Transporting firearms and ammunition across state lines could soon become trouble-free if a proposal filed in the U.S. House of Representatives becomes law.
U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) introduced H.R. 225, a bill to “amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition.”
Transporting firearms across states such as Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York is problematic or sometimes risky.
Some states ban possession and transportation of “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines making it risky for travelers forced to step into such territories. Those individuals could be arrested even though they never intended to use the firearms in those territories.
Some states also have impossible transportation requirements that sojourners must comply with or face arrests. Still, others lack preemption laws, creating a patchwork of regulations that travelers may not know while traveling between counties and cities in the same state. Such laws turn law-abiding criminals into felons, regardless of their intentions.
The situation worsens when the host states do not recognize concealed carry permits from other states. Truckers moving goods over long distances across several states are, particularly at risk.
Some states also ban leaving firearms in locked cars, yet taking them out amounts to advertising a crime. Consequently, having a national firearm transportation law is a necessity.
Over the years, several travelers unwittingly found themselves on the wrong side of the host state’s firearm laws. A perfect example is Army 1st Lt. Augustine Kim, who was found in possession of an “assault weapon” in Washington, D.C., while traveling home to South Carolina.
Kim violated the assault weapons ban in D.C., was arrested, and faced 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine on top of four felony charges. Such punishment does not befit a law-abiding citizen forced to step into the anti-gun territory.
In the end, Kim negotiated a deal by pleading guilty to a banned firearm possession charge, and his crime was reduced to a misdemeanor. However, he never intended to find himself in an excruciating court battle.
The national firearm transportation law would work excellently alongside the bipartisan National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act reintroduced by the North Carolina Republican Representative for the 8th District, Richard Hudson.
Having both measures passed would ensure that legally armed Americans could transport firearms and exercise their Second Amendment rights away from home. Hudson compares his proposal to a marriage certificate that’s recognized in all 50 states.
However, both bills are likely to face opposition from anti-gun Democrats who oppose any gun-related proposal by default.
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