car trunk" a "locked container" for gun free school zone act?


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bushmaster1313
July 11, 2010, 10:08 PM
The gun free school zone act 18 U.S.C. 922(q) contains an exception for an unloaded firearm in a "locked container". see 18 U.S.C. 922(q)2(B)(iii)

http://www.gunlaws.com/Gun_Free_School_Zones_Act.pdf

Is a car trunk a locked container under the statute?
please provide a source.

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Owen
July 11, 2010, 10:12 PM
It's probably going to depend on your state. When I lived in Massachusetts, it did not.

bushmaster1313
July 11, 2010, 10:19 PM
It's probably going to depend on your state. When I lived in Massachusetts, it did not.

I think it is a question of interpreting the Federal Statute.

Owen
July 11, 2010, 10:29 PM
What does FOPA '86 require?

bushmaster1313
July 11, 2010, 10:31 PM
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.

18 U.S.C. 926a

This lets you use a locked container when you do not have a car trunk.

DoctorJC
July 11, 2010, 11:27 PM
18 U.S.C. 926a

This lets you use a locked container when you do not have a car trunk...Not in Oregon. Locked in trunk is still "Carried in vehicle." I speak from experience.:cuss:

belercous
July 12, 2010, 01:25 AM
DoctorJC; Sorry, but you got screwed and you should have appealed. State law cannot trump federal law. "Carried in vehicle" is exempted by the clause "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."
Don't know why you let them do this to you, but you were in the right. Provided you were in compliance with the plain & clear language of the law. Any ambiguity in a crimminal law is to be decided in the favor of a defendant, this is a tenet of legal interpretation of statutes.
There seems to be no ambiguity here, unless there are other facts you have not stated. Any appellate court judge would have overturned this ruling, if not thrown this case out upon review, sans argument. It's not even close to being a dispute.
I don't know who your lawyer was, but s/he was lame.

bushmaster1313
July 12, 2010, 07:41 AM
Doctor JC
Sounds like FOPA did not apply to you for some other reason.

NavyLCDR
July 12, 2010, 10:21 AM
FOPA only provides protection during INTERSTATE transportation. That means transportation between states. It does not apply to a person transporting their firearms completely within one state. That's the current interpretation anyway.

What really torques me is that the Federal government will use the interstate commerce clause to regulate firearms that could be proven to have EVER been in interstate commerce - even if just one part of that firearm was EVER in interstate commerce. Yet they say 18 USC 926a only applies when a person is CURRENTLY transporting a firearm interstate.

I think the interstate commerce clause should be only applicable to items actually in interstate commerce and limitied to only those times during interstate movement - but, so far the Federal government, as of yet unchallenged, applies it freely when they desire to do so.

bushmaster1313
July 12, 2010, 11:23 AM
Yet they say 18 USC 926a only applies when a person is CURRENTLY transporting a firearm interstate.


Where do they say this?

NavyLCDR
July 12, 2010, 11:45 AM
Where do they say this?

In the title to the statute. The Federal government has never regulated the gun control restrictions that a state could place on it's own residents until McDonald V. Chicago (and that only covers firearms possession in the home, btw). The Federal government only stepped in before that case when states tried to restrict firearms possession by persons travelling through those states enroute between two states where they could legally possess the same firearms.

Zoogster
July 12, 2010, 03:25 PM
Yet they say 18 USC 926a only applies when a person is CURRENTLY transporting a firearm interstate.

This is true that it does not apply in the state, but to explain it more clearly it is even worse than that. Interstate commerce makes it sound like it applies when going from one state to another, but even that is not always true.
It does not even apply to a neighboring state.

FOPA only protects you in a third state. That is the state which is not your original state, and the state that is not your "destination" state.
The firearm must be legal at the destination to even apply in a third state.

