Coronavirus Infects Stock Market: XLII
Massachusetts gun stores will be allowed to open this weekend thanks to U.S. Judge Douglas P. Woodlock issuing a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from enforcing the unlawful order from Gov. Charlie Baker.
“We don’t surrender our constitutional rights. These plaintiffs have constitutional rights that deserve respect and vindication, and it becomes necessary for a court to do that rather than the executive when the executive declines,” said Judge Woodlock.
Gov. Charlie Baker’s emergency order shuttered FFLs statewide, eliminating “all lawful channels of access to constitutionally protected arms and ammunition by mandating the closure of all businesses that sell firearms and ammunition to the consumer public. These actions amount to a ban on obtaining modern arms for personal defense in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Below is a 2015 roundup from the NRA of the types of laws gun owners might face while traveling. For a more comprehensive and up to date review of interstate gun laws, see the Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States, 2020, by J. Scott Kappas, Esq.
Take these, and other restrictions into account as you make choices about where to retire.
JURISDICTIONS WITH SPECIAL RULES
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 http://www.ag.ca.gov/firearms
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 http://www.hawaiipolice.com/services/firearm-registration
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 http://www.mass.gov/msp/firearms/ 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: http://www.state.nj.us/njsp/about/fire_trans.html
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. N.Y. 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.
Canada has very strict laws governing the transportation and possession of firearms. Please visit the U.S. Embassy in Canada’s website for more information before traveling: http://canada.usembassy.gov/traveling_to_canada/bringing-weapons-into-canada.html
Lawful use and possession of firearms in Canada requires the possessor to be licensed and the firearm to be registered. Nonresidents may meet these requirements in either of two ways. The first is to complete a Non-resident Firearm Declaration prior to arrival at the point of entry. Declarations are valid for 60 days but may be renewed free of charge before expiration. The second method is to apply for a five-year Canadian Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) and then, once the PAL is obtained, register the firearms in Canada.
In addition, Canadian law establishes three broad classifications of firearms: “non-restricted,” “restricted,” and “prohibited.”
A person may not enter Canada with prohibited firearms, which include: (1) a handgun with a barrel length of 105 mm (approximately 4.1 inches) or less; (2) a handgun capable of firing .25 or .32 caliber ammunition; (3) a rifle or shotgun that has been altered so that its barrel length is less than 457 mm (approximately 18 inches) or its overall length is less than 660 mm (approximately 26 inches); (5) automatic firearms (including those converted to fire only as semiautomatics); and (6) certain firearms specified by model (and their variants), including AR-15s (as well as .22 rimfire clones), A.K.s, various semi-automatic shotguns, Intratec TEC-DC9s, UZIs, Steyr AUGs, FN-FALs, and numerous others. Also prohibited is the importation of so-called “large capacity magazines,” which generally means any magazine for a semiautomatic centerfire rifle that holds more than five rounds or any magazine for a handgun that holds more than 10 rounds.
Restricted firearms include any non-prohibited handgun; a non-prohibited centerfire rifle with a barrel of less than 470 mm (approximately 18.5 inches); a firearm that can be fired after being folded, collapsed, or otherwise reduced to a length of less than 660 mm (approximately 26 inches); and other models designated by law. These require an Authorization to Transport (ATT) in addition to the Non-resident Firearm Declaration or PAL.
Limited amounts of ammunition may be imported.
All firearms must be transported unloaded. Non-restricted firearms left unattended in a vehicle should be locked in the vehicle’s trunk, or if the vehicle does not have a trunk, locked out of sight in the vehicle’s interior. Restricted firearms must be rendered inoperable during transport by a secure locking device or locked within an opaque container that cannot readily or accidentally be broken open during travel. Canadian officials recommend using both of these measures for restricted firearms, as well as removing the bolt or bolt carrier, if applicable.
Information and forms governing all of these requirements may be obtained from the Canadian Firearm Program (CFP) website at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/index-eng.htm or by contacting the CFP at 1-800-731-4000.
Mexico severely restricts the importation of firearms and ammunition, and violations are likely to result in harsh punishment. The United States Department of State and Mexican tourism officials have strongly cautioned U.S. citizens visiting Mexico to leave their firearms at home. http://tijuana.usconsulate.gov/tijuana/warning.html
Limited exceptions apply for the purpose of hunting. Because foreign hunters in Mexico must be accompanied by a licensed Mexican hunting guide, anyone planning to hunt in Mexico should contact his or her outfitter for information on import requirements.
UNITED STATES RESIDENTS RETURNING TO THE U.S.
Importation of firearms or ammunition into the United States requires a permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unless the traveler can demonstrate that the firearms or ammunition were previously possessed in the United States. One way to do this is by completing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form 4457 with your local CBP office before leaving the United States. A bill of sale or receipt showing transfer of the items to the traveler in the United States may also be used.
Note: In the United States you have constitutional protections both against unreasonable searches and seizures and against compelled self-incrimination. Although the authorities may search anywhere within your reach without a search warrant after a valid stop, they may not open and search closed luggage without probable cause to believe evidence of a crime will be found, particularly when it is in a locked storage area or trunk of a vehicle, unless you consent. You have a right not to consent. Furthermore, although you may be required to identify yourself and produce a driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of automobile insurance, you have a right to remain silent.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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