Transporting Weapons in Vehicles

Transporting Weapons in Vehicles

For us (or anyone) to list all the the laws regarding firearms here in this blog would not possible but we can send you to some great resource that can give you some overview of the laws regarding transporting weapons.

Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986

The House floor debates began on April 9, 1986 and extended into the following day. After long debate, Rep. Volkmer won a “strike all” amendment to H.R. 4332. This struck all of it but its number and “be it enacted” clause, and substituted the language of his bill. The House then passed the amended bill, after adding on the present 18 U.S.C. 922(o).
Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986

So states and jurisdictions have their own special laws regarding weapons transport and we have tried to provide and accurate list below. But always remember to check the states in which your transporting the weapons specific laws regarding transport.


While FOPA applies in every United States jurisdiction, experience has shown that some jurisdictions provide particular challenges to those transporting firearms. Knowing the local laws of such places is particularly important and may make traveling through them easier. The following states are known to have especially strict and complicated gun control laws and travelers should consult the state laws directly, along with local law enforcement and states’ attorneys general resources for detailed information.

CALIFORNIA — California has extensive state and local regulatory schemes over firearms and ammunition. For more specific information, please contact the Department of Justice Firearms Bureau at (916) 263-4887, or at

HAWAII — Every person arriving into the state who brings a firearm of any description, usable or not, shall register the firearm within three days of the arrival of the person or the firearm, whichever arrives later, with the chief of police of the county where the person will reside, where their business is, or the person’s place of sojourn. For more information, visit HAWAII TRANSPORT LAWS

MASSACHUSETTS — Massachusetts imposes harsh penalties on the mere possession and transport of firearms unrelated to criminal or violent conduct. Prospective travelers are urged to contact the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau at (617)660-4780 or the State Police at MASSACHUSETTS TRANSPORT LAWS for further information.

NEW JERSEY — New Jersey has highly restrictive firearms laws. The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that anyone traveling within the state is deemed to be aware of these regulations and will be held strictly accountable for violations. Revell v. Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, 10-236

From New Jersey State Police regarding transporting firearms through the state: NEW JERSEY TRANSPORT LAWS

NEW YORK— Use extreme caution when traveling through New York with firearms. New York state’s general approach is to make the possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” and “large capacity ammunition feeding devices” illegal and then provide exceptions that the accused may raise as “affirmative defenses” to prosecution in some cases. NY Penal Code s. 265.20(12), (13) & (16).

A number of localities, including Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Suffolk County, and Yonkers, impose their own requirements on the possession, registration, and transport of firearms. Possession of a handgun within New York City requires a New York City handgun license or a special permit from the city police commissioner validating a state license within the city. Even New York state licenses are generally not valid within New York City unless a specific exemption applies, such as when the New York City police commissioner has issued a special permit to the licensee or “the firearms covered by such license are being transported by the licensee in a locked container and the trip through the city of New York is continuous and uninterrupted.” Possession of a shotgun or rifle within New York City requires a permit, which is available to non-residents, and a certificate of registration.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Use extreme caution when traveling through Washington, DC with a firearm. The certificate requirement for possession of firearms and ammunition does not apply to non-residents who are “participating in any lawful recreational firearm-related activity within the District, or on [their] way to or from such activity in another jurisdiction.” To qualify for this exception, a person must, upon demand of a law enforcement officer, “exhibit proof that he is on his way to or from such activity” and that the person’s possession of the firearm is lawful in the person’s place of residence. The person must also be transporting the firearm from a place where the person may lawfully possess and carry it to another place where the person may lawfully possess and carry it, the firearm must be unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition may be readily or directly accessible from the automobile’s passenger compartment, or if the vehicle does not have a separate trunk, the firearm or ammunition must be kept in a locked container.

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