Traveling With Your Gun

Traveling by Car

If you do not have a carry permit with reciprocity in a particular area, 18 U.S. Code § 926A (Firearm Owner’s Protection Act) protects you to a degree:

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.

Stopping for an extended period such as a hotel stay, roadside nap, etc may void your protections under this law.  Do not make the trip any longer than is absolutely necessary and avoid violating traffic laws or attracting attention.

Some state/municipal authorities may essentially ignore this law and arrest you anyway.  California, City of Chicago/Cook County Illinois, Hawaii, New York (including NYC), New Jersey, Massachusetts and DC are of particular concern.

 

 

Traveling by Air

Major airline carriers will allow you to travel with a handgun in your checked luggage.  It must be declared at the ticket counter when checking in at the airport.  The unloaded handgun must be in a hard-sided, locked container.  The TSA has guidelines and your airline may have a variation.  Verify with your particular airline’s website before you get to the airport.

Be aware that the FOPA will not protect you when traveling by air.  Persons flying in the northeast (NY/NJ/MA region) should use extreme caution.  If your flight is redirected (emergency landing, inclement weather, etc) for any reason, even a reason beyond your control, and you disembark there, you could be arrested for violating state/municipal gun control laws.

Major Carrier Rules

American Airlines
Delta Airlines (‘Sporting Goods’ Section)
Jetblue Airlines
Southwest Airlines
United Airlines (Firearms Section)

 


 

Traveling by Rail

Amtrak will allow you to check firearms in your luggage.  You must call them at least 24 hours in advance to notify them and arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your departure.  Once at the station you must declare your firearm at the ticket counter.  You may not carry on the train.  The firearm must be in hard-sided, locked container.

Amtrak trains do not have FOPA protection.  Persons traveling by train in the northeast (NY/NJ/MA region) should use extreme caution.  If your train is redirected for any reason, even a reason beyond your control, and you disembark there, you could be arrested for violating state/municipal gun control laws.