December 19th, 2017

The Five Worst States for Traveling with Firearms

Top Five 5 Worst states for Travel Guns Firearms

This article appears in the Cheaper Than Dirt Shooter’s Log.
The passage of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act through the U.S. House of Representatives is a step in the right direction, but not a law yet. The U.S. is a patchwork of confusing and cumbersome laws that change the rules of what you can carry, where you can carry, and whether you can possess the firearm, ammunition of magazine at without running afoul of the local laws. Now, if every state was like Vermont, law abiding gun owners could freely travel with their firearms with no worries. Unfortunately, many states have a history of being hostile to traveling gun owners.

The federal “Firearms Owner Protection Act” allows travel through any state as long as the firearm is unloaded, in a locked case, and not easily accessible to the passengers. However, that is not to say that certain states that are less friendly to firearms have not created their own laws that would snare unsuspecting otherwise law-abiding firearm owners. This led us to name the Top 5 States to Avoid while traveling with a firearm this holiday season.

CONNECTICUT
Connecticut does not have any gun reciprocity agreements with other states. This means nonresidents are not allowed to carry handguns in Connecticut under a permit issued by another state.

HAWAII
Every person arriving into the state who brings a firearm of any description, usable or not, shall register the firearm within three days of the arrival of the person or the firearm, whichever arrives later, with the chief of police of the county where the person will reside, where their business is, or the person’s place of sojourn. GET Hawaii Firearms INFO HERE.

MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts imposes harsh penalties on the mere possession and transport of firearms without a license to carry. Prospective travelers are urged to contact the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau at (617) 660-4780 or contact the State Police. GET Massachusetts Firearms INFO HERE.

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the country. Your firearm must be unloaded, in a locked container, and not accessible in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that anyone traveling within the state is deemed to be aware of these regulations and will be held strictly accountable for violations. If you’re traveling through New Jersey, the N.J. State Police website provides information regarding transporting firearms within state lines. GET New Jersey Firearms INFO HERE.

NEW YORK
Use extreme caution when traveling through New York state with firearms. New York’s general approach is to make the possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” illegal. A number of localities, including Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Suffolk County, and Yonkers, impose their own requirements on the possession, registration, and transport of firearms. Possession of a handgun within New York City requires a New York City handgun license or a special permit from the city Police Commissioner. This license validates a state license within the city. Even New York state licenses are generally not valid within New York City unless a specific exemption applies. Possession of a shotgun or rifle within New York City requires a permit, which is available to non-residents, and a certificate of registration.

More Scary States for Gun Owners
Here are six other jurisdictions (five states and DC) where you need to be wary when traveling. California, for example, treats all handguns in vehicles as “loaded” if there is ammunition loaded into an attached magazine. It’s wise, when in California, to have handguns unloaded in a LOCKED case, with all ammunition or magazines in a separate section of the vehicle. These states (and DC) all have laws that can trap unsuspecting gun-owners. Be wary.

California
Delaware
Dist. of Columbia
Illinois
Maryland
Rhode Island

Top Five 5 Worst states for Travel Guns Firearms

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April 19th, 2010

Second Amendment March Draws National Attention

second amendment marchToday, April 19th, is “Patriot’s Day”, the anniversary of the “Shot heard ’round the world.” Earlier today, in Washington, DC, supporters of Second Amendment gun rights rallied near the Washington Monument. Those dedicated rally attendees came from all parts of the country to demonstrate their support for the individual right to keep and bear arms. The DC rally, along with companion demonstrations in state capitols nationwide, drew the attention of the national print and television media. The reporters recorded plenty of stirring speeches on the subject of gun control and individual rights. Perhaps the TV cameras were seeking greater drama — but there were no fights, no violence, no guns fired into the air.

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Those who attended the main DC rally were estimated at a “few hundred” to “as many as 2,000″ (Washington Post). Perhaps the rally could have drawn more attendees, but the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Heller v. D.C., which recognized an individual right to “keep and bear” arms, may have created a sense of complacency among firearms owners. Indeed, the Washington Post News Blog observed: “The March comes at a time when the trend appears to be toward normalizing carrying of firearms in public. Even before the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in [Heller] recognized an individual’s constitutional right to possess firearms, an increasing number of states have allowed citizens to carry guns openly or conceal them on their person. Last year, 24 states loosened restrictions in firearms laws, and Iowa and Arizona passed laws this year easing restrictions on gun possession.”

Related Stories
Second Amendment Rally in DC and VA (USA TODAY)
Gun Owners Rally in Support of Gun Rights (Voice of America)
Gun Rally: Second Amendment Activists Swarm DC, VA Rallies (Huffington Post) VIDEO

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March 19th, 2008

Supreme Court Appears to Favor Individual Rights View of Second Amendment

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral auguments in the landmark D.C. v. Heller case. It appeared, based on the questions posed by the Justices, that the High Court may strike down the D.C.’s ban on handguns. But we’ll likely have to wait until May or June for a final decision.

