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Flying out of BDL covered by FOPA?

Discussion in 'Connecticut Laws' started by mcrocker, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. mcrocker

    mcrocker

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    I live in Western MA, I'm licensed in MA (LTC-A) and have no license in CT at this time.

    I'm thinking of going to Dallas in the spring and bringing some of my firearms along. AR-15, O/U 12 Ga and some pistols.

    If I lock them, unloaded in a secure case would I be covered by FOPA on my trip from MA to Bradley for my flight out? Or, will I need to get a CT license in order to travel through CT with them?

    Leaving out of Logan is not really a reality, I'd rather leave the guns at home.

    I guess the bigger question is would the LEO at Bradley know I'm covered by FOPA or not. I don't want to deal with the hassle or run the risk of losing my stuff.
     
  2. terraformer

    terraformer NES Member

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    Leave them home. CT is in the second circuit and FOPA has been judicially castrated. Your specific scenario is exactly the scenario you are screwed on by douchebag federal judges. Your only other option is to ship then which has its own set of headaches.
     
  3. mark056

    mark056 NES Member

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    Although a Royal PITA given your location, I'd drive to Manchester and fly out of there, plus the parking is cheap. Even if it were a 2 or 3 hour drive it might be the easiest way to go in the long run.
     
  4. aeromarine

    aeromarine NES Member

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    The AR-15, pistols and any standard (greater than 10 round) capacity mags could very well land you in jail. Don't even think about bringing them into Connecticut!

    If you want to fly out of BDL in the future what you really should do is get a non resident Connecticut pistol and revolver license. I've had one for over 30 years and it even let's you buy ammo and long guns in Connecticut as long as your Mass LTC remains valid. I believe they're still quite easy to get issued, they last 5 years and can be renewed by mail.

    But whatever you do, do not bring any ARs AKs or any of the nearly 200 other designated "assault weapons" or mags holding more than 10 rounds into CT. You're NR Pistol License will not protect you for those items and you very well could wind up in jail.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  5. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    This.

    -Mike
     
  6. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

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    Everything above is wrong except for the mag advice. Interesting that its all written by MA residents.
    No offense, but CT is still not MA.

    NOBODY has ever been busted at Bradley who has been traveling in compliance with FOPA.
    Nobody has ever been busted on a CT highway traveling within compliance with the safe passage portion of FOPA.

    I've flown out of BDL with guns probably 20 times and have never even raised an eyebrow. That includes handguns, ARs, and shotguns. Nothing.

    The only time I caused a problem was when I was flying to Seattle to ferry a small airplane back to CT right after 9/11. They freaked out when they saw my flight bag carry on with charts, 2 GPS, an aviation radio and put that together with a .22 rifle I had checked at baggage and the fact that I had purchased a 1 way ticket that day, with cash. But I digress.

    BDL is NOT a problem.

    Shoot. Logan isn't even a problem these days.
     
  7. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

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    Do you even know what the safe passage portion of FOPA is. Everything relating to firearms here is incorrect.

    All of the problems have occurred at Port Authority of NY and NJ airports. There have never been problems at Bradley. Granted, there is some increased risk in that the 2nd Circuit only considers FOPA to be an affirmative defense. But if people aren't getting hassled at BDL, its a moot point.



    ****Edit
    If I sound worked up over this, its because I am. I can not stand to hear people discouraged from exercising their rights WITHIN the law by MA folks. I understand, in MA you don't have any rights with respect to firearms. I fully and completely grasp that.

    But thankfully, despite the passage of PA 13-3, CT is still not MA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  8. ProGun

    ProGun NES Member

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    I don't know, but at this point I'm not so sure I agree that CT is better than MA.
     
  9. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

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    It is for several reasons.

    The main one is that you still have a right to own guns in CT.
    No permits or licenses are required to posses any firearms in CT, including machine guns but excluding semi-auto "assault weapons".

    That means that if you are unfortunate enough to be in some kind of a defensive shooting, you don't have to worry about the police taking all of your guns away. It means that if your pistol permit lapses, you are legal. It means that if you move to CT with anything other than an AW, you don't have to do anything to be legal.

