New House Bill Would Give Gun Owners Real Safe Passage Protection When Traveling With Firearms

Rep. Mo Brooks

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Last year, I wrote about a serious weakness in the “safe passage” provision in the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, which allowed states like New York to arrest innocent traveling gun owners for the mistake of stopping in the state for any reason with a legally owned firearm in their vehicle.

Days later, Senator Steve Daines of Montana filed SB 3139 to fix that very problem and extend FOPA’s protections to ammunition and magazines. Daines’ bill greatly improves protections for stops along the way.

“(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.

While that’s much better than current safe passage provisions, I thought it needed tweaking to prevent anti-gun jurisdictions like New York from interpreting delivery stops on a route as the “destination” where the firearm possession would otherwise violate state law.

Rep. Mo Brooks‘ office agreed. He and thirteen co-sponsors have filed the “Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act”, with much improved language. Contrast Sen. Daines’ definition of “transport” with this.

4 ‘‘(b) In subsection (a), the term ‘transport’ includes
5  staying in temporary lodging, stopping for food, fuel, vehi-
6  cle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, or any
7  other activity incidental to the transport.

“Lodging overnight” is gone, making sure any stop is protected. I was still somewhat concerned about New York’s penchant for misinterpreting what a “destination” is, but Brooks’ D.C. office was kind enough to point out one more provision that I must have misread the first time through.

8 ‘‘(c)(1) A person who is transporting a firearm, am-
9  munition, magazine, or feeding device may not be arrested
10  or otherwise detained for violation of any law or any rule
11  or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof
12  related to the possession, transportation, or carrying of
13  firearms, ammunition, magazine, or feeding device un-
14  less—

15  ‘‘(A) there is probable cause to believe that the
16  person is doing so in a manner not provided for in
17  subsection (a); and
18  ‘‘(B) there is probable cause to believe that the
19  person has committed a crime other than the viola-
20  tion.

As long as you secured the firearm, ammunition, or magazine in accordance with the law, you may not be arrested or detained only for that. It doesn’t matter where you stopped, when, why, or how long.

So long as you are passing through and not committing some other crime, you are covered under Brooks’ bill, thanks to the interaction of the new definition of “transport” and the “crime other than the violation” clause.

This is the “safe passage” we should have gotten in 1986, when we lost new machine guns. This bill has been endorsed by both Gun Owners of America and The Zelman Partisans.

comments

  1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    The question is what the penalties are to prosecutors and police for disobedience. My bet is not big enough for them to care.

    1. avatar d says:

      There are no penalties for prosecutors and police. They have free reign to violate our rights at will. Our all aspects of our government are far more corrupt than most people realize.

      Micheal Flynn is not even the tip of the iceberg. It is systemic throughout all departments.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        Police have been found civilly and criminally libel for unconstitutional acts, as long as such acts are ‘settled law.’ Politicians and prosecutors have pretty much blanket (not qualified) immunity, however.

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Hung by the neck until death seems appropriate.

      Unless you’ve got a more suitable means of execution for traitors to the Constitution…

    3. avatar borg says:

      Taking someone to jail against their will with no lawful authority meets the legal definition of kidnapping. That means that any police that abducts legal gun owners for transporting can potentially be prosecuted by the feds.

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        You could probably file a civil suit for unlawful arrest. Maybe the feds would file charge violation of civil rights, like they did for Rodney King cops, if there was a prosecutor or administration that wanted a clear message sent not to mess with armed travelers.

  2. avatar American Patriot says:

    Email me when it passes……Oh yeah by then email will be obsolete & the left will be against socialism…….year 3037

    1. avatar Hannibal and the Elephants says:

      GOA sent me a heads up e-mail to contact my Representative in the US House to urge them to considering cosponsoring this bill. When, I finally resumed breathing and got my pulse back, I said as futile as that would be, yes I will. You have to understand I kind of know my Representative from my days in DC. She was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of HHS. A diehard Demoncrap and still close with the Clintons.
      The only thing I regret is having to give her my real name, physical address and email address.
      But, I thought that if more people were brave enough to write, maybe, just maybe we might make a difference and we will all ride off into the sunset on the backs of unicorns…wait aren’t unicorns horns just like narwhal tusks (well anatomically not in any way related) what the UK is trying to ban because selfie defense? So, I woke up. And sent the letter to my Representative just the same.

