At least that’s what the Third Circuit Court of Appeals says in the case of a Utah man who was arrested in New Jersey after getting stranded in Newark overnight when he missed his connecting flight to Allentown, where the pistol was legal. So says the Third Circuit:
The complaint reveals that Revell’s luggage containing the firearm was, in fact, available to him while he was at the hotel. He alleged that, “[a]fter retrieving his bag, because there were no more connections to Allentown until 9:45 a.m. the following morning … , [he] went directly to, and stayed the night at, the Airport Sheraton Hotel.” (App. at 23.) He further alleged that he returned with his luggage directly to the airport the next day and that a TSA agent, after x-raying the luggage, opened it with a key that Revell gave him. Taking those facts as true, it is clear that the gun and ammunition were readily accessible to Revell during his stay in New Jersey and, thus, by the allegations of his own complaint, he was not within the scope of § 926A. Dismissal of the § 926A claim was therefore proper.
The end result of this is that if you’re flying with guns, make sure your connecting city is a city where your guns are legal to possess. I’ve generally been careful about this when I fly with guns. So far this only applies to the Third Circuit, which is Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, but other circuits are likely to notice this ruling and use it.
Sorry folks, but it would seem FOPA only applies to vehicles on the highway.
15 Responses to “FOPA Only Applies to Vehicles”
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