    This also means that you don't have to felate your licensing officer. You can tell a cop who is hassling you outside of the law to pi55 off if you want. I've refused to show police my ID or any other documents while out shooting my machine gun on private property and all he could do was walk away shaking his head. I would NEVER try that in MA. I'd be arrested, then my Chief would pull my LTC then a swat team would show up at my home to confiscate my property.

    Its thankfully still different in CT.

    Also significant is law enforcement attitude. Most cops outside the cities are not anti-gun. The DESPP's special licensing and firearms unit is corrupt. But they get called on it and lose more often than not thanks to the BFPE. (Board of Firearms Permit Examiners)

    who can overrule the DESPP, and often do.

    Please take a look at this article. What it presents as a problem is a very very good thing:
    http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-gunboard-kuck-0624-20130623,0,3161750.story
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
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  10. Rob Boudrie

    Rob Boudrie NES Member

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    You might have enough time to mail order a CT carry permit, however, the AR15 still presents a problem because it is extra killy.
     
  11. Matt E

    Matt E

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    Never had an issue flying out of BDL. They never really looked at what it was or capacity. In my experiences they could give two shits what you are flying with as long as you declare it.
     
  12. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

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    Exactly. Although, I wouldn't go through BDL with high cap mags simply because FOPA doesn't protect you with respect to those.

    Even extra killy ARs are fine with FOPA. Shoot, a machine gun is fine with FOPA as long as you do your 5320. And again, the people there are more concerned with hunting down and finding the mythical blonde 85 year old female paraplegic terrorist than they are with taking your guns.


    As an aside. When I was leaving Bismark ND this fall with a handgun and a shotgun, I was approached by a state trooper as I walked to the terminal after getting dropped off. He smiled and said "How did you do? I hear bird counts are way down this year . . .thanks for visiting, have a safe flight"

    Don
     
  13. terraformer

    terraformer NES Member

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    Hey *******, I never said people were getting hassled at Bradley. I said it's not worth the risk because the because of the Second and Third Circuit decisions. You actually read those ****ing decisions, you would realize that it's stupid to try to take these things through any state via airplane. It has nothing to do with an affirmative defense, it has something to do with the fact that the court said that FOPA doesn't apply to airports.

    You can bet if someone decides to start making trouble, or singles The OP out, that the courts will back his conviction. So I gave him good advice, to ship his shit over there and avoid the airlines. This has nothing to do with Connecticut law, this is everything to do with federal law.
     
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  14. xtry51

    xtry51

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    You can fly out of Bradley with anything. They won't care. Take your guns with you. I've never had anyone bat an eyelash flying out of there and checking firearms.
     
  15. terraformer

    terraformer NES Member

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    Lack of enforcement does not mean you will be protected from prosecution. There is always the first guy to be prosecuted for any crime. Don't be a test case.
     
  16. xtry51

    xtry51

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    Great advice, then we can live under fear forever rather than challenge it or just live our lives [rolleyes]

    You're not going to get hassled, let alone arrested in BDL.
     
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  17. terraformer

    terraformer NES Member

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    When Connecticut first passed their assault weapons ban, an individual challenged it by possessing or building an AR in certain configuration and getting himself arrested. I don't remove the details of exactly what he did, but that's how he challenged it and he was arrested and he was convicted. He could have challenged it in a way that didn't get himself arrested, but he thought he knew better. He's now a convicted felon.

    There is a way to challenge laws where there is a high degree of risk to the individual and there is a way to challenge laws with a low degree of risk. Telling a MA resident to travel through CT on the airlines is a high risk proposition. Not because 90% of the cops aren't on our side, or the gate agents are not mostly aware of the policies and procedures, etc. it's the howling moonbat minorities in those populations that cause a disproportionate amount of damage. This isn't a dick swinging contest. Peoples lives are on the line.
     
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  18. Woodstock

    Woodstock NES Member

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    I've flown out of BDL with firearms, too, but not since CT passed their new laws. It would be helpful to hear from anyone with recent experience. OTOH, the authorities would have made a big media story out of any arrests, as they did in NY under the SAFE Act. The AR magazines are a concern, though, and mailing them ahead might be the wiser choice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  19. Ultrarunner

    Ultrarunner NES Member

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    I'll be the first to bring this up but FOPA is a little ambiguous on this matter. It would concretely apply if you were to say fly from Manchester (where said firearms are legal) to Dallas VIA Bradley, but the fact that as a Mass resident you drove to Connecticut and then checked in at an airport with prohibited firearms may not legally cover you.

