So it’s summer time and that means people are “on the move” with travel plans and vacations. Because of our high cost of gasoline these days, especially in the West, more and more people take these vacations via their cars instead of air travel. They can see the country and enjoy each others company and have a great time driving around the countryside. If you are a gun owner, you are probably thinking of throwing your gun into the car with everything else (especially since you are no-doubt thinking about increased road rage incidents, zombie attacks and other weird situations).
Gun in car… what could go wrong? Break-in? Speeding stop? Visible from outside? Concealed carry permit up to date? Crossed from your state where legal into another state where not? This can open up a whole can of worms.
Take the situation of the lady in Maryland who was robbed when attempting to buy a car – ugly situation in itself, but it does happen. In her case she had a gun in her car and used it to scare the would-be robber away by firing it in the air. Did she know where the bullet would land? Would a bystander consider this an assault, or could it be brandishing?
Let’s say you lived in another state and happened to be driving through Maryland and this happened to you. What would you do? Probably the same thing – grab the gun you brought along with you on your trip and use it in some way to protect yourself and your family. And you too would have been held by the authorities as she was. By the way… did she violate some concealed carry law? And if you have a permit… is it good in a state besides your own?
Not to debate the right or wrong of the situation – we don’t really know much about it at this point. But what is important for everyone to realize is that as you think about traveling outside your state this summer on a vacation to understand and know the gun laws of the states you are in, not just your home state. Can you even keep a gun in your car? What are the requirements? Loaded, unloaded, not accessible within vehicle, on your person or on the seat – what is okay? Remember, not knowing is a problem since you will be in and out of your car during your trip. The gun in the car or even on your person already puts you in some danger of violating carry or transport laws.
1. Who can possess a firearm of your type in each state?
2. Does a particular state allow possession of the firearm in a vehicle?
3. What are the specific requirements to do so?
4. Do you need to have a concealed carry permit in that state, or will yours from your home state work… and how does this affect your ability to carry your gun with you rather than leave it in your car or hotel?
There are lots of issues to think about before gassing up the car and heading out for a fun and memorable vacation. Do your homework and know what you can and can’t do to keep you out of jail…which would be a definite downer for the family vacation! This kind of infraction can lead to incarceration (free hotel… not the kind you want) and even a possible loss of gun rights.