Traveling through states that don't reconize a PA Permit!
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Thread: Traveling through states that don't reconize a PA Permit!

  1. Traveling through states that don't reconize a PA Permit!

    It sucks that PA is basically surrounded by states that don't recognize a PA Permit. How should I handle traveling through say (NY, MD, etc) with my hand gun?

  3. #2
    You obey their laws. If they do not recognize your permit then your permit is nothing more than a fancy piece of paper. Lookt at their laws for carrying a weapon without a permit and follow them.

  4. Follow Federal law for interstate transportation of firearms. also, as Mitchell Tuckness said, look at the state laws where you are travelling. Federal law should be the trump card, but I would go by the most restrictive, just to be safe. Personally, I try to avoid those states as much as possible. When travelling south I always go through West Virginia. It may take a little longer but I sacrifice that for being able to carry.
    Slow is Steady
    Steady is Fast

  5. Check here for transportation laws for the states you want to travel through:

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Wisconsin & Arizona
    Look-up the states Dept of Safety. They will have current information. They should have an email that you can ask questions, save the answer they give and print it out.
    I've also called a couple of the Dept of Safety from the states I travel for clarification
    Best - I now have nonresident permits from states that are recognized and don't worry about it anymore.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Lowcountry, SC

    FAQ: Interstate Transportation of Firearms

    Default FAQ: Interstate Transportation of Firearms


    Over the weekend, I did some research about the federal interstate transportation of firearms. Here is a quick FAQ about what I found. Hope this helps.


    Transporting firearms across state lines can prove to be a nightmare for gun owners due to the patchwork of state and local gun laws in this nation even despite federal law providing protections for interstate firearm transportation. The fact is that even though this legal protection exists, due to the lack of guidance from courts and political agendas, gun owners transporting firearms still place themselves at risk of arrest and prosecution, especially when travelling through states or cities that heavily regulate possession and transportation.

    This article is meant to provide an overview of the law concerning interstate transportation of firearms in order to give gun owners a general understanding of their rights in this area. This discussion is not meant to be an exhaustive or academic review of this area of law and should not be regarded as legal advice. As always, you should consult an attorney if you need legal advice.

    The Federal Transportation Law

    Concerning the interstate transportation of firearms, federal law provides at 18 USCS 926A:

    926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

    Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter [18 USCS 921 et seq.] 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 if, during such 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 of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

    Under this law, to legally transport a firearm interstate all the following need apply:

    (1) You are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm
    (2) It is lawful to possess AND carry the firearm in the place of origin
    (3) It is lawful to possess AND carry the firearm in the place of destination
    (4) The firearm must be unloaded
    (5) The firearm and any ammunition are not readily accessible OR directly accessible from the passenger compartment (if not possible see below)

    Note: In vehicles without a trunk separate from the passenger compartment any firearms AND ammunition must be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

    Before engaging in interstate travel, the gun owner should ensure that all the above criteria apply before transporting firearms. Before travel, the gun owner should verify that it is legal to both carry and possess the firearm in the jurisdiction of origins and destination. Immediately before beginning travel the gun owner should ensure the firearms are all unloaded, unloaded all magazines, and secure them separately. Although not required by law, unless in a vehicle without a compartment separate of the passenger compartment, it is advisable to secure the guns also in a locked case or with individual locks. This may make transport also lawful under state or local law as well as federal law which will provide an extra layer of protection.


    There is nothing explicit in the statute that requires a gun owner to carry any type of documentation, such as gun permits or registrations, but it is advisable to do so because this could prevent unneeded problems and even arrest.

    The case of Torraco v. Port Auth., 539 F. Supp. 2d 632 (E.D.N.Y. 2008) aptly illustrates how carrying documentation can avoid potential legal trouble. In Torraco two gun owners travelling through a New York City airport, attempting to transport their firearms, were subject to detention and arrest despite claiming federal law preempted any local or state gun laws prohibiting possession. The gun owners asserted the protection of federal law, but could not provide any documentation of their claims. Because the local officers were unfamiliar with this federal law and the plaintiffs could not produce any further evidence of their legal claims, they arrested the plaintiffs for illegal possession.

