THE EROSION OF FOPA
Remember back in 1986 when we surrendered the right to own newly manufactured machine guns? This was a compromise in order to make mail order ammunition purchases easier and grant safe travel to firearm owners through onerous states that do not respect the Constitution. The NRA supported it, Ronald Reagan signed it, and we were assured that what we were gaining was more important than what we were losing. It was called the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA).
Well, authorities in the anti-gun states have been chipping away at it in the 31 years since its passage. Police officers at JFK, La Guardia, Newark and Albany airports have been known to enforce state and local firearm laws against airline travelers who are passing through their jurisdictions. Even travelers in full compliance with federal law have been arrested or threatened with arrest due to the erosion of the protection aspects of FOPA.
Gun owners traveling through New York and New Jersey airports may want to consider shipping their firearms to their final destinations rather than bringing them through airports in these jurisdictions.
Although California has destroyed virtually every provision in FOPA over the past three decades, I have not heard of LEOs in the Golden State acting overzealously toward firearm owners travelling through those airports.
Bottom: Besides securing your firearms in a lockable case, make sure the case is sufficiently padded to safeguard the contents from rough handling by baggage handlers. Bill Boch/Getty Images