Traveling with a firearm


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mrbladedude
January 29, 2011, 01:59 PM
Hi all. My name is Bryan and i know this topic has probably been beaten to death but i am still unclear of a few things.

I stay in VA at the moment but I go to NJ and PA often. My wife has family there and we go visit for a weekend at a time every now and again. I recently bought a handgun. I want to take it with me so that I can go shooting with my wife's Grandfather in PA. However. I am reading some info online that says NJ is going to give me a hard time.

Our trip goes like this every time. Leave VA, on 13 ( i think ), go through Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey. Stop in New Jersey and stay the night at my wife's parents house. Next day we drive to PA to my Grandfather's and go shooting etc have lunch. Head back to NJ that evening and stay the night. Drive back to VA the next day. I am not sure if we go though a bit of New York interstate or not.

I plan on getting my concealed carry permit but at the moment I have not got one.

To be safe, My handgun will be in my trunk unloaded and the Magazines in my glove compartment, also unloaded and the ammo um i guess under the seat? Trunk maybe? I have a pistol safe at my house but i will not bring it. If the pistol seriously needs to be locked up, i will put a lock on the Glock factory pistol box that the gun came with.

If by Murphy's law or some other unfortunate occurrence I ended up getting pulled over in New Jersey and my firearm was found. What would happen?

Do you think there is anything else I can do to further safeguard myself from getting in trouble? I really don't want to leave my gun at home.

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mrbladedude
January 29, 2011, 02:04 PM
Double post

NavyLCDR
January 29, 2011, 02:45 PM
Since you are staying in New Jersey over night at your wife's parents house, and your possession of the handgun is illegal in New Jersey, you are out of luck for transporting your handgun there, because it is a destination for the purpose of a visit there.

If you were traveling straight through New Jersey on the way to Pennsylvania, unloaded and locked in the trunk with the ammo locked in the trunk as well would then fall under the provisions of Federal laws. The handgun would still be illegal for you to possess in New Jersey, but Federal law would provide an affirmative defense.

Sam1911
January 29, 2011, 03:06 PM
Since you are staying in New Jersey over night at your wife's parents house, and your possession of the handgun is illegal in New Jersey, you are out of luck for transporting your handgun there, because it is a destination for the purpose of a visit there.
Unfortunately, this is all that can be said on the matter. You won't be able to legally do what you're planning. If you can rearrange your trip to stop first with whomever you are visiting in any of the other states and deposit the handgun with them, you would be fine.

NJ as a destination makes it a no-go.

If by Murphy's law or some other unfortunate occurrence I ended up getting pulled over in New Jersey and my firearm was found. What would happen?Arrest and prosecution under NJ law. Expensive court battle, felony conviction, prison.

IF NJ wasn't your destination and you were truly just passing through on your way to some other place (and NOT stopping at a relatives house, however briefly) then you could still be detained, have your gun confiscated, arrested, and put through a court battle -- BUT federal law (FOPA '86) would provide you with a defense which your attorney could plead once you're in court.

mrbladedude
January 29, 2011, 04:24 PM
Wow. Looks like a major headache. Does one know if I can skip NJ and go straight to PA or would there still be interstate time in Jersey?

NavyLCDR
January 29, 2011, 04:54 PM
As long as you didn't stop in New Jersey as a destination (even to visit just one night), you would be under FOPA while traveling through New Jersey:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00000926---A000-.html

ß 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

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 driverís compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

RickD427
January 29, 2011, 07:02 PM
NavyLT is quite correct about the content of the FOPA, however some recent legal action may render it pretty much useless.

Check out the Second Circuit's decision in Torraco et al v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (615 F.3d 129). It concerned three persons, in separate cases, who were transporting firearms in a manner consistent with the FOPA. One was arrested for violation of New York law, one was delayed in travel, and one was arrested for violation of New Jersey law (under circumstances very similar to the OP's question). Neither of the arrestees was successfully prosecuted (the opinion is silent on the exact reasons, but it appears FOPA is the likely reason).

