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Old June 1, 2012, 12:58 PM   #9
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 9,723
I am confused. You mention wanting to shoot at a range in New Jersey, and then you mention Pennsylvania. There's a HUGE difference between NJ and PA as to what's legal and what's not.

Then there's the Federal Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1968 (FOPA). That law might help you here, although in the event of a "situation" it might require the assistance of an attorney to make it stick. The FOPA allows for interstate transport of firearms. It requires that your possession and "carry" (does this mean carry on your person, or "transportation"? It isn't defined.) of the firearm(s) must be legal at the point where the journey begins (your apartment in NYC) and at the point where the journey ends. That's significant. I don't know what NJ law says about a NYC resident possessing a firearm in NJ. I do know that, outside of Philadelphia, it is not an issue in Pennsylvania.

If you trek about in PA, however, having guns in the car can be a problem. PA allows for unlicensed open carry on your person (except in Philadelphia) when on foot, but does NOT allow for unlicensed carry in a vehicle. But PA does recognize non-resident permits from Florida, so that's a possible solution for PA.

New Jersey is much more problematic. You may be facing more problems on the NJ side of the state line than you do on the NY side. However, thanks to the FOPA, you can lawfully transport through NJ en route to PA. (Be advised, however, that NJ tinkered with that, too. The FOPA requires that the firearm(s) OR ammunition must be in a locked container if the vehicle doesn't have a separate trunk. NJ state law says AND. The Federal law supersedes, of course, but proving it in court could be costly. Cheaper to just lock both the guns and the ammo -- if you don't have a sedan with a trunk.)

I will also mention that there is a non-binding "legal" opinion, offered by a non-attorney, on the web site of the PAFOA (Pennsylvania Firearms Owners Association) that argues the FOPA does not apply to travel between contiguous states, that it applies only to intervening states when traveling between two states where you can legally possess firearms. This often arises on that site because of the proximity of PA (gun Heaven) to NJ (gun hell). I don't happen to agree with that opinion, but I am not an attorney so I feel I should point out that it's there, since your situation involves travel between contiguous states.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; June 4, 2012 at 05:47 PM.
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