By Trey Copeland
Lincolnshire, IL – -(Ammoland.com)- So it’s spring time and you are ready to travel across the country in your RV. If you’re a fan of target shooting and hunting like I am, then you will most likely have at least one firearm with you at all times.
But do you know the rules and regulations on traveling with a firearm in your RV?
Transporting a gun across state lines in the United States is normally not an issue. As long as you follow the laws stated in the Gun Control Act of 1968, which is enforced by the National Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, then you should be fine.
Federal law permits “peaceable journey” transport of firearms across state lines. Any individual (except convicted felons, persons under indictment for felonies, mental defectives or incompetents, illegal users of controlled drugs, illegal aliens, veterans dishonorably discharged, those who have renounced their U.S. citizenship, fugitives from justice, persons convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, and persons subject to domestic violence restraining orders) may transport a firearm from one location to another as long as the individual is allowed to do so. No federal permit is required to travel with a firearm in your vehicle. Basically, if the gun is unloaded and in a locked container, you can’t get in trouble for having it ride along with you, but it is highly recommended to store the firearm in the trunk.
But what about when traveling in your RV where you have no trunk to lock your firearm?
The good news is transporting firearms across state lines in your RV is the same as any other automobile. The gun should be unloaded and stored in the back of the RV in a locked compartment. It should never be in the glove compartment or center console. The key to transporting a firearm is that it should never be where you or someone else can easily reach and it must be unloaded. Most outdoor retailers such as Camping World carry gun cases and racks for transporting guns.
Now, these rules are mostly applying to RVers who do not have their concealed carry license. If you are federally licensed to carry a concealed weapon, then you may carry your firearm within reach of you. If you are seeking to carry a concealed weapon across state lines, it is advisable to check what the law says for each individual state. You can see a list of available state laws here – http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws.aspx.
State and local gun transport laws vary from place to place and it is your responsibility as the gun owner to research the laws before you embark on your trip.
For example, New York law says if you are traveling across the state and can legally possess the firearm where you started and where you are going you can transport it legally with no issues, but if you stop in NY and spend the night at a campground or hotel, you are in violation of NY law and can be arrested if found with a firearm.
So what about campgrounds? What are the laws pertaining to firearms on the premise? First, you should have contacted the campground before hand to find out the gun laws. Every campground, whether public or private, is different and laws could vary from campground to campground. For example, Kentucky law does not prohibit the owners of private premises from excluding persons carrying firearms. Failure to vacate private premises when asked to do so could result in a criminal trespass charge. Simply, if the campground does not allow firearms, you should turn around and find another place to stay.
Like myself, I do a lot of boondocking. Boondocking is the free way to camp. Larger retail stores like Wal-Mart allow RVers to use their parking lots for overnight parking, in fact, most stores encourage it. It’s recommended to call ahead or go in to talk with the manager to make sure they are ok with you parking overnight. Also, Wal-Mart allows customers to bring handguns on the premises if legally permitted.
Transporting a firearm under the provisions of the Gun Control Act is not complicated as long as you follow the gun transport laws. But, do not ignore local and state laws. It would be unwise to take your gun from its secured location unless you know for sure that in the area you are visiting you will not be in violation of any local or state laws.
Here are some more resources for further reading on Travel with Guns:
- State-by-State Handgun Laws – website with detailed information of interest to travelers
- The Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States – handy printed guide for purchase that you can stow in your vehicle
- Which States Honor Your CCW License? – list showing which states honor your CCW license
- Gun Laws By State : Great reference book. If you own firearms or plan to and want to know you're following the law of each state but don't want to spend weeks trying to figure it out, this book is for you. A great resource to have with you when you travel.
- BATFE's State Laws and Published Ordinances – Firearms, 2010-2011 – nitty gritty details of state laws, not for the feint of heart
About Camping World:
Camping World has been your RV accessories expert since 1966. Today, more than ever, you can count on Camping World as your one-stop solution for all your RV needs. Visit: www.campingworld.com