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Senator Steve Daines of Montana, along with co-sponsors Senators James Lankford, Mike Rounds, Mike Crapo, and Ted Cruz, have introduced Senate Bill 3139: Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act. The bill would “amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition.”

This bill addresses the serious flaws in the “safe passage” portion of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, which I wrote about just last month.

Currently, you are only protected while traveling from a place you may lawfully possess the firearm, to a place you may possess. Stops along the way aren’t “travel,” and if you’re headed to New York as was last month’s delivery man, you’re out of luck.

SB 3139 fixes that. (Amusingly, the bill appears to have been filed six days after my column was published. Do I have readers in the Senate?)

For those interested in the details, the pertinent parts are these:

(1) A person who is not prohibited by this chapter from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm or ammunition shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where the person may lawfully possess, carry, or transport the firearm to any other such place if, during the transportation, the firearm is unloaded, and

This part fixes the existing “transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry” language.

Daines read my mind. Or my column.

‘‘(b) In subsection (a), the term ‘transport’ includes staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, or any other activity incidental to the transport

That takes care overnight stays New York and New Jersey have treated as loopholes allowing them to arrest honest people.

‘‘(c)(1) A person who is transporting a firearm, ammunition, magazine, or feeding device may not be arrested or otherwise detained for violation of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof related solely to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms, ammunition, magazine, or feeding device unless there is probable cause to believe that the person is doing so in a manner not provided for in subsection

No more busting out-of-state folks for “high capacity” magazines.

It’s a shame it has taken over three decades to fix those fatal flaws, but I’m pleased Sen. Daines and the rest have stepped up.

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      • The real fix would be a requirement to cut all financial aid to the government entity of the arresting officer and the prosecuting attorney. Punish them where it hurts the most making it automatic and without prosecutorial discretion, so they can’t avoid punishment via the old boy swamp network. Without teeth, the law is a worthless old drunk digging in the garbage and puking on the sidewalk.

      • Prosecutors are immune from personal liability. It has to be that way or every convict would sue every prosecutor for any and all reasons, reasonable or not, shutting down the criminal justice system. I don’t think we want that to happen.

        • “Prosecutors are immune from personal liability. “

          Right now, that’s not working out to well for Kim Foxx in Chicago.
          ( I know, not entirely related, but there are consequences for these prosecutors.)

    • That is a good point. If they wanted to do some signaling, go ahead and repeal that in the proposed bill since it won’t go anywhere anyway.

      But the Republicans don’t actually want people to buy new machine guns. They don’t want you to have bump stocks either. Some of them don’t want you to have ARs or 30 round mags either. I don’t think they want to go on the record saying “new machine guns for all!”

    • As all gun control is un Constitutional,I would argue the only law that needs to be followed is the supreme law of the land, known as the 2 nd. amendment, no fixes required.

    • Sorry you beat me to the punch on that one.

      Ronald Reagan himself said that signing McClure-Volkmer was one of the two biggest mistakes of his entire administration.

      He considered appointing Sandra Day O’Connor to the High Court the other one.

    • I would love to argue, but I believe you are correct. In which case, this is no more than eyewash.

      • It’s about as useful as the 40-odd votes to “Repeal Obamacare” when the other house was enemy-held…

    • That was my first thought. DOA in the House should it pass the Senate. It will go to some obscure committee never to be seen again, or brought up quickly, if Pelosi has the votes, and voted down. It doesn’t matter how much sense it makes.

    • Pass? It will never get a hearing or vote in the House or a House committee. The only way would be if it was part of another bill.

  1. This is obviously a good idea, but it has ZERO probability of becoming law. Few, if any, Democrats will vote for it, and there’s no way that it will get enough votes to overcome a filibuster. And no, Mitch McConnell is not going to get rid of the filibuster for this.

    • But, would put them on record trying to argue why law-abiding citizens traveling through with their locked guns somehow create a danger that needs to be stopped to prevent “gun violence”.

      • Well, NYC did in a trial court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeal, both times successfully. (Maybe the Supreme Court will fix that problem, maybe not.) Since NY and NJ are the primary violators of the FOPA protections, they will undoubtedly come out against it. They are adamantly opposed to nonresidents who have (and cannot get) a NYS ownership permit bringing arms, particularly hand guns, into the state

        • The NY Pistol decision could make the need for that bill moot…

  2. While it won’t pass the house or possibly even get a vote, I think it is still worth the exercise to say “this is what we stand for.” The Dems do that all the time, and have tons of bills ready at a moment’s notice, detailing exactly what they want to do to gun rights (eg, eliminate them).

