H.R. 225 Bill Addressing Interstate Firearm Transportation Introduced

Opinion

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles
H.R. 225 Bill Addressing Interstate Firearm Transportation Introduced

New Jersey – -(AmmoLand.com)- In the midst of an already shaky legislative session both politically and socially speaking, bills are still being introduced in dribs and drabs.  There is a lot of doom and gloom in both arenas, as we as  Americans, try to wrap our heads around recent events.  Some things are business as usual, and really, given the history of this proposed bill, it should not be…The passage of this bill is long overdue.

On January 6, 2021, Representative Morgan Griffith [R-VA9] has reintroduced “H.R. 225: To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition”.

As American gun owners, we are currently protected by law when transporting firearms interstate from one location which we can legally have them to another location where we can legally have them.  This may not seem like a big deal in certain geographic areas, however, it offers many much-needed protections for those traveling through states with varying laws and really, varying levels of respect of the Second Amendment.

Looking at the bill history, similar bills have been introduced in every congress going back to 2012.  With hot button topics such as nationwide concealed carry reciprocity taking the center stage, H.R. 225 still has plenty of important relief to offer.  In particular, when traveling, the protections afforded in this bill will protect someone’s ability to stay overnight in a state they are traveling through which may be hostile to civil rights.  From the text of a former version of this bill filed in the last session:

In subsection (a), the term transport includes staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, and any other activity incidental to the transport…

This provision is very helpful to safeguard the rights of gun owners on long road trips.  Take for example someone driving from Maine to Florida.  A concealed carry permit holder of both of these states would have to travel through many states that have unconstitutional laws.  If a motorist needs to stop for gas or stay overnight in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, or Maryland through the course of their travels, they are being left subjugated to draconian laws with still felony penalties.

And this is not some Chicken Little view, not when over the years there were a series of several suspect stops in Maryland dealing with the presumption of firearm possession-based solely on the fact someone had a concealed carry permit [or just an NRA sticker].  From a 2015 Washington Times article, “A Case for National Reciprocity, MD Police Target Concealed Carry Holder’s Guns”:

John Filippidis of Florida was driving south with his family on Interstate 95 when the Maryland Transportation Authority Police pulled over his black Ford Expedition and proceeded to raid it while his twins, wife and daughter looked on — separated in the back seats of different police cruisers.

The officers were searching for Mr. Filippidis‘ Florida-licensed, palm-size Kel-Tec .38 semi-automatic handgun, which he left at home locked in his safe. (Maryland does not recognize handgun permits issued by other states.)

When the search turned up nothing, Mr. Filippidis, 51, was allowed to go and was issued only a speeding warning.

From the article, a very compelling question is asked: “How did the police know he was licensed for concealed carry, and what right did they have to search through his personal items on the side of the busy interstate…”? 

Abuses of information and 4th amendment rights violations are just some of the problems gun owners face in today’s society.  On a personal level, a friend was once pulled over in Massachusetts heading from Maryland to Vermont and the officer demanded to be able to search his vehicle.  What was the just cause of the stop?  He had a camouflage jacket in plain view in the rear window of his pickup truck.  He was without a firearm and acquiesced to the search, but we as citizens of a free nation should not be threatened by such illegal practices.

Some of the other text of the formerly proposed bill seems to protect the style of firearm as well as the magazines:

A person who is transporting a firearm, ammunition, magazine, or feeding device may not be arrested or otherwise detained for violation of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof related solely to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms, ammunition, magazine, or feeding device unless there is probable cause to believe that the person is doing so in a manner not provided for in subsection (a).

Without a critical and judicial review of the text, on face value, it appears people will be able to drive through states like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, etc. with their standard capacity magazines above 10 rounds, and hollow-point ammunition, etc.

Takedown Briefcase AR15 Rifle
Briefcase AR15 Rifle – Planes, Trains and Guns

If there is a time that lawful gun owners need more protection, that time would be now.

With constant assaults by financial institutes, governmental agencies, executive overreach, judges legislating from the bench, and continuing to deal with irrational and erroneous “screaming Mommy’s” from the ilk of Moms Demand Action, Handgun Control Inc. (Brady), Giffords, et.al. things like the interstate of lawful transport of firearms need to be protected in a more affirmative manner.  As it is today, too much is left for interpretation.

Representative Griffith does have an insurance policy built into the law to act as an incentive for overreaching police to comply:

When a person asserts this section as a defense in a criminal proceeding, the prosecution shall bear the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the conduct of the person did not satisfy the conditions set forth in subsection (a).

(3)When a person successfully asserts this section as a defense in a criminal proceeding, the court shall award the prevailing defendant a reasonable attorney’s fee.

Legislators like Griffith need to be commended and support for this bill and bills like it need to be known by our leaders.  Reach out to Griffith to thank him for having the moral fortitude to continue the tradition of introducing this bill and reach out to your lawmakers to get them onboard.  This is about respect, the 2nd Amendment, and the 4th Amendment, to name a few rights that will be further protected.

The law-abiding population deserves this, and it’s unfortunate that it needs to be even discussed.


John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on Instagram @jpetrolinoiii .

John Petrolino
John Petrolino
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ShooterOne
ShooterOne
11 days ago

In my humble opinion it is time for patriotic American citizens to tell our politicians to lay off their infringements on the Second Amendment period. It can’t be more clearly stated “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”. When a law abiding citizen clears the background check that information should be immediately destroyed. No registration period.

ARM UP and Carry ON!!!

mlhtd51
mlhtd51
11 days ago

In Kansas when LE runs your DL the dispatcher lets the Officer know if you have a CCH License, I always have my CCH license on top of My CDL. Some States require You to let the officer know there is a weapon in the vehicle.

