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Traveling With Guns: 3 Things You Should Know

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on December 08, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Luggage can be a complication any time you travel. But traveling with guns can make things even more difficult.

Gun regulations can vary widely by state and even by city, and these are in addition to federal regulations. Thus, being sure to check the regulations of the specific states and cities you are visiting is critical when traveling nationwide with a gun.

But what else do you need to know about traveling with guns? Here are three tips:

  1. Have the proper permits. Ownership of specific types of firearms or the ability to carry concealed firearms requires a permit. Any time you are traveling with firearms, even within the same state, be sure your firearms are properly registered and you have obtained the proper permits required in your state. However, permits required in one state may not be recognized or honored in other states. Likewise, legal firearms in one state may not be legal in others. A lawyer and Tea Party leader found this out the hard way in 2011 when he was arrested in New York and charged with a felony after attempting to board a flight with a handgun permitted in California, but illegal under New York law, according to police.
  2. Make sure you can bring your gun on the plane/train/bus. When it comes to air travel, guns may be allowed on board a plane as checked baggage under certain circumstances (although local laws may apply at both your departure point and your destination). Amtrak also allows firearms as checked baggage with at least 24 hours notice. Greyhound does not allow firearms on its buses.
  3. Guns are now allowed in national parks. Firearms were formerly prohibited in national parks. But in 2010 a law was passed allowing firearms that are legal under state law to be carried in national parks and national wildlife refuges. It remains illegal, however, to fire a weapon or kill an animal using a firearm in a national park.

Find the gun control laws in your state at FindLaw's Learn About the Law section on State Gun Control Laws.

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