There’s no judgement here. Your political and social views are your own—you just need help solving a problem. You’re making a local or interstate move, and you need to safely take your firearms with you.
People own firearms for many reasons. There are the first-to-mind reasons such as self-defense, home protection, and hunting. People also own guns for sentimental or investment purposes, and they’re subject to the same laws as everyone else.
For instance, you may own a service pistol that’s been passed down from your grandfather or father. Maybe you collect antique rifles. If you aren’t sure whether you need a permit to lawfully possess your firearms, consult this handy guide from the National Rifle Association.
Now, let’s look into the details of safely and legally taking your firearms with you on your local or interstate move.
Optimum Moving is one of the best moving companies in NJ because our long-term growth strategy depends on attracting and retaining customers by delivering unmatched, white-glove service.
One way we engage our customers and potential customers is by sharing the secrets to a successful move our experienced local and long-distance movers use every day.
Most people don’t have a process for hiring complete strangers to pack and transport all their personal things—including cherished items of value. That’s why we put together the Residential Moving Checklist.
The in-depth article you’re reading now adds another layer to that checklist by providing 3 must-know rules of thumb to lawfully move your firearms.
- Pack your firearms with care.
Think about the condition of your firearm when you unboxed it. The gun was unloaded and locked in a protective case. This is the best way to pack your firearms.
You may consider going a step further and break down the firearms – anything to show the guns are only intended for transport. Plan on using locked, hard cases and – even better – use trigger/breach locks, if possible.
Ammunition needs to be stored in locked containers separate from the firearms. It is illegal for movers to transport combustible material—so you have to carry your own ammunition.
Pro tip: Take photographs of each firearm going into its locked, hard case, and create a complete list of your collection, including makes, models, and serial numbers.
- Know your rights.
Be sure to check the state and federal laws or consult a firearm rights attorney.
Lawful gun owners are protected by the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) when transporting firearms interstate from a place where you can lawfully possess and carry the firearms to a place where you can do the same. As long as you follow a few requirements, the federal regulations override stricter state laws, such as those restricting specific gun models and clip capacities, and any others.
The federal law IS NOT a get-out-of-jail-free card. If you’re traveling through airports in New York and New Jersey, take extra precautions, especially if you need to recheck your firearms.
When traveling by vehicle, ALWAYS carry firearms unloaded, locked in a case, stored where they are inaccessible from everyone in the car, and not visible. All ammunition needs to be in a separate, locked container.
If you’re traveling by car, the trunk is an obvious choice to carry separately locked cases and containers. In a pick-up truck, for instance, you can use a lockable toolbox in your bed.
Finally, always act like a responsible gun owner and politely declare your firearm in an appropriate manner during traffic stops.
- Be upfront with your moving company.
It is legal for moving companies to move your firearms. Law prohibits movers from transporting combustible material—so you have to carry your own ammunition.
You must tell the moving company about the firearms it will transport. It isn’t unusual for a local or long-distance moving company to have its own policy and procedures for handling firearms, including being present when the guns are packed.
Note: This article does not claim to be legal advice. Federal and state gun laws constantly change, and to fully protect yourself consult a licensed attorney.