    Usually the Republicans say they support the second amendment but are low on details of what they would actually go for if they could get the votes… Other than red flag laws, nics checks, and bump stock bans, 21 and up that a lot of them like, they did flirt with supressor deregulation and concealed carry but got scared to even vote on them after Vegas.

    • …still waiting on the final results of the Vegas investigation. So why did the shooter do what purportedly did? Any reason yet, FBI? Why did the cell phone video from two separate witnesses capture muzzle flashes from a second window? Why was the room not stormed immediately upon hearing pauses between gunfire (which would suggest mag changes or switching to any of the two dozen guns that were reported on scene)?

      And why in the world would ANYONE with serious intent stock up on two dozen guns, instead of two or three reliable guns and tons of mags to supply them?

      Finally, please explain the fatal head wound. Its trajectory (entry/exit) does not match the angle of a person that held a gun to his own head.

      What’s that? The event served its purpose and thwarted a vote on the Hearing Act which would have deregulated suppressors? Oh, that’s okay then.

  3. No chance of passage, cuz guns, and our side fits the definition of insanity. LOL to the Hughes comment above. New Full auto is gone forever.

    • Mass civil disobedience is the only way to get full auto and even then there will be martyrs.

  4. Add this to the list of problems the Rs failed to fix during Trump’s first two years:
    – Hearing Protection Act
    – Nationwide carry reciprocity
    – “Gun-Free Zones” in schools and Federal buildings like post offices
    – FOPA travel protections

    • There’s no way they would get 60 votes in the Senate for any of those things. And Mitch McConnell is not going to blow up the filibuster.

    • Strict scrutiny would provide a path to all of those items.

      I would add that strict scrutiny would eventually lead to a requirement for “shall issue” concealed carry permits or unrestricted open carry or constitutional carry (no “may issue”)

      It would also likely block any law banning any arms or armaments that are “in common use” and may also force the removal of suppressors and short-barreled rifles/shotguns from the NFA.

      The one thing it isn’t likely to do is to end the machine gun registry as it currently exists.

      • “The one thing it isn’t likely to do is to end the machine gun registry as it currently exists.”

        Yes, it could.

        For 70-odd years (historical record, and Kav loves history) we had it with no blood in the streets, so there’s no reason not to re-open the registry…

        • Machine guns are not in “common use” and the oppostion will argue that those 70 plus years didn’t have blood in the streets (like they had during Prohibition) because of the NFA. The machine gun portion of the NFA, therefore, is a vital for public safety.

          A counter-argumement would be that machine guns have “military utiilty” and, therefore, (per Miller) are protected by the 2nd Amendment and are subject to strict scrutiny.

        • “… the oppostion will argue that those 70 plus years didn’t have blood in the streets (like they had during Prohibition) because of the NFA.”

          Therefore, since no blood was spilled, there’s no reason to keep the registry closed.

          “The machine gun portion of the NFA, therefore, is a vital for public safety.”

          No, because there was no bloodshed to begin with. Registered machine guns aren’t used in mass killings, therefore, there’s no ‘public safety’ need to close the registry…

      • Levels of Scrutiny” (under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment) and “in common use at the time” (Miller) are different and independent approaches for evaluating a law and its effect. Applied to the same law and facts, the two approaches might or might not arrive at the same conclusion.

  5. I just want to know how you pull the gun out of that safe without flagging yourself or anyone around you.

    • Good catch. Photo looked odd to me, too, but I didn’t realize it was for that reason until you said it.

    • It’s got a handle on top. Looks like a locking carry case, not a safe. I can’t imagine using something like that.

  6. He should add a penalty for those who would attempt to prosecute someone legally transporting a firearm interstate or intrastate. And the penalties become more severe for additional attempts. With compensation for court costs to the accused transporter.

  7. NJ and NYS will continue to do as they please. Period. Full stop. The law means nothing to them.

  8. Imagine that a state required a license before you could exercise your First Amendment right to free speech. You travel from your license-free First Amendment state to the license-required state and hand out a brochure in the license-required state and WHAM! local police confiscate your brochures and charge you with a misdemeanor or even a felony for exercising free speech without a state license.

    And that state defends their actions claiming that your brochures could be promoting terrorism so it is better to require a license before distributing brochures. Sound ridiculous? It is. And so is requiring a license to possess a firearm in another state based on the notion that the possessor could be a bad actor and requiring a license will somehow stop bad actors from harming others. That is complete and utter garbage.

    • Don’t have to imagine it. Universities everywhere had “Free Speech” zones marked off with tape on remote areas of their campuses where rabblerousers wished to discuss pro-Constitution issues. That was finally knocked down by court ruling(s), but they existed for several years.

