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Discussion Starter #1
I have asked this question on other forums, contacted police (both county and state), contacted state representatives and lawyers and none seem to have good answers or want to touch the subject. I know of the federal law Title 18 Part 1 Chapter 44 Section 926a that only refers to carrying a gun across state lines in four wheel vehicles. My question is about long guns(shotgun or rifle) being carried to a firing range or trap club. The trap clubs I would go to are fifty miles or more away and would require going through three county jurisdictions as well as Maryland state and various town police areas. I did make one trip last year with the gun in a soft case slung over my shoulder and no ammo last year. No problems but one deputy in my county did follow me for a few miles like he was trying to figure out what to do until I crossed into another county. After seeing several LEOs post in other topics on this forum maybe a consensus can be reached for what and how to stay out of trouble, I live in Maryland, a decidedly unfriendly gun state.
 

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Legally speaking: I'd think that a State that allowed the transport of a firearm (rifle or otherwise) to an alternate location (gun range, home, etc) would not necessarily stipulate what form or vehicle was included in that right (moped, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, car, truck). Suppose you owned a horse (yes, a real live animal) and your gun range allowed you to take your horse there. It wouldn't be unheard of to have a rifle in a rifle holster, as part of the saddle setup.

Logically speaking: The less attention I draw to myself, the better. I'd just take the car/truck, dude. Why push the issue.
Besides, the greater risk of damage to the gun would be if you attempted to carry it on a motorcycle or horse, wouldn't you agree?

This may sound a bit off track, but not necessarily...........I owned a Jeep Wrangler for a while. During that time of ownership, I believed there was a Law on the books that said that all motorized vehicles, operating on our State's road system, had to have two mirrors minimum. One on the windshield, and one on the side.

Since on a Wrangler, one of the fun things about that vehicle, is that you can remove the doors. The side mirrors on my model, were mounted ON the doors.

So I called the State Police, the local PD, and tried to get an answer to the question: Is riding without doors in the State, legal? If so, does that mean that I don't have to have side mirrors, on an all-terrain vehicle, such as the Jeep Wrangler.

In the end, I discovered that the Police legally had the right to stop me and ticket me for having no doors on, and no side mirror, but "typically did not do this, because of the nature of that particular vehicle."

In any case, I ended up ordering some custom-made mirrors for the Jeep. They mounted into the bracket that normally housed the door itself.

The correlation here, is that "gray areas" in the Law, might be met with the default of holding you accountable (getting a ticket) for something that Law Enforcement is not sure of. Why give them ammunition (so to speak) and test them?

I should think, that as a responsible gun owner, you would make the extra effort to be in compliance, and to cooperate, so as to avoid any unpleasant confrontations on the issue.

I've seen a number of videos of young "Licensed to carry" men and women (YouTube; you can find them if you look around) who deliberately "test the water," if you will, to see if the local (so they say) PD knows the Law concerning the right to "open carry." They end up in these verbal battles on the street, because the Law says they CAN carry openly, but the general public gets nervous and complains, thus prompting the stopping of the individual.

It's not just about the "carrying" itself, but also about responsible gun ownership and handling. It's about how your actions are perceived by the general public, and responded to. It's about caring enough about those around you, to avoid any unnecessary risk to yourself or others and to the gear you want to carry.

-Soupy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My question Soupy is the combination of two fun things, riding my bike and shooting. In warm weather I would like to burn less than half the gas and have fun getting there, your answer was the attitude some police officers had; why do you want to do that? It kind of says a motorcycle is not considered "legal" enough in certain circumstances. I use my bike to go to the store and carry groceries or other items, doesn't that create the chance of spilled milk,wasted meat or any other item in case of a crash? If you pay taxes, license and registration fees isn't that legal enough to have the same rights as four wheel vehicles? Doesn't going in to court for accidents that aren't our fault but being made to sound like it is discrimination against us as a class of people? I'm not talking about carrying a concealed weapon like some others comments I have read on this forum, I don't believe in carrying a gun "just in case" , this is a distinct purpose in plain view. I look forward to some other opinions, hopefully there are some target shooters here.
 

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I just looked at the gun laws in Maryland, and I would move my behind out of that Communistesque state as fast as I could get my stuff loaded and the bike on a trailer!
 

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What does the state law have to say about transportation of firearms?

Many states require unloaded, in a closed case, and not immediately accessible to occupants of the vehicle. The accessibility part is what may come into question, and that would be up to a jury or eventually the state supreme court to decide. You could look at court precedent in cases where someone was previously charged and check to see if a ruling was made at the supreme court level. You could always try to be a test case if no ruling has been made in the past, but that could take several years and a lot of money in attorney fees. It could also involve time in prison.
 

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Look up the definition of a "vehicle" or "motor vehicle" in your state. Here in Florida, for example, a motorcycle falls under the absolute definition of a "vehicle," so all weapons laws that apply to them also apply to being on a bike, and it is technically legal to transport a weapon to a range or home or whatever.

Many states, however, also have laws which make it illegal to go "armed to the terror of the public," (or wording like that,) which make it illegal to display a weapon visibly in public. I can imagine MD has a law like that.

So I think I would use a case that doesn't look like a weapons case and strap it to the back seat rather then sling it over my shoulder. Maybe even take down the barrel so the case will look smaller. Something like a parachute weapons case would work fine.
 

