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Traveling the east coast

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Mantua, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. Mantua

    Mantua Well-Known Member

    I'm going to be traveling the East Coast this month, with guns in tow. I'll be taking I95 the whole trip and I won't be leaving the highway other than to stop for gas. Since I'm staying on 95, I'll be driving through: FL (the starting point), Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Mass, New Hampshire and (finally!) stopping in Vermont.
    Am I going to run into any legal trouble if I'm stopped in any of these states? Two of my firearms have high-cap magazines, but all three will be unloaded, locked with cable locks and stowed in the trunk.
    I tried to reference packing.org, but it's still dead:(.
    Thanks for any input.
  2. DragonFire

    DragonFire Well-Known Member

    As a general rule, if the guns would be legal where your trip starts and where it ends, you are okay as long as you are "traveling". What "traveling" means is somewhat open to interpretation, but driving through a state, or even spending a night at a hotel shouldn't cause you any problems. If you spend more than a night at the same hotel or in an area, than you could have problems.

    NYC is especially strict on how they interpret "traveling" through the city. But of course, I wouldn't stop there unless my car died.
  3. ptmmatssc

    ptmmatssc Well-Known Member

  4. StuckInMA

    StuckInMA Well-Known Member

    I'd make some calls before you head into MA or NY. Especially with Hi-Caps.

    Below is from the NRA-ILA Federal Gun Laws page (http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/FederalGunLaws.aspx?ID=59).

    MASSACHUSETTS--Nonresidents are allowed to bring personally-owned handguns into the Commonwealth for competition, exhibition or hunting. If the handgun is for hunting, a valid hunting license must be procured. Furthermore, the handgun owner must have a valid carry permit from another state and that state's permit requirements must be as stringent as those of Massachusetts. A person who does not meet these requirements must obtain a temporary handgun permit from the Dept. of Public Safety, 1010 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215.

    Caution--Massachusetts has enacted one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, imposing a mandatory one-year jail sentence for anyone illegally possessing a firearm, loaded or unloaded, "on his person or under his control in a vehicle." In all cases, all firearms must be transported as prescribed in the general rule.

    BOSTON--Under a vague law, it is unlawful to possess, display, transfer or receive any shotgun with a capacity exceeding six rounds; a semi-automatic rifle with a magazine exceeding 10 rounds; any SKS, AK47, Uzi, AR-15, Steyr AUG, FN-FAL, or FN-FNC rifle; any semi-automatic pistol which is a modification of a proscribed rifle or shotgun; and any magazine or belt that holds more than 10 rounds. An "assault weapons roster board" may add additional firearms to the list of "assault weapons." For owners to continue possession of such firearms, a license/registration must have been obtained from the Boston Police Commissioner within 90 days of the effective date of the law (12/ 9/89) or within 90 days of the addition of a firearm to a roster of "assault weapons." Otherwise a license/registration cannot be obtained.

    The provision does not apply to possession by nonresidents of Boston at a sporting or shooting club, by a person with a Massachusetts license to carry a pistol, or while taking part in competition or at a collectors' exhibit or meeting or traveling to or from such event or while in transit through Boston for the purpose of hunting by licensed hunters, provided that in all cases the "assault weapon" is unloaded and packaged and the person has a Massachusetts Firearm Identification Card or has a license or permit to carry or possess firearms issued by another state. Prospective travelers are urged to contact the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau at (617)660-4780 or the State Police at www.mass.gov/msp/firearms/ for further information.

    NEW YORK--The transportation of handguns is prohibited except by a resident with a license to carry.

    A member or coach of an accredited college or university target pistol team may transport a handgun into or through New York to participate in a collegiate, Olympic or target pistol shooting competition provided that the handgun is unloaded and carried in a separate locked container.

    Nonresident target shooters may enter or pass through New York State with handguns for purposes of any NRA-approved competition if the competitor has in his possession a copy of the match program, proof of entry and a pistol license or firearms registration card from his state of residence. The handgun must be unloaded and transported in a fully opaque container.

    New York State has strict laws governing illegal possession of handguns which can result in a possible seven-year jail sentence for offenders.

    Caution--New York law presumes that an individual stopped in possession of five or more handguns, without a state permit, possesses the handguns for illegal sale, thus subjecting this person to an increased sentence.

    Caution--New York is the only state that prohibits the transportation of handguns without a license. Travelers should therefore be particularly careful since they face severe consequences should they inadvertently violate the state's highly restrictive statutes.

    NEW YORK CITY--A city permit is required for possession and transportation of handguns and long guns. New York State handgun permits are invalid within the city limits; however, New York State residents may transport their licensed handguns unloaded through the city if these are locked in a container and the trip is continuous. Long guns may be kept in the city for only 24 hours while in transit and must be unloaded and stored in a locked container or vehicle trunk for the period.

    New York City forbids possession of an "assault weapon," which includes various specified semi automatic rifles and shotguns, or revolving cylinder shotguns. It is unlawful to possess an "ammunition feeding device" capable of holding more than 17 rounds in a handgun, or more than 5 rounds in a rifle or shotgun.