So for example if I took a road trip to New York with a pistol carried under FOPA it would not protect me from being arrested and receiving a felony under New York law for illegally possessing a firearm without a New York permit. Since it would be illegal in New York, I would also not be protected in any state in between under FOPA because the firearm in question was illegal at the intended destination.
To be protected in a third state the firearm must be legal at the destination.

If however someone was on their way to Maine from Florida, they would be protected under FOPA on the entire coast, unless they deviated from their path, at which point the state they deviated in would be counted as a "destination". So if they took a break to see the sites in D.C. or New York City, or just had to stop and see where the first shots that lead to the United States were fired at Lexington (anti-gun MA) then they would not be covered.
Those locations would become "destinations" and so the gun would go from legal to illegal, even though it was still being transported in the method described by FOPA.
Stopping to see symbols of freedom like say the Statue of Liberty could result in a valid felony charge, stripping you of your freedoms (because just possession is a felony, even if it is locked in your trunk unloaded and in compliance with FOPA.)


Most states are less restrictive than the requirements under FOPA anyways. (Even California is less restrictive than the requirements under FOPA.)
A few are not.

Charleo0192
July 12, 2010, 03:29 PM
DoctorJC; Sorry, but you got screwed and you should have appealed. State law cannot trump federal law. "Carried in vehicle" is exempted by the clause "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."
Don't know why you let them do this to you, but you were in the right. Provided you were in compliance with the plain & clear language of the law. Any ambiguity in a crimminal law is to be decided in the favor of a defendant, this is a tenet of legal interpretation of statutes.
There seems to be no ambiguity here, unless there are other facts you have not stated. Any appellate court judge would have overturned this ruling, if not thrown this case out upon review, sans argument. It's not even close to being a dispute.
I don't know who your lawyer was, but s/he was lame.
State law can and in many cases do trump federal law. the 10th amendment says

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Which basically means the states in their own make the laws and what not, unless its against constitution.

This is why some states allow you to privately buy a handgun at 18 but not at a FFL because the FFL is federal.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're wrong, but just that you're wrong in saying state can't federal

mwcharger
July 12, 2010, 04:43 PM
state laws are allowed to be more restrictive than the federal laws but they cannot allow or garuntee something banned by the federal government

I.E. a state allowing civilian ownership of newly manufactured machine guns or assault rifles (and i say that with the actual definition of assault weapon in mind, im not talking about sporter rifles). this would be unconstitutional as federal law prohibits such ownership.

its kinda hard to explain

Topcat
July 12, 2010, 05:32 PM
Rather than risk it wouldn't it be easier to get a cheap tin box with a padlock and put your gun in it? I think I would be ok in any case since it says- "if the individual possessing the firearm is licensed to
do so by the State in which the school zone is located"
I have a concealled weapon permit and the state i live in does not have it's own law against carrying a firearm in a school zone.

Owen
July 12, 2010, 07:52 PM
I asked about FOPA, because of the locked container requirement, figuring that if the law didn't define it, then legal precedent would, and that would be bushmaster's answer...

bushmaster1313
July 12, 2010, 07:57 PM
I am looking for an answer based on a court case applying the law

SMMAssociates
July 13, 2010, 04:39 AM
Here in OH, just driving through a school zone wouldn't be a problem.... Particularly if you're licensed. However, you need an OH license to drive through a school zone in OH....

However, under OH law, you can't go onto the premises, which includes parking lots, driveways, etc., with a firearm in the vehicle....

The Federal side appears to be directed against the folks who deal drugs & such, and all but demands another crime in order to be enforced. I wouldn't worry about it.

(OH does allow you to carry/transport when picking up or dropping off your children. It's silent on getting out of the vehicle to help a little one into a car seat, or other people's kids, and has no exception for a spouse or significant other. It's presumed that helping the little ones - if somebody falls down, etc. - would be OK, but if Ms. Witchbreath comes up to you and demands that you come inside to claim your spawn, you have to go home and return without the weapon! Or at least park on other property.)

Regards,

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