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Old March 21, 2014, 02:11 PM   #1
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Join Date: February 14, 2014
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Travelling with a pistol

Hi folks,

My current job has me travelling in and out of the DC area on a somewhat regular basis. I typically stay in the Fairfax, VA area and suddenly came to the realization that I will be just a mile from the NRA headquarters.

Unfortunately, the NRA range does not rent guns, so the only chance I will get to shoot there is if I bring my own pistol.

Besides travelling through the DCA airport, I also am occasionally required to go into DC to a federal agency while I am in the area.

So, a couple of questions:
1) If I fly into and out of DCA with a pistol as checked luggage, am I within the law to then drive through DC, or is that a grey area that I should not consider?

2) Am I OK with checking a gun (in a locked case, of course) into a hotel safe in Virginia?

3) Alternatively, I could fly through IAD (Dulles), but that requires making connections, and I hate the thought of my precious Kimber trying to go through the baggage connection insanity

All in all, I am thinking I should just forget it, but maybe it isn't as bad as I am making it out to be?
ghbucky01 is offline  
Old March 21, 2014, 03:19 PM   #2
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If you have a CCL that's recognized in VA, where you're travelling to, you should be OK. If you're transporting from one place where it's legal to own, to another place/state where you'll be legal, you may be OK depending on VA law. Check with DON'T take your gun into DC.
2ndsojourn is offline  
Old March 22, 2014, 04:10 PM   #3
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DCA is in Virginia. NRA range is in Virginia.

There are lots of nice places to stay . . . in Virginia.

Do not bring a firearm, or ammunition , or an empty magazine, or a spent cartridge case, into DC.
bob.a is offline  
Old March 22, 2014, 04:19 PM   #4
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I guess I am uninformed being a westerner, but why is DC any different than anywhere else.

I am retired LEO and to my understanding I can carry anywhere thus also transport.

Sorry if this is a stupid question.

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Old March 22, 2014, 05:33 PM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by guruatbol
I guess I am uninformed being a westerner, but why is DC any different than anywhere else.

I am retired LEO and to my understanding I can carry anywhere thus also transport.

Sorry if this is a stupid question.

DC is different because they don't issue carry licenses and they don't recognize carry licenses/permits from any state. DC is not a state -- it is a federal enclave, with its own laws.

You are different because you are covered by the LEOSA. The original poster is not (or has not said he is) a retired or active LEO, thus he is probably nOT covered by the LEOSA.
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Old March 22, 2014, 06:41 PM   #6
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One has to wonder if DC even recognizes FOPA. Any gun, gun part, ammunition, or ammunition part is considered a "firearm" in D.C. (and this includes expended brass and shotgun shells)--its reaction to the Heller slap down. Even if you are a licensed gun owner, if you happen to have ammo that is not of the same caliber as the registered gun is a felony. There is (was a recent case of a man who had his home raided by SWAT on a complaint of his ex-wife that he had a gun. He was licensed to have a handgun in DC--but they found a casing from a rifle that he owns and keeps outside of DC. Yes, he was charged with a felony, and they even took a fully legal antique firearm that he had at his home. Soldiers passing through have been arrested. So even with FOPA, you are running a risk having a firearm anywhere near you in DC--or in NYC for that matter, without a specific license.

There is a case challenging this law, Palmer v. D.C., but that case has been intentionally stalled by the federal district court for the last five years. Motions for summary judgment were filed and argued, then the judge sat on them so long he was replaced. A replacement judge reheard argument and allowed supplemental briefing-and he too has sat on them--and the Court of Appeals has declined to "encourage" him to rule or to replace him. DC has a total ban--a law that both the Seventh and the Ninth Circuits have said is impermissible. But I doubt we will see any sort of decision until the Supreme Court takes on the issue and finds a right to bear arms outside the home.
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Old March 22, 2014, 07:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies.

You all have basically confirmed my worst fears.

My nightmare situation is somehow making a wrong turn or missing a turn into or out of DCA and everything goes upside down. That would be a career ending error, and it just isn't worth it.

It really stinks, I was very excited to shoot at the NRA range.
ghbucky01 is offline  
Old August 24, 2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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Travel from SAT to DCA

I recently traveled from SAT to DCA.

It went ok.

I went to the counter and told the attendant that I had a weapon in my luggage. I emphasized that I read all the Southwest Airlines' (S.A.) and TSA policies and I was unloaded.

She courteously handed me some forms to fill out.

Once I filled the out and turned them back to her, I was told to wait for a Southwest Airlines gent who then would take me to a back room so a TSA agent could meet with us.

The TSA gent performed a puff test with the machine after opening the suitcase that had my firearm.

Once he completed his check he didn't do anything else but zip the suitcase back up and then the S.A. gent picked up my suitcase and that was it.

No special check at the TSA checkpoint and smooth flying after that.

They didn't confirm if it was unloaded nor did they confirm the ammo weight limit which was 11 lbs. I had to leave some ammo behind because of that restriction.

Once I arrived to DCA, I claimed my luggage without any problems or delays. I opened up the suitcase to confirm that I had my firearm, closed it back and up and then proceeded to the METRO southbound (into Virginia and opposite to the DC direction). I picked up the Virginia Railway Express and that was it.

It couldn't have been any smoother.

I did ensure that I had an amicable and friendly attitude with the airline attendants and TSA agent at all times which I'm sure made things go smoother. I took it really serious when someone here said that I would be representing all abiding and gun carrying folk. I wasn't gonna be letting anyone down.
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