I’m going to be relying on FOPA this evening to keep me out of trouble with the State of Maryland. I was reviewing Â§Â 926A, when I noticed something:
Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driverâ€™s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
Emphasis mine.Â So by this definition, if you can’t also lawfully carry the firearm at the source and destination, does that render FOPA protections null and void?Â It doesn’t seem to say possess or carry, it says possess and carry.Â Now, as it stands, I can lawfully carry in both Pennsylvania and my destination, but if I were going to say, West Virginia, where I cannot legally carry on my foreign licenses, could I be in trouble?
Also, I’ve wondered if I was going through CT on the way to NH, and had a licensed loaded pistol on my person, but was carrying an “assault weapon” (illegal in CT) in the trunk in compliance with FOPA, would the possession of the loaded pistol, outside of FOPA compliance, but in compliance with CT law, render FOPA protection for the assault weapon null and void?
I can see a lot of room in this law for an anti-gun prosecutor to drive a truck in order to attempt to run over an otherwise lawful gun owner.Â If anyone out there reads and is a lawyer, I’d certainly like to know if any of the scenarios I just threw out there would be a plausible reading of this law.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep the needle on 65/55 the whole time I’m in Maryland.