HR 4269 – A Bill Concerning Interstate Travel With Firearms And Ammunition

Last week, HR 4269 was introduced by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) along with co-sponsors Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX). The bill’s purpose is to “more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition.” The bill would clarify and strengthen the rights of a traveler to transport firearms and ammunition from one place to another so long as it was legal at the starting and ending place of the trip.

This bill would not have prevented the arrest of Tennessee med student Meredith Graves or former Marine Ryan Jerome. However, it would have prevented the arrest of Tea Party leader Mark Meckler who was arrested while in transit at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport.

This is a bipartisan bill that needs to move forward to prevent further abuses by anti-gun cities like Chicago and New York. The one thing I really like about the bill is that it awards attorney’s fees to the traveler as well as giving him or her a cause for action in civil court.

The text of the bill is below:

A BILL

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to more comprehensively address the interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS OR AMMUNITION.

(a) In General- Section 926A of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

`Sec. 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms or ammunition

`(a) Notwithstanding any provision of any law, rule, or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof:

`(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–

`(A) if the transportation is by motor vehicle, the firearm is not directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle, and, if the vehicle is without a compartment separate from the passenger compartment, the firearm is in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console, or is secured by a secure gun storage or safety device; or

`(B) if the transportation is by other means, the firearm is in a locked container or secured by a secure gun storage or safety device.

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

`(A) if the transportation is by motor vehicle, the ammunition is not directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle, and, if the vehicle is without a compartment separate from the passenger compartment, the ammunition is in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console; or

`(B) if the transportation is by other means, the ammunition is in a locked container.

`(b) In subsection (a), the term `transport’ includes staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, and any other activity incidental to the transport, but does not include transportation–

`(1) with the intent to commit a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year that involves the use or threatened use of force against another; or

`(2) with knowledge, or reasonable cause to believe, that such a crime is to be committed in the course of, or arising from, the transportation.

`(c)(1) A person who is transporting a firearm or ammunition 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 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 in subsection (a).

`(2) When a person asserts this section as a defense in a criminal proceeding, the prosecution shall bear the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the conduct of the person did not satisfy the conditions set forth in subsection (a).

`(3) When a person successfully asserts this section as a defense in a criminal proceeding, the court shall award the prevailing defendant a reasonable attorney’s fee.
`(d)(1) A person who is deprived of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by this section, section 926B or 926C, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any State or any political subdivision thereof, may bring an action in any appropriate court against any other person, including a State or political subdivision thereof, who causes the person to be subject to the deprivation, for damages and other appropriate relief.
`(2) The court shall award a plaintiff prevailing in an action brought under paragraph (1) damages and such other relief as the court deems appropriate, including a reasonable attorney’s fee.’.

(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for such chapter is amended in the item relating to section 926A by striking `firearms’ and inserting `firearms or ammunition’.

UPDATE: The NRA-ILA included this bill in their alerts for Friday. The text of it is here. They are in full support of this bill.


4 thoughts on “HR 4269 – A Bill Concerning Interstate Travel With Firearms And Ammunition”

  1. The bill would also have protected Brian Aitken in New Jersey. It would also stop the Illinois state patrol from hassling hunters using route 80 to cross the state.

  2. "it would have prevented the arrest of Tea Party leader Mark Meckler who was arrested while in transit at New York City's LaGuardia Airport" Hughes amendment has a "Safe passage" provision.

  3. @Spencer: Notwithstanding the safe passage provision of the Hughes Amendment, Meckler was still arrested and his Glock 27 (or 26) was confiscated. The meaty part of this bill would have provided him with cause to sue NY presumably in Federal court.

  4. Florida's HB45 last year became law; in it were awards for attorney's fees and suits against the individuals who caused the arrest/harassment in the first place.

    We are going to see a lot more of this, going forward. It is a great idea that needs to spread. Seeing this from the federal is great news. I suspect we are looking at our new 'boilerplate' language going forward. It might fail once or twice, but eventually it will become common in passed bills.

    Now we need to get it indoctrinated in other aspects of our lives – tax audits, permit challenges, etc.

    It's not freedom if they can use the power of the state to assault your finances. There need to be repercussions for attacking our liberties: they should lose their house.

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