Learning Center

Moving Cross-Country with Your Firearms

Posted on September 1st, 2010 by

Are you planning a cross-country move and want to make sure that you lawfully cross state lines with your firearms? There are a lot of intricacies in state laws when it comes to gun control, but fortunately, as a gun owner, you also have the Gun Control Act (GCA) on your side, amended in 1986 as the Firearm Owner’s Protection Act (FOPA).

Moving with your firearms can be accomplished one of two ways:

  1. You can either have your firearms shipped as cargo on your airline, or
  2. You can drive across the country with your firearms in tow.

If you’re taking the first approach, and flying to the house you’re moving to, then you have to follow the airline’s procedure on flying with firearms. Check out the Transportation Security Administration’s guidelines on air travel with firearms to learn more about flying with your guns.

For a more complex, interstate ground relocation, moving with firearms can get a bit tricky. Most moving companies won’t transport your firearms, no matter how securely you may pack them, simply because it can be a huge liability in the event that they are lost or stolen. Your best bet is to either find a moving company willing to relocate your guns for you, or rent a moving truck and drive yourself.

Regardless of whether you fly,hire movers, or move yourself, moving with your firearms requires some prep work. First of all, make sure all of your registrations are complete, and be sure to make photocopies of them. If you don’t have cases for your guns, now is the time to get them. All firearms need to be encased before being accepted by the airline or the moving company. Your ammo needs to be stored in a separate case, and of course, your guns should be fully unloaded.

Next, you need to do some research about what firearms are allowed in state you’re moving to. Wikipedia has a great list of gun laws by state that should help you get the ball rolling on your research. You can also obtain a copy of the NRA’s Traveler’s Guide to the Firearms Laws of the Fifty States to help guide you. Things to consider during this stage of your planning:

  • Do you need to obtain a new license or registration in this state?
  • What’s the timeframe to register your weapons once you move in?
  • What states will you be passing through that considers your firearm illegal?
  • What firearms in our possession are legal in the state you’re moving to? Which ones are illegal?

If you are passing through a state that considers the firearms you’re moving with illegal, the only stops you should be making are for food, gas, and bathroom breaks. Stop at a hotel or motel close to your highway if you must, and don’t unload the firearms from the moving truck, and hit the road as you as you can the next morning.

For owners of machineguns, short-barreled rifles, or short-barreled shotguns, you will need to fill out an application to be approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or ATF for short. The process is fairly quick, and should be done about a month or two before your move takes place.

One last thing to remember when moving your firearms across state lines: NEVER keep your gun in the passenger compartment of the moving truck or your car. You may think that having your firearm in the glove compartment, securely in its case, locked, unloaded, and away from ammo is fine, but that could cost you a night in jail. Keep it in the moving truck, or in the trunk of your car.

Tags: firearms, guidelines, long distance move

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 at 10:14 am and is filed under Learning Center. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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