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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Help me out here, if you can, please!

I'm taking a road trip with my wife through the northwest/southwest states. Starting in Washington (my home state), and most likely traversing Oregon, Idaho, Nevada OR Utah, Arizona, and possibly New Mexico and a little bit of Texas if we can.

Of course, when able, I never go far from home without my trusty and beloved parked SA 1911A1. :rock:

There are some states where it is easy - they honor Washington CC permits. Among these are Arizona, Texas, Idaho...

However, there are some states where things get a bit more complicated when car carry comes into play. There are many states that state one or both of the following:
  1. The weapon (loaded or unloaded) must be in plain view
  2. You must make an officer aware that you are carrying a weapon if stopped on official business

I wish to comply with these regulations, but I want to know what constitutes "must be in plain view"? Stuck on my dashboard? On top of my sleepingbag in the back seat? Of course in states where I can't carry concealed I will simply unload the weapon and conceal it in the glove box if I'm making a brief rest stop or quick stop for grocery items.

When camping (mostly at state park campsites) I tend to keep the pistol concealed in a gunsock at the bottom of my duffel until I'm inside my tent, at which point I place the pistol on top of the duffel. I'm not sure about how this works out legally, I hope that is ok too.

All help appreciated! Thank you.

PS. I love the midwestern states and southwestern states! So gun friendly :D

PPS. If I have to pass through a state like California (I'd like to see Death Valley) and cities like Las Vegas, where I am clueless... the information I find is restrictive and murky... is it a save bet to disasseble the pistol, store ammunition in a different compartment, etc... and assume I'm good to go through questionable territories?
 

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Here in VA if you don't have a concealed permit you must keep your gun in plain sight too. You can wear it on your side or shoulder holster but cannot have anything cover it.

According to my LEO friends here it really depends on the mood of the LEO that stops you. Technically if you are traveling in a car with a handgun and you stop to go in a gas station store you either have to wear it (much to the concern of the patrons probably and the clerk!) or you have to leave it out in plain view on your seat. If you cover it with a newspaper it is concealed. If it's in a glovebox, under the seat or in the trunk and cannot be seen and somehow a LEO finds it it is concealed.

Luckily most LEO are reasonable. They know if you leave it on your front seat someone will steal it. So most will not say anything if the gun is unloaded and in a box and put in the trunk or somewhere it is not easily accessable while driving. BUT if the LEO was having a bad day or you just run into one that is a rule stickler you might be in trouble.

What I did to lessen my chances of having to carry in a non carry state is I did some research and found out exactly which states honor my permit. Then I found a gun friendly state that honor most of the states that are NOT honored by my home state and I got a NON-resident concealed carry permit.

In my case New Hampshire is the one that covers most if not all the states that my home town of Virginia. With just those two states I am covered in pretty much the entire left half on the USA. and which is where I travel 99% of the time. Of course I can't carry in the states that don't allow like NY, DC and IL.

If I planned to travely out West I would get other non-resident permits in the states I might be traveling. And as for the states I can't take my gun in I try to avoid.

The New Hampshire CCW permit was easy to get. Just mailed them a check and a copy of my permit and about 6 weeks later I had it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks very much.

Any ideas with respect to places like California and Las Vegas?

We are going to hit Rhyolite, and hopefully get some time in Death Valley. However, I need to understand what to do about my pistol while travelling in Death Valley. I looked on HANDGUNLAW.US, but I really can't make heads or tails of the information there as pertains to my situation.

Same for Las Vegas. I'll only be driving through (I'm not a gambler and neither is my wife, but we want to see the city a bit!)... but I know that Las Vegas requires permits for car carry.

In these cases I'm wondering if disassembly->box in the trunk is adequate for these locations.
 

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There is a federal statute that overrides all state laws. The fed law allows you to transport a firearm anywhere in the U.S. so long as it is locked in the trunk. This is from the NRA website:

"FEDERAL LAW ON TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS

A provision of federal law serves as a defense to state or local laws which would prohibit the passage of persons with firearms in interstate travel.

Notwithstanding any state or local law, a person shall be entitled to transport a firearm from any place where he may lawfully possess it to any other place where he may lawfully possess such firearm if the firearm is unloaded and in the trunk. In vehicles without a trunk, the unloaded firearm shall be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Necessary stops, like gasoline and rest, seem permissible. "
 

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Doesn't that Federal Regulation pertain to traveling through a prohibited state on the way to an allowed state, As I understood it, you cannot make any unnecessary stops in the prohibited state. Sightseeing would probably be deemed unnecessary. If you do go to California, I would certainly try to include Yosemite in your itinerary, it is not very far from Death Valley and not far off of your probable route. I have been to both and consider Yosemite to be one of the most beautiful, spectacular places on earth, and I've been to 28 countries.
 