      1. avatar Hannibal and the Elephants says:

        🤣 “selfie defense”
        Edit button please. Self defense!

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      A some point in the next 8m, some of the House progs are going to figure out that reelection is NOT compatible with being tied to the loosing campaign of Crazy Commie Bernie.

  3. avatar Roger J says:

    I can’t imagine anyone actually believes this will pass a House vote, the Senate, and Trump will sign it>

  4. avatar VIad Tepes says:

    Our merciful overlords won’t be pleased.

  5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This certainly sounds nice.

    The real question is whether or not Democrats in the Senate will block it. Unless 60 Senators vote to bring a bill to the floor to vote (again) as to whether or not that bill should become law, this bill will go nowhere.

    Yes, you read that correctly: our United States Senate first requires that 60 Senators vote whether or not to consider a bill before they vote again whether or not they actually want to pass the bill.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Liz Warren wishes to eliminatete the 60-vote threshold when she becomes Queen, why should we wait until then?

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        She was real clear about that in the ‘debate’, and you can bet your ass that also means she intends to pack SCOTUS if they get the chance…

      2. avatar Anymouse says:

        It’s rules of the Senate. It isn’t in the Constitution, and the President has no say in it. Harry Reid and the Dems got rid of filibusters for nominees in 2013, which is one of the reasons Trump has gotten so many judges through the process. I recall a one time change where it was used for an environmental law or something, but I can’t find a link to it.

      3. avatar neiowa says:

        Queen of the Flies on the Island of Misfit Fools

    2. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      If both parties were still mostly American, that would be fine (in general, if you have opposing parties who both want to see the nation strong, free, and prosperous), you should be able to convince at least a few of your colleagues from the other side to get on board. If not, you might want to re-think things.

      But at this point, only one party (on a good day) is mostly American (interested in keeping America free, prosperous, and strong), so all bets are off now.

  6. avatar Xaun Loc says:

    YAWN.

    I’m getting tired of reading about all these campaign stunts.

    That is all this is – a campaign stunt.

    Senator Daines has no expectation of SB-3139 ever becoming law, and of course the same is equally true of Representative Mo Brooks with his so-called “Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act” that supposedly would add ammunition and magazines to FOPA’s imaginary protection.

    Where were all these supposedly “Pro-Gun” Republicans in the House and Senate back in 2017 and 2018 when bills like these could actually have been passed? Where were all these supposedly “Pro-Gun” Republicans when the Hearing Protection Act and National Reciprocity both languished and died?

    Now that the 2020 election is coming up, suddenly all these Republicans are filing all sorts of “Pro-Gun” and other conservative issue bills that they know have no chance at all of being passed in the current session. ALL these bills are nothing but campaign stunts to get free publicity from sources like TTAG. Ammoland, NRA-ILA, and all the conservative bloggers and forums.

    These so-called “Pro-Gun” Republicans feel safe in the knowledge than none of these bills will ever see the light of day because they will all die in committee in the House. So where were these supposedly “Pro-Gun” Republicans in 2017 and 2018 when they had the majority in both houses (and, of course, the White House) when bills like this could have been passed and signed into law? They were cowering under their desks terrified that they might actually have to make good on their rhetoric. They had no intention of passing any Pro-Gun legislation, and they were delighted that the NRA agreed with them about not wanting any Pro-Gun legislation passed.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      There was never an opportunity in 17 or 18 to pass those bills. Under current rules, a filibuster requires only that a senator says he is filibustering. Once that happens, it takes 69 votes to “invoke cloture,” i.e., end the filibuster so that the bill can make it to the floor for an up or down vote. Republicans had only 52 or 53 votes, but never 60. There was not a single democrat who would risk Schumer’s wrath (and the wrath of the entire party elite) by supporting a pro-gun bill. McConnell recognized that passage was impossible n the Senate, so those bills were never brought out of committee; there was no way that he was going to hand the Democrats a pulpit to preach against guns on the Senate floor.