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A similar incident happened in Illinois involving the carrying of a handgun in a center console of a vehicle. The weapon was unloaded, but the driver was arrested and charged. Illinois law states the gun must be unloaded and in a closed container. The supreme court ruled that the center console or the glove box of a vehicle is allowed to be used as a closed container, as long as it is completely shut. Charges were dismissed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
As I understand it Maryland pretty much follows the federal law referenced in my original post, what is hazy is the easily accessed part of the law. The law requires that a gun and ammo be in separate cases in a separate locked compartment even inside the vehicle without easy access by driver/passenger. Neither of my bikes have cases and a bike is all passenger compartment with what could be considered easy access. As I say nobody that should know the answer have given one or wanted to answer, so in other words I would be at the mercy of overzealous LEOs or prosecutors. So it isn't ignorance of the law but not being able to find out definitively what the law is.
 

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I would not give an answer on an open forum no matter what it is when it comes to transporting guns. If I did, then it would still not be legal defense because it's just the internet. Your only accurate form of information is to contact your Attorney General's office and get it from there, that is the place that controls how almost all laws are to be upheld for the state. If you write a letter explaining your situation, you will get a written reply back and that letter can be used should anything happen where the officer doesn't know the law any better than any first grader in the state.

Fortunately I live in a free state, I can transport loaded weapons in plain view if I so choose, or I can put them in a saddlebag or backpack. The only thing I can't carry loaded is a shotgun.
 

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I would not give an answer on an open forum no matter what it is when it comes to transporting guns. If I did, then it would still not be legal defense because it's just the internet. Your only accurate form of information is to contact your Attorney General's office and get it from there, that is the place that controls how almost all laws are to be upheld for the state. If you write a letter explaining your situation, you will get a written reply back and that letter can be used should anything happen where the officer doesn't know the law any better than any first grader in the state.

Fortunately I live in a free state, I can transport loaded weapons in plain view if I so choose, or I can put them in a saddlebag or backpack. The only thing I can't carry loaded is a shotgun.
Why not a shotgun?
 

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the officer doesn't know the law any better than any first grader in the state.
That's also something to consider. Carrying like that may be technically legal but not widely practiced, so it can draw the attention of law enforcement that might not know the details of the law.
 

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If I still had any guns, I would carry them either legally concealed, open, or in a locked container inside either a saddlebag or tank bag. Since I lost all of my guns in a boating accident I no longer have to worry about it.
 

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If I still had any guns, I would carry them either legally concealed, open, or in a locked container inside either a saddlebag or tank bag. Since I lost all of my guns in a boating accident I no longer have to worry about it.
In a similar twist of rotten luck, I too lost all my shooting irons in a marine accident! Whoda thunk it? :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As I say the answer to my question has never come, even from those that should be able to give an intelligent answer. Here in Maryland we do have an open carry law, but......., you need a permit just like concealed carry, but the licensing agency is refusing to grant permits without good reason, and they don't see any good reason.
 

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you need a permit just like concealed carry
That's probably the answer there. Personally, I wouldn't test the law, but rather work to get it changed to "Shall Issue". That has been done in many states, including Illinois where those in power were dragged kicking and screaming into allowing Shall Issue carry by a federal court.
 

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As I say the answer to my question has never come, even from those that should be able to give an intelligent answer. Here in Maryland we do have an open carry law, but......., you need a permit just like concealed carry, but the licensing agency is refusing to grant permits without good reason, and they don't see any good reason.
I will say it again: Move! Virginia is very close and has much better gun laws.
 

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From handgunlaw.us


RV/Car Carry Without A Permit/License
It is illegal to carry any loaded firearm in any vehicle in Maryland.
Notice: Maryland has a unit called, “Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center.” They have license plate
reader cameras around the state that read license plates of vehicles. Some are connected to Criminal
Background Check programs and Permit/License Holder lists from the different states that will supply them
with that information. Do use caution when even driving through Maryland. They can know if you have a
firearms permit/license without even stopping you. Other States most likely have a similar system.
How can I legally transport firearms within / through Maryland?
Answer: They must be unloaded, in a carrying case, holster with a flap and the ammunition should be
separate. It would be best to keep the unloaded weapon in the trunk where you do not have access to it. There
are further regulations but essentially you can only transport a handgun between residence, to and from a
repair shop, a shooting sporting event, between a residence and place of business if substantially owned and
operated by the person. For more information please contact our Licensing Division.
From the Maryland State Police FAQs.
Q. Can I legally transport firearms interstate? (From the MD State Police)
A. Yes, under Title 18, Section 926A, of the United States Code, a person who is not prohibited
from possessing, 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 place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the
firearm is unloaded, neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or
is directly accessible from the passenger compartment. In the case the vehicle does not have a
compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in
a locked compartment other than the glove compartment or console.
Federal Law on Transporting Firearms:
§ 926A. Interstate Transportation of Firearms
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
driver’s compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove
compartment or console.
Note: If you travel through MD with the firearm unloaded and secured you are covered under Federal law.
If you stop or interrupt your trip you then come under state law.
Open Carry (Without A Valid Permit/License)
You must have a valid permit/license to legally carry any handgun in Maryland. Maryland is a May Issue
state and open carrying a firearm even with a Maryland Permit/License would be frowned upon and open
carrying would most likely be a valid reason for the state to revoke your carry Permit/License.
 
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