Over the years of defending “criminals” I have encountered many honest citizens who have made a simple mistake and now find themselves facing felony charges, prison time, the loss of career, and the loss of their 2nd Amendment rights, simply by making a mistake in understanding how they should transport a firearm. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is not a defense. The price of education once in the legal system can be steep. To avoid this fate, this article seeks to clarify the frustrating and contradicting laws regarding how to transport firearms.
Oftentimes, my clients are pulled over for a simple speeding ticket. After the cop gets their license, registration, and proof of insurance, they are on their way to a warning or simple fine. However, as a throw away question, the officer asks if they have any drugs or guns in the car. Honest and law-abiding citizens are more than happy to tell the cop that they have a pistol unloaded in the case on the back seat or separated from the ammunition and placed in the glovebox.
The simple traffic stop instantly becomes a full-on investigation as the officers then begin asking questions designed to elicit admissions. Since people with Concealed Pistol Licenses (CPL) have an affirmative duty to report the CPL and that they are carrying, the lack of that initial statement from an honest person tells the cop that there is no CPL. This makes the act a felony and soon an arrest and a night or more in jail await someone who thought they were transporting a pistol safely.