      That said, I agree that these bills are just politicking, since they have no more chance of passage in the Senate than they might have had in 17 or 18.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Most people here think the Constitution begins and ends with the Second Amendment. They have no clue about the process of government or legislative rules.
        Your reasoned explanation is wasted.

        I think the best way to solve this problem is for GOA or similar group to sue in Federal Court arguing on Commerce Clause grounds. If I cannot drive from Ohio to Vermont with my legal firearm then NY is interfering with interstate commerce. A coalition of State AGs filed a friend of the court brief in the NY Pistol case challenging the law on Commerce Clause grounds. I believe the NY interpretation of FOPA will not stand court scrutiny especially when treated as a Commerce Clause case.

  7. avatar James Campbell says:

    Rep. Mo Brooks has quite the vile pedo-smile. Typical Republican.

    1. avatar James Campbell says:

      Nice, using my name. Pathetic loser troll.

  8. avatar Hi says:

    Big Deal. A “secured” gun is not what the Second Amendment is all about. You are still being treated like a third-class citizen, your self-defense natural law rights trashed. Screw all these halfway surrender laws. I should be able to carry an armed weapon on me no matter what state I am in. Is this America? Does the Constitution not apply in some states?

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    This bill will pass the Democrat House some time during the reign of Queen D!ck.

  10. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Wow! I guess if I had been stopped I might still be in prison. The first time I drove to New York the inventory included:
    1. Galil in .556 w/four spare mags.
    2. Two stainless Winchester model 70s in .308. One was/is a Brockman scout rifle.
    3. Stainless S&W .22 LR kit gun.
    4. Remington 12 ga. 870 for grouse.
    5. Springfield Armory custom 1911 w/two spare mags. This was carried concealed at all times in all jurisdictions except when hunting.
    I don’t remember what all my friend Rick carried on that trip. This was circa 1995. Subsequent trips to New York didn’t involve hunting so I only carried a handgun.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Funny enough the pistol probably would have been the biggest problem back then. Now it depends on who pulls you over whether the Galil or the pistol would be an issue (especially if leosa is involved).

    2. avatar Jim Warren says:

      If you have 5 or more it’s a felony.

  11. avatar Jeff says:

    My biggest concern is flying out of NY, even with a NYS concealed carry permit:

    1) If you live upstate and attempt to fly out of JFK, LaGuardia or Newark (NJ) airports, you’ll likely be arrested for having possession of a gun without a permit (NYC doesn’t honor upstate NY permits, and of course NJ is even worse).

    2) Suppose you fly out of an upstate NY airport with a properly declared and packaged gun but, because mechanical issues, the plain is required to land in JFK, LaGuardia or Newark for an overnight stay? Well, you probably won’t have a problem claiming your suitcase and taking it to the hotel because the gun will be safely locked and packed away.

    BUT…. What happens the next day when you go back to the airport and have to re-check your bags and again declare your gun with TSA? Even if it’s properly locked, etc., there’s a good chance they’ll call the MTA police and you’ll be arrested for felony possession of a firearm! https://tinyurl.com/ycebvm23

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Jeff, I solved that problem by leaving my handgun in my vehicle in Florida and my friend immediately arming me when I walked out of the airport in New York. We did the same in reverse when he flew down here. My cousin in Boston and I do the same. If there is no firearm at my destination I just don’t go.

      1. avatar Jim Namalias says:

        G.Flag, that’s probably not a good solution either — unless you and your buddy live in the same state. Read US Code Title 18, Section 922(a)(5). Private transfers (not just sales) of firearms between individuals residing in different states for other than “sporting purposes” are felony offenses. Section 924 prescribes stiff prison terms for any violation. So, if you use the borrowed firearm to hunt or target shoot, you might make a case for leniency or maybe acquittal. If you intend to carry the firearm for non-sporting purposes (maybe self-defense), you and your buddy are risking years in prison if caught.

        1. avatar Phil Wilson says:

          Sounds like he was going with the “better tried by 12 than carried by six” principle.

