Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Sen. Daines Introduces Bill to Update Federal Protections for Lawful Transport of Unloaded Guns

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sen. Daines Introduces Bill to Update Federal Protections for Lawful Transport of Unloaded Guns

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced a bill late last year that would reestablish the rule of law for people traveling with firearms in the New York City Metropolitan area.

Traveling with a lawfully-owned pistol can get you arrested at airports in New York and New Jersey. This happens so often that local “gun lawyers” advertise their services on the Internet for unwary out-of-towners who end up in handcuffs for the “crime” of trying to check bags with legally stowed handguns. A local newspaper recently reported that “483 people … have been arrested for possessing a firearm at JFK and LaGuardia airports since 2014,” with 67 such arrests happening in 2019.

These cases, as frequent as they are, rarely make the news. As the New York Times reported, “With the exception of high-profile defendants, most of those arrested remain anonymous after they make a plea deal, as they often do, and their records are sealed.”

In 2017, John Stossel interviewed a number of people caught up in this dragnet, including one woman who emphasized the paralyzing effect it had on her life. "I could barely function," she said in response to her felony arrest and the threat of years in prison. "I had to get on, like, anxiety medicine. I was throwing up every day."

Legislation was passed all the way back in 1986 to protect travelers who followed simple federal procedures for transporting guns. Under the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA), travelers who can lawfully possess a firearm under federal law can transport that firearm for lawful purposes – unloaded and not readily accessible – between places where it may be legally possessed and carried. The law is explicitly meant to supersede “any other provision of any law” of any “State or any political subdivision” along the route of travel.

In most places throughout America, FOPA has worked exactly as written and intended.

But not in New York and New Jersey, which continue to violate the federal protections by enforcing state requirements for handgun licenses that residents of other states cannot realistically obtain.

Moreover, New York City area airports require airlines to report travelers checking bags with firearms to Port Authority Police. If the firearm is a handgun, and the traveler doesn’t have a New York or New Jersey license to possess it, police may seize the gun and arrest the traveler.

To make matters worse, the police are on notice of the federal law. But in New York and New Jersey, they are protected by regional case law that holds FOPA applies only to travelers who are in vehicles (not on foot at airports), that it doesn’t allow passengers to handle baggage containing guns during the journey, and that local police have official immunity when violating the law’s protections.

The result is that it’s basically impossible to travel with a handgun through any New York City area airport. Even if the charges are later dismissed or reduced, the traveler is usually forced to forfeit the firearm and to suffer unjustified indignity, delay, expense, and stress.

Sen. Daines’s seeks to change all this with the Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act.

This legislation would clarify that FOPA covers travelers throughout the country, whether or not they are in a vehicle and during activities incident to travel, including overnight lodging and stops for food, fuel, maintenance, and emergencies. It would also explicitly incorporate ammunition and detachable magazines into the law’s protections, provided they are not loaded into the firearm.

Most importantly, the act would give FOPA teeth by prohibiting arrest for those complying with its terms and by allowing travelers whose rights were violated to seek redress in court and to collect costs, attorney’s fees and other appropriate relief. It would also protect the due process rights of accused travelers by requiring a state or local jurisdiction seeking to enforce its gun control regulations against an otherwise law-abiding traveler to prove the person was not complying with FOPA’s conditions.

The lawlessness in New York and New Jersey has gone on far too long. As NRA-ILA Executive Director Jason Ouimet said, “On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we thank Senator Daines for having the legislative courage to stand and fight against local bullies who were hoping to suppress our Second Amendment rights.”

IN THIS ARTICLE
Steve Daines
TRENDING NOW
ATF Targets Pistol Stabilizing Braces in New Rulemaking

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

ATF Targets Pistol Stabilizing Braces in New Rulemaking

On June 7th, ATF published a new notice of proposed rulemaking on its website...

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

News  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

DOJ Releases Biden Gun Confiscation Order Legislation

DOJ has made clear that Garland’s selective definition of “civil rights” has no room for the Second Amendment...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Gun Ban Bill

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Gun Ban Bill

Yesterday, Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 286 into law. AB 286 essentially bans home-building firearms for personal use by prohibiting private individuals from possessing certain unregulated components commonly used by hobbyists to make their own firearms.

Worse Gun Control than the European Union? Biden’s ATF Nominee Supports Extreme Rifle Ban!

News  

Monday, June 7, 2021

Worse Gun Control than the European Union? Biden’s ATF Nominee Supports Extreme Rifle Ban!

David Chipman, supports a ban on commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms like the AR-15...

North Carolina: General Assembly Sends Worshipper Protection Bill to Governor

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

North Carolina: General Assembly Sends Worshipper Protection Bill to Governor

Yesterday, the Senate voted 30-19 to concur with the House on Senate Bill 43, to expand the ability of citizens to defend themselves and their loved ones while attending religious worship. It will now go to Governor Roy ...

Louisiana: Your Action Needed – Contact Your Rep. and Governor Edwards in Support of Constitutional Carry

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Louisiana: Your Action Needed – Contact Your Rep. and Governor Edwards in Support of Constitutional Carry

Currently sitting on the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards, is Louisiana’s Constitutional Carry Legislation, Senate Bill 118. 

Texas: Attorney General Paxton Opposes Latest DoJ/ATF Attack

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Texas: Attorney General Paxton Opposes Latest DoJ/ATF Attack

Yesterday, Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) opposing the recently proposed rule: Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces”.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Comments on ATF’s New “Frame or Receiver” Rule Now Open

News  

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Comments on ATF’s New “Frame or Receiver” Rule Now Open

That publication triggered the opening of the proposed rule to public comments. The comment period will remain open until August 19, 2021.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.