The following is a video transcript.
I would like to talk to you today about traveling with firearms. I had a case not too long ago with a single mom who has two young kids. She was driving from Pennsylvania to New Jersey to go to a birthday party for her kids and was stopped for a minor traffic violation.
The mother lived in Philadelphia. She had a licensed handgun and had previously been robbed twice. She attended the right classes to purchase the gun and was told if she ever got pulled over by the police to notify them right away that she was in possession of a gun and a permit to carry. So, that is just what she did. However, in New Jersey it led immediately to her arrest.
New Jersey recognizes no other state’s carry license. She was arrested and charged with a second-degree felony-level offense. This meant she faced up to 10 years in state prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of three and a half years, with no chance of parole.
You can’t make assumptions that simply because you are a law-abiding citizen or have your license, you are able to transport your firearm into other states. This applies to whether a firearm is loaded or unloaded, and applies differently (at times) to long arms versus handguns. Every jurisdiction has its own laws.
It is possible under federal law to transport unloaded firearms from one place where you can legally possess and carry a firearm, to another place where you can legally possess and carry a firearm. Then, you can travel through gun-hostile states like New Jersey, for example, because you will be protected and preempted under federal law.
However, if New Jersey is your final destination, you’ve got a problem getting the federal law to apply. You must be able to legally possess your firearm in both your starting state and your destination state.
To comply with 18 U.S.C. 926A, your travel must start and end in a state where you can lawfully possess a firearm. The firearm must be unloaded and locked in the trunk, or a locked container that is out of reach or not readily accessible from the passenger compartment. Ammunition must also be locked in the trunk or container. You must not cease “traveling” while in the firearms-hostile state. Do not stop for anything more than fuel or a restroom break.
In order to stay protected under the law, the gun(s) cannot be loaded. They need to be locked in the trunk. If you do not have a trunk that is separate from the passenger compartment, then the guns needed to be locked in a container and stored in the back of the car so as to not be readily accessible to the passengers.
If you are transporting ammunition it must be transported in the same manner as a gun and not be readily accessible to the passengers. This will put you under federal law protection. Remember, the federal law will not apply if the final destination is a state prohibiting your possession and carry altogether.
Know the Law
So, it is important to know the jurisdictional law you are traveling into. It is good to know there may be a federal law helping you in your transport, but be very careful. Many states are extremely tough on law-abiding gun owners. You do not want to end up with any problems that you could have avoided by doing your homework.
If you have any more questions regarding traveling with your firearm, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
I lived there many years
That’s why NJ has no gun related crimes and deaths. Right? Not so: just visit Atlantic City, Camden, Paterson and the capitol- Trenton
The State of Connecticut just charged a recently discharged Veteran. The Veteran was living in the City of Bristol, CT and he was getting a divorce. His wife got a restraining order against him as sometimes happens in divorce cases. In CT when you have a restraining order against you, you must surrender your arms and gun license to the State of CT Police or your local police department. The Vet surrendered his guns to the Bristol Police. The Vet had an AR15 and that was considered an “Assault Weapon in the State of CT” Even though He didn’t realize that he was supposed to have registered that rifle with the state of CT and of course he would not have been able to register it because the date had come and gone. Even though He bought the rifle legally when he was in the Army he was now considered a felon in the state of CT. The State Charged him with possession of an assault weapon and he was trying to do the right thing in the eyes of the law and he was charged.
I looked it up. She did not go to prison. The Prosecuting attorney had mercy on her and allowed her to enter The “PTI program” which seems kind of like a probation. I guess PTI was last used for a football player that beat is GF in New Jersey.
No jail time. Special program offered to Ms Allen
She very nearly went to prison, and did go to jail. I remember reading about this case in my NRA magazines. Here are two articles I found on it, starting with the good news first – the NJ governor issued her a pardon (a year and a half after the fact) – and an earlier one just as her battle was beginning. I’ve lived in NJ. It *is* as bad as you’ve heard.
