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Old April 8, 2011, 09:01 PM   #51
brickeyee
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Again-- the circumstances were quite different from this case, because he actually WAS in transit through New Jersey.
He was no longer "in transit through New Jersey" when his flight was canceled (missed) and he retrieved the gun from the airline.

His trip stopped being continuous from legal startng location to legal ending location.

Yep, it sucks, but that the law does not have an exception.
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Old April 8, 2011, 10:43 PM   #52
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickeyee
He was no longer "in transit through New Jersey" when his flight was canceled (missed) and he retrieved the gun from the airline.

His trip stopped being continuous from legal startng location to legal ending location.

Yep, it sucks, but that the law does not have an exception.
We're going to have to agree to disagree, until the courts have a definitive case on this question. The law does not have an exception, but the law also does not say that your trip ends if you need to sleep. Suppose you set out to drive from Seattle to Miami. According to Mapquest, that's 3309 miles and requires 49 hours and 48 minutes of actual driving time. In round numbers, a week. Your view would be that, if you break the trip down into 10-hour days, you're making five separate "trips." By that logic, then, you would also have to ensure that you are not only legal in Seattle and in Miami, but also in each of the states and cities where you stop for the night.

I just don't think that's consistent with the legislative intent of the law. If you set out on a trip like that, you tell people you're going on "a" road trip to Miami. You don't tell people you're going on a succession of five consecutive road trips. It's ONE trip, with five legs.

I understand your point, but the ONLY reason the gentleman stayed a night in New Jersey was that his connection got messed up. He had no "destination" in New Jersey, he had no reason to be there other than to travel through there, and he never even left the airport -- he slept in an airport hotel. That sort of activity is commonplace in traveling. Why else do you suppose the prosecutor dropped the case? If your view is correct, the prosecutor had a slam dunk ... but he declined to prosecute. I don't think it was because he's such a great guy.

And this is why I repeat that the FOPA is flawed. It was intended to make it possible for people to engage in interstate travel without having to worry about the laws on intervening states. BUT ... the dweebs who wrote the law forgot that people travel from one state to another by means other than automobile -- such as airplanes and trains. Buses, too, but if you leave your gun in your suitcase and the suitcase goes into the cargo area under the floor, technically you comply with the requirement.

Unless your view is correct ... in which case nobody can take a trip to anywhere that requires more than one day of travel time.
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Old April 9, 2011, 08:21 AM   #53
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He had no "destination" in New Jersey, he had no reason to be there other than to travel through there, and he never even left the airport -- he slept in an airport hotel.

The guy also retrieved his luggage with the gun inside; in violation of NJ law.
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Old April 9, 2011, 08:48 AM   #54
brickeyee
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The law does not have an exception, but the law also does not say that your trip ends if you need to sleep. Suppose you set out to drive from Seattle to Miami. According to Mapquest, that's 3309 miles and requires 49 hours and 48 minutes of actual driving time. In round numbers, a week. Your view would be that, if you break the trip down into 10-hour days, you're making five separate "trips." By that logic, then, you would also have to ensure that you are not only legal in Seattle and in Miami, but also in each of the states and cities where you stop for the night.
So now you want a court to re-write the law?

Unless the idea of long trips came up during the debate on the bill in Congress there is not even any Congressional Record discussion and legislative intent for a court to rely on.

The law (as most) has defects.

Using court action to extend the law is treading on thin ground (the same court action can be used against you in ways you may not favor).

Be careful what power you are wiling to grant the courts, it may not always be to your benefit.
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Old April 9, 2011, 09:06 AM   #55
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The court has already acted on this one. A federal appeals court ruled that the Utah man could not sue the Port Authority and NJ police. The SCOTUS let that ruling stand.

Quote:
WASHINGTON – Missing a plane connection cost Utah gun owner Greg Revell 10 days in jail after he was stranded in New Jersey with an unloaded firearm he had legally checked with his luggage in Salt Lake City.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court without comment refused on Tuesday to let Revell sue Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police for arresting him on illegal possession of a firearm in New Jersey and for not returning his gun and ammunition to him for more than three years.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110118/...urt_gun_arrest
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Old April 9, 2011, 11:33 AM   #56
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by thallub
The guy also retrieved his luggage with the gun inside; in violation of NJ law.
The FOPA specifically says that it supersedes any state law [when it applies]. The issue is whether or not it applied.

This is where the law is unclear. You apparently agree with Brickeyee that the man from Utah had a "destination" in NJ and that his trip ended simply because he retrieved his luggage at the airport. I hold the view that he was still traveling and was covered by the FOPA, thus NJ law did not apply.

Unfortunately, we will never know on the basis of this case, because the case was not tried. The prosecutor dropped the charges, so there was no conviction. The man eventually got his gun (or was it guns?) back, so there was no confiscation. And THAT's why the SCOTUS refused to reinstate his lawsuit. Had he been convicted and appealed, I believe the SCOTUS would have accepted the case but, since "all" he lost was some time and a "few" thousand dollars, the SCOTUS played the "no harm, no foul" card.

