RV Hot Topic: Traveling with Firearms
You’re boondocking in a secluded area, and you’re out on a hike. You come across a wild animal. A very large wild animal. It’s bigger than you and it can outrun you. What do you do? You’re the only camper parked in an RV park, and it’s the middle of the night. You awake to the sounds of someone jimmying open the lock to your RV. What do you do? Hopefully, you’ll never find yourself faced with either of these situations. But for a lot of people, “hopefully” doesn’t cut it. “Hopefully” equates to “unprepared” or “sitting duck.” And because of this, some people opt to travel with a firearm (or firearms). There are some serious questions to consider when the debate concerns firearms, and RV travel only makes those questions more complicated and more numerous. There’s a very simple reason for this: Gun laws vary from state to state. What’s completely legal in one state could land you in jail as soon as you cross a state line. So what’s the answer? Should you consider traveling with firearms? Let’s look at several different things to consider when asking that question.
1. Do you know how to use it?
If the answer is “no,” then no further debate is needed. If you don’t know how to properly use a firearm, it poses an increased risk rather than a solution to other risks. Never keep guns around if you’re not properly trained.
2. Do you know the gun laws in the states in which you’ll be traveling?
If you are well-versed in the law, you may be able to plan your travel and or/firearm-carrying appropriately. As far as general advice goes, this is what the NRA-ILA (the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, the NRA’s lobbying arm) has to say, according to its website: If you travel with a trailer or camper that is hauled by an automobile, it is advisable to transport the firearms unloaded, cased and locked in the trunk of the car. If your vehicle is of the type in which driving and living spaces are not separated, the problem becomes one of access. If the firearm is carried on or about the person, or placed in the camper where it is readily accessible to the driver or any passenger, state and local laws regarding concealed carrying of firearms may apply. It is recommended, therefore, that the firearm be transported unloaded, cased, and placed in a locked rear compartment of the camper or mobile home, where it is inaccessible to the driver or any passenger. Generally, a mobile home is considered a home if it is not attached to a towing vehicle, and is permanently attached to utilities, placed on blocks, or otherwise parked in such a manner that it cannot immediately be started up and used as a vehicle. Once you reach your destination, state and local law will govern the ownership, possession, and transportation of your firearms.
3. What kind of firearm(s) do you want to carry?
The laws for traveling with long guns and handguns can be very different. If you’re carrying a rifle or shotgun but have no need or desire to carry a handgun, you may not have as much trouble, but again—check state law.
4. How do you personally weigh legality versus the desire to feel safe?
Many people choose to carry handguns, despite the laws of any states they are traveling through that prohibit/limit the carrying of handguns or the refusal to recognize a license granted in another state. Their view is this: “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” And they’re willing to risk breaking the law (and the consequences that go along with it) to follow this approach. Whether or not you decide traveling with firearms is right for you, it’s wise to know as much as you can about the issue so that you can make an informed decision with full knowledge of the risks and consequences. What is your view on traveling with guns for road trip safety? For extra peace of mind and safety, install the Safe-T-Plus product that’s right for you. Image credit: zombieite