All three filed suit under 42 USC 1983 alleging civil rights violations. The trial court and the Second Circuit held that no right was violated. The really short version of the opinion was that federal statutes are not the same as federal rights. Showing that a statute was violated was not sufficient.

The U.S. Supreme Court just declined to hear the case meaning that it's now final.

brboyer
January 29, 2011, 08:48 PM
Wow. Looks like a major headache. Does one know if I can skip NJ and go straight to PA or would there still be interstate time in Jersey?
No disrespect, but do you know how to read a map?

Ramman911
January 30, 2011, 03:41 AM
http://apps.carryconcealed.net/packngo/

swinokur
January 30, 2011, 09:08 AM
The case the SCOTUS declined to grant CERT for was Revell vs. Port Authority of NY and NJ, not Torraco.

Long story short"Traveler Revell delayed in transit, got suitcase and went to hotel. Came back next day arrested at airport.for handgun violation. He eventually had charges dropped but sued under 1983. District Court found for state and Appeals Court affirmed lower court court ruling. SCOTUS declined to grant CERT about 2 weeks ago

http://theworldlink.com/news/local/article_4acd4f00-1f66-5b8b-920a-9b78f47891e3.html

swinokur
January 30, 2011, 09:10 AM
more info here (http://www.carryconcealedl.net)

www.usacarry.com
www.handgunlaw.us

mrbladedude
January 30, 2011, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the heads up guys. Looks like I will be avoiding NJ entirely.

tyeo098
January 30, 2011, 12:22 PM
We live in Chantilly, Va and Travel to Binghamton NY often, we take rt 15 up to 581W then I81 up to Binghamton. Penna is right on top of Va (and Md) so I fail to see why you would need to visit NJ at all aside from visiting family.

A Starting City and Destination city would be helpful

GRIZ22
January 30, 2011, 07:28 PM
Does one know if I can skip NJ and go straight to PA or would there still be interstate time in Jersey?

If you're coming up I95 just stay on it when you're in DE instead of taking the DE Memorial Bridge. It will take you straight to the PATP north of Philadelphia.

xr1200
January 31, 2011, 03:22 AM
Just send the gun to the grandpa thru a dealer. The problem with most cops that will pull you over they just arrest you when they find a firearm and let the courts sort it out.
Cops simply arrest you, they don't interperet the law.

I asked NYS trooper firearms division once, and the trooper told me this. Lets say you are driving from PA - Maine and are stopped by on NYS thruway and troopers find pistol in your car. You tell them your relocating from PA to Maine, but in reality you are going to confront your ex girlfriend or wife etc. in Rochester NY and a shooting occurs.

So if they stop you and arrest you with the gun, they may have stopped a potential shooting or in comparison they let you go and the shooting takes place that they could have stopped.

So this is the police mind set you are up against, no one wants to let the wrong thing happen and if it means arresting you and letting the courts sort it out, then this is what will usually happen.

mrbladedude
February 2, 2011, 02:09 AM
Pretty uptight state hey. Dam. Ya my grandfather lives in the Poconos. Alpine mountain. Thanks for the heads up guys. Looks like I will be avoiding NJ entirely.

Exmasonite
February 2, 2011, 03:17 AM
Doesn't NJ have a law making hollow point ammo illegal? On top of the potential headaches with FOPA regardless, would FOPA provide any help with HP ammo or would the presence of the illegal ammo pre-empt any other issues and screw you?

(as in, even if you're just passing through, if they find a Hydrashok JHP, are you getting detained?)

NavyLCDR
February 2, 2011, 12:07 PM
Doesn't NJ have a law making hollow point ammo illegal?

No.

(as in, even if you're just passing through, if they find a Hydrashok JHP, are you getting detained?)

Probably.

----
Now, in a state such as California where "hi capacity" magazines are illegal to possess under most circumstances - FOPA offers no protection if you are travelling through California with magazines that are illegal in California.

And in a state such as Ohio, where it is illegal to have loaded magazines anywhere in a vehicle where the matching gun is, without a CCW permit - FOPA would offer no protection against that either, even though there is no requirement to unload magazines to comply with FOPA.