Brickeyee, no I do not want the courts to rewrite the law. I want the Congress to rewrite the law. But asking that the courts apply the law as it was obviously intended to be used is not legislating from the bench. The law was enacted for the express purpose of allowing firearms owners to transport their firearms with them when traveling interstate. Nowhere does the law limit a trip to a single day. The law provides that if the firearm is not locked in the trunk of a vehicle, it must be in a locked case. The man from Utah had his gun(s) in a locked case. It's just NOT a major judicial overreach to determine that his actions were in conformance with the intent of the FOPA and were covered by it.

Why ELSE do you think the prosecutor declined to prosecute?
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Old April 9, 2011, 08:11 PM   #57
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For many years the NRA warned folks about flying out of Newark, JFK and La Guardia with guns in their luggage. The cops in NJ could care less about FOPA or anything else. If you're stopped and have out of state tags they will arrest you if a gun is found in your car.

Don't hold your breath until the US congress fixes this one.
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Old April 9, 2011, 09:47 PM   #58
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by thallub
For many years the NRA warned folks about flying out of Newark, JFK and La Guardia with guns in their luggage. The cops in NJ could care less about FOPA or anything else. If you're stopped and have out of state tags they will arrest you if a gun is found in your car.
I have already acknowledged that I don't care to volunteer as the test case. It's a truism that when the police choose to ignore the law, 'YOU may beat the rap but you can't beat the ride." The way things currently stand in NY and NJ, you certainly won't find me telling anyone they should go ahead and fly out of one of the NY/NJ Port Authority airports with a firearm.

However, as far as driving with out-of-state plates ... stay on the turnpike and you won't have any problem. New Jersey state law includes a verbatim (one word is different) echo of the FOPA, and it's included right on the NJ State Police web site. I would not, however, count on small town police or county mounties to be up to speed on it, or to honor it.
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Old April 9, 2011, 10:29 PM   #59
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Funny, when my dad passed in NJ 5 years ago, I grabbed his guns, got a form from the cops that I was removing the guns, and sent my green card wife off to Alaska from Newark with the guns (OK I was there with her until after luggage was checked, my flight was later)

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Old April 10, 2011, 12:57 PM   #60
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by me
However, as far as driving with out-of-state plates ... stay on the turnpike and you won't have any problem. New Jersey state law includes a verbatim (one word is different) echo of the FOPA, and it's included right on the NJ State Police web site. I would not, however, count on small town police or county mounties to be up to speed on it, or to honor it.
BTW, that one word is significant. The FOPA says that if the vehicle doesn't have a separate trunk, "Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console."

IIRC the New Jersey version says "and" rather than "or." The FOPA would trump the NJ version, legally, but why take a chance. On those few occasions when I have traveled the NJ turnpike with guns and ammo in the car, since I drive a station wagon I locked the guns in their little cases and I locked the ammo in an old Pelican computer suitcase (one of the big, aluminum jobbies).
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Old April 11, 2011, 11:32 AM   #61
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Aguila Blanca...

.... I'm aware of the recent case at Newark. I'm saying that I've read about a previous case, in the New York area, that was NOT the Newark case.
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Old April 11, 2011, 01:01 PM   #62
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Look, NJ sucks end of story. There argument solved
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Old April 11, 2011, 01:39 PM   #63
Spats McGee
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Caveat: I am not a New Jersey lawyer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
. . . .The FOPA says that if the vehicle doesn't have a separate trunk, "Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console."

IIRC the New Jersey version says "and" rather than "or." The FOPA would trump the NJ version, legally, but why take a chance.
With all due respect, I know that your position is "why take the chance," but I'd still be cautious about the underlined statement. While it is absolutely true in the literal, Supremacy Clause kind of way, I'm not sure that there's a clear conflict between the NJ law and the federal FOPA. Federal firearms law has a specific statute on the effect that it is intended to have on state law, 18 USC § 927.

Quote:
§ 927. Effect on State law
No provision of this chapter shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which such provision operates to the exclusion of the law of any State on the same subject matter, unless there is a direct and positive conflict between such provision and the law of the State so that the two cannot be reconciled or consistently stand together.

18 U.S.C.A. § 927 (West)
(emphasis supplied)

If federal law requires that ammo or firearm be stored in a locked container other than the console or glove compartment, and state law requires that ammo and firearm be so stored, it's entirely possible that state law will be held not to conflict with federal law at all.
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Old April 11, 2011, 01:44 PM   #64
brickeyee
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But asking that the courts apply the law as it was obviously intended to be used is not legislating from the bench.
Absent a very clear Congressional intent, usually found by reviewing the debate over a bill from the Congressional Record, there is not room for a court to add exceptions to an otherwise tightly drawn law.

Congress simply failed to think through all the possible repercussions, and then document them in the law in a manner allowing a court to find them.

At least some of the problem with poorly written laws can probably be plased at the feet of the second rate attorneys that usually end up there.

If they were all that good they would be earning so much money they would be foolish to enter politics.
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