July 7th, 2018

Traveling with Firearms — Learn the Laws that Apply


Chrysler’s 2014 Outdoorsman Series Trucks offered an optional “RamBox” with locked rifle storage.

This summer, many of our readers will be traveling to shooting matches near and far. Many of you will drive 1000 miles or more to attend major championships at Camp Perry (Ohio) and Camp Atterbury (Indiana). Along the way you’ll cross multiple state lines, and be subject to a patchwork of different state and local laws. While traveling with firearms you want to ensure you comply with all laws and regulations, even if you’re “just passing through”.

Ford F-250 Cabelas crew cab gun storage bench seatOn the NRA’s American Rifleman website you’ll find a helpful article that provides basic tips on avoiding legal entanglements when traveling from state to state with firearms in your vehicle. The basic advice is to plan out your trip in advance, researching all state and local laws that will apply. This can be a daunting task, but a Federal law, the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) does provide some protection for travelers.

According to the NRA: “FOPA shields you from local restrictions if you’re transporting firearms for lawful purposes. Under FOPA, notwithstanding any state or local law, a person is entitled to transport a firearm from any place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he or she may lawfully possess and carry it, if the firearm is unloaded and locked out of reach. In vehicles without a trunk, the unloaded firearm must be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.”

The NRA cautions that: “Laws vary place-to-place, and if you do anything other than pass through a state, you must obey all local laws. This is especially true when you are carrying a loaded firearm in your vehicle or on your person. There’s no shortcut here. You need to map out your trip state-by-state to be sure you stay legal during your trip.”

Resources for Travelers

The American Rifleman article also lists useful print and online resources you can consult to learn more about laws that apply when traveling with firearms:

Guide to the Interstate Transportation of Firearms (From NRA ILA.)

Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide (BATFE publication.)

BATFE’s State Laws and Published Ordinances — Firearms, 2010-2011

BATFE’s Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

State Gun Laws at a Glance (Includes interactive chart with info on state laws.)

The Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States (Printed handbook.)

Permalink - Articles, News No Comments »
March 20th, 2018

Protect Expensive Firearms and Optics with Truck-Vaults

A high-end, full custom Benchrest, F-Class, or PRS rifle can cost upwards of $4500.00. Some top-tier competition and tactical scopes (March, Kahles, Schmidt & Bender) cost $2500-$3600 by themselves. If you’re transporting three or four custom rifles with premium scopes to the range, you could easily be hauling $20,000 worth of firearms. Bring along a Co-Axial rest, spotting scope, rangefinder, Kestrel, and LabRadar chronograph, and that could push the total closer to $25,000. Think about that — your guns and gear could be worth a LOT more more than your vehicle (this Editor drives an 18-year-old wagon worth about $4000).

How do you safeguard a big-money collection of guns (without driving around in a Brinks armored truck)? One of the best storage systems available is the Truck-Vault, built in Washington state. Truck-vaults are custom-fitted, locking storage cabinets that fit in a Pick-up truck bed, SUV, or station wagon. Various designs are available, including a waterproof “Extreme Series.” Both single-drawer and multi-draw layouts are offered with lengths up to 60″ overall, and top-load capacity of 2000 pounds. A variety of interior configurations are available.

For transporting scoped match rifles, we suggest Truck-Vault’s “Magnum Line”, which has two drawers with 10.5″ of vertical clearance. This offers two primary sliding compartments (on roller casters), plus smaller storage boxes where you can keep valuable gear securely out of sight.

Truck-Vault Video Showing Break-In Attempt

Truck-Vaults carry a big price-tag. SUV models start at $1355.00, but expect to pay closer to $2000.00 for a unit with all the bells and whistles. Balance that cost against the value of the all firearms and accessories you are transporting. If you spend much time on the road with a pricey collection of guns, optics, and accessories, a Truck-Vault may be a wise investment. This editor first saw a Truck-Vault on a Chevy Suburban belonging to an Arizona gunsmith who does a lot of work for the military. It was not unusual for him to haul $50,000 worth of Class III weapons. For him, the Truck-Vault was an essential security feature. For more info, visit TruckVault.com or call (800) 967-8107.

Permalink News No Comments »
February 13th, 2015

Chariots of the (Gun) Gods

Ben Hur

Ben Avery

Was this Ben Hur or Ben Avery? With all the wheels rolling around the place, the Berger SW Nationals looked a bit like the Chariot scene from the 1959 Hollywood blockbuster movie.

Folks attending a big match such as the Berger Southwest Nationals must haul a lot of gear — both to the range and from vehicles to the firing lines (and then back again). This transportational necessity has inspired shooters to develop a wide variety of modern chariots. Here’s a selection of the “wheeled contrivances” we found at Ben Avery This week.

Don’t mess with Texas. That kind of says it all…

Folding carts were the favored mode of transport. Yes there are TWO carts in the back of this SUV.

Grizzly President Shiraz Balolia, appropriately enough, customized his cart with ursine artwork.

This rig had a custom bracket to support a rifle vertically. This clever invention preserves space in the main cargo section.

Felix Solis of the U.S. Veterans’ Rifle Team customized his travel van’s interior. Rifles are secured upright in the left compartment, with shooting coats on the right.

The little red wagon offers four-wheel stability. This one even has its own license plate.

Wait a minute — is that a stroller? Actually these rigs can be easily adapted to hold rifles and rests. Check out Craigslist for low-cost, “previously owned” strollers.