Again the key to traveling through any of these states with restrictive laws is to never, ever consent to a search of the locked container/compartment where your guns are being transported, no matter what the police officer threatens.

Sam1911
February 2, 2011, 12:26 PM
Doesn't NJ have a law making hollow point ammo illegal?

No.

There's a little more to the story than simply, "no."

http://www.state.nj.us/njsp/about/fire_hollow.html

dcdub
February 3, 2011, 12:33 AM
New Jersey + in-laws - guns = miserable weekend. Sounds like you'll have a much better time just hanging out with your grandfather.
I don't condone breaking the law, but if you needed that gun while traveling and it was locked in the trunk... I don't even want to think about it. Just drive safe, make sure you don't have any brake lights out or anything, don't speed, and you'll be fine. If you somehow manage to get yourself pulled over just play it cool and the officer will have no reason to even think about searching your vehicle.

THE DRILL INSTRUCTOR
February 3, 2011, 01:03 AM
Not to threadjack from mrbladedude, but could one expect a similar arrest-first-check-laws-later attitude towards the Federal Firearms Transportation Statute when traveling through Massachusetts? I live in Vermont and have family in Rhode Island who would like to shoot with me, and it's not like detouring through New York is practical; nor would it alleviate the situation.

Also, What if I wanted to bring an evil black rifle with a magazine bigger than ten rounds with me? Or a handgun with a mag capacity greater than ten?

Sam1911
February 3, 2011, 07:58 AM
when traveling through Massachusetts?Yes, MA has a very bad reputation with this as well. Proceed with extreme caution.

Greg528iT
February 3, 2011, 03:07 PM
Sam.
Is this out of date?
http://www.nraila.org/statelawpdfs/NJSL.pdf
Am I not reading it correctly?

Sam1911
February 3, 2011, 03:13 PM
It says it was updated Feb. 2006.

Which part are you concerned you're misreading?

NavyLCDR
February 3, 2011, 03:21 PM
The portion of the NRAILA page referencing hollow point ammunition in New Jersey is incomplete.

It is unlawful to knowingly possess “any hollow nose, dum-dum, or body armor penetrating bullet.” A person may keep such ammunition at his dwelling, premises, or other land owned or possessed by him, or carry such ammunition from the place of purchase to said dwelling or land.

A better source is the NJ State Police website:
http://www.njsp.org/about/fire_hollow.html

Thus a person may purchase this ammunition and keep it within the confines of his property. Sub section f (1) further exempts from the prohibited possession of hollow nose ammunition "persons engaged in activities pursuant to N.J.S.A 2C:39-6f. . . ."
N.J.S.A 26:39-3f. (1).

Activities contained in N.J.S.A 26:39-6f. can be broken down as follows:

1.A member of a rifle or pistol club organized under rules of the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice and which filed its charter with the State Police;
2.A person engaged in hunting or target practice with a firearm legal for hunting in this State;
3.A person going directly to a target range, and;
4.A person going directly to an authorized place for "practice, match, target, trap or skeet shooting exhibitions."

As with other ammunition and firearms, a sportsman would have to comply with the provisions of N.J.S.A 2C:39-6f and g when transporting hollow nose ammunition to a target range. The ammunition should be stored in a closed and fastened container or locked in the trunk of the motor vehicle in which it is being transported. The course of travel should be as direct as possible when going to and leaving from the target range with "only such deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances." N.J.S.A 2C:39-6g.

If the sportsman's club member plans to hunt with a rifle and use hollow nose ammunition in a state where this is permitted, he must comply with the provisions of U.S.C.A. 926A and N.J.S.A 2C:39-6(f) and (6)(g), which is consistent with the federal law, in transporting the firearm and ammunition.

Main point being, if you are traveling through NJ, and you are carrying your hollow point ammunition in accordance with USC 926a, you should be just fine. Just remember you are on your way to a target range in your destination state.

