Thursday, June 8, 2023


Traveling with a firearm: Can you carry a gun across state lines?

The video below about traveling with a firearm contains no advice about whether you should or should not carry a gun in your RV, so don’t expect a debate on the issue of guns. But it does have valuable advice for those who are wondering about crossing state lines with a firearm. If that’s you, check it out.

Regardless of whether you carry a gun for hunting, recreational shooting, or protection, there are some things about carrying a gun in your RV that you should know about.  Brandon from Pagosa Adventures covers some important points. Nonetheless, the video does make the disclaimer that this is not legal advice and that viewers should also do their own due diligence before crossing state lines with a gun.

Traveling with a firearm? The federal law that protects you

Yes, we all know that the second amendment protects the rights of gun owners at a federal level. However, it gets more complicated when you cross state lines with a gun.

To be compliant, it is important for RVers to familiarize themselves with the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA). There are even different rules and regulations if you will be carrying the gun in your van or motorhome—in other words in one contained vehicle—than in a towed trailer or fifth wheel.

FOPA is a federal law that protects gun owners who travel across state lines. But just because FOPA is in place does not mean you are free and clear to wander the country at will with your guns.

For example, the law begins with these words that can present a BIG caveat:

  • Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a state or any political subdivision thereof

Luckily there are some apps you can get to help you keep up with state gun laws.

The video talks about how to handle law enforcement encounters, should they happen, and how you can prepare as best as possible to avoid legal hassles.

Most importantly, the video talks in detail about the three rules you MUST follow to safely travel with a gun across state lines and receive protection under FOPA.

In a nutshell, it is this:

  • You MUST be legally eligible to own a gun in your state of origin and in the state of your destination.
  • The firearm must be unloaded, locked up, and not accessible to the driver or the passenger or the front cab.
  • You must not cease traveling. As rule 1 says, you must be legal in your state of origin and destination. Rule 3 means no stopping, no side trips, no overnights, etc., in the states in between with less friendly gun laws.

Those are the basics. Brandon covers a few more details and questions in the video. So if you are a gun-owning RVer, check it out!



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Purple Bob
7 months ago

Its really easy…I just will NOT travel to ANY state that thinks they can tell me I can’t exercise my God-given rights.

Ron T.
7 months ago
Reply to  Purple Bob

I don’t recall any mention of firearms in the bible . . .

Bob p
7 months ago

I believe in the old adage, I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6. As stated below I don’t go into or through pinko commie bast*** states.

7 months ago

His rule 2 is analogous to carrying your fire extinguisher in one locked compartment and the key to that compartment in another locked compartment. Totally asinine to the purpose. My method is to check states Im driving thru for reciprocity (google for website) and don’t go to or thru the communist states. Too bad so many people in this country fail to read or understand “…shall not be infringed.”

Wayne C
7 months ago
Reply to  George

Yes, I’m amazed how “infringed” our right to bear arms has become.

Ron T.
7 months ago
Reply to  Wayne C

Yet you neglect to note the “well regulated militia” part of this amendment.

Marc T
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron T.

Ron T. District of Columbia v Heller

Jim Johnson
7 months ago

One more item… Not only should the firearm be unloaded and locked, but many states interpret this to also mean all ammunition should be stored and secured separate from the firearm. For example, a locked ammunition box on the opposite side of the vehicle. Having a loaded magazine stored in the same case as the firearm typically isn’t going to meet the requirement for “unloaded”.

Honestly, even if you never apply for a concealed carry license or only have long guns, but travel with your firearm(s), one of the best things you can do is take a concealed carry training course. Great detail is given to traveling with firearms by road, water or air. As said in the video, “I didn’t know that.” isn’t going to help when confronting law enforcement.

7 months ago

Links to the graphic, please.

RV Staff
7 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Hi, Tom. That was an original image made up just for that post using Canva, an online graphic design tool. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane

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