    In all cases, the general rule should be observed. The New York State law on illegal possession applies to the City as well.
  5. Dorryn

    Dorryn Well-Known Member

    Pre-ban hi-cap magazines are legal. I would make sure you can prove the pedigree though.
  6. ptmmatssc

    ptmmatssc Well-Known Member

    StuckInMA is correct . Each state has their own laws regarding transportation of firearms etc. The federal law DOES NOT supersede state law . I actually called ATF to verify this (I to am going to be traveling through multiple states) . Best bet is to avoid states where there would be a problem (as best as you can) . For me it's impossible to get where I intend to travel without going through either mass or ny (live in maine) unless I go through canada :rolleyes:
  7. fletcher

    fletcher Well-Known Member

    Not in NC you won't. No hi-cap problems here, no obligation to tell a LE anything unless you have a CCW permit. If the guns are in the passenger compartment, I would say something just to be cautious. If they're in the trunk, I wouldn't say a thing.
  8. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Well-Known Member

    depending on what part of maine your going to, 95 may not be your best option.

    95 to 91N may be a better option. also, what do you know. right off 91n in springfield MA is the Springfield Armory Musuem and Smith and Wesson shooting sports center ;)
  9. GlowinPontiac

    GlowinPontiac Well-Known Member

    A stop at the springfield armory museum would be well worth your time.

    Its a great place with some nice exhibits.
  10. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Well-Known Member

    Virginia is an open carry state.
  11. Neocode

    Neocode Well-Known Member

    Do not travel through NY State with a firearm... not unless you have a NY State license to possess and travel with a firearm... if you get stopped you WILL be in loads of trouble... and I believe NJ and NY both, have the rule that if you stop overnight, you are no longer "traveling" and become subject to their laws on gun ownership...
  12. Cams29er

    Cams29er Active Member

    I live in NY and know how strict the laws are. However, I know that you are looking at a lot of trouble in Mass if you do not have a trigger gaurd on every firearm you have. A pistol in a locked box without a trigger gaurd isn't good enough. I also think you are suppose to call the proper authorities in Mass too. Like I said, I live in NY , but Mass is very communist with their gun laws.
  13. DragonFire

    DragonFire Well-Known Member

    New York State is not as bad as many people have heard. Yeah there are some strict laws, but many are almost impossible (or not worth the effort) to enforce, like the hi-cap magazine ban.

    Post-ban mags are illegal, but most LEOs won't bother you about them since it's almost impossible to tell exactly when a mag was manufactured. Commit a crime with one, and they might tack on the additional charge.

    New York City is another thing altogether.
  14. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    When you mean "unloaded" just make sure that you do not have bullets in any of your magazines. Even if left outside of gun, this can be construed as a 'loaded firearm'.
  15. nwilliams

    nwilliams Well-Known Member

    A good resource to use is http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/

    I would be particularly careful when traveling though DC and spending any time in places like NJ, NY or MA.

    I certainly wouldn't suggest not bringing a gun with you no matter where you go. However I would make sure that if you travel to NYC, Boston or DC or if you spend any time in anti-gun states that you keep your gun locked up in a case with a trigger guard in the trunk of your car.

    If you get pulled over and the police find a gun in your car, it should appear to the officer that the firearm is clearly in transportation form and not intended for use. Remember not every police officer is aware of all gun laws, some police officers haven't a clue and will give you guff even if you think (and know) you are following the law. By no means would I want to be pulled over in places like NY, MA, CT, NJ or DC with a loaded handgun in my car, especially within reach.

    When you get to Vermont, enjoy your freedom!
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  16. never_retreat

    never_retreat Well-Known Member

    NJ should not screw with you for driving through the state. People can come here from pa for example and bring there hand guns to shoot in the state. But our mag limit is 15 rounds so be careful.
  17. coyote_jr

    coyote_jr member

    ptmmatssc first you posted the federal statute which answered the OP's original concerns, then you say

    Actually federal law trumps the state everytime in this case.

    Mantua, as per federal law, as long as you have all of your weapons:

    you are well within your legal rights to drive from FL to VT, DESPITE any state or local laws to the contrary.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  18. flashman70

    flashman70 Well-Known Member

    Looks like the law's on your side. I'd drive very carefully, however in order to avoid testing any local LEO's knowledge of same.
  19. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    You will be depending on Federal protection for transportation during certain segments of your trip: DC, MD, NJ, NY, NYC, CT(?) and MA.


    Summary of requirements:

    *Legal @ origin and destination
    *"Continuous travel" [Danger Will Robinson! Danger!]
    *Unloaded and trunked

    These protections are shakey in some states, especially NJ, NY and MA.

    NJ and especially NY have been known to arrest people in defiance of USC 19.whatever.

    To that end, you should know and be aware of your rights, so as to avoid unnecessary complications:


    When traveling with arms, I also recommend that they be contained in anonymous locked containers such as toolboxes, or at least not in obvious gun cases, such that they cannot possibly give probable cause for further search.
  20. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member

    Man I'm glad I don't live in Mass.:barf:

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