Your friend said "Yes."
Your friend should have said "I have an unloaded handgun in a case in my trunk. I am transporting that firearm in accordance with, and under the protection of, the Firearm Owners Protection Act."
As far as what you should do... Google Maps has your route from PA to TX crossing into the following states, in order of travel:
Pennsylvania -CWP Issue State
Ohio - PA CWP Not Valid
Kentucky - PA CWP Valid
Tennessee - PA CWP Valid
Arkansas - PA CWP Valid
Texas - PA CWP Valid
Ohio is the only state where you would not be allowed to carry your handgun under provisions of your PA CWP during your transit. So the next question is "Does Ohio allow unlicensed vehicle carry?" No. So you'll have to unload, encase (preferably locked case), and store your handgun in a non-accessible area of your vehicle (trunk, cargo compartment of an SUV, under the backseat of a pickup, etc) in order to travel under the protection of FOPA.
Before I transferred and drove cross-country to Michigan, I mapped out my route and made a list of all the states I'd be traveling through. I made a folder for each state's gun laws and put them in a plastic collapsible organizer. When I crossed into a new state, I'd pull out that state's folder and take a look at the laws. Each folder contained the following information:
CWP Reciprocity with Mississippi (my CWP issue state)?
Unlicensed vehicle carry/special requirements (glovebox, etc)?
Must inform officer of carry?
Places off-limits with permit?
Handgun/magazine capacity restrictions?
Deadly force laws?
Castle doctrine apply to vehicle?
I would recommend anyone traveling across multiple states do something similar to inform yourself of the applicable laws where you will be traveling. This way, you won't be straining to remember whether you have to put the gun in your center console, or if you have to lock it up in the trunk.
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
Last edited by jgcoastie; January 9, 2012 at 11:58 AM.