You are a Florida concealed weapons license holder and are going to drive through other states on an upcoming trip. If you were to bring your gun on this trip there may be some states that share reciprocity laws with Florida and some that do not. What are the precautions that a license holder should take before transporting a weapon in their car securely and legally?
Laws Concerning Interstate Travel with Firearms
The underlying concern is whether or not a person can bring a firearm with them while traveling through different states. A person MAY lawfully possess and carry a firearm under a few varying conditions:
- Transport takes place from a location that possession and carry is legal to a location that possession and carry is legal.
- They are not otherwise prohibited from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm.
- If during transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment.
- Should the vehicle not have a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment (such as a trunk) the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
So law permits interstate travel with a firearm as long as the firearm is unloaded and in a place that is inaccessible from the passenger compartment. In most states this would mean the trunk of the car.
Although interstate transport is legal, it is recommended that the person traveling with the guns contact the law enforcement or licensing authorities in each state of travel to obtain the latest information regarding weapon transport laws. In some states, federal law comes second to state law regarding the interstate transport of firearms.
What About Traveling with a Firearm By Plane?
Traveling with a gun by commercial airline is legal under the rules and regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In general, the FAA requires the following.
At the time of check-in, weapons must be:
- Stowed in hard-sided, locking luggage
- Declared at the main ticket counter at the time of check-in
During check-in the weapon owner will receive proper documentation to place inside their gun case showing proof that the weapon was declared. The security procedures of each airline may vary, and it is recommended that your carrier be contacted prior to arrival at the airport.