Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    Hi I have some questions about carrying shotguns in a car within PA. Two separate instances:

    1. Going from my residence to a PA “public range” to target shoot a shot gun. What is the proper protocol? I’m assuming the gun should be in some kind of case or gunny sack, unloaded, with ammo kept in a separate container. Go straight to range, then pack everything up and go straight home. Any issues with this? I am not a LTCF holder. I do not yet have a hunting license, but would have a PA public range license.

    2. Suppose I was going to visit family member, also in PA. I want to bring my unloaded shotgun to their house. The next day, I travel with my family member to the public range and we shoot, then return to their house. Later that night (or maybe the next day) I want to return to my home with my shotgun. What are the potential issues here? Does visiting my family member and bringing my gun so we can go to the range later that day (or the following day) meet the “vacation” or “recreation” element of the carrying firearms in cars without a LTCF?

    Again, in all of these situations I am talking about carrying unloaded shotguns (full length barrels, standard long stock hunting shotguns) in a sack or case, and ammo separately in a different container.

    I feel like the laws around doing the most basic things with a long gun in this state without a LTCF are overly complex, but it is what it is. I’m I decide to get my license to hunt this fall, I’m sure I will be back with more questions about carrying unloaded shotguns to and from public State game lands to hunt, but let’s sort out the first two scenarios first. I read the laws verbatim, but I’m not a lawyer. I think I understand them, but I’m not sure. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by 60clock View Post
    Hi I have some questions about carrying shotguns in a car within PA. Two separate instances:

    1. Going from my residence to a PA “public range” to target shoot a shot gun. What is the proper protocol? I’m assuming the gun should be in some kind of case or gunny sack, unloaded, with ammo kept in a separate container. Go straight to range, then pack everything up and go straight home. Any issues with this? I am not a LTCF holder. I do not yet have a hunting license, but would have a PA public range license.

    2. Suppose I was going to visit family member, also in PA. I want to bring my unloaded shotgun to their house. The next day, I travel with my family member to the public range and we shoot, then return to their house. Later that night (or maybe the next day) I want to return to my home with my shotgun. What are the potential issues here? Does visiting my family member and bringing my gun so we can go to the range later that day (or the following day) meet the “vacation” or “recreation” element of the carrying firearms in cars without a LTCF?

    Again, in all of these situations I am talking about carrying unloaded shotguns (full length barrels, standard long stock hunting shotguns) in a sack or case, and ammo separately in a different container.

    I feel like the laws around doing the most basic things with a long gun in this state without a LTCF are overly complex, but it is what it is. I’m I decide to get my license to hunt this fall, I’m sure I will be back with more questions about carrying unloaded shotguns to and from public State game lands to hunt, but let’s sort out the first two scenarios first. I read the laws verbatim, but I’m not a lawyer. I think I understand them, but I’m not sure. Thanks.
    As long as the gun is unloaded there is nothing to worry about, you do have to have the ammo in a seperate container. If you want to drive all over the Commonwealth with the gun in your car have at it, you are not breaking any laws unless you go on to restricted property.
    We the people love our country so let the government fear us.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    I believe the "straight to the range" thing applies to handguns if one does not possess a LTCF.
    Long guns are a whole different animal.
    I called to check my ZIP CODE!....DY-NO-MITE!!!

  4. #4
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    mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Cumberland County)
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    Default Re: Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    Damn, I miss the good ole days. AFAIK unloaded and ammo separate makes you good to go. Hell most of the time mine are just laying on the back seat with ammo in a bag. I can remember having a shotty in a back window rack in the school parking lot. During hunting season this was a common occurrence in high schools all over. Classes over and we went straight to the fields for small game. What the hell happened to us as a society. It certainly isn*t for the better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    New Tripoli, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by red dog View Post
    Damn, I miss the good ole days. AFAIK unloaded and ammo separate makes you good to go. Hell most of the time mine are just laying on the back seat with ammo in a bag. I can remember having a shotty in a back window rack in the school parking lot. During hunting season this was a common occurrence in high schools all over. Classes over and we went straight to the fields for small game. What the hell happened to us as a society. It certainly isn*t for the better.
    Karen's in politics idk.gif

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    Shotguns and rifles only need to be unloaded while in a vehicle, they do not require being encased. With the wrong officer or DA, and with shotguns and rifles that use detachable magazines, if the magazine has cartridges in them - it isn't out of realm of possibility to gank you for not having them in a "separate container". If your shotgun/rifles uses detachable magazines, and if you keep them loaded, I recommend that you keep the loaded magazines in a separate pouch that is secured by buckle, zipper, latch, velcro strip, etc, etc.

    You do not need a LTCF to have a rifle or shotgun in a vehicle - EXCEPT within Philly or during a State of Emergency, which requires a LTCF while on public domain.

    Loose or boxed ammo can be anywhere in relation to a rifle/shotgun.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot, R.W.J., PennsyPlinker, Statkowski, Deanimator, roland, aubie515, SteveWag

    Don't end up in my signature!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    Thanks for all the responses thus far.

    Re: keeping them encased vs. “openly carrying” them, I live right on a main road. I am a little concerned about the neighbors who live right across the street from me. I won’t go into it, but suffice to say that I don’t want to advertise that I have long arms in my house. So, my instinct would be to take the shotguns broken down (where possible) in a case that doesn’t immediately look like a gun case. As far as walking around with the shotgun fully assembled in the driveway and openly putting it into the vehicle I just don’t feel comfortable doing that.

    Again, they would be unloaded, but encased, and not obviously a shotgun should I get into a situation where LEO was involved (traffic stop, accident, etc) - would that present issues?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    Quote Originally Posted by 60clock View Post
    Thanks for all the responses thus far.

    Re: keeping them encased vs. *openly carrying* them, I live right on a main road. I am a little concerned about the neighbors who live right across the street from me. I won*t go into it, but suffice to say that I don*t want to advertise that I have long arms in my house. So, my instinct would be to take the shotguns broken down (where possible) in a case that doesn*t immediately look like a gun case. As far as walking around with the shotgun fully assembled in the driveway and openly putting it into the vehicle I just don*t feel comfortable doing that.

    Again, they would be unloaded, but encased, and not obviously a shotgun should I get into a situation where LEO was involved (traffic stop, accident, etc) - would that present issues?
    By letter of the law - that shouldn't be a problem. But not all officers know the law.

    Concealed/open carry only matters to "firearms"(handguns, SBS, SBR, and some AOW/MG/DD). You are legally allowed to carry/transport a concealed rifle or shotgun without a LTCF - except in Philly or during a State of Emergency, which requires a LTCF to carry openly or concealed of any type of gun while on public domain.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot, R.W.J., PennsyPlinker, Statkowski, Deanimator, roland, aubie515, SteveWag

    Don't end up in my signature!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    Get a guitar case and furgetaboutit.

    Going to the cabin, I use a case and try avoid loading it in front of neighbors.

    Going local it gats laid on the back seat and my hunting coat [ammo in a pocket] gets laid on top along with the turkey vest/seat, etc. while I openly carry a sidearm [LTCF] which hasn't raised any eyebrows especially when dressed in camo.

    Grew up using the rack in the back pickup window.

    OP is overthinking and using 'firearm' in the rules as if it applies to longarms.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Narvon, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Traveling with shotguns (to various places) in PA

    Roll like these guys and you will be fine, just don't cross the Parish line


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