IIRC, the case was handled by Evan Nappen, the U.S. Law Shield attorney in New Jersey and the preeminent defense attorney in the state on gun laws. The mother did spend some time in jail. But thanks to expert work by Mr. Nappen (and support of the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs), she was eventually pardoned by Governor Christie.
As I recall, this happened back in 2013. The woman was Shaneen Allen and she had her son in the car with her. She was arrested and held in jail for more than a month before she was allowed to post bail. The prosecutor specifically said that he intended to make a show case of her as an example to others. But eventually she was allowed to enter a diversionary program which involved giving up her gun and performing community service. In the end, Governor Chris Christie gave her a full and unconditional pardon and had her record expunged of the arrest and charges.
I guess she didn’t pay attention to the part of class where they talked about where you can take your gun.
She was pardoned by Gov. Christie. I also believe the NRA got involved. She was not arrested at traffic stop but a couple of days later when a zealous DA thought he would make a name for himself.
New Jersey’s smell alone should be enough of a reason not to go there.
How did the case turn out. in my opinion any woman properly trained with a handgun should be able to carry one for protection .with the way the court system releases violent criminals back out on society . So now we law abiding hard-working productive citizens are forced to deal with this mess
Good advice in this article… except you missed the most important piece of advice: STAY OUT OF NEW JERSEY.
I agree with davidgilyon and paul H. I attended a business meeting in Parsipany (not sure of spelling) several years ago. Even the local residents called it the “armpit of the United States.” Why anyone would want to live in such an anti 2nd amendment state is beyond me.
So, my brother, who lives in PA, can’t bring his firearms to my range in NJ? Do I have that correct?
Can I bring my firearms to PA to his range?
Thanks for the information, Law Shield. I am a relatively new licensee in Texas, and read your articles cover to cover.
I possess a professional license as a nurse and cannot (and would not intentionally) do anything which jeopardizes my ability to practice. However as the article makes clear, you can lose your rights and livelihood even with the best of intentions – to protect your family.
Frequently share what I learn from Law Shield with family and friends who keep and bear.
Law abiding citizens are being made felons by an administration that is no longer in charge of anything but the economy. The judicial system has gone rogue with Obama “appointees” that are for some reason still being allowed to sit on the bench and fight the 2nd A, the border wall, illegal immigration, and allowing illegal aliens to vote and flip elections like they did in my state of Kansas just 3 months ahead of the election by, you guessed it, a federal justice Obama appointee.
American people, you DO NOT HAVE the support you think you have in the WH. People are being forced into jails and/or prison for doing nothing wrong, other than exercising their Constitutional Rights. Communist Dems are overthrowing our government one COMPLIANT citizen at a time. I for one will not go to jail, and then pray someone “takes mercy” on me for doing nothing wrong.
Kinda sounds like China and N Korea huh?
I’m prior military in a combat role, also graduate of a military law enforcement institute. I have taken all necessary civilian courses to receive my CCP reciprocal in all states that still recognizes the Constitution, I pay for nationwide CCP insurance, and provide armed security for a well known organization in America.
It will be someone else that has to make a very careful decision regarding my Constitutional rights if the time comes, and I’m not interested in their opinion or that of their seditious governor. I know the law, and if threatened with a weapon, I will defend myself or my family, and it won’t matter what clothes they’re wearing.
A nationwide poll was taken a few years back and it was found that over 60% of US LE does not believe the US Constitution to be a valid document, and that in Law Enforcement academies across the country they are taught they have 3 seconds approaching a traffic stop to make up their minds to shoot or don’t shoot.
Think about THAT the next time you see a gunslinger walking up to your front door, or car door. Oh, also might keep in mind, you have a 50 – 50 chance of being killed yourself when officers are responding to YOUR 911 call.
This isn’t Afghanistan, it’s America, we aren’t terrorists, some bad people out there definitely, but not entire communities, this isn’t a war zone though they treat us like it is. A police officers life is saved EVERYDAY by a civilian somewhere across our country with a CCW.
Keep sending our neighbors, and our soccer moms to jail and that will change..Quick