Past F-Class Nat’l Champ Larry Bartholome was seen rolling around with a familiar cart. This cart used to belong to our good friend German Salazar. Hey German, we all miss your presence at Ben Avery…

Permalink Competition, Gear Review No Comments »
September 24th, 2011

Texas Firm Builds Custom In-Vehicle Storage Systems

Plastix Plus, a Cypress, Texas-based business founded by a volunteer fireman, is a leading builder of custom storage systems for Fire Departments, Police Agencies, Emergency Response teams, and Federal Agencies such as the U.S. Marshals and the FBI. Using CNC design and thermal plastic welding technology, Plastix Plus can create an infinite variety of in-vehicle storage systems with trays, bins, boxes, shelves, and lockable secure storage. Below is a Plastix Plus storage system fitted in the back of an SUV. Note the AR-type rifles stored in a sliding compartment with fast-access locks.

Modern Plastics Are Superior to Wood or Metal for Vehicle Storage
While other companies offer storage systems for SUVs and trucks, these are usually fabricated from wood and metal. Plastix Plus President Mike Snow says that the Vycom Hitec HDPE ½ inch-thick plastic used by his company is a superior material. In an interview with Tactical-Life.com, Snow explained: “When you have a $7,000 item like a Jaws of Life tool, metal on metal is not a good combination when you are carrying it in the truck and deploying it. The tool gets destroyed by the metal bracket designed to hold it. Plus, you have high moisture situations with fire fighting, so you need to worry about rust. The Hitec material is moisture-resistant and very forgiving for emergency tool transport.”

Likewise the Hitec plastic is easier on fine gun finishes than metal boxes, and it won’t warp or absorb moisture like wood can. Snow says that his plastic storage systems will last for decades. By contrast, Snow says some fire departments that opted for wood storage systems have been forced to replace or rebuild their storage units after just a couple seasons.

Plastix Plus hopes to expand to the general consumer market, providing custom in-vehicle storage solutions for trucks, RVs, and SUVs. Plastix Plus can match the exact dimensions of your vehicle, providing your choice of drawers, bins, and locking compartments, including gun storage lockers. A custom Plastix Plus storage system is not cheap. But it may be a smart purchase — when you consider the value of the guns and gear you haul around. Your investment in multiple match rifles (with scopes), along with fancy rests, electronics, and accessories, could easily top $15,000.

Permalink New Product, News No Comments »
August 16th, 2010

Chrysler Offers Ram Pickup with Built-in Gun Compartment

Chrysler is offering a lockable gun storage compartment on its new series of Outdoorsman pickup trucks. These trucks can be configured with twin, lighted, lockable and watertight “RamBox” compartments — one on each side of the truck bed. The dual RamBox option costs $1895, and for $205 more Chrysler adds internal, vertical cradles that hold two rifles or shotguns. These cradles can be rotated 90 degrees to hold up to six fishing rods.

Outdoorsman Ram Truck Rambox

We think Chrysler’s built-in gun storage is a very cool feature — for the man who has everything. It will certainly create envious looks when you roll up to the shooting range in your new truck. From a practical standpoint however, it might be better to forgo the gun cradles in favor of open storage in both side-boxes. You could then use both lockable side compartment for any purpose. When you need to haul firearms, simply put cased guns inside one or both side compartments.

For more information on Chrysler’s Outdoorsman pickups, which start at $28,350, visit the Chrysler Truck Blog. Ram Outdoorsman trucks go on sale 3rd quarter 2010 (just in time for hunting season).

Outdoorsman Ram Truck Rambox

Permalink New Product, News 6 Comments »
December 30th, 2007

Truck-Vault for Secure Rifle Transport

A custom, high-end Benchrest, F-Class, or High Power rifle can cost upwards of $4000.00. Some of the latest scopes (March, Schmidt & Bender) cost $2000-$2800 by themselves. If you’re transporting three or four “ultimate rifles” with premium scopes to the range, you could be hauling $16,000 worth of firearms. Bring along a rangefinder, Co-Axial rest, spotting scope, and chronograph, and that could push the total closer to $20,000.

How do you safeguard that kind of investment (without driving around in a Brinks armored truck)? One of the best storage systems available is the Truck-Vault, built in Washington state. Truck-vaults are custom-fitted, locking storage cabinets that fit in a Pick-up truck bed, SUV, or station wagon. Various designs are available, including a waterproof “Extreme Series.” Both single-drawer and multi-draw layouts are offered with lengths up to 60″ overall, and top-load capacity of 2000 pounds. A variety of interior configurations are available.

For transporting scoped match rifles, we suggest Truck-Vault’s “Magnum Line”, which has two drawers with 10.5″ of vertical clearance. This offers two primary sliding compartments (on roller casters), plus smaller storage boxes where you can keep valuable gear securely out of sight.

Truck-Vaults carry a big price-tag. SUV models start at $1415, but expect to pay closer to $2000.00 for a unit with all the bells and whistles. That’s serious money, but you have to balance that against the cost of the firearms and accessories you are transporting. If you spend much time on the road with a pricey collection of guns, optics, and accessories, a Truck-Vault may be a wise investment. This editor first saw a Truck-Vault on a Chevy Suburban belonging to an Arizona gunsmith who does a lot of work for the military. It was not unusual for him to haul $50,000 worth of Class III weapons. For him, the Truck-Vault was an essential security feature. For more info, visit TruckVault.com or call (800) 967-8107.

CLICK HERE for Truck-Vault VIDEO DEMO

Permalink Gear Review 1 Comment »