Senator Orrin Hatch has introduced S.618, which purportedly enhances the FOPA safe travel provision, but this bill suffers from the same flaw that the Manchin-Toomey version did:
(b) In subsection (a), the term â€˜transportâ€™â€”
(1) includes staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, or any other activity incidental to the transport; and
(2) does not include transportationâ€”
(A) with the intent to commit a crime; or
(B) 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, ammunition, magazine, or feeding device 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 solely to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms, ammunition, magazine, or feeding device unless there is probable cause to believe that the person is doing so in a manner not provided for in subsection (a).
I think they need to make it much clearer that subsection (b)(2)(A) and (B). It is a crime to transport hollow point ammunition through New Jersey. It is a crime to transport a 15 round pistol magazine through New York. It is a crime to possess any firearm in Washington D.C. if you’re not a resident of DC and have not registered it. So when someone transports through these states, they are technically committing a crime in that state. Also, people will tend to have firearms discovered when they got pulled over for a traffic offense, which is technically a crime. Do you lose protections then?
I get what Hatch is trying to accomplish here, but given the resistance of the jurisdictions this will apply to, it needs to be iron clad. If the bill gives hostile local judges the room, they will take it.
Hatch probably doesn’t want to surrender the ol’ law & order that Republican love themselves so much of, but I don’t see a way to save (b)(2) that doesn’t risk nullifying the entire purpose of the law. It needs to be removed or this bill is a waste of everyone’s time.