FFL Dealer – Transportation of Firearms
Transporting firearms is likely going to become an inevitability once you obtain your federal firearms license. The ATF has its requirements that apply on a federal level. The guidelines from the ATF can be found in 18 U.S.C. section 926A and 27 CFR 478.138. They state that as long as you are not prohibited from shipping, receiving, or transporting firearms in interstate or foreign commerce (which you wouldn’t be if you are able to get a FFL license) then you are okay on transporting firearms in your vehicle for any lawful purpose. The firearms must be unloaded, and neither the firearm(s) nor ammunition should be readily accessible or directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. In vehicles where there is no separation, such as sport utility vehicles or hatchback cars, the firearm(s) and ammunition must be in locked containers and placed somewhere other than the glove compartment or console.
Keep in mind that this is an overarching ruling regarding federal regulations. Law enforcement will always stay to the side of the more stringent law, so if a particular state has more strict regulations regarding the transportation of firearms, those laws must be followed. A few states in which this is pretty important are California, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
These regulations are in regards to handguns and long guns only. Regulations for NFA items, such as silencers, SBRs, and machine guns are different and much stricter. If you obtain a Class 3 license, most of the regulations don’t apply. However, for anyone without that particular license, the laws prevent you from traveling through the states of IA, MN, MA, RI, NJ, NY, DE, CA, or Washington D.C. Individuals without a Class 3 license can take silencers across states lines without ATF notification (besides the listed states), but notification must be sent to the ATF for SBRs, SBSs, or machine guns.