Greg528iT
February 3, 2011, 03:24 PM
POSSESSION
It is unlawful to knowingly possess any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a Permit to Carry, and it is unlawful to knowingly possess any rifle or shotgun without having first obtained a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FID), however, no Permit to Carry or FID is required:
1. To keep or carry any firearm about a personís place of business, residence, premises, or other land owned or possessed by him; a place of business shall be deemed a fixed location.
2. To carry any firearm unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gunbox, securely tied package, or locked in the trunk of the automobile

From the NRA pdf

In reading this, it seems you are allowed to transport a firearm in NJ if it's locked away. Most of the posts responding to this, say.. you can't transport firearms thru NJ.
Quote:
Since you are staying in New Jersey over night at your wife's parents house, and your possession of the handgun is illegal in New Jersey, you are out of luck for transporting your handgun there, because it is a destination for the purpose of a visit there.

Unfortunately, this is all that can be said on the matter. You won't be able to legally do what you're planning. If you can rearrange your trip to stop first with whomever you are visiting in any of the other states and deposit the handgun with them, you would be fine.

The NRA synopsis reads as if you CAN transport.

Sam1911
February 3, 2011, 03:49 PM
Most of the posts responding to this, say.. you can't transport firearms thru NJ.
That is in error, per the FOPA '86. Federal law gives you an affirmative defense against state possession laws as long as you are travelling in accordance with the FOPA guidelines -- one of which is driving straight through with no significant stops. The OP stopping to visit with relatives would nullify any FOPA protections.

That's covered on NJSP's web site, too: http://www.njsp.org/about/fire_trans.html

For other, general firearms laws: http://www.njsp.org/about/fire_ag2.html

icanthitabarn
February 3, 2011, 03:54 PM
Quote..'s Stop in New Jersey and stay the night at my wife's parents house. and furthermore .... Looks like I will be avoiding NJ entirely.
:)
And then the fight began

Greg528iT
February 3, 2011, 05:59 PM
OK this is what is confusing to me. And AGAIN I realize this is a synopsis, but from what I read. It's legal to posses a firearm without a FID or PTC in New Jersey per statement 1. and it's permissible to transport with reasonable deviations.

Sorry to be a pain.. but what I read is not the same as what's said here. Should there be a 2011 update to the NRA page?



POSSESSION
It is unlawful to knowingly possess any handgun, including any antique handgun, without first having obtained a Permit to Carry, and it is unlawful to knowingly possess any rifle or shotgun without having first obtained a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FID), however, no Permit to Carry or FID is required:
1. To keep or carry any firearm about a person’s place of business, residence, premises, or other land owned or possessed by him; a place of business shall be deemed a fixed location.
2. To carry any firearm unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gunbox, securely tied package, or locked in the trunk of the automobile in which it is being transported and the course of travel shall include only such deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances from any place of purchase to his residence or place of business, between his dwelling and his place of business, from one place of business or
residence and another when moving, or between his dwelling or place of business and place where such firearms are repaired, for the purpose of repair.


From what I am reading on the NRA page, if I was a resident of NJ, I would be allowed to possess a firearm on my property. Transport the firearm to a range, gun smith, shop, etc. I am unsure why it woul dnot allow a non resident to possess and transport in a similar fashion.

NavyLCDR
February 3, 2011, 06:27 PM
You have to look at this part of the law:

from any place of purchase to his residence or place of business, between his dwelling and his place of business, from one place of business or residence and another when moving, or between his dwelling or place of business and place where such firearms are repaired, for the purpose of repair.

Visiting a relative in New Jersey does not fit into ANY of the excepted places. Visiting a relative is not a reasonable deviation - it is a destination with a purpose - and neither the destination nor the purpose is exempted in New Jersey law.

dec41971
February 5, 2011, 02:20 AM
NJ is generally a PITA. If found with a fire arm regardless of conditions, and you are not LEO, you pretty much can expect to detained for along period at a minimum. Worse, you will get arrested until it gets sorted out, and they will be looking for anything they can stick on you. Absolutely zero tolerance unless you have a NJ CCW which is practically not going to happen. :neener:

IMO not worth the risk even if you think you are in compliance. :uhoh:

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