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Question on handgun interstate transport

Discussion in 'Legal' started by moewadle, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. moewadle

    moewadle Well-Known Member

    I am new to handgunning. An employee of a gun shop told me recently that it is against the law (I assume the federal gun laws.) to transport a handgun over statelines. He made this as a flat statement saying that long guns are legal but not handguns. He did not say there is an exception for people legally wanting to transport a handgun to another state for purposes of hunting, cowboy action shooting, shooting matches, or just to go to a range with a friend/relative. I would like one of you who knows to clarify this for me. Even with some of the very restrictive federal laws on guns that exist this seems somewhat unlikely to me. If this is true it would be illegal for me to transport a handgun up to Michigan from my home in Iowa to my nephew's house so we can shoot together. So, thanks in advance for clarification. Moe
  2. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    In general it is legal to transport a handgun unloaded and locked separate from any ammo. It should not be accessible to you as the driver; hence it should be in the trunk or some such location. Same applies to long guns. You do not need a concealed carry permit to transport.

    The laws are kind of unusual as I understand them. If you can legally own a firearm, then it is legal to transport that firearm through another state. The significant aspect to this is that you have to be legal at the destination. Places like Washington DC, New York, Maryland, New Jersey are somewhat problemmatic for handguns if you are headed to the New England area. There have been horror stories of folks being prosecuted from just having the handgun in New York and New Jersey. Permits for these are difficult to obtain in the NYC and NJ in general.

    You will need to check Michigan laws. I believe you are okay, but I know Michigan has a form of registration in place where you have to have a permit for each handgun. These are obtained from the sheriff's department as I understand it. Not being from Michigan, I don't know the little details.

    One of the easier ways to learn about this is to call a Michigan sheriff's department in the county of your destination and simply ask them the question about legality and complying with any local laws. Having a concealed carry permit in Iowa may be helpful if Michigan honors them. This information is available from the website packing.org.
  3. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Well-Known Member

  4. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    It sounds like either he didn't understand your question, or you mis-heard his answer.

    It isn't legal to sell handguns across state lines (except by transfer between FFLs in the respective states). As far as transportation is concerned, it's covered under the FOPA (Firearms Owners Protection Act), which is Federal law. It covers interstate transport of firearms.

    What it says, in a nutshell, is that it is legal to transport a firearm between states, or through several states to get from one state to another, if you can legally possess the firearm in the state where the journey begins and if you can legally possess the firearm in the state where the journey ends. The firearm must be transported unloaded, and either in the trunk of the vehicle or, if the vehicle has no trunk, in a locked container separate from the ammo.
  5. moewadle

    moewadle Well-Known Member

    Clarification to the previous entry....I did not ask a question...he offered this information when I said something about going to Virginia and Michigan to shoot with family members. And, no I did not misunderstand the statement. He made a flat statement and made further statements to the effect that many people simply ignore the law in order to get their handguns to other states. Tell me, why do you think I made the mistake and not him??? Moe
  6. jrfoxx

    jrfoxx Well-Known Member

    I regards to handgun registartion in Michigan ("safety inspection as they call it"), it only applies if and when you go there with the intent to become a resident of the state of Michigan. Transport in unloaded, in the trunk, or locked in a case and behind the seat if driving a truck, and you'll be fine.
    so, yes, you may legally transport a handgun from Iowa to Michigan no problem (I wouldnt drive thru Chicago though, they arent known for gun friendliness regardless of federal law).

    P.S.-for credibility, I spent the first 27 years of my life in Michigan and my family is all still there, and all of us have owned guns while living there, for generations. (I say this since below my screen-name it says I live in Oregon, which is now true)
  7. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    As has already been explained transportation of guns from state to state is, generally speaking, NOT illegal.

    If you have to go through the wilderness (Illinois, New York, etc.) I recommend you maintain a low profile - no NRA bumper stickers on the car, and don't fill up with gas while wearing a " . . . from my cold, dead, hands . . . " T-shirt. ;)
  8. moewadle

    moewadle Well-Known Member

    Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate the help. To jrfoxx....I lived in Oregon for 7 years in the 1970s and my adult children live in the Portland area. I go out there every year for a visit. I love Oregon. If my wife would consent I would consider moving to Oregon but I would have to get out of the rain by living, lets say, around Bend. Moe
  9. Soybomb

    Soybomb Well-Known Member

    As usual, if you heard it in the gunstore, its probably not true. In fact you actually have federal protection for transporting firearms through states that are less friendly as long as you meet the guidelines.

    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.

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