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Transporting a Handgun Across State Lines…

September 2, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, Firearms Transfers, Vehicle Carry No Comments

Question: I am buying a handgun from a friend in Denver and have to carry it back to Orlando.  I have a Dodge 1500 with a jump seat in the middle of two buckets.  I use the top side of the jump seat as a rest or table when necessary and want to use the area under the jump seat as my weapon storage.  I have another friend that is going to put a biometric opening device on the dash in the form of a thumb reader which will unlock the mag locks.  Once the mag lock is disengaged I will have to lift the seat to access the weapon. Is this in compliance with the two step rule?

Answer: By now you have probably already purchased the handgun and transported it back.  Unfortunately, to be legal, a transfer between residents of two different states must be handled through a Federal Firearms Dealer or FFL.  Private transfers between residents of two different states is prohibited by Federal law.  If you haven’t already done the transaction, you can find a summary of how you should transfer the firearm at the following link: http://www.arizonaccwguide.com/2008/08/28/firearms-transfers-how-to-do-it-right/

If you have already done the transfer, don’t tell the BATF.  ;-)

With respect to transporting the firearm, the ‘two step’ rule that you refer to really only applies in Arizona.  Each state has different laws regarding legally transporting a firearm.  Some, like Texas, are very relaxed about it.  Others are much more restrictive.

To insure that you don’t have any issues, you should transport the firearm in an unloaded and cased condition.  If you have the firearm unloaded and cased and in the storage area under the jump seat, that will be fine in virtually every state you might travel through.  If the firearm is loaded and uncased, you need to check the laws of each individual state that you will travel through to make sure you are not violating any laws.  A really good reference for this is a book called “The Firearms Laws of the 50 States” by J. Scott Kappas.  He has done a great job of summarizing all of the relevant concealed carry and transportation laws in a single source.

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