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DanZemke

Keeping a pistol in my 5th wheel across all lower 48 states

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Keeping a pistol in my 5th wheel across all lower 48 states

My desire is simple. I want a pistol for "home protection" only.  I'm not interested in open or concealed carry.  My desire is to keep the pistol in a locked box, permanently connected to my trailer frame.  The pistol will not be loaded during transport. The locked box will also contain a few loaded magazines.  

I just finished an NRA Basic Pistol Course and submitted my application for a Connecticut Pistol License (with its embedded Federal check).

The instructor for the NRA course raised some flags about my ability to freely travel state to state.  He used California as an example of a particularly strict state.  But all of my relatives still live in California, and I would like to continue to visit them via RV (with the gun inside) instead of by air.

My impression is that, when I receive a Connecticut pistol permit and purchase a Glock with 10 cartridge magazines, I'll be good to go for visiting any of the lower 48 States.  I've spent a few hours researching CT, SD and CA gun regulations and did not any find significant concerns.

I'm not seeking legal advice.  I am seeking a sniff test, from folks more knowledgeable than I, about gun restrictions for RVers.  I'm OK accepting some risk, but there doesn't appear to me, to be much on this.

What are my risks, if any?

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I don't believe a Connecticut Pistol Permit will allow you to carry in the 48. I have a Florida concealed carry permit and can go in 36 out of 50 states with my firearms and carry in all those states.Connecticut does not have reciprocity with any other states.I used to have a Connecticut concealed carry permit and it was only good in Ct. It can be a real gray area here as it could be considered your home and they allow firearms in your home. I'de hate to have to hire an Attorney to prove that as it could be very expensive.

This is just my opinion as I'm not an expert in this.

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It is a murky area and one loaded with major danger for you. For example some security guard, with a ccw was arrested in NJ: Arrested in NJ. That case became semi famous or infamous. The NE, Atlantic states, some Midwestern states Illinois for example and the west coast are all danger areas. Canada is very restrictive. And as pointed out above since CT does not exchange carry permits reciprocity with other states probably every other state could be a problem.

Congress sporadically has tried to get a national carry reciprocity law passed but so long as one particular party controls one of the houses of Congress it's not going to happen.  If it did theen CCW would be like a driver's license, other states would be forced to honor them.

All I can suggest is becoming very familiar with any states laws before you enter it. Of course so long as they don't know you have one there won't be a problem. But states vary on whether or not they consider an RV as a home with 4th Amendment protection. If you intend to domicile in one of th three usual states: FL, TX or SD then I would get a carry permit from that state. Having a CCW will protect you in the reciprocity states whether you intend to concealed carry or not. Otherwise carry the weapon disassembled in a locked box and not near any ammo. gun in trunk, ammo in RV for example. But of course an unloaded gun is useless when you suddenly need one.

Whatever you do never ever give the police permission to search your vehicle or RV. Just say NO. Once thy fine a weapon you have no idea how it will go.

And lastly a shotgun is probably a safer weapon for you from the legal standpoint. And it makes a dandy home defense weapon.

Edited by agesilaus

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Some states allow a ccw permit to be issued for nonresidents.  I am not sure if there is specific state by state cooperation involved but I have a ccw permit for AZ, UT and our home state of CO.  I was able to apply for these during the one ccw permit class.  They provided all of the necessary forms with the class.  Each of these permits allow carry in a number of different states.  This won't help with CA but it might help in some others.  For me these permits allow me to carry in the states I frequent.

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You do not want to take a firearm into NY or NJ.  Only recognize their own permits. 

If you are going to carry, you need to join a group like US Law Shield.  They can help guide you through the requirements and to avoid NY and NY as well as CA.

Ken

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You will find the Legal Heat app helpful. The laws vary from state-to-state so much it is impossible to know it all. When transporting, the easiest solution is to default to the strictest scenario. 1- disassemble the gun and keep it in a locked container. 2- Keep your magazines in a separate locked container.

Although you say you are not interested in a concealed carry permit, it is worth looking into. Even if you don't plan on carrying all the time, it at least gives you the option to carry while you're sitting outside your RV or walking around the RV park. Connecticut has reciprocity with a bunch of states:

https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/resources/ccw_reciprocity_map/ct-gun-laws/

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2 hours ago, DanZemke said:

Keeping a pistol in my 5th wheel across all lower 48 states

My desire is simple. I want a pistol for "home protection" only.  I'm not interested in open or concealed carry.  My desire is to keep the pistol in a locked box, permanently connected to my trailer frame.  The pistol will not be loaded during transport. The locked box will also contain a few loaded magazines.  

I just finished an NRA Basic Pistol Course and submitted my application for a Connecticut Pistol License (with its embedded Federal check).

The instructor for the NRA course raised some flags about my ability to freely travel state to state.  He used California as an example of a particularly strict state.  But all of my relatives still live in California, and I would like to continue to visit them via RV (with the gun inside) instead of by air.

