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  1. #1

    Default Driving to Florida-rules for bring gun along

    I am driving to florida from Ma next week and really want to bring my gun. I don't feel safe driving with my wife and 2 kids all the way to florida with no protection. Anyone know of a website I can visit to find out the laws of each state to see the laws. I will be going 95 south the whole way and I know it is late to ask this question but I just got laid off last week and my wife and I just decided to pack up the family for a couple of weeks and drive to florida. Thanks for all your help.

  2. #2

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    jmcclory: Judging by the time stamp, you don't sleep any better than I do. Saw your post and have two thoughts on this: Leave the gun at home, or hide it well and don't speed or do something foolish to attract police attention while driving. I live in South Florida and on the North Shore in Massachusetts. I go between the two states 15-20 times per year. Mostly I fly, but 2-3 times a year my wife and I drive (on I-95) so that we can take our two dogs. (I won't stick a dog under a plane's belly as luggage.)

    I have never needed a gun on this trip, and I've probably made it 80 times in the last 25 years. I have, however, taken guns with me to my place down there. It's just that they are locked up and hidden.(I cannot buy a handgun in Florida because my principle residence is in Massachusetts.) To be stopped by the state police along that route is to invite a large pain in the ass. You'll be detained even with the proper permits, arrested if there is even a doubt. (remember, these are cops we're talking about, not gun law lawyers) You really don't have any rights when you are stopped. Just watch COPS on Fox. If the police want to toss your car, they will. I always look at the odds in cases like this; you have a much better chance of being bothered by the law than accosted by a thug on this trip. So I'd leave the gun home. But if you have to bring it, lock it, hide it and drive nice. And if you think I have no faith in LE and their ability to give the ordinary citizen a fair shake, you are correct.

    Beside, the trip can be done in two nights, easy. You'll be there before you know it. Just don't stop at South Of The Border, it's a drag.

  3. #3
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    Here are 2 sites that have info applicable to your question:
    http://www.handgunlaw.us/ Focused on handgun CCW reciprocity
    http://www.nraila.org/gunlaws/ Has summaries of state gun laws and a guide to interstate transport of firearms.

    First question would be whether you have a CCW license for FL? That determines what you can do with a handgun once you get there. Other state licenses you have would also determine whether you can carry in intermediate states or must leave the gun in the trunk under FOPA.

    Interstate transport of firearms through states where one is not licensed under FOPA requires the gun to be unloaded and locked in the trunk. Prudence would suggest it be in a locking case as well.

    NY, NJ, CT and MD appear to be the states to be concerned about. NY is particularly known to be difficult with regards to FOPA. I would recommend not stopping in any of those states.

    I would also suggest bringing a shotgun or rifle instead of a handgun if you do not have a CCW license recognized by FL. Your gun will generally need to be locked in the truck if you are not CCW licensed so you might as well transport something with a bit more "uumph" that is less regulated. If you go the rifle route you probably should not take an EBR as several of the states mentioned have AWB variants. A home-defense pump shotgun or lever-action carbine should give you plenty of firepower without being "threatening" or subject to as much in the way of local regulations.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by kevin9; 02-07-2009 at 08:14 AM.

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    kevin9: Best avatar on the forum. Looks like an old teacher I had in high school.

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    Moderator jdubois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin9 View Post
    NY, NJ, CT and MD appear to be the states to be concerned about. NY is particularly known to be difficult with regards to FOPA. I would recommend not stopping in any of those states.
    CT has a ß 926A mirror law (Ch. 529 Sec. 29-38d.), I wouldn't worry too much about traveling through there under FOPA.
    (Ob. IANAL)

    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." -- Mahatma Gandhi

  6. #6
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    Unfortunately, MA permits are not recognized by anyone else between MA and FL. You can check here:


    http://www.handgunlaw.us/

    So, you'd at least have to have a temporary or non-res permit for FL when you got there. FOPA notwithstanding, you also would have to prove that you were traveling to some type of competition if your handgun was declared or found. Bottom line is that you'll be illegal as soon as you drive over the CT border and remain that way for your entire trip. Will you get stopped? Probably not. Will you get searched and tossed? Most likely not. Could it happen? Sure, especialy with MASS plates in Georgia or NJ. There's a target painted on your car. Also, what would happen if there was even a minor fender bender and your car had to be towed? It has happened to my father-in-law as he drove to FL a few time, especially on the NJ turnpike.

    So, unfortunately, until the Congress passes an honest reciprocity bill that will require all states to recognize other state's permits, we're SOL to travel legally. I know that there are a lot of guys who figure they'd rather be safe than unarmed but it is taking a chance especially with some of the more "enthusiastic" state police departments down south.

    Rome

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    Let's not make this any harder than it needs to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cabinetman View Post
    Unfortunately, MA permits are not recognized by anyone else between MA and FL. You can check here:


    http://www.handgunlaw.us/

    So, you'd at least have to have a temporary or non-res permit for FL when you got there.
    Not entirely true. Yes a license is required to carry a gun, but FL is a state where no license is required to own a gun. Even if the OP does not have FL-recognized license to concealed carry they can transport and store a gun in FL.
    FOPA notwithstanding, you also would have to prove that you were traveling to some type of competition if your handgun was declared or found .Bottom line is that you'll be illegal as soon as you drive over the CT border and remain that way for your entire trip.
    Not true. Here's the relevant text from FOPA:
    any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm
    The competition aspect is the one most cited because it gives people the right to possess in certain states, like MA, that otherwise would require a license. As long as the OP can legally possess at both ends of the trip FOPA should allow him to transport between them.
    Will you get stopped? Probably not. Will you get searched and tossed? Most likely not. Could it happen? Sure, especialy with MASS plates in Georgia or NJ. There's a target painted on your car. Also, what would happen if there was even a minor fender bender and your car had to be towed? It has happened to my father-in-law as he drove to FL a few time, especially on the NJ turnpike.

    So, unfortunately, until the Congress passes an honest reciprocity bill that will require all states to recognize other state's permits, we're SOL to travel legally. I know that there are a lot of guys who figure they'd rather be safe than unarmed but it is taking a chance especially with some of the more "enthusiastic" state police departments down south.

    Rome
    Again it all comes down to what the OP wants to do and where he has licenses for. If he wishes to carry all the way then much of what you say is true. If just transporting and possessing is sufficient then the OP is in much better shape.

    Note to OP: IANAL so please do your own research before taking my, or anyone else's word here.
    Last edited by kevin9; 02-07-2009 at 01:19 PM.

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    Moderator jdubois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabinetman View Post
    FOPA notwithstanding, you also would have to prove that you were traveling to some type of competition if your handgun was declared or found.
    This is simply not true. The safe passage statute in FOPA is very much withstanding. You do not have to be traveling to some time of competition in order to be protected under § 926A.

    (Edit: Kevin9 beat me to it, and did a better job )
    (Ob. IANAL)

    "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    Moderator M1911's Avatar
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    One thing to remember is that to transport it in accordance with FOPA, it has to be unloaded and locked in your trunk or a container. An unloaded gun locked in your trunk is not going to do you much good if you get attacked in a rest stop.

  10. #10

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    Florida has no reciprocity with MA s unless you are going to a bona fide shooting event as a participant you have no legal standing to transport the gun to Florida unless you are permitted there.

    Even if you have a non resident permit for Florida, carrying a loaded gun along the way is a non no.

    If you feel that threatened driving, I suggest you fly.

    You can not legally have a loaded weapon in the vehicle with you, unless you are current or retired law enforcement from a government sanctioned agency.

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