    Honestly, just fly out of logan. I have flown with firearms dozens of times and staff is beyond professional and courteous. Hard sided locked case with NON TSA locks and obviously everything unloaded, declare them at the check-in counter and you're GTG...
     
  20. terraformer

    terraformer NES Member

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    And its that ambiguity that CA3 used to basically kill FOPA for anything other than car travel. If anyone thinks CA2 (or state courts) wouldn't apply the same decision, they are living in an alternate universe.

    Judges don't become justices by being brave and going against the grain. This is what we have to work with and why we are so careful in taking cases.
     
  21. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

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    One other thing.

    1) CT law specifically allows you to travel through CT with handguns without a permit.
    2) No permits of any kind are required to posses a long gun. So you are perfectly legal per CT law to actually come to CT and go hunting without any permits or licenses.
    3) Same goes true of MGs. If its a pistol, you need a pistol permit. If its a rifle, then no permit is needed.
    4) AWs I need to research.

    So in the two most common cases (handguns, rifles and shotguns (excluding AWs) you dont' even need FOPA. You are covered by CT law.

    I'll get citations up shortly.

    Edit:

    Sec. 29-38d. Interstate transportation of firearms through state. (a) The provisions of sections 29-35 and 29-38 shall not apply to the interstate transportation of firearms through this state in accordance with 18 USC 926A and 927, as amended from time to time, by any person who is not otherwise prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing a firearm. Such person may transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where such person may lawfully possess and carry such firearm through this state to any other place where such person may lawfully possess and carry such firearm provided such transportation is in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  22. terraformer

    terraformer NES Member

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    The key words there are in accordance with 926, et al. In comes Revell and Turacco. Those cases and others determine what is in accordance with that state implentation of FOPA. Just because CT authorities haven't put two and two together on their own yet, doesn't mean they won't in the future, especially as a post facto rescue for a bad arrest, which is where a lot of bad MA case law (I doubt other states are much different) comes from. That I know this stuff so well is because I deal with it constantly. That it takes this much to stay from being afoul of the law shows how bad the situation is everywhere.
     
  23. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

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    So let me ask you a question.

    If federal case law changes 926 and state law references 926, does that federal precedent automatically affect state law?

    I thought it didn't. . with about 75% certainty. Which is why I'm asking.
    The state law is merely referencing the text, not the totality of the law, which includes case law.
     
  24. terraformer

    terraformer NES Member

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    It does if they want it to, but this is pretty cut and dried because of the wording of that state statute. The general rule is state courts interpret state law and federal courts interpret federal law. The state court would have to read into the state statute the spirit in federal law when the state legislature simply said the state law is to mirror the federal law.
     
  25. terraformer

    terraformer NES Member

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    I should add, a sympathetic judge can rule in a gun owners favor in a MTD but the prosecution has a strong case on appeal (DAs can appeal judges dismissals). You know better what your state supreme courts disposition is towards guns but Lisa Steele had a knife self-defense case there a few years back that she should have won and they ruled against her.
     
  26. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

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    This is where local knowledge comes into play. Prosecutors in CT don't generally prosecute law abiding gun owners who get slipped up in some detail of the law.

    CT jury instructions are full of interpretations that include the requirement for an INTENT to break the law or something to the effect of KNOWINGLY violating the law.

    Even the guns in schools instruction requires that the person know they had a gun with them and also know that bringing a gun into the school is illegal.

    In this case: http://www.wtnh.com/news/crime/janitor-arrested-for-bringing-loaded-gun-to-school

    All charges were dropped. The BFPE found that it was an innocent accident and his pistol permit was returned to him:
    http://www.ct.gov/bfpe/cwp/view.asp?a=3291&Q=511850

    This would NEVER happen in MA. So lets recap. This man accidentally carried a gun into a school, accidentally left it in the school. He was not prosecuted and his pistol permit was returned.

    Its the whole absence of malace. People just are not prosecuted for this stuff. Most people who have a clean defensive shoot aren't arrested and don't lose their pistol permit or their firearm.

