YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Federal law allows you to transport legal firearms across states — but not with you through airport terminals, a U.S. District court has ruled, in rejecting a suit by the New Jersey affiliate of the NRA against the Port Authority.
The Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs of New York and New Jersey filed the suit on behalf of out-of-state gun owners who travel through Newark Liberty International Airport. It claimed that the federal Firearm Owner’s Protection Act trumps New Jersey gun-control laws that prohibit possession of a firearm without a permit and possession of hollow-point bullets.
The federal law “benefits only those who wish to transport firearms in vehicles — and not, therefore, any of the kinds of ‘transportation’ that, by necessity, would be involved should a person represented by the Association wish to transport a firearm by foot through an airport terminal or Port Authority site,” U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff wrote in the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The federal law does protect transporting guns by car, train and aircraft, but not through an airport terminal, the justices maintained. The gun has to be unloaded and cannot be “readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle,” the court wrote in its decision. Nor can the ammunition, they added.
If the vehicle doesn’t have a space separate from the driver’s compartment, the gun must be kept in a locked container, the court agreed.
The suit stemmed from the arrest of Gregg Revell, a Utah gun owner who was arrested in 2005 while flying from Utah to Allentown, Pa., through Newark.
It was perfectly legal for him in both of those states to have the gun and hollow-point ammunition packed with the luggage he checked in at the Salt Lake City Airport.
After missing his connection in Newark, Revell took his luggage to a local hotel overnight.
Port Authority police arrested him when he tried to check in the next morning.
Revell posted bail after spending 10 days in jail. He got his gun and ammo back in 2008.
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