        2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

          Jim, you think we don’t know that? Fuck them if they can’t take a joke. We don’t move about unarmed. When Bill came down a few months ago I handed him a Galco butt pack. It had a stainless Ruger “Commander” spare mag (Wilson of course) a Spyderco and Surefire in it. Among a couple of other things. Mark does the same for me in New York. Though it’s usually a compact Kimber 1911.

    2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “BUT…. What happens the next day when you go back to the airport and have to re-check your bags and again declare your gun with TSA?”

      That’s a valid concern, and I expended 2 or three brain cells thinking about it…

      And here’s what I came up with – Don’t go to the airport, go to a post office and mail it to yourself, perhaps in more than 1 package, if not a revolver. (I realize that isn’t *technically* legal, but you probably won’t get caught. And don’t pack it *in* the post office!).

      I figure your chance of getting caught going that route were far less than the mercy of the NYC airport check-in desk…

    3. avatar Chris says:

      What happened to the hunter who got diverted to EWR was he was arrested by Port Authority police the moment he claimed his checked bag containing the rifle. The trick is to refuse to claim your bag. The airport usually refuses to hold luggage when you are delayed overnight. So your bag with the big warning sticker will go round and round until you pick it off the turnstile. The second you touch it in NY or NJ, you’ll be arrested. The only passive workaround is to stand guard at the luggage claim, refuse to take possession of your bag. At some point the baggage people will pick it up, you follow and ask where it is going. Explain that you can’t legally take possession of your bag with the gun while in their hostel state. Ask them to please hold it then put it on the flight you’re on next day. Of course they, the police and the carrier will balk stating it’s not their responsibility. Your gun may be in limbo but at least you’re not in jail. At some point someone will help or you will simply forfeit your property but avoid jail.

  12. avatar Mark N. says:

    This bill sucks. If there has to be another crime, they will pull you over for failing to signal a lane change, broken tail light (even if they have to break it themselves as they approach your car) or anything else they can think of. When a cop wants to pull you over, he will find a reason, and that will, under the language of this bill, allow them to charge for the firearm as well..

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      That’s why it would be real nice if the NY Pistol decision make clear bearing arms outside the home includes travel without harassment…

  13. avatar Truckman says:

    I don,t go anywhere I cannot carry my gun so I stay in Fl, Ga. and Ala. basically

  14. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

    The only fix will be if the pain of the punishment far exceeds the political benefit of the behavior. Any legislation that put the hurt on a jurisdiction violating the rights of gun owners has zero chance in Congress due to the cowardice of the Republicans.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Do you understand how legislation 8s passed? Let me answer that for you. Obviously not.

  15. avatar Gopjohnny says:

    I will remind you that Brooks strongly defended the right to keep and bear arms, on the baseball field immediately after an assassination attempt that targeted him. He is not a newcomer on gun owner rights.

  16. avatar GS650G says:

    Would a traffic violation count as a crime? I bet it does if they want a gun bust.

  17. avatar tdiinva says:

    This bill will not get out a the House Judiciary or Commerce Committee.

  18. avatar old law prof says:

    #1 question. Does the bill protect those flying in full compliance with TSA regulations whose plane makes an unscheduled full stop in NY or NJ and the traveler forced to pick up his bags in order to stay overnight and fly out ASAP.

    1. avatar Jim Warren says:

      It does not.

  19. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    If you have a concealed carry permit it will show up when the run your license plate. They will then “find” a traffic violation to stop you for. You will act suspicious to the LEO and they will call a dog who will alert on your car so they can search it. If, by some chance, you have any thing associated with a firearm they will gleefully drag you to jail so the prosecutor and judge can have some fun and get their cut of the loot.

    I don’t go to those places.

    1. avatar maddog says:

      i live in california and have a ccw (concealed carry permit) and it is not connected to my drivers license. it’s unfortunate that your state connects them, it would be additional aggravation during a traffic stop.

    2. avatar Chris says:

      I’ve been pulled over by the MD SP on the beltway around DC. I had a VA and FL permit. And an pistol in the trunk. Trooper never said a word. Of course I’m not advertising with bumper stickers or hats or t-shirts so why would he take that extra step? You have to be smart. Granted, a jerk can jam you up if he wants. Just never give them a reason.

