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Old August 21, 2011, 10:27 AM   #1
ValGal
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NY *intrastate* firearm transport

Sorry for the newbie question, but I'm kinda new to this, and as a NY resident, the regulations seem complicated and I'm afraid I'm going to do something stupid and regret it later.

I understand the intent of the federal laws on transporting firearms to be "if it's legal at the origin and destination, it's okay to transport unloaded, locked in the trunk". Does this thinking apply to intrastate transport as well?

I live on Long Island, and suppose I want to drive through NYC on my way to the hunting lodge in upstate NY with an unloaded shotgun in the trunk. Am I okay here?

Would it be the same answer if I were transporting a handgun instead of a shotgun? What about a large hunting knife or machete (I recall another thread where someone got in trouble having a knife over 4" in NYC)?

How about ammo? I'm planning on bringing a few cases with me, but I'm thinking it might be safer to just buy ammo at the destination?

Lastly, is there any sort of documentation I should carry, such as a hunting license?

Thanks so much in advance for any input...
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Old August 21, 2011, 10:39 AM   #2
maestro pistolero
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If my understanding is correct, the law protects you travel FROM somewhere you may legally posses the gun, TO somewhere you may legally posses the gun. If that is correct, it would appear you are good to go. IANAL.
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Old August 21, 2011, 10:45 AM   #3
Don H
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Welcome to TFL, ValGal!

I have quoted the section of federal law that you referred to below:
Quote:
18 USC 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms

Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: 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.
As you'll note, the title of the law specifies interstate transport.

I'll refrain from commenting on NYS/NYC laws since, for the most part, it would be speculation on my part.
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Old August 21, 2011, 10:57 AM   #4
Uncle Buck
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We have another member here on TFL, PetzaKiller (SP?), that lives in the city if I remember correctly and he hunts. (I am sure he is not hunting in Central Park), see if you can find him and shoot him an e-mail.

He seemed to be up to date on the actual laws and may be able to help you out.
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Old August 21, 2011, 01:11 PM   #5
hermannr
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As you already know, NYS law (and moreso NYC law) is extreemly confusing...so much so that I just leave my guns at home when I visit my wife's relatives in NYS, and use their guns when I am there if we are going to go shooting.

However, that appears not to be an option to you...so I will point out a little quirk in NYS law (don't know about the City, but probably the same) A "firearm" in NYS penal code is a Pistol (revolver, or auto) only. If you read 265 (if I remember correctly that is the section) you will see all the restrictions are on a "firearm" and then in the first part of that section they define a "firarm" as a handgun.

That said, I would think you would be fine transporting a long gun through NYC, (unloaded and cased) without having to resort to the federal law that says you can transport. NYS law should be sufficient and I don't see a problem there.

Where the problem comes in is with a handgun. (I am assuming you have a handgun that is properly registered in your county on Long Island?) If so, I would guess you would be OK transporting to through NYC (unloaded and cased) using the federal law, I do not know if your handgun papers from LI would be recognized by NYC, but I do know they would be good everywhere else in NYS.

Absolute best way is obey the traffic laws, drive defensively and don't stop in NYC. Once you are out of NYC metro, you are fine.
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Old August 21, 2011, 03:15 PM   #6
mete
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At one time transporting a handgun from LI to Upstate NY was NOT possible due to NY and NYC laws. That was at one point changed. Unloaded, locked in a case , locked in the trunk IIRC is needed. I have no idea about a vehicle that has no trunk or other lockable area.
It's not the feds you worry about it's NYC law.They were at one point confiscating hunter's guns who were flying to Africa for example , and had a stop over in NYC !!
I have avoided NYC for years !
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Old August 21, 2011, 04:18 PM   #7
MLeake
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PeetzaKilla, by which he means he kills pizzas, is not in NYC. IIRC, his pizzeria is in or near Poughkeepsie, across the Hudson from West Point. Not sure if he would know about trans-NYC travel, since from there it's easier to go south via 84/81 and avoid the mess.
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Old August 21, 2011, 07:17 PM   #8
Aguila Blanca
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Just to clarify -- the OP wants to travel within New York state. Which means the FOPA simply does not apply. Not at all, not in any way, shape or form. As a Federal law, it can ONLY apply in the event of interstate travel.

Of course, from Long Island one could take one of the two ferries from Long Island into Connecticut, then take I-84 back into NY -- thus making the trip an interstate trip subject to the FOPA. (Be sure to stop somewhere in Connecticut to buy something -- anything -- that comes with a printed receipt showing the date and place of purchase.)
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Old August 21, 2011, 07:34 PM   #9
oneounceload
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Quote:
Of course, from Long Island one could take one of the two ferries from Long Island into Connecticut, then take I-84 back into NY -- thus making the trip an interstate trip subject to the FOPA. (Be sure to stop somewhere in Connecticut to buy something -- anything -- that comes with a printed receipt showing the date and place of purchase.)
It would also most likely be faster to go that route - never did like those "expressways" in NYC -nothing like merging 8 lanes into 2 to cross a bridge
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Old August 21, 2011, 08:13 PM   #10
ValGal
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Wow - thanks to everyone who has taken the time to post. I really appreciate the input.

I thought of using the ferry to Connecticut since this would let me skip NYC entirely, but the problem is that the ferry company explicitly bans transport of firearms.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it's crazy that a law abiding citizen should have to go through so much just to figure out whether it's possible to transport unloaded firearms between two points within their own state of residence.

Chatting with some folks from the local range, I've heard everything from "no way" to "no problem", and even a few calls to the NYPD have turned up completely contradictory answers.
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Old August 22, 2011, 01:39 AM   #11
Aguila Blanca
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Another option that's completely legal, even in NY state (I think) is to ship the gun(s) to yourself at the upstate address. If all you need to get there is a rifle or shotgun, you can even use the mail. Handguns have to go by UPS or FedEx.

If there's an address up there to which you can send a package and have it held for you, this is completely legal. The "gotcha" is that only you can open the package on the receiving end -- that way, there is no transfer involved. So you have to be 110 percent certain that whoever signs for the package can be trusted to absolutely, positively not open it.
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