    The plaintiffs later sued the officers, making several claims; one among them was unlawful arrest. In dismissing the lawsuit, a federal district court held that even though the plaintiffs claimed protection of the federal law, since they were unable to verify their verbal claims with any documentation and since the officer was unfamiliar with the federal law, probable cause existed to make an arrest.

    The court in Torraco reasoned that since probable cause, “is knowledge or reasonably trustworthy information of facts and circumstances that are sufficient to warrant a person of reasonable caution in the belief that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a crime” the officer was not required to engage in an exhaustive investigation of the purely verbal claims before making an arrest. This means that simply verbally stating federal law makes possession or transportation legal is most likely not enough to avoid arrest.

    Because probable cause to make an arrest is a lower standard of evidence and can be easily reached given the correct factual circumstances, it is advisable for a gun owner to have documentation of lawful possession ready and to fully cooperate in the event of a police encounter.

    Here are some types of documentation that a gun owner might want to obtain before travelling:

    A copy of the federal interstate transportation law
    Resident or non-resident gun permits or copies of reciprocity agreements or laws from the state of origin or destination and states through which travel will take place
    Any required registration paperwork for the state of origin or destination or laws concern a duty or register
    Copies of relevant case law providing a right to carry or possess in state of origin or destination (for instance, states with open or concealed carry as a matter of constitutional right)
    Bills of sale and transfer paperwork for all guns being transported

    In the event of a police encounter, the gun owner should be able to provide ample documentation in order to effectively invoke the protection of federal law. Also, the gun owner should cooperate fully during the investigation because evasive or defiant behavior may contribute to establishing probable cause for an arrest. If the officer appears to be unfamiliar with the federal law after providing documentation, ask to speak with a supervisor. If in an airport, the gun owner may suggest that the local officer consult with a TSA official because they are trained on this federal law and can provide guidance to local law enforcement.

    If after following these guidelines you are still subjected to arrest, contact an attorney immediately. Write down the details of the encounter and note any witnesses and other officials present. Do not consent to any searches or make any statements until you speak with your attorney.

    Stops While Travelling

    Courts have generally held that in order to be able to invoke this law as a defense the only stops allowed must be directly incidental to the trip. For example, in People v. Selyukov, 2008 NY Slip Op 28104, 2 (N.Y. J. Ct. 2008), a trial court held:

    Fundamental to the defense is the firearm owner's actually engaging in travel, or acts incidental to travel, through the state of arrest, such as stopping for food or gasoline or picking up passengers or packages for the trip. Any pause in the journey must be directly incident to it.

    The defense is generally lost if the firearm’s owner stops for any reasons not directly related to the immediate trip. (for example see State v Baker, 639 SW2d 617 [Mo App, SD 1982]) defense not available when stop was for unrelated stay with girlfriend.)

    It is clear that stops for food and gasoline do not constitute a break in travel. But what about stops such as overnight stays or major diversions to collect passengers? Stops such as this are a grey area under this law and it is hard to judge the line when a stop is directly incident to the journey or falls outside of that category. Due to the lack of any settled law, it is best for a gun owner to be cautious when planning any intermediate stops. When planning a trip it would be best for the gun owner to:

    Plan a travel route through states where possession is legal under state or local law
    Plan travel routes that avoid jurisdictions which heavily regulate firearms and minimize travel time and stops in jurisdictions which do so
    Minimize the need for overnight stops
    When making overnight stops, stay close to your travel route. Do not deviate from the route to stay overnight with friends or family.
    Do not make major detours to collect passengers or packages. If possible, make arrangements to collect these close to your main travel route.
    Make stops as brief as possible. Minimize length of stops whenever possible.
    When stopped, even overnight, do not remove firearms from the car as doing so may remove the protection of federal law and may even constitute illegal carry of a firearm in that jurisdiction

    Other Practical Tips

    Before travelling, acquire non-resident permits for the destination state and any intermediate state. This will make transport easier, especially if interstate travel along the same route occurs regularly.

    Most police encounters during travel involve stops for traffic offenses. Following traffic laws, such as speed limits, will greatly reduce the chance of any encounter with law enforcement.

