You did it! You raised your voice and buried Congress in faxes and they actually listened!
Together, we raised hell and demanded that Congress fix the broken interstate firearm laws and they have listened!
Far too often, law abiding gun owners are harassed and even arrested for transporting firearms and ammunition through gun control states.
The 1986 Firearm Owner Protection Act is supposed to protect Americans in this regard, but the rules have to be followed by the letter and many states simply ignore FOPA anyway…
Just look at the story of John Filippidis from this past year. The Florida-native was pulled over in Maryland by a police officer for speeding. However, when the officer ran the man’s plates, he saw that he held a Florida concealed weapons permit.
The officer then proceeded to badger Mr. Filippidis as to the location of his firearm and even though he said he left it at home in Florida, police still dismantled the car and even searched inside the panels for a concealed weapon. Meanwhile, his wife and three children were forced to stand on the side of the road in the cold and watch police search for a gun that didn’t even exist.
Congress was supposed to have protected gun owners from this type of harassment, but the 1986 bill has serious loopholes. You did the hard part: you got a Congressman to introduce this legislation. Now it’s time to finish the job and convince Congress to pass it!
Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA) introduced H.R. 131, a bill to put a stop to this type of harassment of interstate gun travelling.
The bill “prohibits the arrest or detention of a person for a violation of any state or local law or regulation related to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms unless there is probable cause to believe that the person is doing so in a manner not provided for under federal law.”
It also places the burden of proof on the prosecution to prove that the traveller was deliberately breaking the law.
But this law doesn’t go far enough. It needs to be combined with an interstate concealed carry reciprocity bill.
Everyone knows the phrase “your house is your castle.” Well, when driving across country, your car is your castle. Your car holds your prized possessions and loved ones and you have a God given right to protect them from any who would do them harm.
Right now, the law says that you can transport a weapon as long as it is legal at the start and end of your journey. But keeping the gun locked up and away from the ammunition won’t help you if you’re carjacked. It won’t help you if someone kicks down the door of your motel room while you’re sleeping.
If you possess a concealed weapons permit, you should be allowed to use that permit to protect yourself and your family while traveling across country, regardless of whether you’re going through a gun friendly state.
That’s the part that Congress doesn’t seem to understand. When they travel, they have the luxury of having armed guards (and sometimes even Secret Service) to protect them.
They look at us and say “they’ll be happy with being able to transport a locked firearm.” They truly think that is good enough. It isn’t.
I believe in Constitutional carry. I believe that we have a right to protect ourselves regardless of what some politician says. But that isn’t the reality in most places. We have to work within the system to reform it.
Rep. Griffith’s bill is nice, but it isn’t enough. Unless it includes real protections for concealed carry, then this bill is nothing but lip service.
Don’t get me wrong… it is a good start. You raised your voice and got us this far. Now it’s time to take it home.
Congress MUST amend the law to include interstate carry and the only way that’ll happen is if YOU demand it!