Dear Fellow Survivalist;
Summer is just around the corner. Warm days, vacations, traveling and everything else we consider part of summer fun is coming soon. For many of us, this year’s travel plans could put us in danger; both danger from those who prey on people who are on vacation and danger from governments that don’t want us to be able to defend ourselves.
I carry concealed and have done so for many years. Not only do I carry a gun, but spare magazines and a good fighting knife as well. That’s allowed in the state I live in, as long as I have a concealed carry license. But while that license is honored in many other states, it is not honored in all. Therefore, my trip planning has to take concealed carry laws into consideration.
Each state has its own laws regarding carrying firearms and other weapons. A few even require registration of weapons, even though there is technically on federal registration. But, those laws might also be different for residents and non-residents too; so you want to make sure you get the right information. State firearm laws are always changing, especially in today’s politically-charged environment where the Second Amendment is under constant attack.
The good news is, we’re actually winning that war. More and more states are allowing open carry or some version of constitutional carry, regardless of the constant attacks by the left and by the leftstream media.
When traveling by car, you need to make sure that you have your route well planned in advance, so that you can check the laws of every state that you are going to pass through. You may find yourself in the position where you are passing through a state which doesn’t accept your concealed carry permit or where you can’t carry in your vehicle.
Generally speaking, if you can’t carry in your vehicle, you can solve that problem by unloading your gun and putting it in the trunk. But not in all cases. New Jersey requires firearm registration and their state patrol goes so far as to check out of state vehicles, to find out if the owners of those vehicles have a concealed carry permit in the state where they live. More than one person has been arrested for having a pistol in their car, because they drove through the Garden State.
You can find the information about each state’s laws online. The NRA maintains an excellent database of this information, as well as a few other sites. I print out that information and take it with me, so as to have it as a ready reference. Since each state has its own restrictions on where it is permissible to carry concealed, I check that as I enter each state.
In my process of researching these laws, I also check on knife laws and other weapons. Once again, each state is different. I was once stopped by police in New York for carrying pepper spray. Fortunately, they didn’t arrest me, but they did make me put it in my car.
Taking a firearm with you, when traveling by air, really isn’t all that complicated, as long as you follow the rules. That means buying a locking hard case for your gun. The one it came in probably isn’t acceptable to the TSA. The gun must be unloaded and the ammunition locked in the case as well.
All firearms being transported must be included in your checked baggage and declared at the ticket counter. The ticket agent is required to verify that the gun is unloaded and in a properly locked case. They will then fill out a ticket and put it in the luggage, along with your firearm case. Once you retrieve your luggage and leave the airport at the other end, you can then reload your gun and rearm yourself, assuming the laws in the state you are traveling to allow it.
But here’s one big problem with air travel that you need to be aware of. That is, if your airplane lands in a state which does not allow you to own unregistered firearms, you could be arrested. It doesn’t matter if it is a scheduled stop or an emergency one.
Once again, our example here is New Jersey. There have been cases where licensed firearm carriers were on a flight which was forced to overnight in the state of New Jersey. Since the passengers were going to be spending the night, their luggage was returned to them, even if it was checked through to their final destination. This meant that anyone who was transporting a firearm in their luggage had that unregistered firearm with them, in a state which doesn’t allow it, and were arrested for it.
The easy solution to this potential problem is to not accept your luggage back from the airline, if you are forced to land in such a state. The airline will keep your luggage overnight, in a secure lockup, if you ask them to. Knowledge is key in this; which means that you might need to do a quick check on your cell phone to find out what the laws are in the state of your unplanned stay.
Looking at the potential risk of carrying a firearm while traveling, one might naturally wonder if it is worth the trouble. Obviously, you’ll have to decide that for yourself. But as for me, I think it is worth the trouble. There are enough criminals out there who specialize in preying on travelers, that the chances of needing to protect yourself while traveling are probably slightly higher than they are in your home city. That’s enough to tilt the scales in favor of putting up with the hassles, in my opinion.
So be sure to be informed this summer, while you travel. Take the few minutes necessary to check out the law, so that your vacation doesn’t get ruined. Then, be sure to keep your powder dry and put a survival kit in your luggage, where it will be close at hand.
Chris and Dr. Rich