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Gun Laws


Gun laws vary from state to state. While Washington D.C. has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Maryland and Virginia are much less strict in comparison. Because gun laws vary so much throughout the country, it is important to know the laws of any area where you may be traveling with a gun.

Traveling Across State Lines With A Gun


Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia all require that guns that are being transported in a vehicle must be locked in a container and separated from ammunition.

Washington bans several weapons that are not illegal in Virginia. This does not mean that you cannot travel with, for example, an automatic weapon. It just means that you must be able to show that you are traveling to and from an area where such weapons are legal.

Traveling By Car

In general, whenever you are traveling by car with a gun, it is best to follow the law as outlined in 18 U.S. Code § 926A:

  • Firearm must be unloaded.
  • Firearm must be kept separated from ammunition.
  • Neither the firearm or ammunition may be easily accessible by anyone in the vehicle.
    • Note:
    • If your car has a trunk, store the gun in there.
    • If your car does not have a closed off trunk (such as a jeep), the firearm must be stored in a locked container (other then the glove compartment or center console).

Because gun laws vary from state to state, it is important to know the laws when you are transporting a gun. While it is not required by federal law, it is highly recommended (and often required by state law) that you carry the license or registration for your firearm whenever you travel with it.

Traveling By Plane

If you are planning to travel by plane, make sure to review the TSA's guidelines for how to transport firearms.

Some of the regulations include:

  • All guns must be checked in a locked, hard side container.
  • All firearm parts and ammunition are prohibited from carry on luggage.
  • Realistic firearm replicas are also prohibited from carry on.
  • As with traveling by car, state and local laws still apply wherever you are.

Before leaving on any trip, make sure to check with local and federal codes to ensure that you are complying with all the laws regulating the transportation of firearms.
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