Transporting handguns from VT to GA via car--where can I sleep?

I’m driving down to GA in a few months, and I’d like to bring my three handguns with me–I’m a VT resident, so I don’t have any permits, as VT is a permit less carry state. Based on my judgement of GA laws, I should be able to carry and go to the range while I’m down there for a couple months, but what’s tricky is it’s practically impossible (and highly unsafe) for me to drive straight down, which takes about 17 hours… I’ve done the drive before without transporting any guns and I’m confident I’ll need at least 1 overnight. I hope to rely on the Federal “just passing through law” and I’ll keep everything unloaded/locked, and even might field strip a couple of my guns that I’m more familiar with.

I also found a route on google maps that’ll keep me away from MA/NJ, but I’ll need to go through NY, no way around it… My plan is to drive through VT, NY, PA, MD, WV, VA, NC (not too far out from TN though), SC, then GA.

I’m also staying at a public university for housing, thus I’ll need another place to store my guns when I’m not at the range so I don’t break any laws…

My key questions are:

  • Where can I stay overnight? (My best guesses are WV, NC, or TN, but TN would be a bit far to drive in one go)

  • Any recommendations on how to store my guns legally? Can I keep them with the police department? I have a couple friends down there, but I’m not sure what the laws regarding “control” over a weapon are, so I am not confident it’d be legal to store them at someone else’s residence

Thank you for your help, as I haven’t left state lines with my guns before!


@Parker2 Welcome to our community, we are glad to have you with us. :slightly_smiling_face:

USCCA Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & U.S. Gun Laws | USCCA (

You can plan your trip with the maps above, if the states are red and/or anti 2A try to drive through without stopping and keep your nose clean. :laughing:

Have a safe trip and good luck. :+1:


You risk felony arrest and prosecution if you take a firearm, especially a handgun, to or through the state of NY.

The same is true of NJ.

Even if you go through NY, without stopping at all, with the unloaded gun locked in a case in the trunk, and even if you are following the federal transportation laws that say you can do that, you should still expect to be arrested and charged with a felony (or felonies) if law enforcement in NY, for whatever reason (pulled over, searched, accident, medical situation, etc) finds out you have a firearm, especially handgun, in their state.

You effectively cannot go by land from GA to VT with a handgun without risking felony arrest and prosecution


Do you think it would be possible to ship it? Flying is not an option for me as I will need my car while I’m down there.

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There is a way, theoretically anyway. It’s nuanced, I’ve never done it.,out–of–state%20resident.

May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity?

Yes. A person may ship a firearm to him or herself in care of another person in the state where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner “in the care of” the out–of–state resident. Upon reaching its destination, persons other than the owner may not open the package or take possession of the firearm.


Looks like as long as I go through an FFL in both VT and GA I can ship, as long as there’s no ammunition and they’re very well packaged. Maybe they will also have an option to store the guns when not used at a range.


Check with the FFL. I don’t think you can get a handgun from an FFL in VT, federal law requires you only take possession of a handgun in your own state of residence. Call FFL’s in VT and ask before you make this your plan

Maybe there is something I’m not aware of if you are shipping to yourself…unsure


Welcome to the community @Parker2

As @Nathan57 pointed out, even if you are following the law perfectly when passing through NY, NY has no issue with breaking the law and arresting you if they find you to be in possession of a firearm while passing through the State.

MA, CT and NJ are all 2A violating places worth avoiding also. Probably Maryland and Delaware as well.

I believe there is a way to ship from FFL to FFL but you should check with them on both ends to make sure. There could be significant fees involved by the time you ship them back and forth.

It’s been awhile since I lived in VT but when I did I was able to cheaply and easily get a NH carry permit. At the time all you needed to do was get a local VT LEO to write a letter stating that to the best of their knowledge you were a law abiding citizen then fill out some paperwork and pay the fee. Not sure if there are more requirements now. The NH permit would let you carry nextdoor and provide reciprocity in many other States as well.


I’d drive it based on Federal law protection.

Actually I’ve done that drive from Southern Vermont through “rural” NY (very conservative territory, Republican controlled) with firearms several times by routing myself south of Albany but north of the city down the NYS Thruway I-87 and then skip NJ completely by going South on I-81 through Pennsylvania.

Adds a few miles but minimizes exposure to idiots of local NYC police and the ultra-arrogant NJ State Storm Troopers which are truly the only perils you would face.

Many folks think NY is just one big anti gun place and it’s NOT. I lived there for many years and Albany and NYC are a very small minority in a highly gun friendly state.

OR, if your truly uncomfortable, you can mail your guns to yourself, no FFL involved, as posted above which I’ve done a bunch of times completely legally.


@Parker2 Welcome to the community!

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That will be a harder problem to solve than transporting guns in your vehicle.


Welcome Parker2.

Your trip sounds doable and that it will be fun. I envy you.

IDK. Sorry each state laws differ and are so tricky. I wish it was easier for all of us. I tend to think that I’ve grown to be more careful with the handling of firearms.

Clean, quiet, “as the crow flies”, a KISS method:

I’d personally take that drive, but of course, there are legalities to consider.

I even have plastic inserts that I place inside the barrels and chambers, a rubber trigger back stopper and cable or trigger locks. Sometimes I will keep them unloaded, and locked inside steel lock boxes as well as the ammunition but “separate”, locked on a metal box, preferably with the original cardboard box it came in, in case law enforcement questioned what type of ammo it is.

I’d be sure to have my vehicle in perfect working condition, meaning my paperwork, both plates, lights on the plates, signals, lights, etc, to prevent being stopped by police, staying in the slow lane, no speeding at all.

If not legally allowed, no, not loaded and on my body, nor within arm’s reach.

I’d be too afraid of shipping risks, and cannot afford that.

I might also want to read up thoroughly on all the firearm laws within any potential state or reroute I’d be taking to and fro.

USCCA has a phone ap that may alert your phone once you cross state lines.

Personally, for the overnight, I’d skip the University campus.

I’d prefer not to have to leave them in my car, but inside the hotel with me, in my locked cases because they’d be under my watch. If a trusted friend/relative is an option, great, but depending on who they are – I think there’s some risk there, but depending upon their situation/environment. I’d prefer them under my watch and control.

Last I checked, I’m able to legally conceal carry in about 40 states. But of course, I set that up a while ago, as that took time, for future travels. JIMO.

I know you’ll have tons of fun. Good for you!

Consider shipping FFL to FFL. For the receiving FFL in GA check around and find one that can provide storage while you are there. Shipping costs, but not as much as losing your guns or getting a felony conviction. You might also want to check with the university - this may not be as unique a situation as you imagine. Don’t leave them with the PD. Unless your friends are felons there may not be a problem storing your guns there (unless they have minor children). May be worth a call to a GA-based USCCA attorney.