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That federal law, while plain as day, didn't do much to help any of those people in NY state. While the charges were *eventually* dismissed, the police stole (yes, I meant stole, as in steal, as in take something that didn't belong to them) pistols from several people. Incidentally, that federal statute only applies to TRANSPORTING the weapon, NOT CCWing that weapon. Federal guidlines still apply. In the trunk, unloaded IIRC.

In any event, don't count on that law helping you unless you want to be a test case for the NRA.

I *believe* NV has preemption, but don't quote me on it, and that you can carry even in vegas. Really what you should check is the "off limits places" in the states that honor your permit since many states include state parks as such an off limits place and to my limited understanding all federal parks are off limits.

Forget CA unless you truly believe it's a life or death matter to carry there, but then why are you going? Follow the federal guidlines and put it in the trunk if you want to go there.

Sad, but true, the law sometimes boils down to the arresting officer's perception of his knowledge of the law, or worse yet, how he thinks things should work.

Good luck. I think you have some more research ahead of you.

Reid
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Oh yeah... no, I'm NOT going to even ATTEMPT to CC in California.

I do, however, want to be able to visit things in California without getting into trouble with a pistol in my trunk.

Yosemite looks beautiful, thanks very much for mentioning it. I hope it's hospitable in the winter :D

I hate to have to consider my principles vs. seeing God's creation in chunk of land that doesn't seem to fall under the Constitution >.<
 

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While in Utah, if you have a concealed-carry permit issued in Washington, carry on as if you were home, either in the car or out of the car (Sec. 76-10-523(2), Utah Code). Utah honors those permits as if they were issued here. If you dismount, Utah is pretty liberal about carrying in publicly-owned facilities (except, of course, secure courthouses and airports). In fact, the state supreme court recently ruled that the state firearm preemption law prohibits public universities from enforcing their own anti-gun policies, so concealed carry is permitted on campus at Utah State, Weber State, Univ. of Utah, etc. Private property is a different matter, where the owner can ban concealed carry.

If you don't have a permit, while in the vehicle your firearm must be unloaded (76-10-505) and "securely encased" (76-10-523(1)(g)), which means: "not readily accessible for immediate use, such as held in a gun rack, or in a closed case or container, whether or not locked, or in a trunk or other storage area of a motor vehicle, not including a glove box or console box." (76-10-501(18)). Loaded means either one in the chamber or being able to fire it by the manual operation of any mechanism once (76-10-502). So the way I read all this is that without a permit you are good if your 1911, with an empty chamber and a full mag in place, is in a zipped-up pistol rug under your seat.

My parents lived in the People's Republic of California until recently, and as I recall, if you keep the unloaded gun in the pistol rug, in the locked trunk, with NO ammo in the mag or even in the case, you are probably OK. If you have an SUV, you'd best keep it unloaded (again NO ammo in the mag or case) in the cargo area in an out-of-sight plastic case with a lock on it.

The road into Yosemite from the west should be open, but roads from there into the back-country may not. Even just seeing the Yosemite Valley is worth the trip. Have a safe one.
 

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Unfortunately, some bureaucrats can't tell the whole truth, even on the world wide web. Shocking, I know.

36 CFR 2.4(a)(3) (the part of the Code of Federal Regulations dealing with National Parks) provides that "unloaded weapons may be possessed within a temporary lodging or mechanical mode of conveyance when such implements are rendered temporarily inoperable or are packed, cased or stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use."

Keep your unloaded 1911 in a case locked in the trunk (with no ammo in the case) and enjoy Yosemite and Death Valley.
 

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I just absolutely refuse to live my life making fear-based decisions. I've been a lot of miles with a pistol in the glovebox. Have never had my car searched; probably never will. If I'm stopped for speeding, ANYWHERE, and I have a pistol in the glove box, I ain't telling.

The odds of having an officer look in your glove box on a given trip are probably somewhere between infinitesimal and zero...closer to zero. Probably have a lot better chance of being struck by lightning or winning the Powerball @ $500M!
 

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When in doubt, read the law...

To be transport legal in CA. per California DOJ.

HANDGUNS:
Transporting legally by motor vehicle.
Any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person must be unloaded and stored in a locked container.

The term "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment. For more information, refer to California Penal Code Section 12026.1.


I live in CA. and when using a sedan, always transport my handguns in the trunk, unloaded and in a lockable container.
If I'm driving my SUV, (usually the case) I put them in a locked container in the cargo area.
The rules for transporting in an SUV are the same, except you don't have the option of a trunk.