  20. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    ‘New House Bill Would Give Gun Owners Real Safe Passage Protection When Traveling With Firearms”

    I’ll believe that when I see it,FOPA was supposed to do the same and look how that has worked out for Americans who exercise their 2 nd. amendment rights. Speaking of the 2 nd.,to my reading is all that’s needed,”Shall Not Be Infringed”.

  21. avatar possum says:

    I would take any gunm they give me but I already feel pretty safe travelling with the firegunns I have now.,,,,er uh oh this was about someone letting me have a right, Crazy Miranda believes all the propaganda

  22. avatar Ron Beason says:

    Never had a reason, or need, to go to, or through New York state, and New York city is where they will put the hose when the country an enema!

    1. avatar Ron Beason says:

      Needs

  23. avatar Stuck in NJ says:

    Don’t expect this bill to go anywhere, even if Republicans win back the House and keep the Senate and White House in 2020. Remember three years ago, when the Hearing Protection Act and nationwide Concealed Carry Reciprocity were both supposed to pass easily, because for two entire years Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House?
    Well, Trump being no friend of gun owners, he didn’t push Congress to pass them, and the House and Senate both just sat on their hands for two years of complete Republican control of government without passing any pro-gun legislation at all!
    All we got for two years of Republican majorities in all branches of government was Trump’s ban on bump stocks, a ban put in place not by Congress, but by the Trump administration.

    I’m not a fan of bump stocks, just pointing out that when Republicans had total control of all three branches, instead of the Hearing Protection Act or nationwide Concealed Carry Reciprocity, we got a ban on bump stocks.

  24. avatar Jim Warren says:

    They still need to fix the airport glitch, where traveling by air is not considered “travel”. You can still be arrested for illegal possession if your plane flies into NY or you bring one with you when leaving NY.

  25. avatar Geoff says:

    “other crime” in New Jersey this includes any traffic violation. That’s how they caught the woman from Pennsylvania who’s name I can’t recall. Same goes for Maryland and probably the other anti-gun States. Get stopped for over the speed limit, improper lane change, rolling stop or whatever and even if you are in compliance with the “Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act”, you may be in violation of the State law on something concerning guns in that State. IMO.

    1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      Shaneen Allen.

      She was caught because when she was pulled over for a traffic violation in NJ by a NJ State Trooper she INFORMED the NJ State Trooper that she had a PA License to Carry a Firearm and was armed.

      Like many who carry for self defense but are not gun people she mistakenly believed her LTCF was like her drivers license, good in every state.

      It took a pardon by Chris Christie to get her out of jail and back to PA. The current governor will probably not be so inclined, and even Christie took a damn long time to do it.

      Last year I went on a fishing trip with a group of guys to Maryland. While there one of them mentioned something about his pistol, loudly, in a bar/restaurant. Same thing. He thought his PA LTCF was good all across the US. I told him unload it, place it in your trunk, and STFU. He told me if he got pulled over he would just explain to the officer he thought his LTCF was good everywhere. I couldn’t get him to understand that he would be arrested, locked up, and wouldn’t escape without jail time or at a minimum a guilty plea that would render him a prohibited person for life. He just couldn’t grasp that officer friendly would do that to him.

  26. avatar RedFlagRising says:

    Guns should be kept in a Central Repository, for distribution to The People only when necessary.

    Such necessities would include:

    Securing The Safety Of The People,
    Preservation Of The Green New Deal,
    Protection Of Trans and Animal Rights,
    Security Of Duly Appointed Leaders.

    The FBI/Antifa would govern the Central Repository and ensure proper usage of such guns.

    All extraneous guns would be cut up and given to artists to create various exhibits against guns.

  27. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I’m glad to see President Trump go after former house Speaker Paul Ryan (R). A morally generate man who stopped the presidents agenda when the republicans
    controlled the House of Representatives.

    Now try and get something done with democrat control of the House?

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      edit
      A morally Degenerate man.
      That’s better.

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