      • Yep. And all the “progressive” students who thought that was A-OK are out in public now, many of them in government, lobbying orgs, and HR departments, just waiting to find another loophole they can use to do the same thing again…to the Second Amendment, the First, and any other kind of opinion or activity they find inconvenient.

        Universities are pumping an endless stream of authoritarian socialist poison into the body politic.

        • Putting the shoe on the other foot, just try addressing them with the wrong pronoun (you know, like maybe calling someone with boobs and curvy hips “she” as has been done since forever), and see how tolerant they are.

      • So this is a topic that gets interesting really fast.

        1) Free Speech Zones don’t and didn’t exist at every University. Neither University that I’ve been involved with has had them.

        2) One of the major reasons that these zones were created was not to “manage speech” (though it rapidly became that). It was to protect the speakers from people who got angry and physical. Sad as it is there are things you can say on a college campus that will get you physically attacked. Smaller schools and those with limited security budgets used “free speech zones” initially not to police speech but to make sure there was adequate security for the speakers.

        At the university I’m associated with now we have people on campus nearly every week that have an armed cop (or cops) standing next to them because what they’re saying, be it far Left or far Right might actually get the person’s ass beat. The real issue is the townies. For example there’s a guy who comes every Friday to stand on a box and preach about how condoms are a mortal sin. That’s just his bag. He never talks about anything else just goes off for a couple hours about rubbers and how God’s not a fan. The university allows it and provides him two armed cops for his protection.

        Generally the student body doesn’t GAF. But you’ll get these Left leaning townies who show up and scream at the guy. They’ll run around making claims that that he’s said things that he hasn’t said. They do that to try to whip up a crowd against the guy. Were it not for the police I’m fairly confident one of the townies would have assaulted that guy by now.

        Obviously, once politically motivated administrators get involved it becomes a way to regulate who can say what but that wasn’t the original intent.

  9. “It’s a shame it has taken over three decades to fix those fatal flaws,”

    But it isn’t a fix. You know that, I know that, and most importantly Senators Daines, Lankford, Rounds, Crapo, and Cruz ALL know that it isn’t a fix.

    It COULD have been a fix… if they had sponsored the bill in 2017 or even 2018, but of course they didn’t.

    This “bill” isn’t really proposed legislation — in truth this bill is nothing but yet another false campaign promise.

    As the electioneering for 2020 gets going, I am disgusted, but not surprised, at the number of Republicans who have suddenly started sponsoring or co-sponsoring various pro-gun bills now that they know there is no chance whatsoever of such bills being passed. The sole purpose of these bills is so the sponsors can say “I tried” when talking to a pro-gun audience in their home state or district.

    Where were all these “staunch supporters of the second amendment” back when the Republicans held a majority in both houses of Congress? I’ll tell you where they were… they were practicing Duck & Cover drills hiding beneath their desks, absolutely terrified by the Republican Hat Trick of 2016 which suddenly gave the Republican party the keys to the kingdom.

    • Just a repeat of the mid-90s, when Repubs held the majority for two years under Newt Gingrich’s leadership and did nothing. Remember the “I carry a small copy of the Constitution here in my pocket” mantra spouted by the Repubs at the time? They ultimately did little and were seen as ineffective, which resulted in losses of seats in ’96.

  10. Amusingly, the bill appears to have been filed six days after my column was published. Do I have readers in the Senate?

    ….It’s not completely implausible that someone in the Senate who has constituents who care about the issue would be reading related news sites, or have a staffer doing it.

  11. There should be some language in the bill that addresses unlawful prosecution where it holds those who arrest and or prosecute PERSONALLY liable. In other words, if you’re a cop along some border town in California and arrest someone who was otherwise lawfully transporting a firearm, since it’s no skin off the cops nose and they know an arrest results in your car possibly being towed, losing your weapons, sitting in jail, hiring attorneys and all in all just RUINING a persons life, and they do this because THEY CAN and there are no repercussions. WELL THERE SHOULD BE. There should be some language in the bill where an arrest for a lawful activity results in a loss of qualified immunity and the burden of proof is on the COPS and prosecutors and not the people who were arrested.

  12. How about including penalties to politicians/judges/LEO who will still willfully violate this law? I think 6 months prison and/or a $25,000 penalty would suffice.

  13. In other words, certain states CAN essentially TRASH the SECOND AMENDMENT!!!

    How is THAT solving ANYTHING?

    I will carry in those states. Screw them. Tyranny needs a kick in the teeth.

  14. IThere is. I don’t know the exact place in title 18, but it is there. I need to look it up.

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