Interstate Firearm Transport Protection Bill to Protect Travelers With Guns

By Larry Keane

HR 225 would help protect gun owners from jail time if they travel to prohibited states while otherwise in legal possession of guns like this PSA AR-15. IMG Jim Grant

USA – (AmmoLand.com) – Traveling between two points on a map would be less of a concern for travelers carrying firearms if Congress listened to U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) Offer. He is introduced HR 225, a bill that would remove the legal pitfalls of interstate travel with firearms.

The legislation couldn’t be more up-to-date. America had its strongest year for background checks ever with 21 million through 2020. Over 8.4 million The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimates that it was the first time people bought a gun. It was also a year in which a rise When selling hunting licenses and engaging in shooting range activities, many sought outdoor opportunities to overcome the boredom of coronavirus quarantine protocols.

These gun owners will travel, and with a confusing patchwork of laws between states, it is time for firearms transportation laws to be caught up with.

Roadblocks

The difficulty for gun owners traveling with their gun is that each state regulates gun ownership differently. Some states prohibit modern sporting rifles and present an obstacle to travel for gun owners who have to pass through that state to get to another. This is a real problem for gun owners who need to drive or even stop on flights in states like Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, or Maryland. Traveling with a modern sport rifle or standard magazines may not be an issue in New Hampshire, but traveling with firearms through the corridor of these strict gun control states means more than just overcoming road hazards. It also goes through legal dangers.

This common situation turns law-abiding Americans into instant criminals inadvertently, often without their knowledge or intent. The case by John Filippidis of Florida gained national attention. Filippidis was stopped for speeding in Maryland while driving with his family. Police suspected he had a gun in the car and spent over an hour searching his vehicle. His family was scared and watched.

It happened with Army 1st Lt. Augustine Kim. He was to travel from his childhood home in New Jersey to his own home in South Carolina. On the way, he stopped in 2010 at what was then Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC to schedule a medical appointment. He agreed to an officer search his car for firearms. He told them he had a modern sport rifle in the trunk. The problem was that modern sporting rifles are not allowed in the District of Columbia. The army officer was handcuffed and taken to prison. He faced 20 years, fines of $ 20,000 and four crimes. He eventually pleaded guilty to a reduced wrongdoing charge and spent the next two years fighting for his own Rifle returned. It required the intervention of US Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, both Republicans from South Carolina.

This fact is also common in the trucking and transport industry, not just for private individuals traveling across national borders.

Similar situations arise when hunters travel to other states with their firearms on hunting trips. Should they be late at airports and have to stay away from home overnight, they may be vulnerable to similar investigations and seizures by local law enforcement agencies who enforce these states’ very strict gun laws. US Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) spoken about this exact situation, which describes why he supports efforts to pass the update of the Interstate Firearms Transport Act. House Republicans Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) Has run the charge also beforehand in the House of Representatives.

The solution

Congressman Griffith’s bill would protect legitimate gun owners from falling victim to strict gun laws in other states if the owner is traveling or needs to stay temporarily. It is a sensible solution that a non-partisan law should agree on that Congress could agree on. States do not have to change or adopt new standards. It only allows a traveler in transit to do so without fear of jail time. This is legislation that should be voted on in the US House of Representatives.

Via the National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearms industry. Their mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. NSSF was founded in 1961 and has thousands of manufacturers, dealers, arms dealers, shooting ranges, sports organizations and publishers nationwide. See nssf.org for more information

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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