You can transport your handgun next to you in the front seat if you wish as long as it is stored unloaded in a locked container and meets the criteria for "locked container" above.
You can take the less conservative approach (I don't recommend it) to transporting as long as don't make yourself "high profile" to law enforcement, eg. do not break traffic laws, drive with expired tags, illegally tinted windows etc.

As to your specific questions-
1. I would not carry a handgun in plain view; if it's in plain view, it cannot be made to comply with CA. transport rules.
2. You do not need to make an officer aware that you are carrying a weapon if stopped on official business unless you are asked or carrying CCW. (Or carrying in violation of the law.)

As the poster above said, your odds are pretty slim being caught transporting illegally, but do it legal and you will breath easier.

The rules for long guns are slightly different.
 

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WalterGC said:
I just absolutely refuse to live my life making fear-based decisions. I've been a lot of miles with a pistol in the glovebox. Have never had my car searched; probably never will. If I'm stopped for speeding, ANYWHERE, and I have a pistol in the glove box, I ain't telling.

The odds of having an officer look in your glove box on a given trip are probably somewhere between infinitesimal and zero...closer to zero. Probably have a lot better chance of being struck by lightning or winning the Powerball @ $500M!
I'm in the same camp as Walter here. What's the point of having one if you gotta hide it, unloaded, or keep it out where everyone can see it? I keep mine where I can get to it, and it's ready to rock at all times. Otherwise, no reason to have it. If you need a gun, you're gonna need it immediately. Not in the trunk or the bottom of a duffel bag, for crying out loud.

I don't speed or break traffic laws, I don't fit any "criminal profiles", I don't cross any US borders, and I haven't been stopped in years. Obeying the law is a good thing, you're to be commended for wanting to do so. But when it comes to self-defense, I personally have a different approach. And yes, I have a CWP. Here in Colorado, you can carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle for self-defense, concealed or open, without a permit. But NOT a rifle or shotgun with a round in the chamber.
 

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When I lived in CA I always kept the firearms unloaded in a locked containers in the rear of my SUV, I also kept any ammo and magazines in a separate locked container with the magazines unloaded, or at least the magazines in a separate locked container if I was carrying a lot of ammo.

I thought i remember reading that the firearm could not be in a position to fire or something to that effect, basically it had to be unloaded and the magazine empty and in locked containers.

But I was (well am) paranoid and didn't want there to be any wiggle room for interpretation's by any local LE. I would just read the laws in CA, and take them to the extreme. Their website is actually relatively easy to navigate and find what your looking for.
 

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Nef said:
When I lived in CA I always kept the firearms unloaded in a locked containers in the rear of my SUV, I also kept any ammo and magazines in a separate locked container with the magazines unloaded, or at least the magazines in a separate locked container if I was carrying a lot of ammo.

I thought i remember reading that the firearm could not be in a position to fire or something to that effect, basically it had to be unloaded and the magazine empty and in locked containers.

But I was (well am) paranoid and didn't want there to be any wiggle room for interpretation's by any local LE. I would just read the laws in CA, and take them to the extreme. Their website is actually relatively easy to navigate and find what your looking for.
JMHO, but that wouldn't be much help in repelling a carjacker, or helping an innocent being assaulted.
 

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rondawg said:
JMHO, but that wouldn't be much help in repelling a carjacker, or helping an innocent being assaulted.
When your in CA you don't need to protect yourself, there are no bad people, you don't even need guns, in fact those 125K or so gang members are really all nice people who just want to give you hugs and pass out lolipops. And if for some reason there is ONE crazy person in CA who wants to hurt you or take your stuff, the police will be there 100% of the time to help you.

when I traveled with firearms it was to goto the range, not for self protection
 

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I suggest you go here and read the laws on the states you want to travel through. http://www.handgunlaw.us/ For instance NM treats your car the same as your domicile. I'm no lawyer but the way I read it you may have a loaded gun in the passenger part of your vehicle in NM. You can't CCW but you're good to go while in your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks so much, guys, for the help. Liberty loving folks are such a great community! :rock:
 

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"Technically if you are traveling in a car with a handgun and you stop to go in a gas station store you either have to wear it (much to the concern of the patrons probably and the clerk!) or you have to leave it out in plain view on your seat. If you cover it with a newspaper it is concealed. If it's in a glovebox, under the seat or in the trunk and cannot be seen and somehow a LEO finds it it is concealed."

I would talk with an attorney since this is pure BS.
You are not required to leave the gun in plain sight in the car.
Look up 18.2-308
"If any person carries about his person, hidden from common observation..."
Once you leav ethe gun in the car you can conceal it in the car.
You cannot conceal it while you are in the car with the gun.

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-308
 
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