My impression is that, when I receive a Connecticut pistol permit and purchase a Glock with 10 cartridge magazines, I'll be good to go for visiting any of the lower 48 States.  I've spent a few hours researching CT, SD and CA gun regulations and did not any find significant concerns.

I'm not seeking legal advice.  I am seeking a sniff test, from folks more knowledgeable than I, about gun restrictions for RVers.  I'm OK accepting some risk, but there doesn't appear to me, to be much on this.

What are my risks, if any?

Dan,

 check this site for just transporting not carrying.

Quote from site:

Federal law does not restrict individuals from transporting legally acquired firearms across state lines for lawful purposes except those explicitly prohibited by federal law to include convicted felons; persons under indictment for felonies; adjudicated “mental defectives” or those who have been involuntarily committed to mental institutions; illegal drug users; illegal aliens and most non-immigrant aliens; dishonorably discharged veterans; those who have renounced their U.S. citizenship; fugitives from justice; persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence; and persons subject to certain domestic violence restraining orders. Therefore, no federal permit is required (or available) for the interstate transportation of firearms.

https://www.nraila.org/articles/20150101/guide-to-the-interstate-transportation

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Every State has different laws. For example, Calif is one of the strictest. In Calif if you do not have a permit to carry, issued by Calif since they have no reciprocity, you may only have a handgun in your vehicle if it is unloaded and in a locked container other than the glove box or center console. However if you plan on keeping your handgun attached to or inside your fifth wheel and not in your tow vehicle within your reach you may be in compliance with the law. The easier way to reduce issues would be to get a Concealed Carry Permit even if you do not intend to carry concealed on your person. Some States have a Enhanced Cary Permit which has reciprocity in many other States. Not sure about CT. UT and FL will issue a non resident permit and have reciprocity in most States, but not all. CA, NY, NJ, IL and a few others do not have reciprocity. UT will require you to have a CCW in your home State in order to obtain a non resident permit in UT. 

Additionally, the Supreme Court has ruled that you may have a weapon in your home, and most States Courts have ruled that an RV is an extension of your home when you are sleeping in it. While it is traveling on the road it is usually considered a vehicle. But if you have the weapon in your 5th wheel it may not be considered in your vehicle. Some States like NY and the District of Columbia, however, do not allow the transportation of a handgun across their State border at all in any way. 

Do some research online. There are many web sites on this issue. I would also highly recommend that you consult a Lawyer who specializes in this area. Many local gun clubs can refer a lawyer to you. 

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Thanks to all for the helpful information.

Based on your recommendations, and a bit more research, I've made a few changes to my evolving personal gun transport "rule book".

I will keep my ammunition and gun in separate locked boxes in my trailer during transport and will not be traveling in New York City , Washington DC.  After I get my CT pistol permit, I will buy a gun in CT and it will not leave CT, until I change my domicile to South Dakota.  At which point I will get a SD gun permit.

I was not able to find any law that requires disassembly of a firearm before transit.  Lots of internet chatter about it, but the closest I could find was someone saying that some states (unspecified) have a statement about disassembly in their hunting license regulations.  I would appreciate a response, if anyone has a specific citation, or even a specific State that mandates disassembly for transport.

Kirk - good suggestion.  I have the 2019 version of the Traveler's Guide you suggested, which is good enough for me at this point.

I've chosen not to keep track of gun laws, in every state, that I intend to visit.  As Admiral Grace Hopper said: "It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission".  It seems to me, that if I follow the practices I've described, my downside risk is minimal.  And I am willing to take that chance, in return for a significant simplification of my life.

So is my mind made up?  Pretty much, but if you think I'm wrong (for me, not others), please tell me.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In addition to the book "Travelers Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States", Here are a few links that I found useful and others may also:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/926A

https://handgunlaw.us/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_the_United_States_by_state

https://sdsos.gov/general-services/concealed-pistol-permits/map.aspx

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/firearms/pdf/cfl2016.pdf

https://www.nj.gov/oag/njsp/firearms/transport-firearm.shtml

Edited by DanZemke
Added link to information provided by Chalkie

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If you do get a CCW in SD I recommend you get the Enhanced version so you can get the reciprocity afforded by it. It wouldn’t hurt to get the Utah and or Florida non resident permits as well. 

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40 minutes ago, Twotoes said:

If you do get a CCW in SD I recommend you get the Enhanced version so you can get the reciprocity afforded by it. It wouldn’t hurt to get the Utah and or Florida non resident permits as well. 

I genuinely don't understand why many folks seem to be nudging me towards getting a CCW.  I had that same feeling in the NRA course I took last Sunday.  They promoted the Utah permit. 

My guess is that it's about socially joining the "CCW team".  But I have no intention, or desire, to carry a gun, outside of my house (5th wheel).  Am I missing a concrete benefit of a CCW for me?

Not trying to argue, just trying to better understand.

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1 minute ago, DanZemke said:

But I have no intention, or desire, to carry a gun, outside of my house (5th wheel).

