I’ll be driving down to VA from PA soon, and I’m trying to consider whether carrying down there will be worth the trouble. Why, you may ask?
Well, because while there is reciprocity for carry permits between VA and PA, that is not the case for two states I’ll have to drive through to get there: DE and MD. There is the chance, however slight, that I could be pulled over while driving through either of those states and I don’t want my trip ending with me in jail for weapons possession!
The easiest thing to do of course is leave my gun locked away at home, but then it’s not on me if I may need it. Decisions, decisions, how many of you have faced these choices? How did you handle it?
I’m not a lawyer. But I think that if you lock your gun in a hard case and put in the trunk of your car when you are driving through DE and MD where you cannot get to them. You may be fine. Because there is a federal law that allows you to take you firearm with you when you travel. but you do need to follow the gun laws of ALL STATES YOU ARE GOING THROUGH. It might be a goo idea to check the laws for DE and MD to see what their gun laws are for traveling through their states.
It is legal if it is unloaded and locked in a case out of reach and you are taking the firearm from a place you are allowed to have it to another place you are allowed. I would make sure that I did not have magazines or ammunition that violate any laws in the States you are traveling through. I also would read up on the applicable firearm laws in all the States your going to be in and avoid stopping in DE and MD if possible and keep the ammo locked in a separate case when passing through those States.
There is one caveat though. I’ve heard that some States like NY have on occasion still arrested people who were following the federal law that allows interstate transportation of firearms. They shouldn’t be able to but some of the anti self defense States don’t mind violating people’s rights whenever they can get away with it. I’m not sure if DE or MD do this as well. So best to avoid interactions with LEOs.
NY has made quite a name for itself when it comes to prosecuting people who have violated no law, just to make the point that they can still harass you. Sure, some federal judge will eventually back you up if you have the money for appeals, but in the meantime you’re in a NYC jail or paying some fine. And when their laws get struck down, they’ll just pass identical laws and enforce them for a few more years while it works through the same court system that struck down the previous laws.
Chicago has done this, and a few other airports, to people that get stuck due to weather and what not. They wait for the baggage to unload, and when you pick it up… bam.
That said, when I travel like you are, I pack everything in separate locked containers. More than 3 actions. I even go so far as to disassemble the firearm into several containers (same containers). Way more than 3 actions. They are also stored far apart as I can. I put a cable lock through the magwell on the grip frame too.
That said, I will drive far out of my way to avoid such States, if at all possible. I will also spend zero money in them, if at all possible.
Note to self; either NEVER travel to NY, IL, CA or NJ, (most likely) or resign myself to leaving my gun at home if I do have to go to those states. Thanks guys you’ve once again given me a lot to digest - including whether or not I even want to even take this trip.
I learn more every day about how this country makes it difficult for legal gun owners to carry their guns (Live in a carry-friendly state? Great! Good luck if you feel like traveling though! )
It does suck that we need to weigh the impacts of illegal government harassment when choosing to exercise our rights.
I unfortunately have to do a lot of work in CA. CA is by far the most dangerous place I have to go. I’ve had two attempted car jackings there and several other sketchy encounters. But they deny my 2A right to carry in an accessible manner. And even if I travel with a firearm according to CA laws (which guarantee if I am ever threatened that I will be dead or seriously injured long before I can access it) I still risk illegal detention and extortion from CA authorities who don’t follow their own laws let alone the constitution.
It makes for a hard choice of whether exercising my constitutional right to defend myself and my family from violent criminals is worth the risk of having government authorities take my freedom and finances away even though I am following all of their unconstitutional laws.
I live in Wisconsin and have Minnesota and Florida permits. The only state that gets in my way is Illinois. One can carry in a vehicle with a permit. However, if I leave the car for any reason I have to lock-up the gun. I hate Illinois.
I had my guns in my safe and my ammo in another safe. California is like that and who knows what is going to happen, car accident or break down then what? I cannot cc in Oregon or California but when you got to go you got to go.
Yep, I had a good friend lose his Glock in Illinois. They never charged him, they just took it and told him they couldn’t give it back unless he had a valid state Firearm Owners ID (FOID) card, which he can’t get because he doesn’t live in Illinois.
I’m sure that violates some laws, but it’s cheaper to buy a new Glock than it is to hire an attorney.
Many states, CA included require that guns carried in vehicles be unloaded even if secured in a locked safe. Safe makers (like Titan Pistol Vaults) have come up with car console safes that, when opened, pop up the firearm and a magazine for quick deployment but that are designed to store an unloaded firearm. They were designed to comply with CA socialist gun laws.
I used to travel to Las Vegas frequently, and the city of North Las Vegas had draconian firearms transport laws that one did not know whether they were complying with or not. I just got a non-resident Nevada CCW permit rather than puzzle over whether I was complying with North Las Vegas ordinances. Non-resident permits for DE and MD may work best if you frequently find yourself in those states.
Is going VA by way of West Virginia instead of MD an option? Thought I saw that since WV is a permitless state, does that mean you can CCW there, in WV? Can going thru DE also be skipped, if it’s not directly in path?
Vs, lock in a car safe box while going thru MD?
Reciprocity with DE:
If you have time before going, obtain a AZ, FL, or UT CCW license, if the map shows that DE accepts AZ, FL, & UT. Or if you think you’d travel that far in the future, again; You can start the application process. as prep for future USA adventures.
Unless you need to get to them to defend yourself!
But in this case the chance of being harassed by LEOs going beyond the letter of the law is likely greater than the chance of running into a violent criminal so I would go this route as well.
Also be aware that MD police officers have a well deserved reputation for practicing civil asset forfeiture. If they decide the cash or other items you have on hand could have come from criminal activities they will take them to fund their own activities. You then need to hire a lawyer to prove that you came by the items through legal means. It is a good idea to have a bank withdrawal receipt to prove your cash is legally yours. But there is no guarantee they’ll accept the proof. Maybe even having copies of your firearm purchase receipts might be a good idea.
“Storing” is not the same as “staging.” In an emergency you will probably not need immediate access to all of your guns and all of your ammo. Your defensive firearm(s) and ammo should be staged. Everything else “safely stored.” As for your firearm purchase receipts, from what you said about cash, they probably would not accept them as evidence. You could photograph them on your phone - might help. You may want to consider what I have done. There is an official ATF Form (P 3312.8) called “Personal Firearms Record”. You can download it from the internet. I recommend filing it out by hand (not on your computer) and putting the original completed form and all receipts in your safety deposit bank. If you ever have to prove the weapons are your this should do the trick.
The problem is that the anti self defense states force us to inaccessibly store all our firearms when passing through them instead of allowing us to exercise our 2A rights by keeping one handy in case of a sudden threat.