Last edited 11 days ago by mlhtd51
loveaduck
loveaduck
11 days ago
Reply to  mlhtd51

Same here in WA. As soon as the officer runs the plates, he knows you have a CCP. I’ve never been asked if I’m armed.

Dave Workman
11 days ago
Reply to  loveaduck

Actually, that takes a separate request, IIRC.
Thanks for reading AMMOLAND News.

KDude
KDude
11 days ago

Well, I remember FOPA of 1986 infamy. Which claimed the same goal. And that was under an allegedly 2nd Amendment friendly administration. So sue me if I wonder how this one is actually gonna protect firearms owners by the time it gets through the virulently anti 2nd Amendment Democrat lead house, and then the virulently anti 2nd Amendment Democrat lead senate, and finally onto the virulently anti 2nd Amendment Democrat presidents desk? And tell the government outright to STOP FREAKIN PROTECTING ME!

Tionico
Tionico
11 days ago
Reply to  KDude

the problem with the FOPA is that it was not crystal clear in its language, and thus tyrannical state gummits liie NJ, MD, etc, found ways of dancing round the freedoms spelled out in the bill, declaring THIS is what they “meant” when it was not so. The authors of the bill meant, by” travelling” the going from one place to another, which “going” may involve different stages and activities that are necessary parts of “travelling”. State gummits like Maryland, New Jersey redefined trvelling to mean actually moving. Can’t stop to fill your tank eat bit, or take a pee,… Read more »

Finnky
Finnky
11 days ago
Reply to  KDude

– Isn’t the point of this bill to restrict state and local governments efforts to “protect me”? As described the bill does exactly what you ask, within limits. Perhaps you are asking them to go further? Politics is the art-of-the-possible. This bill is a stretch, going further would be impossible. A small victory is generally preferable over a large defeat.

Yes democrats are in control and yes they are anti-gun. However concealed carry is legal and popular in most states. Residents in anti-gun states contacting their reps will go along way in helping this bill along.

pureamericana
pureamericana
12 days ago

the similarities of 1861 and 2021 becoming clearer each day.
Life and politics north and South of the Mason Dixon line is increasingly different.

Old Scout
Old Scout
12 days ago

RE: John Filippidis. Just so everyone knows, any time that an officer “runs” you on NCIC, which is routinely done on virtually every citizen contact, that officer will be notified if you are a permit holder. So, if you are contacted by the police, they will know if you hold a permit.

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
11 days ago
Reply to  Old Scout

NCIC does not have data on permit holders. NCIC is a data base of criminals, lost or reported stolen property including serial numbers if known.
https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ncic
State Law Enforcement has the data on permits and can only release to other Law Enforcement Agencies. Unless the State ties your permit to your DL, they may never know if you have a permit to carry when they run your plate number.

Last edited 11 days ago by Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
12 days ago

New Jersey and a few other Democrat controlled States ignore Federal Laws concerning guns. What makes you think they will obey any new law? NJ ignores LEOSA and FOPA. Expanding FOPA to allow overnight stays and other conditions will not change the behavior of those States. Transporting. Not staying for any determined length of time. Passing through on the way to some place. Unloaded. No ammunition in the firearm. In the case of McDaniel v. Arnold, the courts upheld a conviction based on the interpretation that the accused had a loaded firearm despite not having a round in the chambered… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Ryben Flynn
Finnky
Finnky
11 days ago
Reply to  Ryben Flynn

@Ruben – FOPA provides a defense which lawyer can bring up in court. It does nothing to protect victims or reimburse them for damages. While not going far enough, this bill does provide some relief. I’d prefer it require prosecutors make their victims whole. Mandate return of seized property, in good condition, explicitly including guns and ammo. Mandate reimbursement for costs incurred, not just legal but costs to be present in court including time away from work and compensation for time in confinement. Otherwise the situation won’t change much in states such as NJ, NY and CA. They’ll still engage… Read more »

Finnky
Finnky
12 days ago

Love this bill – however I think it should go a bit further. Malicious prosecutors should also cover reasonable expenses or cost incurred by their victim. Habitual behavior of this nature should also result in criminal prosecution of responsible individuals – not passing buck to idiotic taxpayers who’ve allowed such governmental authority.

gregs
gregs
12 days ago
Reply to  Finnky

they only way these incidents will stop is to hurt them immeasurably. prosecutors that maliciously prosecute these “crimes” should be stripped of their law license, and all officers involved in these stops need to be banned from ever being hired as police again.

Tionico
Tionico
11 days ago
Reply to  gregs

same is true of the rotten prosecutors who have or are pressing charges agaisnt folks like George Zimmerman, Kyle Rittenhaus, the pair in St. Louis who defended their lives/property with unloaded/nonfunctional guns, the university sports team falsely accused of rape, the Reece case in NM against the FFL family, and the list goes on. As long as these clowns carry off their outrageous prosecutions and get NO consequences for such persecution, they will continue.

Get Out
Get Out
12 days ago

Don’t consent to search of you’re vehicle without a warrant, use your phone or another recording device to document the encounter.

gregs
gregs
12 days ago
Reply to  Get Out

agreed, stand up for your rights. do not talk to them at all without advice from your lawyer.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
13 days ago

I share the concern of traveling through states that are communist like Kommiefornia. When I lived there, I had a colt python given to me by my father and some some 22lr semi auto. I didn’t want a gun that would limit me to 10 finestien/boxer approved rounds so I didn’t buy any. I retired and moved to Oregone, got a CCW and now, everything I own other than my six shooters say on the box. NOT APPROVED or LEGAL in CALIFORNIA, NOT FOR RESALE in CALIFORNIA. So, rather than travel through their state, I go around through NV when… Read more »