That has been my view as well. I do not practice nearly enough to be qualified to be involved in a combat pistol situation. 

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8 minutes ago, DanZemke said:

I genuinely don't understand why many folks seem to be nudging me towards getting a CCW.  I had that same feeling in the NRA course I took last Sunday.  They promoted the Utah permit. 

My guess is that it's about socially joining the "CCW team".  But I have no intention, or desire, to carry a gun, outside of my house (5th wheel).  Am I missing a concrete benefit of a CCW for me?

Not trying to argue, just trying to better understand.

A ccw permit doesn't require you carry.  My suggestion was so that you can avoid a problem with having a gun.  I didn't  mean to suggest you should carry but even moving a gun from your vehicle to your RV could potentially cause a problem.  I have never felt that my ccw permits require me to always carry.

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Defensive shootings are typically at close-range, in short time spans. Therefore, a person should practice shooting in this manner. Draw and fire drills, flash sight and point shooting are all skills that a person should be drilling in defensive shooting practice at the range, rather than merely hitting the 10-ring at 10 to 20 yards. The idea is that you need to be able to put rounds on target close-up in a hurry.. Continue reading at: https://gunbelts.com/blog/how-often-should-i-go-the-shooting-range/

If you choose to carry there is a lot of responsibility and also liability that come with that decision. 

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28 minutes ago, Randyretired said:

My suggestion was so that you can avoid a problem with having a gun. 

I'm not trying to argue.  But I don't understand what problem, for a licensed gun,  I could avoid by having a CCW.

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If you have a gun in a state where your permit is valid then there are no questions about it.  Even moving a gun from one vehicle to another if you decide to conceal it so as not to announce it to the neighbors there could be a problem especially if it is loaded.  I see it as a way to avoid any problems or even questions though I agree it isn't likely.  In some states a license isn't required and has no meaning.  Any way that I can end  a hassle is worth it to me.  

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1 hour ago, DanZemke said:

Not trying to argue, just trying to better understand.

No it's about the reciprocity laws which are based on having a CCW in the states sharing reciprocity. I not a lawyer but having that permit will grant you much more protection in traveling. No permit, not reciprocity protection. Lastly what good is it if you have a pistol in one locked box and the magazine in another locked box, when someone breaks into your RV in the middle of the night?

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59 minutes ago, agesilaus said:

No it's about the reciprocity laws which are based on having a CCW in the states sharing reciprocity.

No, it has nothing to do with reciprocity laws.  I'll be transferring a licensed firearm from one home location to another home location.  The separation of firearm and ammunition is only required for transport between locations.  When I arrive at my new home,  I'm allowed to have a home-based loaded pistol in all 48 states.

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I don't have a CCW but I have transported handguns and long guns for years in my 5th wheel. When I am in transit they are unloaded  and have trigger locks on them and they are in the fiver. I have never been concerned that it would be an issue in as much as I am covered under 18 U.S. Code § 926A.Interstate transportation of firearms. Under that, it is pretty simple since the weapons are in the 5th wheel and the truck is where I am. Once parked in a campground the "Castle Law" which is in pretty much every state takes over. 

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Dan, for strictly self-defense, rather than a hangun I prefer this: https://www.range365.com/mossberg-shockwave-gun-test/

Possessing one eliminates nearly all of the hurdles  one must pass when possessing a handgun and crossing state lines.

Actual use; well-trained police members are surprisingly inaccurate under duress of actual confrontations, weapons training goes out the window when confronted by extreme stress.

Before you buy anything I strongly recommend you purchase a copy of  "In the Gravest Extreme" written by Massad F. Ayoob. Reading this book will enlighten you to aspects we do not envision.

 

 

Edited by Ray,IN

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On 10/27/2020 at 5:17 PM, DanZemke said:

The pistol will not be loaded during transport. The locked box will also contain a few loaded magazines.  

This is a gray area in some states ....in MD a loaded magazine is considered a loaded firearm even separated from the actual body of the firearm. During transport in that state magazines and ammunition must be in separate containers separated by at least a zipper (think padded gun storage bag).

I would think that some of the other restrictive states may have similar regs.

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14 hours ago, DanZemke said:

I'm not trying to argue.  But I don't understand what problem, for a licensed gun,  I could avoid by having a CCW.

"Licensed gun" is exactly the issue.  If you are traveling outside of CT you are not necessarily talking about a "licensed gun."  In fact in some states you may be talking about an unlicensed, illegal weapon.  If you have a lawful CCW in a particular state you should not encounter problems for possessing that firearm in that state, regardless of whether you are carrying it.

And no, in this instance it may not be easier to ask forgiveness.  In some states asking forgiveness may involve asking a jury at the expense of several tens of thousands of dollars and the risk of unpleasant roommates if forgiveness is not granted.

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I have a Texas Right to Carry License and I carry a semi automatic pistol in the lower 49 states. I keep it loaded but not one in the chamber. An unloaded handgun wouldn't help me if I need it. It may not be legal to do so in some states but if I need one I will be glad that I have one.

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