    In the end it comes down to risk tolerance. There is no clear cut answer here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  27. terraformer

    terraformer NES Member

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    A system of justice that relies on the benevolence of prosecutors is not just. And BTW, a lot of MA ADAs do good things with cwofs and noble prosse dismissals too, so as much as I want to believe all CT ADAs are benevolent, I would never trust it. That's my risk tolerance.

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW, the entire legal system is risk tolerance.
     
  28. aeromarine

    aeromarine NES Member

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    I am absolutely stunned by the blissful and, I believe, profoundly naïve confidence you have that the State of Connecticut will afford the protection FOPA should and was intended to provide to those traveling interstate with firearms given the ill conceived and mean spirited gun laws recently enacted. Things have changed over the years and it started right at the top with the office of the governor and the recent AGs. Their minions at all levels of DPS and local the local PDs have been empowered to treat law abiding gun owners very harshly and some often do.

    I agree that you would be likely to see the intended application of FOPA if you were simply passing through the state on an uninterrupted journey on the highway system. But in the case of driving yourself to BDL to catch a flight the situation could be much different. I can only think few of the LEOs you'd be likely to encounter who would appreciate the subtleties involved under FOPA if they came across an AR or AK in your car that lacked a Certificate of Possession even it you told them you were on your way to Bradley Field to catch a flight out of state. Some cops simply don't fully appreciate the details of the applicable laws. Others will never pass up any opportunity to make a "pinch" if there is any possibility it can be justified and the charges can be made to stick. It would be the luck of the draw who stopped you and whether or not you would be arrested and have your guns taken away. So your advice to others that they would not be placing themselves at risk for arrest by coming into Connecticut with handguns (without a pistol and revolver license) or with one of the now restricted/prohibited long guns when headed to BDL is extremely cavalier. Perhaps you would also be willing to pay their legal expenses? Given your advice I think you should.

    Over the past 40 years I have been a resident of both Connecticut and Massachusetts and I have a pretty good grasp of the gun laws in both states. My advice to anyone reading this thread would be not to put themselves in such jeopardy. An arrest, even in the case where you might eventually be exonerated, is something you really want to avoid for all the obvious reasons. It would also be a hell of a way to start a vacation if you had other family members along with you in the car!

    For now until things become settled law with case precedent I strongly urge you to keep your full capacity greater than 10 round mags out Connecticut as well as any handguns or other firearms that have been deemed assault weapons unless driving through without any stops. For now your other rifles and shotguns are good to go into and through Connecticut as you please. Finally, I would urge anyone who has a Mass LTC to apply for and get a Connecticut Non Resident Pistol and Revolver License. It should be easy to get and it will provide you with a lot of extra protection from ever running afoul of the law.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
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  29. dcmdon

    dcmdon NES Member

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    Its not necessarily benevolence. And its not blissful.

    Also, if nobody is ever arrested and prosecuted, no case law will be made. So you could be waiting a while.

    If anyone can cite me a single instance of an otherwise law abiding citizen being arrested and prosecuted at BDL or while driving through CT, I'd appreciate it.

    A guy in Bismark negligently discharged his shotgun in the airport a week after I was there. The Bismark PD said that since he agreed to pay for the damage, they weren't going to press charges.

    Its culture. You can call it benevolence. But the culture defines how laws are enforced. Culture affects jury instructions for example.

    One thing I think we agree on is that its grey. If only because it is unknown how federal case law around FOPA affects CT law that references the text of the safe passage paragraph.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
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  30. Matt E

    Matt E

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    Ok so correct me if I am wrong here. There are potentially two places, and only two places where one could run afoul at BDl.

    1) "assault weapon" under CT definition
    2)Mags over 10rds

    The law is such a convoluted mess that it doesn't ban anything except the sale of these items. Anything that is possessed by a CT resident is not illegal as long as it is "registered". So for a non-resident who is simply passing through and is in possession of a item that isn't banned where is the problem? To me it would be more of a stretch than anything. If it was like MA with a post ban AW then yes I could see a clear cut issue. BUT where is that clear cut issue here or are we just running on fear? Maybe it's because I have gone through that airport with firearms and they haven't batted an eyelash that has jaded me but I'm not seeing where CT has painted a bullseye on people the way NY/NJ has. As bad as their new laws are there are no permitting/possession issues and how would a non-resident simply passing through begin to "register" an AW for travel? I'm not looking to be a smart ass here but I'm not seeing how there's much if any risk.
     

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