If you are moving across state lines with a legal firearms, then you must follow both Federal and different state laws. The Firearms Owners Protection Act, (FOPA) is the federal law which governs the possession of firearms and their transportation. However, even with this federal law, the state laws vary from state to state. If you are legally transporting your firearms from one state to another state during your move, you have to abide by the laws governing the transportation of firearms in each state you will travel through before you start your move. For example, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and Connecticut are among those states that have very rigorous laws regarding transportation and possession of firearms and ammunition.
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When traveling with the legal firearms, your should always have your firearms in a secure place that is not accessible by anyone in the car or drivers on the road. A good place to store them would be in your locked trunk or trailer and they should be unloaded. To be even safer, it is smart to place your unloaded firearms in a protective hard-sided container which can be locked either with a key or combination code. Only the owner of these legal firearms should have access to the key and or code to retrieve the firearms. Separately from the stored firearms, the ammunition should be stored in a different container and should also not be accessible to those individuals in the vehicle or on the road.
When you are traveling with your legal firearms, you should always have your documents which prove that you are legally allowed to carry a firearm – typically called a license to carry. These documents can be stored in a safe place like your glove compartment so the police can run a background check if needed.
If you are stopping at a hotel during your move, you should keep in mind that having a firearm in your hotel room means that it is easily accessible, and this may not be at all legal in the state you are in. Another reason to always check the state to state laws that you are traveling through. Don’t forget that the firearms should always be unloaded and in a safe place at all times during your journey whether that is on the road or at a hotel.
If your travel requires airfare, the legal firearm and ammunition have to be securely locked and separated in a hard-sided box. You have to declare both orally and in writing that you wish these to be carried in the cargo hold of the plane. It is illegal to bring firearm and ammunition onboard as your carry-on luggage or person items.
If you need further information on firearms legislation, contact the Attorney General’s Offices in the states you will be traveling to and through to confirm what the laws are in those states. You can also contact the National Rifle Association of America on 800-392-8683 or view the information online at www.nraila.org/gun-laws