Disclaimer: These travel tips are just that, tips. Bottom line is use your own due diligence and make sure you are aware of the laws before interstate travel with firearms and ammunition. More information can be found at: nraila.org
01 Firearms Owners’ Protection Act
The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) is a compilation of laws that protect those who are transporting firearms for lawful purposes from local restrictions that would otherwise prohibit passage. No federal permit is required or even available for the interstate transportation of firearms. Federal law does not restrict individuals from transporting legally acquired firearms across state lines for lawful purposes except those explicitly prohibited by federal law.
02 Understand Local Laws
Most states and localities have their own laws that govern the transportation of firearms through their jurisdictions. Those transporting firearms through these territories must be aware and comply with the laws of the jurisdictions that they pass through. It is your job to be aware of the laws in the areas you transport to.
03 Transport By Vehicle
There isn’t a uniform transportation method for firearms when travelling by motor vehicle between states. When in doubt, the NRA (in accordance with 18 U.S. Code § 926A) suggests that “a traveler should carry firearms unloaded, locked in a case, and stored in an area (such as a trunk or attached toolbox) where they are inaccessible from a vehicle’s passenger compartment and not visible from outside the vehicle. Any ammunition should be stored in a separate locked container.” There are exceptions depending on the type of firearm and the locale you’re travelling through. Again, it is highly recommended that travelers consult local law prior to travelling.
04 Transport By Aircraft
Yes, you can transport firearms and ammunition in checked baggage on commercial flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has stringent requirements for transporting these items that must be followed. Some of the requirements include that firearms be unloaded and checked with the airline as checked luggage. Be aware that firearms and their parts such as barrels, magazines, receivers and other internal components, as well as ammunition, are prohibited from carry-on baggage. One must comply with FOPA, airline and
TSA policies regarding firearms and ammunition transportation by airplane to avoid legal liabilities. More regulations exist; look them up prior to traveling.
05 Transport On Your person
If you’re a CCW permit holder and wish to transport your firearm on your person or within ready access in a motor vehicle, remember that all state and local laws regarding the carrying of firearms apply. It is prudent to find out what each state’s laws are regarding concealed carry reciprocity by contacting the state’s Attorney General’s office. You can also review the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Guide at: https://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/.