Head Count: It looks Like 5:4 or 6:3
Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Alito, and Justice Scalia all seemed to favor the view that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms. Roberts made his views clear right from the start, asking the District’s lawyer: “If [the Second Amendment] is limited to state militias, why would they say ‘the right of the people’?…In other words, why wouldn’t they say ‘state militias have the right to keep arms’?” Justice Thomas did not speak at the argument, but he can be expected to align with Roberts and Scalia. Justice Kennedy may be the swing vote needed to overturn the D.C. ban. Kennedy said the Second Amendment confers “a general right to bear arms quite without reference to the militia either way.” That leaves four justices who may vote the other way: Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens. Stevens might also vote with the majority for a 6-3 decision.

Most legal observers, including our correspondent, Robert Whitley, believe there will be at least 5 votes to overturn the D.C. ban. Whitley cautions however: “I think there will be a recognition of the individual right, and the D.C. ban will probably be invalidated, at least in its current form. But this isn’t the end of the controversy… there will be many more battles ahead. The court will likely try to decide the case narrowly, and many of the justices seem to favor some kind of ‘reasonableness’ test for gun laws that will only lead to more legal challenges in the months and years ahead.”

Richard Heller, the Man in the Middle
After the oral arguments, Robert Whitley interviewed Dick Heller, the plaintiff in the historic case. Robert observed: “Heller is a normal guy, like you and me. He’s a nice guy who simply felt the D.C. gun ban was wrong.” Heller lives in a small apartment in the heart of the District. One day, observing a bullet hole in the frame of his front door, he decided he wanted to keep a handgun to protect himself.

Heller works as a security guard in a Federal building. Heller told Whitley: “To me, the case is simple. I go to work, and I’m told to carry a gun to protect Federal employees. Yet when I go home, the District of Columbia says the value of my own life is not worth protecting. That’s just wrong.”

Jim Shepard, covering the case for The Outdoor Wire, recorded a remarkable exchange between Heller and reporters:

“… A reporter interjected: ‘the Mayor (DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty) says the handgun ban and his initiatives have significantly lowered violent crime in the District. How do you answer that, Mr. Heller?”

The initial answer certainly wasn’t expected – Dick Heller laughed. Ruefully.

Pointing at the Mayor who was making his way across the plaza, surrounded by at least six DC police officers, Heller said, ‘the Mayor doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’

‘He doesn’t walk on the street like an average citizen. Look at him; he travels with an army of police officers as bodyguards – to keep him safe. But he says that I don’t have the right to be a force of one to protect myself. Does he look like he thinks the streets are safe?'”

When it comes right down to it, that’s what this case is really all about — an individual citizen’s basic, fundamental right to defend himself and his home. That’s a right the founders surely intended to guarantee in adopting the Second Amendment.

CLICK HERE for NBC News Video Report

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November 21st, 2007

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Landmark Second Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the much-discussed District of Columbia v. Heller case (Docket 04-7041), previously known as Parker vs. District of Columbia. This means the High Court WILL review the decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the D.C. statute banning residents from owning handguns. The Court of Appeals held that the District of Columbia’s anti-gun law violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In reaching its decision, the Appellate Court found, as a matter of law, that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to keep and bear arms. This was a “breakthrough” finding. Other Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that the Second Amendment merely confers a “collective right” to keep and bear arms. In practical terms, this means that the Second Amendment applies to an organized militia (i.e. the National Guard), but not to individuals.

The High Court’s decision to hear D.C. v. Heller is historically significant. This will represent the first time the Supreme Court rules directly on the meaning of the Second Amendment since the U.S. v. Miller case in 1939. The decision in Miller was poorly reasoned and left many basic issues unresolved, including the key question “Does the Second Amendment confer an individual or collective right?”

The “collective right” interpretation of the Second Amendment is disfavored among legal scholars, despite what anti-gun advocacy groups claim. Many of the nation’s most respected law professors, including Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law School, Akhil Reed Amar of Yale, William Van Alstyne of Duke, and Sanford Levinson of the Univ. of Texas, have strongly argued that the Second Amendment secures an individual right to keep and bear arms.

BACKGROUND
The mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty, filed the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting the stage for the High Court to rule. According to FBI statistics, Washington D.C., despite its gun ban, ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States and maintains one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the country.

In March, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in striking down the District’s gun ban, held in Parker, et al., v. District of Columbia that “The phrase ‘the right of the people’ . . . leads us to conclude that the right in question is individual.” This was the second time in recent history that a Federal Circuit Court upheld the view that the Second Amendment was an individual right. In 2001, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in the case of U.S. v. Emerson that “All of the evidence indicates that the Second Amendment, like other parts of the
Bill of Rights, applies to and protects individual Americans.”

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