    In the event of a police encounter, do not offer any additional information then what is demanded. Produce only information required by the officer. Admitting unnecessarily that you are transporting firearms when not required to do so will only ensure a longer detention and possible custodial arrest. Although note that some state laws require a driver to immediately disclose to police if transporting firearms. These "duty to inform" state laws may be preempted by the federal interstate transportation law, but there is no known case law on the subject. As such, gun owners should use caution and research applicable state laws before travelling.

    Furthermore, do not consent to any searches of your vehicle. Consenting only ensures that the officer will search your vehicle and this will also greatly limit the ability of your attorney to suppress the fruits of the search in court. Generally an officer only needs probable cause to search the passenger compartment of your vehicle. But, in order to search any other area of you car, including an enclosed trunk, the officer will generally need both probable cause and a warrant (see generally New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454, 101 S.Ct. 2860, 69 L.Ed.2d 768 (1981).) If firearms were secured in a locked trunk, this makes it highly unlikely the officer will find them during a search. Although the officer may still seek a warrant, it is unlikely he will do so. (NOTE: if you are subject to custodial arrest or if your car is seized these general rules will most likely not apply.)


    Federal law does provide some protection for gun owners who seek to transport their firearms over state lines. But, even with these protections a gun owner may still be presented with legal trouble when doing so. Because of this, gun owners should do proper research before travelling, secure guns as required by law, and use common sense. By following these simple guidelines, most gun owners will avoid any potential problems during their travels.
    Islander's Law: Registration is Preparation for Confiscation

  8. #7
    Thought we already had a federal law on this...the Second Amendment.....

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Beech View Post
    It sucks that PA is basically surrounded by states that don't recognize a PA Permit. How should I handle traveling through say (NY, MD, etc) with my hand gun?
    Caleb... welcome to the forums and I too hail from the state of PA, so howdy neighbor. First things first... WV is the only border state that recognizes your LTCF. As such, if you wish to carry it on you when traveling you are limited to go through WV to your final destination. This leaves 5 other states that thumb their nose at us: OH, DE, MD, NY, and NJ. You will never get a permit in NY, NJ, nor MD unless you know someone, are incredibly wealthy or your job requires you to travel with large sums of money through their state (I've heard this in acquiring the MD permit only). With that in mind, get yourself a UT permit as quickly as possible. You will pick up OH and DE.

    As far as traveling through NY, NJ, or MD, then you will need to follow what their state rules are and the Federal code 18 USC - 926A, Insterate Transportation of Firearms. In a nutshell, please read it yourself, it says if you are traveling from a state in which you are legal to carry in to another state you are legal to carry in, then any state in between must give you safe travel. There are regulations how to store your firearm and ammunition, so read the code:
    18 USC 926A - Interstate transportation of firearms | Title 18 - Crimes and Criminal Procedure | U.S. Code | LII / Legal Information Institute
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  10. #9
    You also might want to consider getting a none resident CCL from states that have reciprocity laws with your state and / or with your boarder states. That way you have options. For example. I have a CCL with my home state of New Mexico and I have a None Resident from Florida. Giving me 37 states I can carry in, almost double what just my NM license would. I could get one from Colorado and add a few more states if I wanted, but you get my point. Look for options if you desire to carry while you travel. Remember Federal laws are guidelines, well they used to be. You have to follow them but their intent was to be broad. States laws will usually be stricter or more specific, as it is their providence to set their own laws where the Federal ones do not apply, if they so wish.

    Someone said the Constitution is our Law, but not always; our nation has turned from that path. We now allow our Federal Government to apply specific, strict laws, that not only inherently harm us, they restrict our States powers as well. Our Federal Democratic Republic was designed to run with a Federal Government that maintained some services and a standing Military to protect us from attacks, that was it. But it has grown and we allowed it, via our poorly elected officials and the lethargic attitudes of our younger generations. Less than half our population votes! And the excuse they use, my vote isn't going to matter or why vote for two bad apples? Well for one, pick the one less rotten and if you do not like it then run for yourself! You never know, people might just give you money to do it if they agree with your views and your views reflect their views, since that is how it should work, you might just win.

    But you know what? Now a days our voted representatives vote how they think the country should be, not how we do. Or they vote because they got a lot of money to vote that way.

    Only WE can change this system that is quickly turning into a farce.

    Till then, get a None Resident one(s) and follow the laws in the States you can't. Internet + Search Engines = Results :)

  11. Thank you for the research and post!

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