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Old 09-09-2014, 06:41 AM   #1
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Transporting a rifle in VA & MD

I don't trust my interpretation of the laws I've read about transportation of a rifle not handgun, aboard my boat in VA & MD.

MD is the most restrictive. My understanding; A rifle can be transported within MD for any reason provided it is unloaded and secured in a commercial case or gun rack. I don't have a commercial case or gun rack but I can cable it to a secure place on the boat with a lock. As I understand the law, the ammo and magazine does not need to be locked.

VA; Persons lawfully possessing a handgun may transport such handgun loaded and in a secure compartment in a vehicle or vessel. No mention of rifles. Secured compartment does not mean locked as I understand it.

I'm currently in VA and have my rifle unloaded in a unlocked closet with the ammo and magazine in a separate pull out drawer. I think I'm legal and could probably keep the gun loaded.

In MD I have not read what secured means to them and I don't have a commercial case or gun rack.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, as I don't trust my interpretation of the laws.

Please advice only on the legality of transport, this is not a discussion on the wisdom of carrying a gun.

Thanks guys.

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Old 09-09-2014, 03:23 PM   #2
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All the MD law I've seen is focused on "transport" meaning movement by land vehicle, personal conveyance, etc. Even the hunting regulations only seem to address transporting a firearm to a boat, as for duck or goose hunting... nothing much (that I've noticed) talks about securing it once the firearm is on board a boat.

In a car or truck, unloaded, cased, and separated from the driver's immediate reach is sufficient. OTOH, there's also some wording about where you can take it: a range, a gun shop or gun show, to the hunting grounds, with no stops in between. I'm not expert, but I think that doesn't apply when you're living aboard your boat.... which is substantially larger than an open duck hunting skiff or bass boat or whatever.

I've not seen anything that addresses keeping a rifle in your home (aside from the ongoing yammering about assault weapons which according to MD shouldn't be allowed on the planet... and even there, it's not about keeping them in your home, it's about being allowed to own them in the first place.) We are not required to "secure" firearms in our home. Were it me, I would feel comfortable storing it however you wish while on board.

In the past, when I've had firearms questions, I got very good and courteous info from the State Police firearms guy. I think he was at the Glen Burnie Barrack:

Or see also

(The query title is about firearms, but mostly here that's abbreviated to handguns)

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.

You can open that licensing division link from the firearms question on their FAQ page, and ask direct via e-mail.


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Old 09-09-2014, 11:41 PM   #3
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This is what I get from reading the info on transporting fire arms.

1)To prevent accidental discharge.

2)To prevent impulsive discharge due to a quick emotional reaction to an event.(Think road rage.)

3)To keep from scaring all the scared cat people that are gun haters and don't understand that people kill people,not guns.

Again,it's all my opinion.

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Old 09-09-2014, 11:52 PM   #4
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I've traveled all over, many states included and the boats I have been on have almost always had guns on board. Never gave it a second thought. If boarded, inform the officer of the guns, they don't seem to make it an issue. I have no idea what the local laws are, but never had a problem.

In the Bahamas, there you must be careful with the laws.
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Old 09-10-2014, 01:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by timjet View Post
Please advice only on the legality of transport, this is not a discussion on the wisdom of carrying a gun.

Thanks guys.
A valid request and an important detail. Let's not go off the tracks on this one.

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Old 09-10-2014, 05:09 AM   #6
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Thanks Chris for that contact. I'm going to ask the moderators to close this thread.

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